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  1. Twins Territory covers a huge area. It's obviously all of Minnesota, but it's parts of western Wisconsin, northern Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and beyond. Our first guest this week grew up in West Fargo. He became a star on the baseball field and has taken a circuitous route through college and the minor leagues to a point where he was just added to the Arizona Diamondbacks 40-man roster after a season in which he hit a combined 29 home runs between AA and AAA. Get to know, infielder Andy Young. Follow him on Twitter at AndyJYoung15. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_9.mp3 Ten Minutes with Tyler this week only lasted about 15 minutes, our shortest conversation since he's joined the podcast every couple of episodes. Tyler discusses topics such as the Twins minor league coaching changes, new leadership, 40-man roster moves, his rehab from Tommy John surgery and more. This week, we also discussed the passing of Ryan Costello, a dear friend to so many throughout the Twins organization. Follow Tyler Wells on Twitter. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_9.mp3 Finally, our third conversation in this week's podcast is with Twins minor league infield and base-running coordinator Billy Boyer. He joined the organization about a year ago. We discuss his role and what he tries to accomplish throughout the system with players. He talked about the collaboration and communication that is prevalent throughout the organization. We also find out more about his background in the game, from minor league player, to college coaching duties to his time with the Twins. Follow Billy Boyer on Twitter. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_9.mp3 Please leave some comments in the the forum below. Ask questions. Let me know who you would like to see interviewed and even what you would like me to ask them. Your feedback is very helpful. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) Episode 8: Get to know: Caleb Hamilton, Austin Schulfer, Nick Anderson Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  2. In this week's episode, we get to know a Twins minor league coordinator and a West Fargo native who was recently added to the 40-man roster of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Get to know infielder Andy Young and Twins minor league infield and baserunning coordinator Billy Boyer. And spend Ten Minutes with Tyler too.Twins Territory covers a huge area. It's obviously all of Minnesota, but it's parts of western Wisconsin, northern Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and beyond. Our first guest this week grew up in West Fargo. He became a star on the baseball field and has taken a circuitous route through college and the minor leagues to a point where he was just added to the Arizona Diamondbacks 40-man roster after a season in which he hit a combined 29 home runs between AA and AAA. Get to know, infielder Andy Young. Follow him on Twitter at AndyJYoung15. Ten Minutes with Tyler this week only lasted about 15 minutes, our shortest conversation since he's joined the podcast every couple of episodes. Tyler discusses topics such as the Twins minor league coaching changes, new leadership, 40-man roster moves, his rehab from Tommy John surgery and more. This week, we also discussed the passing of Ryan Costello, a dear friend to so many throughout the Twins organization. Follow Tyler Wells on Twitter. Finally, our third conversation in this week's podcast is with Twins minor league infield and base-running coordinator Billy Boyer. He joined the organization about a year ago. We discuss his role and what he tries to accomplish throughout the system with players. He talked about the collaboration and communication that is prevalent throughout the organization. We also find out more about his background in the game, from minor league player, to college coaching duties to his time with the Twins. Follow Billy Boyeron Twitter. Please leave some comments in the the forum below. Ask questions. Let me know who you would like to see interviewed and even what you would like me to ask them. Your feedback is very helpful. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) Episode 8: Get to know: Caleb Hamilton, Austin Schulfer, Nick Anderson Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
  3. Matt Wallner was the Twins Competitive Balance pick in 2019, the 39th overall pick in the 2019 draft. In 2016, the Forest Lake, MN, native was the Twins 32nd round pick but instead of signing, he went to Southern Mississippi where he became a three-time All American. We discussed several topics with him including his high school playing days, being Mr. Baseball in 2016, the draft(s) and beginning his professional career. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_7.mp3 We need a good name for our bi-weekly segment with Twins RHP prospect Tyler Wells. We went with Ten Minutes with Tyler. Well, we went about 15 minutes, but that's OK. We discussed several topics including losing minor league coordinators, what's going on at the Twins academy in the offseason, the 40-man roster, his status and rehab updates and more. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_7.mp3 7:00 - Ten Minutes with Tyler 25:40 - Matt Wallner interview Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed in the future. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well, as he will return to the show in two weeks to answer your questions. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  4. In this week's Get to Know 'Em podcast, Seth talked to Twins outfield prospect Matt Wallner about playing in Minnesota, at Southern Mississippi, being drafted by the Twins (twice) and more. Also, we had out Ten Minutes with Tyler (Wells) segment, which actually went about 15 minutes.Matt Wallner was the Twins Competitive Balance pick in 2019, the 39th overall pick in the 2019 draft. In 2016, the Forest Lake, MN, native was the Twins 32nd round pick but instead of signing, he went to Southern Mississippi where he became a three-time All American. We discussed several topics with him including his high school playing days, being Mr. Baseball in 2016, the draft(s) and beginning his professional career. We need a good name for our bi-weekly segment with Twins RHP prospect Tyler Wells. We went with Ten Minutes with Tyler. Well, we went about 15 minutes, but that's OK. We discussed several topics including losing minor league coordinators, what's going on at the Twins academy in the offseason, the 40-man roster, his status and rehab updates and more. 7:00 - Ten Minutes with Tyler 25:40 - Matt Wallner interview Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed in the future. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well, as he will return to the show in two weeks to answer your questions. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
  5. With the offseason upon us, the Get To Know 'Em podcast returns. Tonight, we talk about Tommy John surgery with RHP Tyler Wells, and then talk about home runs, getting traded and getting The Call with OF Jaylin Davis.In 2018, RHP Tyler Wells was selected the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year. Unfortunately, his 2019 season was over before it began. He felt some elbow pain before spring training, tried to rehab, but in late May he had Tommy John surgery. We discussed the entire process from initial pain, to "the pop," the surgery and early stages of his rehab. Wells will be a frequent (bi-weekly) guest of the show, and we will keep updated with his progress. But he is also open to answering any questions you may have about Tommy John, pitching, and really anything you may want to know about the minor league life and experiences. The second guest of the podcast was OF Jaylin Davis. It's likely that Davis wasn't a household name to Twins fans, and maybe even Twins prospect fans, but his career trajectory took off in 2019. He began at AA Pensacola, jumped up to AAA Rochester and hit a combined 25 homers before the July 31st trade deadline. He was sent to the San Francisco Giants as part of the Sam Dyson trade. He reported to AAA Sacramento where he added another 10 home runs before being called up to the Giants in early September. We discussed his season, the power outburst, getting traded, getting called up and much, much more. Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
  6. In 2018, RHP Tyler Wells was selected the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year. Unfortunately, his 2019 season was over before it began. He felt some elbow pain before spring training, tried to rehab, but in late May he had Tommy John surgery. We discussed the entire process from initial pain, to "the pop," the surgery and early stages of his rehab. Wells will be a frequent (bi-weekly) guest of the show, and we will keep updated with his progress. But he is also open to answering any questions you may have about Tommy John, pitching, and really anything you may want to know about the minor league life and experiences. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_5.mp3 The second guest of the podcast was OF Jaylin Davis. It's likely that Davis wasn't a household name to Twins fans, and maybe even Twins prospect fans, but his career trajectory took off in 2019. He began at AA Pensacola, jumped up to AAA Rochester and hit a combined 25 homers before the July 31st trade deadline. He was sent to the San Francisco Giants as part of the Sam Dyson trade. He reported to AAA Sacramento where he added another 10 home runs before being called up to the Giants in early September. We discussed his season, the power outburst, getting traded, getting called up and much, much more. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_5.mp3 Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  7. Over the next two weeks, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects rankings. Our preseason Top Prospect rankings go 20 deep. Our midseason rankings double that output and give some recognition to twice as many players. Several of our minor league writers provided player rankings. They were consolidated Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 35th through 31st prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 35. Jaylin Davis – RF Age: 24 ETA: 2020 2019 Stats (AA): .274/.382/.458 (.840 OPS), 9 2B, 0 3B, 10 HR, 64 K, 36 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: NR Seth: 38 | Tom: 36 | Cody: 34 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Davis was taken by the Twins in the 24th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Appalachian State University. Davis got a brief taste of rookie ball that season, but the Twins have steadily moved him through the system over the last four years. In Pensacola this year, he is slightly older than the competition, but his OPS is higher than the last two years. After knocking 11 home runs in 120 games in 2018, he has already hit double-digit home runs this season. He’s played all three outfield positions, but the vast majority of his innings have come in right field. . 34. Cole Sands - RHP Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats (A+/A-): 52.2 IP, 3.08 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 5.17 K/BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 33 | Tom: 24 | Cody: 40 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Sands, a fifth-round pick in 2018, is making his professional debut this season. The Twins felt he had pitched enough in college last season, so he didn’t make any appearances in rookie ball. He started the year in Cedar Rapids and posted a 3.05 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 11 walks in 41 1/3 innings. At the beginning of June, he was moved to Fort Myers and made two starts. He allowed four earned runs and struck out 13 in 11 1/3 innings. Since then, he was placed on the IL with a blister on the third digit of his right hand. His fast ball usually sits in the low 90s, but he can reach the mid-90s when needed. His curveball and his change-up are his best secondary pitches. 33. Tyler Wells - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats: Out for the Year (Tommy John Surgery) 2019 Ranking: HM Seth: 35 | Tom: 33 | Cody: 23 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Wells found out near the end of May that he would need Tommy John surgery and he will miss all of 2019. He split time between High-A and Double-A last year and he was almost a year and a half younger than the competition in the Southern League. Wells posted a 2.49 ERA and a 121 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio in 119 1/3 innings during the 2018 campaign. He was named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year and he won the Harmon Killebrew Award for the Miracle. It was a breakout season for him and it’s tough to lose a year of development. However, he should be back at some point in the second half of 2020. Wells was originally a 15th round pick back in 2016. 32. Griffin Jax - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats (AA): 51.2 IP, 1.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 3.09 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: HM Seth: 26 | Tom: 34 | Cody: 31 | Ted: 28 | Steve: 24 Jax was the highest player ever taken from the United States Air Force Academy and that’s just part of his story. In order to pitch in the Twins system, he is taking part in the military’s World Class Athlete Program which allows active-duty military personnel to make training for the Olympics their full-time responsibility. Jax is taking full advantage of the opportunity as he is off to a tremendous start at Double-A. In eight of his ten appearances, he has allowed one earned run or less. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters (5.9 K/9), but he’s been efficient at getting outs. Jax pitched in last year’s Arizona Fall League and allowed nine earned runs on 21 hits in 21 innings (3.86 ERA). His fastball sits in the low 90s and he has a great change-up and an improving slider. 31. LaMonte Wade - OF ETA: 2019 Age: 25 2019 Stats (AAA): .232/.374/.332 (.706 OPS), 7 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 38 K, 42 BB. 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 29 | Tom: 32 | Cody: 29 | Ted: 23 | Steve: 25 Wade was the Twins 9th-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Maryland. He’s worked his way through the Twins system over the last five seasons and he’s spent parts of the last two seasons in Rochester. Wade doesn’t strikeout. Well, that might not be completely true. Throughout his professional career, he has 283 walks compared to 263 strikeouts. He has a great approach at the plate and he has the ability to attack the strike zone. He can play all three outfield positions, but he probably fits better in a corner outfield spot. Wade could make his way to Minnesota at some point this season, even if it comes as a September call-up. Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Also, check back next week to see who made the top-30 prospects. Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings Prospects 36-40 Prospects 31-35 (Today) Prospects 26-30 Coming Soon
  8. Ten years ago, I got the idea of taking my knowledge of the Twins minor league system and turning it into a coffee table book for Twins fans. Think about how often during a Twins game Dick Bremer will mention a minor league player and someone wonders aloud who that player is and when we might see him in the big leagues. Reach down to your coffee table, grab the Prospect Handbook and sound like a genius when you tell him all about that player, his background, his stats and a scouting report on him. That was the original purpose of the book, but now it’s even more than that. First, my “knowledge of the Twins minor league system” wasn’t real high in 2008 relative to now. Second, it’s constantly evolving and I still know only a percentage of all there is to know. We have seen the evolution of the game on and off the field. The Twins have made many changes in their minor leagues. They’ve switched affiliates. They’ve added technology. They’ve added more coaches and coordinators. The goal is to make the players the best they can be and use whatever they can to get them to the big leagues and contribute. Third, and really probably #1 on this point, is the saying that has been included in every single Twins Prospect Handbook since that first edition and will again be in the 11th annual Twins Prospect Handbook as well. Minor league baseball players are doing all the same work that the big leaguers do. They are just doing it with far less fanfare, smaller per diems, less luxurious travel and hotel arrangements, and noticeably lighter wallets due to pay checks with far fewer zeroes. These players deserve to be recognized too. It’s about the players. They deserve the recognition. They work hard, and they earn what they get. Sometimes that means a big league career, and sometimes it means peaking in A-ball. So, here is a quick look at what you will find if you order a copy of the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (which will again be available in paperback and PDF). THE COVER Finn Pearson, who has done a lot of really good graphic work for Twins Daily since earlier this year, did a very nice job on the cover It would be hard for me to explain if we had gone with anyone other than Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis on the 2019 handbook cover. You will also notice that the beautiful stadium in Pensacola is in the background. The home of the new Twins Double-A affiliate sits right along the Gulf of Mexico. THE AUTHORS Seth Stohs - As mentioned above, this is my 11th Twins Prospect Handbook. Hard to believe. I wrote three articles for the handbook this year. I wrote the three Twins Daily Minor League Award winner articles. I had 30+ minute phone interviews with our three winners, Alex Kirilloff, Tyler Wells and Andrew Vasquez and penned an in-depth article on each. There are a lot of similarities in the stories and their are a couple of very solid relationships among these players. And as you saw the other day, they have a lot of respect for each other. Cody Christie - Cody was first a Co-Author on the Prospect Handbook in 2013. He wrote an interesting article looking into the first few seasons of Joe Mauer’s professional career and compared it to whatt Royce Lewis has done. Has there been a passing of the torch? Tom Froemming - This is Tom’s second Prospect Handbook. He wrote an article about how the Twins have brought in so much young talent over the last couple of years since Derek Falvey took the reigns. They have really used every potential means. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dan Hayes - Hayes joined The Athletic as the Twins beat writer almost a year ago, and he has been a terrific writer and a great follow on Twitter this offseason. We are thrilled that he wrote an article for this year’s Prospect Handbook. He wrote about a lot of the changes that happened over the last year or so in the Twins minor league system on and off the field. Chris Blessing - Chris writes about prospects for BaseballHQ.com and several other sites including USA Today Sports Weekly and the Minor League Baseball Analyst. In his scouting, he has seen many Chattanooga Lookouts games in recent years, and he noticed some things about Twins prospects in 2018 that are encouraging. Ted Schwerzler - Ted has contributed an article the last few years in which he projects which prospects will make their debuts with the Twins in 2019 and when. For the first time we have enlisted the help of the Twins minor league affiliates and have an article from each of the affiliates (with the exception of the GCL Twins). Rochester Red Wings media relations director Nate Rowan wrote a great article on the rich history of the Red Wings and baseball in Rochester. Includes some remarkable stories including one from a game the Red Wings played in Cuba in 1959 that got more than a little scary. Daniel Venn did a Q&A for Twins Daily recently. He is the media relations director for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Daniel shared with us the relatively short, but interesting history of the Blue Wahoos. Marshall Kelner is the media relations director for the Ft. Myers Miracle. He wrote an article on the team’s history and the 2018 Miracle Florida State League championship team. A long-time contributor at Twins Daily and of the Prospect Handbook, Steve Buhr met with the Cedar Rapids Kernels front office for a very interesting article on how much winning matters to a minor league affiliate. Mike Gallagher was the play-by-play man of the Elizabethton Twins. He wrote about the E-Twins long history with the Twins organization and recent legislation that hopefully will keep that relationship intact moving forward. Mariana Guzman writes at Twins Latinos. She wrote a good article about the 2018 season in the Dominican Summer League including who some of the better prospects might be on that team. Who could be the guys moving up to the Gulf Coast League in 2019? We admittedly have not covered the Twins Dominican Summer League in the book or on Twins Daily as much as we should, so this is a great addition to the book. THE PROFILES We like to call the prospect profiles the meat and potatoes of the Prospect Handbook. There are over 160 profiles of Twins minor leaguers in the book. I might give you an exact number, but we will update the book after Thursday’s Rule 5 draft to add any players that the Twins select. So, that number is subject to change between now and the book’s release. For those that have purchased Prospect Handbooks in the past, you have an idea of what the profiles look like and the information in each. For those of you who have not purchased previous Prospect Handbooks, well, you can buy previous Prospect Handbooks here. Ha! However, we wanted to include a profile here just to give you an idea of what you are getting. Here is a quick snip of a player profile. The header information includes height, weight, how they were acquired and their 2018 statistics. The 2018 Recaps were written by Tom Froemming and they, well, recap the player’s 2018 season. I (Seth) wrote up the Background section and the Scouting Report. The Background covers their amateur days and previous seasons. The Scouting Report provides, well, a scouting report on the player. We also include a Forecast for ‘19 in which we try to give a good idea of where each player could spend the 2019 season. We have pictures of a lot of the players in the bios. I wish we had all, but we definitely want to thank all the photographers that were willing to let us use their photos. So there you have it. The 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is coming very soon. Keep checking back to Twins Daily and we will let you know when it is available. It’s something that Tom, Cody and I are really proud of. It just keeps getting bigger and better, and we hope that you will enjoy it too!
  9. UPDATE- The 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is now available! Paperback versions of the 161 page book will cost $17.99 this year. Electronic version will be available for $12.99. It is a PDF that will be available to download immediately. For more information on the handbook,, please read below. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- I think even the Twins’ harshest critics would have to admit that the Twins minor league system is stronger and deeper than it was just two years ago, or even just last year. Very soon, the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook will be available. Check back to Twins Daily later this week to find out how you can purchase the book. Below, find out more about what you will be able to find in the 2019 edition.Ten years ago, I got the idea of taking my knowledge of the Twins minor league system and turning it into a coffee table book for Twins fans. Think about how often during a Twins game Dick Bremer will mention a minor league player and someone wonders aloud who that player is and when we might see him in the big leagues. Reach down to your coffee table, grab the Prospect Handbook and sound like a genius when you tell him all about that player, his background, his stats and a scouting report on him. That was the original purpose of the book, but now it’s even more than that. First, my “knowledge of the Twins minor league system” wasn’t real high in 2008 relative to now. Second, it’s constantly evolving and I still know only a percentage of all there is to know. We have seen the evolution of the game on and off the field. The Twins have made many changes in their minor leagues. They’ve switched affiliates. They’ve added technology. They’ve added more coaches and coordinators. The goal is to make the players the best they can be and use whatever they can to get them to the big leagues and contribute. Third, and really probably #1 on this point, is the saying that has been included in every single Twins Prospect Handbook since that first edition and will again be in the 11th annual Twins Prospect Handbook as well. Minor league baseball players are doing all the same work that the big leaguers do. They are just doing it with far less fanfare, smaller per diems, less luxurious travel and hotel arrangements, and noticeably lighter wallets due to pay checks with far fewer zeroes. These players deserve to be recognized too. It’s about the players. They deserve the recognition. They work hard, and they earn what they get. Sometimes that means a big league career, and sometimes it means peaking in A-ball. So, here is a quick look at what you will find if you order a copy of the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (which will again be available in paperback and PDF). THE COVER Finn Pearson, who has done a lot of really good graphic work for Twins Daily since earlier this year, did a very nice job on the cover It would be hard for me to explain if we had gone with anyone other than Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis on the 2019 handbook cover. You will also notice that the beautiful stadium in Pensacola is in the background. The home of the new Twins Double-A affiliate sits right along the Gulf of Mexico. THE AUTHORS Seth Stohs - As mentioned above, this is my 11th Twins Prospect Handbook. Hard to believe. I wrote three articles for the handbook this year. I wrote the three Twins Daily Minor League Award winner articles. I had 30+ minute phone interviews with our three winners, Alex Kirilloff, Tyler Wells and Andrew Vasquez and penned an in-depth article on each. There are a lot of similarities in the stories and their are a couple of very solid relationships among these players. And as you saw the other day, they have a lot of respect for each other. Cody Christie - Cody was first a Co-Author on the Prospect Handbook in 2013. He wrote an interesting article looking into the first few seasons of Joe Mauer’s professional career and compared it to whatt Royce Lewis has done. Has there been a passing of the torch? Tom Froemming - This is Tom’s second Prospect Handbook. He wrote an article about how the Twins have brought in so much young talent over the last couple of years since Derek Falvey took the reigns. They have really used every potential means. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dan Hayes - Hayes joined The Athletic as the Twins beat writer almost a year ago, and he has been a terrific writer and a great follow on Twitter this offseason. We are thrilled that he wrote an article for this year’s Prospect Handbook. He wrote about a lot of the changes that happened over the last year or so in the Twins minor league system on and off the field. Chris Blessing - Chris writes about prospects for BaseballHQ.com and several other sites including USA Today Sports Weekly and the Minor League Baseball Analyst. In his scouting, he has seen many Chattanooga Lookouts games in recent years, and he noticed some things about Twins prospects in 2018 that are encouraging. Ted Schwerzler - Ted has contributed an article the last few years in which he projects which prospects will make their debuts with the Twins in 2019 and when. For the first time we have enlisted the help of the Twins minor league affiliates and have an article from each of the affiliates (with the exception of the GCL Twins). Rochester Red Wings media relations director Nate Rowan wrote a great article on the rich history of the Red Wings and baseball in Rochester. Includes some remarkable stories including one from a game the Red Wings played in Cuba in 1959 that got more than a little scary.Daniel Venn did a Q&A for Twins Daily recently. He is the media relations director for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Daniel shared with us the relatively short, but interesting history of the Blue Wahoos.Marshall Kelner is the media relations director for the Ft. Myers Miracle. He wrote an article on the team’s history and the 2018 Miracle Florida State League championship team.A long-time contributor at Twins Daily and of the Prospect Handbook, Steve Buhr met with the Cedar Rapids Kernelsfront office for a very interesting article on how much winning matters to a minor league affiliate.Mike Gallagher was the play-by-play man of the Elizabethton Twins. He wrote about the E-Twins long history with the Twins organization and recent legislation that hopefully will keep that relationship intact moving forward.Mariana Guzman writes at Twins Latinos. She wrote a good article about the 2018 season in the Dominican Summer League including who some of the better prospects might be on that team. Who could be the guys moving up to the Gulf Coast League in 2019? We admittedly have not covered the Twins Dominican Summer League in the book or on Twins Daily as much as we should, so this is a great addition to the book.THE PROFILES We like to call the prospect profiles the meat and potatoes of the Prospect Handbook. There are over 160 profiles of Twins minor leaguers in the book. I might give you an exact number, but we will update the book after Thursday’s Rule 5 draft to add any players that the Twins select. So, that number is subject to change between now and the book’s release. For those that have purchased Prospect Handbooks in the past, you have an idea of what the profiles look like and the information in each. For those of you who have not purchased previous Prospect Handbooks, well, you can buy previous Prospect Handbooks here. Ha! However, we wanted to include a profile here just to give you an idea of what you are getting. Here is a quick snip of a player profile. The header information includes height, weight, how they were acquired and their 2018 statistics. The 2018 Recaps were written by Tom Froemming and they, well, recap the player’s 2018 season. I (Seth) wrote up the Background section and the Scouting Report. The Background covers their amateur days and previous seasons. The Scouting Report provides, well, a scouting report on the player. We also include a Forecast for ‘19 in which we try to give a good idea of where each player could spend the 2019 season. We have pictures of a lot of the players in the bios. I wish we had all, but we definitely want to thank all the photographers that were willing to let us use their photos. So there you have it. The 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is coming very soon. Keep checking back to Twins Daily and we will let you know when it is available. It’s something that Tom, Cody and I are really proud of. It just keeps getting bigger and better, and we hope that you will enjoy it too! 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  10. As you recall, following the minor league season, Twins Daily announced the minor league awards: Hitter of the Year: Alex Kirilloff Starting Pitcher of the Year: Tyler Wells Relief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Vasquez In a minor league system, the players get to know each other and develop relationships and many friendships. Even in this small group of three, there are some interesting connections. So, I thought it would be fun to see what each had to say about the others’ seasons. Tyler Wells on Andrew Vasquez In the offseason, Vasquez works out with fellow Twins Daily 2018 award winner Tyler Wells at Performance Fitness for Athletes. Wells was really happy for Vasquez. “He’s improved every year. I was extremely happy for him. I was really proud. He’s one of my best friends. It’s good to see someone get rewarded for all the hard work and adversity. Seeing him in The Show made me want to work my butt off even more.” Tyler Wells on Alex Kirilloff The Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year, Tyler Wells, is also close with Kirilloff. The two were drafted in 2016, played together in Elizabethton and have remained close. Of Kirilloff, Wells said, “Alex and I are really really close. We have gone through quite a bit as far as just being friends. Seeing what he did was unbelievable. Truly was unbelievable. Being around him, he always makes you want to be a better baseball player, in general. It makes you want to work harder. He’s always finding a way to get better, always thinking about it. From rooming with him in E-Town, that’s something I inherited from him that summer. Now it’s like, don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Stay consistent. What can you do to refine this little thing? We all know, Alex is one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen. He never stops trying to get better and that rubs off on his teammates.” Andrew Vasquez on Alex Kirilloff Vasquez said of Kirilloff, "I played with him for a brief time in Elizabethton when he first got drafted. I just remembered that he was a very good hitter. It was very noticeable. You could tell he had an approach and knew what he was doing. A high school guy, he was really impressive. He was always putting good swings on the ball." Andrew Vasquez on Tyler Wells Vasquez spoke of Wells. “He had a great year. He took what he needed to improve on and focus on and it really showed this year. He lost a little weight. I was kind of worried because sometimes when guys lose weight, they can lose velo, but he kept his velo and his stamina increased. I distinctly remember in 2017 that he would have trouble going late into games, pitch count would get high and he’d get tired. This year, he made these changes and was able to sustain it. He threw really well.” Alex Kirilloff on Tyler Wells Fellow 2018 Twins Daily award winner Alex Kirilloff is a close friend of Wells since they were drafted in 2016 and played together in Elizabethton. “I think he had a great season. He did a great job last offseason. He started a new diet. He really stuck with his workout regimen and his offseason goal and plan. He lost all that weight. I’m impressed with that. He pitched well in spring training and backed it up on the field all year. I think that he has a lot of potential and hope he will have another big year.” Kirilloff continued, “Off the field, fun guy to be around, a lot of energy. Just a good guy to get behind every five days and know he’s going to battle out there on the mound. That’s always nice to have. I hope he puts together another good season next year and we’ll see what happens.” Alex Kirilloff on Andrew Vasquez Hitter of the Year, Alex Kirilloff saw Vasquez’s 2018 progression from the Florida State League to the big leagues. “It definitely is motivational for everyone, really. You don’t see that too often, but when we do see it, you keep yourself in check and realize that you are not too far away from it. Sometimes you feel like you are a million years away, but when you see a guy like Andrew do it all in one year, you push yourself to work harder and work toward that goal as well. So it was definitely pretty cool to see. I was extremely happy for him.” Later this week, we will announce more about the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Be sure to stop back and order your copies when it becomes available. For now, you can order discounted copies of the previous Twins Prospect Handbooks here.
  11. In coming days, you will see much more information about the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Tom Froemming, Cody Christie and I have been putting far too many hours in over the last couple of months to put together a quality product that can recognize the efforts of so many talented young Twins prospects. Below, you will see some excerpts from the soon-to-be-released Twins Prospect Handbook. Each year, we write feature articles on the three Twins Daily minor league full-season award winners. I had the chance to have phone interviews with the three winners recently. One question that I asked each of them was their thoughts on each other.As you recall, following the minor league season, Twins Daily announced the minor league awards: Hitter of the Year: Alex KirilloffStarting Pitcher of the Year: Tyler WellsRelief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew VasquezIn a minor league system, the players get to know each other and develop relationships and many friendships. Even in this small group of three, there are some interesting connections. So, I thought it would be fun to see what each had to say about the others’ seasons. Tyler Wells on Andrew Vasquez In the offseason, Vasquez works out with fellow Twins Daily 2018 award winner Tyler Wells at Performance Fitness for Athletes. Wells was really happy for Vasquez. “He’s improved every year. I was extremely happy for him. I was really proud. He’s one of my best friends. It’s good to see someone get rewarded for all the hard work and adversity. Seeing him in The Show made me want to work my butt off even more.” Tyler Wells on Alex Kirilloff The Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year, Tyler Wells, is also close with Kirilloff. The two were drafted in 2016, played together in Elizabethton and have remained close. Of Kirilloff, Wells said, “Alex and I are really really close. We have gone through quite a bit as far as just being friends. Seeing what he did was unbelievable. Truly was unbelievable. Being around him, he always makes you want to be a better baseball player, in general. It makes you want to work harder. He’s always finding a way to get better, always thinking about it. From rooming with him in E-Town, that’s something I inherited from him that summer. Now it’s like, don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Stay consistent. What can you do to refine this little thing? We all know, Alex is one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen. He never stops trying to get better and that rubs off on his teammates.” Andrew Vasquez on Alex Kirilloff Vasquez said of Kirilloff, "I played with him for a brief time in Elizabethton when he first got drafted. I just remembered that he was a very good hitter. It was very noticeable. You could tell he had an approach and knew what he was doing. A high school guy, he was really impressive. He was always putting good swings on the ball." Andrew Vasquez on Tyler Wells Vasquez spoke of Wells. “He had a great year. He took what he needed to improve on and focus on and it really showed this year. He lost a little weight. I was kind of worried because sometimes when guys lose weight, they can lose velo, but he kept his velo and his stamina increased. I distinctly remember in 2017 that he would have trouble going late into games, pitch count would get high and he’d get tired. This year, he made these changes and was able to sustain it. He threw really well.” Alex Kirilloff on Tyler Wells Fellow 2018 Twins Daily award winner Alex Kirilloff is a close friend of Wells since they were drafted in 2016 and played together in Elizabethton. “I think he had a great season. He did a great job last offseason. He started a new diet. He really stuck with his workout regimen and his offseason goal and plan. He lost all that weight. I’m impressed with that. He pitched well in spring training and backed it up on the field all year. I think that he has a lot of potential and hope he will have another big year.” Kirilloff continued, “Off the field, fun guy to be around, a lot of energy. Just a good guy to get behind every five days and know he’s going to battle out there on the mound. That’s always nice to have. I hope he puts together another good season next year and we’ll see what happens.” Alex Kirilloff on Andrew Vasquez Hitter of the Year, Alex Kirilloff saw Vasquez’s 2018 progression from the Florida State League to the big leagues. “It definitely is motivational for everyone, really. You don’t see that too often, but when we do see it, you keep yourself in check and realize that you are not too far away from it. Sometimes you feel like you are a million years away, but when you see a guy like Andrew do it all in one year, you push yourself to work harder and work toward that goal as well. So it was definitely pretty cool to see. I was extremely happy for him.” Later this week, we will announce more about the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Be sure to stop back and order your copies when it becomes available. For now, you can order discounted copies of the previous Twins Prospect Handbooks here. Click here to view the article
  12. On Tuesday night at Target Field, Joe Mauer singled in the first inning to pass Harmon Killebrew for number of Times on Base in his Twins career. If you were to look at the Twins record books, you would find Harmon Killebrew’s name at or near the top of most career and single-season lists. On the field, Killebrew was a Hall of Famer. Ask most of his contemporaries or those who got to know him and they will likely tell you that he was a Hall of Famer off the field too. Following his death, the Minnesota Twins announced that they would hand out a Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service to one player at each of the Twins four, full-season minor league affiliates. Over the past week, we have announced three of the four recipients. Tonight, we announce the fourth Killebrew Award winner.Following the conclusion of the Twins minor league season, Twins Daily announced our choice for the 2018 Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Right-hander Tyler Wells split the season, making 16 starts for Ft. Myers and six games in Chattanooga. Combined, he went 10-6 with a 2.49 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He struck out 121 batters in 119 1/3 innings. It was a terrific season on the field for Wells. Wells was terrific in the community throughout the season as well and earned the Miracle choice for the Harmon Killebrew Award. The Miracle do a lot throughout their season in the community, and Wells stayed busy with it throughout his time in southwest Florida. Wells shared a list of some of the activities that he participated in. “During my time in Fort Myers, I participated in multiple camps, a special needs camp, a hospital visit to see kids with cancer, and helped promote and participated in a fundraiser with the VS. Cancer Foundation. I also participated in a kids camp up in Chattanooga.” The VS. Cancer event and fundraiser was something that meant a lot personally to Wells. Wells made several trips to Ft. Myers area hospitals with teammates throughout the season, and even in the offseason when he was there for various camps. Being community-minded is something that is very important to Tyler Wells, and having his name associated with an award named for the great Harmon Killebrew. “It’s a huge honor for me, as it would be for anyone to associated with the Minnesota Twins legend. Baseball is only part of the job for us, and Harmon Killebrew was the best example you could have for being so much more than a baseball player. And I’m hoping, as I continue my career, that I can set an example like Killebrew did! ” Previous Ft. Myers Miracle Killebrew Award winners: 2011 - Reggie Williams 2012 - Andy Leer 2013 - Stephen Wickens 2014 - Tim Shibuya 2015 - Tanner Vavra 2016 - Trey Vavra 2017 - Kevin Garcia 2018 - Tyler Wells Other 2018 Killebrew Award Recipients Rochester Red Wings - Jake Reed Chattanooga Lookouts - Chris Paul Fort Myers Miracle - Tyler Wells Cedar Rapids Kernels - David Banuelos Congratulations to Tyler Wells on earning the 2018 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Fort Myers Miracle. Click here to view the article
  13. Following the conclusion of the Twins minor league season, Twins Daily announced our choice for the 2018 Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Right-hander Tyler Wells split the season, making 16 starts for Ft. Myers and six games in Chattanooga. Combined, he went 10-6 with a 2.49 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He struck out 121 batters in 119 1/3 innings. It was a terrific season on the field for Wells. Wells was terrific in the community throughout the season as well and earned the Miracle choice for the Harmon Killebrew Award. The Miracle do a lot throughout their season in the community, and Wells stayed busy with it throughout his time in southwest Florida. Wells shared a list of some of the activities that he participated in. “During my time in Fort Myers, I participated in multiple camps, a special needs camp, a hospital visit to see kids with cancer, and helped promote and participated in a fundraiser with the VS. Cancer Foundation. I also participated in a kids camp up in Chattanooga.” The VS. Cancer event and fundraiser was something that meant a lot personally to Wells. https://twitter.com/TylerW13/status/1014211682732838914 Wells and some teammates raised money to fight cancer, and following a game at Hammond Stadium on a Friday night in late July, they got pied. https://twitter.com/TylerW13/status/1020757714052567041 Wells made several trips to Ft. Myers area hospitals with teammates throughout the season, and even in the offseason when he was there for various camps. Being community-minded is something that is very important to Tyler Wells, and having his name associated with an award named for the great Harmon Killebrew. “It’s a huge honor for me, as it would be for anyone to associated with the Minnesota Twins legend. Baseball is only part of the job for us, and Harmon Killebrew was the best example you could have for being so much more than a baseball player. And I’m hoping, as I continue my career, that I can set an example like Killebrew did! ” Previous Ft. Myers Miracle Killebrew Award winners: 2011 - Reggie Williams 2012 - Andy Leer 2013 - Stephen Wickens 2014 - Tim Shibuya 2015 - Tanner Vavra 2016 - Trey Vavra 2017 - Kevin Garcia 2018 - Tyler Wells Other 2018 Killebrew Award Recipients Rochester Red Wings - Jake Reed Chattanooga Lookouts - Chris Paul Fort Myers Miracle - Tyler Wells Cedar Rapids Kernels - David Banuelos Congratulations to Tyler Wells on earning the 2018 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Fort Myers Miracle.
  14. The Twins, and probably every organization in baseball, need and want more pitching. Even with the “opener” concept starting to take root in the game, development of starting pitchers will always be a top priority for baseball executives and coaches. Today, we announce the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. There were some good choices again in 2018. Previous 2018 Awards Short-Season Minor League Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Cabezas Short-Season Minor League Hitter of the Year: Chris Williams Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Vasquez Today: Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year: Tyler Wells Coming Soon: Minor League Hitter of the Year: Previous Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitchers of the Year: 2012 - BJ Hermsen 2013 - Taylor Rogers 2014 - Jose Berrios 2015 - Jose Berrios 2016 - Stephen Gonsalves 2017 - Stephen Gonsalves 2018 - Keep ReadingBefore we get to the Top Five, and the eventual winner, it's worth noting a few honorable mentions. While Rochester and Chattanooga struggled in 2018, Cedar Rapids made the playoffs and Ft. Myers and Elizabethton won championships, largely on their pitching. Here are some of those candidates that also received votes: Honorable Mention Sean Poppen - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 26 G, 20 GS, 6-9, 3.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 127.2 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.7 K/9Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 24 G, 20 GS, 10-5, 3.14 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 129.0 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 5.9 K/9Bailey Ober - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 14 GS, 7-1, 3.84 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 75.0 IP, 1.1 BB/9, 10.6 K/9Starting Pitcher of the Year Here are the top five picks for the 2018 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. #5- Edwar Colina - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 21 G, 20 GS, 7-5, 2.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 109.1 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 8.7 K/9 Colina signed with the Twins in September of 2015. He pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2016. Last year in Elizabethton, he was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. While his walk total was high, Colina was often able to work out of situations with strikeouts. Colina is stocky and strong. While he isn’t tall, he uses has legs to drive the ball. He sits 93 to 94 mph, but he can hit 96 regularly. He’s got good secondary pitches as well. He spent the majority of the season in Cedar Rapids, where he started a no-hitter. He ended the season with a start for the Miracle and then was the winning pitcher in the Miracle’s championship game. #4- Lewis Thorpe - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings - 26 G, 25 GS, 8-7, 3.54 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 129.2 iP, 2.5 BB/9, 10.9 K/9 Thorpe was added to the Twins 40-man roster last November. After missing two full seasons with Tommy John surgery (and mono), Thorpe showed enough in Ft. Myers to earn the roster spot. This year, he began in Chattanooga where he struggled early. But he started pitching well and was named to the Future Game where he represented the Twins and Australia. He took off from there, throwing more and more strikes and getting a lot of strikeouts. He ended the season with four starts in Rochester. #3- Stephen Gonsalves - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings - 23 G, 22 GS, 12-3, 2.76 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 120.2 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 9.0 K/9 Gonsalves was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2016 and 2017. He was the runner up to Jose Berrios in 2015. After being added to the 40-man roster last November, Gonsalves came to his second big league spring training. He struggled early and was sent to Chattanooga where he issued too many walks but dominated in four starts. He was promoted to Rochester where he went 9-3 with a 2.96 ERA. When you consider he has starts in which he gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings, five runs in 2/3 inning, and nine earned runs in four innings, he was incredible in the rest of his innings. He followed the nine-run outing with a stretch of seven starts in which he gave up just two runs over 40 1/3 innings. In mid-August, the 24-year-old received the call to the big leagues. #2- Brusdar Graterol - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Fort Myers Miracle - 19 GS, 8-4, 2.74 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 102.0 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.4 K/9 The Twins signed Graterol way back in late August of 2014. The Venezuelan right-hander pitched just 11 innings in the Dominican Summer League in 2015 before coming to the Twin Cities and having Tommy John surgery. He continued to rehab until early in the 2017 season when he returned to pitching, this time for the GCL Twins. He split 2018 between the GCL and Elizabethton. He began the 2018 season in extended spring training, though he got to Cedar Rapids before the end of April. With the Kernels, he went 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 41 1/3 innings (9 BB, 51 K) before being promoted to the Miracle shortly after the Midwest League All-Star Game. With the Miracle, he went 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 11 starts and 60 2/3 innings (19 BB, 56 K). Blessed with a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and frequently hits triple digits, Graterol also has the makings of a quality slider and changeup. #1- Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 22 G, 21 GS, 10-6, 2.49 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 119.1 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.2 K/9 The Twins used their 15th-round draft pick in the 2016 draft to select a tall, right-hander from Cal State-San Bernadino. He was an interesting draft story. Recently Senior Advisor to Scouting, Deron Johnson, who was the Twins Scouting Director in 2016, told Twins Daily that he had traveled with Twins area scout and now West Coast Supervisor Elliot Strankman. “Elliot and I were going to see a junior college kid at another college. He said, ‘Hey, I like this reliever at Sonoma State. Let’s go see him on the way there.’ So we go there and they’re playing Cal State-San Bernadino. We see this big giant on the mound throwing up to 94 with a nice breaking ball. John Leavitt, our area scout had him in, but he wasn’t a guy for me to see. We just stopped in there on a whim. John had seen him, but he hadn’t seen him throwing that hard. We just kind of had him on our radar after that. We didn’t hide him out, but we didn’t show a lot of interest. We knew there were two other clubs that had interest in him. We targeted him in the draft and thought, let’s not lose this guy.” Johnson noted that Wells reminded him of a former Twins pitching prospect (and former minor league pitcher of the year) who reached Triple-A Rochester. “Remember David Bromberg? (Wells) was a lot like David. When we draft-and-followed David, he weighed 290 pounds out of high school. He went to junior college and lost a ton of weight.” That was the carrying story for Wells as he came into the 2018 season. This past offseason, Wells worked really hard at Performance Fitness for Athletes as well as greatly improved his diet. It was noticed, and it paid off. Since being drafted, he has lost about 50 pounds. Twins minor league director Jeremy Zoll noted, “Tyler does seem to fly under the radar a little bit for whatever reason. We’ve been really proud of him this year. He came into spring training and had really transformed his body, lost about 25 pounds. Really changed his diet working with his mom and a few other people in California. To dial that in this offseason. Felt it was the area he needed to improve the most. Thought it would help him sustain success through a long, full season. He did just that. He stayed committed to that all year.” Wells acknowledged that it was very important to him, but not only did he lose the weight, but he got results on the mound. He said, “It was extremely fulfilling knowing that the hard work I’ve put in is showing out on the field. It helped me gain confidence in myself and my ability to go out there every day and compete.” The weight loss is part of Tyler Wells’ 2018 story, but at the end of the day, he is the choice for Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year because of the numbers and because of the results, and frankly, because he is a really good pitcher. For his part, Wells likes to just keep it simple. “I don’t really try to follow my stats too much. I like to keep it simple and just try to put up as many zeroes as possible every time I go out there. If anything, I was extremely blessed and thankful to have a completely healthy season.” His pitching coach at Ft. Myers, Henry Bonilla, noted that staying healthy was part of the key for Wells. “One of the main things for Tyler was staying healthy. He always had good numbers, but seemed to find little injuries that kept him off the field. He also learned how to use his pitches better, what works well off each other and so forth.” Jeremy Zoll credits that pitching coaches working with Wells, but also Wells himself for working on things. “I know he was working with both pitching coaches, Henry Bonilla, Ivan Arteaga and JP Martinez, our assistant pitching coordinator, throughout the season with various grips on his curveball. He tried an adjustment early that ultimately didn’t go the way he wanted it to. He made some tweaks in the middle of the year and it seemed like from there, it started to really help. It played off his fastball well. Increased comfort with the slider and ability to use it early in the count, late in the count, and just continue to be comfortable pitching inside. So a lot of it is just continued innings, continued reps, continued development, and some minor tweaks along the way.” From Johnson, “Tyler’s got that good fastball carry. He’s got a nice down-action curveball. He can pitch. He’s got a changeup too. He’s got good makeup. He’s turned himself into a good prospect.” According to Zoll, “He’s got four pitches. He continued to hone ways to use all four and have them play off each other. He fills up the strike zone and generates weak contact. All those things put together equal a pretty good starting pitcher. It helped him earn his promotion to AA and he just step on the gas pedal from there. ” Wells made 16 starts for Ft. Myers to start the season and was named a Florida State League All Star. He went 8-4 with a 2.80 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. In 86 2/3 innings, he walked 17 and struck out 82 batters. He was the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Month in June. He was promoted to Chattanooga where he made six more starts and went 2-2 with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 32 2/3 innings, he walked 14 but struck out 39 batters. Asked about the continued success upon his promotion to Double-A, Wells said, “Honestly, my transitions were very easy for one reason. It’s the same game all the way through. I have to go out and throw strikes, execute pitches, and give my team a chance to win every single time.” The makeup and the mental aspect of the game is often forgotten, but Tyler Wells has it in spades. “I cannot say that there was one pitch or sequence (that led to his success) because every hitter is different. My success, I believe, came from my mental side of the game. I was able to learn how to use my pitches, read hitters’ swings, and keep my approach to pitching simple and aggressive.” Deron Johnson says it well when he says of Wells. “He was a pleasant surprise. You’ve got to get lucky and get guys down there in the draft. You never know what’s going to happen with your top picks, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to get a guy or two, like Hildenberger, down there. You’ve got to get lucky.” Who knows? The Twins just may have got lucky in the 2016 15th round with Tyler Wells. The Ballots Votes came in from the Twins Daily minor league writers, making six ballots in total. Striving for transparency, here is how each individual voted: Seth Stohs - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Stephen Gonsalves, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Sean PoppenJeremy Nygaard - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Stephen Gonsalves, 3) Lewis Thorpe, 4) Brusdar Graterol, 5) Bailey OberCody Christie - 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Tyler Wells, 3) Brusdar Graterol, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Sean PoppenTed Schwerzler - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Stephen Gonsalves, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Randy DobnakTom Froemming - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Lewis Thorpe, 3) Brusdar Graterol, 4) Sean Poppen, 5) Stephen GonsalvesSteve Lein - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Lewis Thorpe, 4) Stephen Gonsalves, 5) Randy DobnakFeel free to discuss below in the comments. Share your ballot! Click here to view the article
  15. Before we get to the Top Five, and the eventual winner, it's worth noting a few honorable mentions. While Rochester and Chattanooga struggled in 2018, Cedar Rapids made the playoffs and Ft. Myers and Elizabethton won championships, largely on their pitching. Here are some of those candidates that also received votes: Honorable Mention Sean Poppen - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 26 G, 20 GS, 6-9, 3.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 127.2 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.7 K/9 Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 24 G, 20 GS, 10-5, 3.14 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 129.0 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 5.9 K/9 Bailey Ober - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 14 GS, 7-1, 3.84 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 75.0 IP, 1.1 BB/9, 10.6 K/9 Starting Pitcher of the Year Here are the top five picks for the 2018 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. #5- Edwar Colina - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 21 G, 20 GS, 7-5, 2.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 109.1 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 8.7 K/9 Colina signed with the Twins in September of 2015. He pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2016. Last year in Elizabethton, he was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. While his walk total was high, Colina was often able to work out of situations with strikeouts. Colina is stocky and strong. While he isn’t tall, he uses has legs to drive the ball. He sits 93 to 94 mph, but he can hit 96 regularly. He’s got good secondary pitches as well. He spent the majority of the season in Cedar Rapids, where he started a no-hitter. He ended the season with a start for the Miracle and then was the winning pitcher in the Miracle’s championship game. #4- Lewis Thorpe - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings - 26 G, 25 GS, 8-7, 3.54 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 129.2 iP, 2.5 BB/9, 10.9 K/9 Thorpe was added to the Twins 40-man roster last November. After missing two full seasons with Tommy John surgery (and mono), Thorpe showed enough in Ft. Myers to earn the roster spot. This year, he began in Chattanooga where he struggled early. But he started pitching well and was named to the Future Game where he represented the Twins and Australia. He took off from there, throwing more and more strikes and getting a lot of strikeouts. He ended the season with four starts in Rochester. #3- Stephen Gonsalves - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings - 23 G, 22 GS, 12-3, 2.76 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 120.2 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 9.0 K/9 Gonsalves was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2016 and 2017. He was the runner up to Jose Berrios in 2015. After being added to the 40-man roster last November, Gonsalves came to his second big league spring training. He struggled early and was sent to Chattanooga where he issued too many walks but dominated in four starts. He was promoted to Rochester where he went 9-3 with a 2.96 ERA. When you consider he has starts in which he gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings, five runs in 2/3 inning, and nine earned runs in four innings, he was incredible in the rest of his innings. He followed the nine-run outing with a stretch of seven starts in which he gave up just two runs over 40 1/3 innings. In mid-August, the 24-year-old received the call to the big leagues. #2- Brusdar Graterol - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Fort Myers Miracle - 19 GS, 8-4, 2.74 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 102.0 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.4 K/9 The Twins signed Graterol way back in late August of 2014. The Venezuelan right-hander pitched just 11 innings in the Dominican Summer League in 2015 before coming to the Twin Cities and having Tommy John surgery. He continued to rehab until early in the 2017 season when he returned to pitching, this time for the GCL Twins. He split 2018 between the GCL and Elizabethton. He began the 2018 season in extended spring training, though he got to Cedar Rapids before the end of April. With the Kernels, he went 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 41 1/3 innings (9 BB, 51 K) before being promoted to the Miracle shortly after the Midwest League All-Star Game. With the Miracle, he went 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 11 starts and 60 2/3 innings (19 BB, 56 K). Blessed with a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and frequently hits triple digits, Graterol also has the makings of a quality slider and changeup. #1- Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 22 G, 21 GS, 10-6, 2.49 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 119.1 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.2 K/9 The Twins used their 15th-round draft pick in the 2016 draft to select a tall, right-hander from Cal State-San Bernadino. He was an interesting draft story. Recently Senior Advisor to Scouting, Deron Johnson, who was the Twins Scouting Director in 2016, told Twins Daily that he had traveled with Twins area scout and now West Coast Supervisor Elliot Strankman. “Elliot and I were going to see a junior college kid at another college. He said, ‘Hey, I like this reliever at Sonoma State. Let’s go see him on the way there.’ So we go there and they’re playing Cal State-San Bernadino. We see this big giant on the mound throwing up to 94 with a nice breaking ball. John Leavitt, our area scout had him in, but he wasn’t a guy for me to see. We just stopped in there on a whim. John had seen him, but he hadn’t seen him throwing that hard. We just kind of had him on our radar after that. We didn’t hide him out, but we didn’t show a lot of interest. We knew there were two other clubs that had interest in him. We targeted him in the draft and thought, let’s not lose this guy.” Johnson noted that Wells reminded him of a former Twins pitching prospect (and former minor league pitcher of the year) who reached Triple-A Rochester. “Remember David Bromberg? (Wells) was a lot like David. When we draft-and-followed David, he weighed 290 pounds out of high school. He went to junior college and lost a ton of weight.” That was the carrying story for Wells as he came into the 2018 season. This past offseason, Wells worked really hard at Performance Fitness for Athletes as well as greatly improved his diet. It was noticed, and it paid off. Since being drafted, he has lost about 50 pounds. Twins minor league director Jeremy Zoll noted, “Tyler does seem to fly under the radar a little bit for whatever reason. We’ve been really proud of him this year. He came into spring training and had really transformed his body, lost about 25 pounds. Really changed his diet working with his mom and a few other people in California. To dial that in this offseason. Felt it was the area he needed to improve the most. Thought it would help him sustain success through a long, full season. He did just that. He stayed committed to that all year.” Wells acknowledged that it was very important to him, but not only did he lose the weight, but he got results on the mound. He said, “It was extremely fulfilling knowing that the hard work I’ve put in is showing out on the field. It helped me gain confidence in myself and my ability to go out there every day and compete.” The weight loss is part of Tyler Wells’ 2018 story, but at the end of the day, he is the choice for Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year because of the numbers and because of the results, and frankly, because he is a really good pitcher. For his part, Wells likes to just keep it simple. “I don’t really try to follow my stats too much. I like to keep it simple and just try to put up as many zeroes as possible every time I go out there. If anything, I was extremely blessed and thankful to have a completely healthy season.” His pitching coach at Ft. Myers, Henry Bonilla, noted that staying healthy was part of the key for Wells. “One of the main things for Tyler was staying healthy. He always had good numbers, but seemed to find little injuries that kept him off the field. He also learned how to use his pitches better, what works well off each other and so forth.” Jeremy Zoll credits that pitching coaches working with Wells, but also Wells himself for working on things. “I know he was working with both pitching coaches, Henry Bonilla, Ivan Arteaga and JP Martinez, our assistant pitching coordinator, throughout the season with various grips on his curveball. He tried an adjustment early that ultimately didn’t go the way he wanted it to. He made some tweaks in the middle of the year and it seemed like from there, it started to really help. It played off his fastball well. Increased comfort with the slider and ability to use it early in the count, late in the count, and just continue to be comfortable pitching inside. So a lot of it is just continued innings, continued reps, continued development, and some minor tweaks along the way.” From Johnson, “Tyler’s got that good fastball carry. He’s got a nice down-action curveball. He can pitch. He’s got a changeup too. He’s got good makeup. He’s turned himself into a good prospect.” According to Zoll, “He’s got four pitches. He continued to hone ways to use all four and have them play off each other. He fills up the strike zone and generates weak contact. All those things put together equal a pretty good starting pitcher. It helped him earn his promotion to AA and he just step on the gas pedal from there. ” Wells made 16 starts for Ft. Myers to start the season and was named a Florida State League All Star. He went 8-4 with a 2.80 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. In 86 2/3 innings, he walked 17 and struck out 82 batters. He was the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Month in June. He was promoted to Chattanooga where he made six more starts and went 2-2 with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 32 2/3 innings, he walked 14 but struck out 39 batters. Asked about the continued success upon his promotion to Double-A, Wells said, “Honestly, my transitions were very easy for one reason. It’s the same game all the way through. I have to go out and throw strikes, execute pitches, and give my team a chance to win every single time.” The makeup and the mental aspect of the game is often forgotten, but Tyler Wells has it in spades. “I cannot say that there was one pitch or sequence (that led to his success) because every hitter is different. My success, I believe, came from my mental side of the game. I was able to learn how to use my pitches, read hitters’ swings, and keep my approach to pitching simple and aggressive.” Deron Johnson says it well when he says of Wells. “He was a pleasant surprise. You’ve got to get lucky and get guys down there in the draft. You never know what’s going to happen with your top picks, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to get a guy or two, like Hildenberger, down there. You’ve got to get lucky.” Who knows? The Twins just may have got lucky in the 2016 15th round with Tyler Wells. The Ballots Votes came in from the Twins Daily minor league writers, making six ballots in total. Striving for transparency, here is how each individual voted: Seth Stohs - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Stephen Gonsalves, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Sean Poppen Jeremy Nygaard - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Stephen Gonsalves, 3) Lewis Thorpe, 4) Brusdar Graterol, 5) Bailey Ober Cody Christie - 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Tyler Wells, 3) Brusdar Graterol, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Sean Poppen Ted Schwerzler - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Stephen Gonsalves, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Randy Dobnak Tom Froemming - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Lewis Thorpe, 3) Brusdar Graterol, 4) Sean Poppen, 5) Stephen Gonsalves Steve Lein - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Lewis Thorpe, 4) Stephen Gonsalves, 5) Randy Dobnak Feel free to discuss below in the comments. Share your ballot!
  16. Elizabethton started its quest for another Appalachian League title on Friday night with a road game. They got a strong start and some youngsters really stepped up their offense in a nice win. They can clinch a spot in the championship series with a win on Saturday (or Sunday, if needed). In addition, Lewis Thorpe and Tyler Wells had strong starts. Alex Kirilloff reached another milestone, but how did the Miracle do in their attempt to get in to the Florida State League playoffs?Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Friday, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced that Matt Belisle would be activated from the DL on Saturday.September call ups for Saturday will include: Johnny Field, Chris Gimenez and Tyler Duffey. There had been reports from Rochester that Zack Littell left the field with his duffle bag. It's possible that they just aren't going to activate him until Sunday or something.It appears LHP Andrew Vasquez has been called up as well. He began the 2018 season in Ft. Myers.. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Lehigh Valley 3 Box Score Lewis Thorpe made his final minor league start of the 2018 season on Friday night, though he still took the loss. The southpaw from Australia worked the first seven innings. He was charged with three unearned runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out eight. He gave up the three runs in the sixth innings. With one out, Thorpe committed an error, then walked a batter. The big blow was a three-run homer that followed. Ryne Harper worked two scoreless, hitless innings. The Red Wings managed just five hits. Jon Kemmer had two hits. Zander Wiel added a single and a walk. Byron Buxton was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He was also hit by a pitch. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Jackson 1 Box Score It’s been a terrific season for righty Tyler Wells. He gave up just one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He uncharacteristically walked four, but he (characteristically) struck out eight. Casey Crosby got the final out of the sixth inning and worked a scoreless seventh frame as well. Tyler Jay worked a scoreless eighth inning, and Devin Smeltzer recorded his third save with a perfect ninth. Jimmy Kerrigan led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with his seventh double. Luis Arraez added two singles. Mitchell Kranson singled and walked twice. Luke Raley was 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in two runs. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Clearwater 10 Box Score The Miracle came into the season’s final weekend with a 1 1/2 game lead for a playoff spot. On this night, they were unable to help their own cause. Griffin Jax had his first rough start of the season. He gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and two walks in just 2 2/3 innings. Kevin Marnon came on and gave up two runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batter over the next two innings. Alex Phillip made his Twins debut and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings without even giving up a base runner. He struck out two. Adam Bray was charged with two runs on six hits over the final two innings. He struck one out. Phillips was signed out of the independent Frontier League this week. Reports indicate that he is aggressive in the strike zone. His fastball sits 91 to 93 mph and he has both a slider and a curveball, both of which were referred to as “good pitches.” Royce Lewis went 2-for-4 in the game. Alex Kirilloff went 1-for-1 with three walks. He homered in his first at-bat of the game. It was his 20th overall of the season. He also has 101 RBI. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 2 Box Score How did Michael Davis last until the 24th round in this year’s draft. All he’s done since signing is mash to the tune of a .308 average with now nine home runs. The biggest came tonight when, down a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, he crushed a grand slam that proved to be the game winner. Gabriel Maciel went 3-for-4. Victor Tademo was 2-for-3 with a walk and his first Midwest League double. Melvi Acosta started. The righty gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in just five innings. He struck out two. Moises Gomez came on and threw two zeroes on the scoreboard. Zach Neff worked both the eighth and ninth frames to be credited with the Win. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 7, Kingsport 3 Box Score The E-Twins began their annual playoff run with a game in Kingsport. After the win, Game 2 (and Game 3, if necessary) will be played in Elizabethton. The offense showed up, but it was a terrific start by 2018 pick Josh Winder. The seventh-round pick gave up one run on four hits over the first six innings. He walked none and struck out eight. JT Perez came in for the seventh and got two outs. However, he gave up one run on one hit and three walks. Both outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Jacob Blank got the final seven outs to record the save. Five of the outs came on strikeouts. He gave up one run on one hit and two walks. Yunior Severino and Ricky De La Torre, the youngest players on the team, each had three hits. Severino had a double. Gilberto Celestino went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer. Alex Robles had two hits and drove in three runs. Chris Williams had a single and two walks. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Yunior Severino, Elizabethton Twins (3-5, 2B, 2 R). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Elizabethton Twins (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-4,K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-1, 3 BB, HR(7), R, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, 2 K, R, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, IBB, K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - did not play #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-4, 2B(9) #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, RBI #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 3-5, 2B, 2 R, K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - did not play #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, K #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 2-5, 2 R, K #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (5:05 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero (5-5, 3.49 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (4-5, 4.01 ERA) Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (5:00 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (0-1, 5.79 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) - RHP Carlos Suniaga (3-4, 3.89 ERA) Kingsport @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo GCL Twins - Season Completed Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  17. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Friday, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced that Matt Belisle would be activated from the DL on Saturday. September call ups for Saturday will include: Johnny Field, Chris Gimenez and Tyler Duffey. There had been reports from Rochester that Zack Littell left the field with his duffle bag. It's possible that they just aren't going to activate him until Sunday or something. It appears LHP Andrew Vasquez has been called up as well. He began the 2018 season in Ft. Myers.. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Lehigh Valley 3 Box Score Lewis Thorpe made his final minor league start of the 2018 season on Friday night, though he still took the loss. The southpaw from Australia worked the first seven innings. He was charged with three unearned runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out eight. He gave up the three runs in the sixth innings. With one out, Thorpe committed an error, then walked a batter. The big blow was a three-run homer that followed. Ryne Harper worked two scoreless, hitless innings. The Red Wings managed just five hits. Jon Kemmer had two hits. Zander Wiel added a single and a walk. Byron Buxton was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He was also hit by a pitch. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Jackson 1 Box Score It’s been a terrific season for righty Tyler Wells. He gave up just one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He uncharacteristically walked four, but he (characteristically) struck out eight. Casey Crosby got the final out of the sixth inning and worked a scoreless seventh frame as well. Tyler Jay worked a scoreless eighth inning, and Devin Smeltzer recorded his third save with a perfect ninth. Jimmy Kerrigan led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with his seventh double. Luis Arraez added two singles. Mitchell Kranson singled and walked twice. Luke Raley was 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in two runs. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Clearwater 10 Box Score The Miracle came into the season’s final weekend with a 1 1/2 game lead for a playoff spot. On this night, they were unable to help their own cause. Griffin Jax had his first rough start of the season. He gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and two walks in just 2 2/3 innings. Kevin Marnon came on and gave up two runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batter over the next two innings. Alex Phillip made his Twins debut and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings without even giving up a base runner. He struck out two. Adam Bray was charged with two runs on six hits over the final two innings. He struck one out. Phillips was signed out of the independent Frontier League this week. Reports indicate that he is aggressive in the strike zone. His fastball sits 91 to 93 mph and he has both a slider and a curveball, both of which were referred to as “good pitches.” Royce Lewis went 2-for-4 in the game. Alex Kirilloff went 1-for-1 with three walks. He homered in his first at-bat of the game. It was his 20th overall of the season. He also has 101 RBI. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 2 Box Score How did Michael Davis last until the 24th round in this year’s draft. All he’s done since signing is mash to the tune of a .308 average with now nine home runs. The biggest came tonight when, down a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, he crushed a grand slam that proved to be the game winner. Gabriel Maciel went 3-for-4. Victor Tademo was 2-for-3 with a walk and his first Midwest League double. Melvi Acosta started. The righty gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in just five innings. He struck out two. Moises Gomez came on and threw two zeroes on the scoreboard. Zach Neff worked both the eighth and ninth frames to be credited with the Win. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 7, Kingsport 3 Box Score The E-Twins began their annual playoff run with a game in Kingsport. After the win, Game 2 (and Game 3, if necessary) will be played in Elizabethton. The offense showed up, but it was a terrific start by 2018 pick Josh Winder. The seventh-round pick gave up one run on four hits over the first six innings. He walked none and struck out eight. JT Perez came in for the seventh and got two outs. However, he gave up one run on one hit and three walks. Both outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Jacob Blank got the final seven outs to record the save. Five of the outs came on strikeouts. He gave up one run on one hit and two walks. Yunior Severino and Ricky De La Torre, the youngest players on the team, each had three hits. Severino had a double. Gilberto Celestino went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer. Alex Robles had two hits and drove in three runs. Chris Williams had a single and two walks. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Yunior Severino, Elizabethton Twins (3-5, 2B, 2 R). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Elizabethton Twins (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-4,K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-1, 3 BB, HR(7), R, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, 2 K, R, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, IBB, K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - did not play #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-4, 2B(9) #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, RBI #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 3-5, 2B, 2 R, K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - did not play #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, K #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 2-5, 2 R, K #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (5:05 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero (5-5, 3.49 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (4-5, 4.01 ERA) Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (5:00 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (0-1, 5.79 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) - RHP Carlos Suniaga (3-4, 3.89 ERA) Kingsport @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo GCL Twins - Season Completed Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  18. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 8/20 through Sun, 8/26 *** Record Last Week: 2-5 (Overall: 61-69) Run Differential Last Week: -16 (Overall: -37) Standing: 2nd Place in AL Central (13.0 GB) HIGHLIGHTS On Friday night, Joe Mauer notched his 2,086th career hit, surpassing Rod Carew for second place in Twins history. On that list, Mauer now trails only Kirby Puckett (2,304). He probably won't catch Puck but Mauer has admirably carved out a place in franchise lore. All-around, Mauer had an okay week by his current standards, collecting seven hits in 26 at-bats (.269) but it sort of epitomized his greatly reduced offensive impact. All seven hits were singles and he drew two walks, so the end result was a .590 OPS with one run scored and one driven in. On the same night Mauer made history, Jake Odorizzi ended his own (less favorable) run at the record books. Prior to completing seven innings against Oakland, Odorizzi had gone 30 consecutive starts without recording an out past the sixth, the sixth-longest streak ever. It was a very strong performance from the righty (7 IP, 1 ER), and a high point in what's been an up-and-down season. The aforementioned streak speaks to Odorizzi's lack of length – he's completed six innings only eight times in 27 starts this year – but altogether he's been about exactly what the Twins should have expected: an average starter and respectable back-end piece in the rotation. His ERA+ of 100 is nearly identical to last year's 101 and his career mark of 103. Some other good news: Tyler Austin just keeps mashing. The slugger launched three more home runs over the weekend, including two on Sunday (Minnesota's only offense in a 6-2 loss) and is now rocking a jaw-dropping .333/.370/.786 since coming over from New York at the deadline, with six home runs in 12 games. As I wrote last week, Austin is looking like a hell of a pickup by the front office, with a chance to play a key role in 2019. LOWLIGHTS The much-anticipated major-league debut of Stephen Gonsalves on Monday didn't exactly go as hoped. Facing the White Sox at Target Field, Gonsalves made it through one inning without much trouble but was ambushed in the second, allowing seven of eight hitters to reach base (triple, double, two singles, two walks, HBP) before getting the hook. His second turn on Saturday was an improvement, as he made it through five innings against Oakland, but he still wasn't sharp. He threw only 48 of 90 pitches for strikes, and while three of the four runs scored against him came on one swing of the bat, Gonsalves earned the poor results by allowing seven hits and four walks with just two strikeouts. Through two MLB starts, the left-hander has allowed as many earned runs (8) as in his last seven at Triple-A. It's a different ballgame up here, as Gonsalves is quickly learning. Hopefully the experience will ultimately benefit him. On Wednesday, Kyle Gibson failed to complete five innings for the first time since April, coughing up seven runs (four earned) in 4 2/3. He issued four walks, his highest total in two months. It wasn't pretty, but there's also not much reason for concern. Gibby did induce 14 swinging strikes (highest total in four August starts) and he had a 3.27 ERA over his previous five turns. Everyone has a hiccup here and there. The hiccups have been far too routine for Addison Reed, who continues to throw utterly hittable junk with the expected results. In three appearances last week he allowed three runs on six hits over four innings while striking out only one of the 18 batters he faced. On Friday night, the A's launched a pair of homers against him on meatballs left out over the plate. His once-powerful fastball has lost any semblance of effectiveness. This velocity chart via Brooks Baseball pretty much says it all: With Jim Thome fittingly in attendance, Miguel Sano had a very loud hit on Saturday – the 13th-longest home run in Target Field history, per Twins communications boss Dustin Morse – but it was one of only two knocks for him in a week that saw his average sink to .212. It's now been almost a full month since Sano returned from his banishment to Single-A, and during that span he has hit .226/.305/.441 with a 33.3% K-rate. It's encouraging relative to what we saw early in the season, but still not entirely reaffirming. Sano would do much to bolster the team's 2019 outlook by putting together a convincingly excellent final month. TRENDING STORYLINE September call-ups are around the corner. With rosters expanding on Saturday, the Twins will have some important decisions to make regarding their team's makeup. (Though they may wait until minor-league seasons end a few days later to make the majority of decisions.) On the position player side, it's a fairly straightforward situation. The only big question is whether or not to recall Byron Buxton, though his improved play since returning to Rochester's lineup might be answering it – after collecting three hits on Sunday, Buxton's batting .333 with a .583 slugging percentage in eight games since his latest DL stint. If he does come back, it'll be interesting to see how much playing time Buxton can siphon away from Jake Cave, who's absolutely earned the right to keep seeing regular reps. The pitching side is more complicated. There are a lot of starters on the 40-man deserving of looks as potential 2019 contributors: Gonsalves (who should stay up), Fernando Romero, Zack Littell, Lewis Thorpe, maybe even Chase de Jong. It's a matter of finding innings for all of them, as there's not much point in calling anyone up to sit on the bench. As a possible solution, Paul Molitor has discussed a "piggybacking" approach, wherein multiple starting pitchers work in the same game (say, three or four innings apiece). This would make a lot of sense. But then there's the issue of a crowded bullpen picture. Desperately needing to evaluate options amidst an uncertain relief outlook, the Twins need to prioritize who they want to see. Sadly, there just won't be room for all of John Curtiss, Nick Anderson, Luke Bard and Jake Reed (the latter three would require 40-man roster moves). It's already been tough enough to find regular work for the bullpen's current occupants. We'll see how things play out next week. DOWN ON THE FARM On Sunday, Tyler Wells celebrated his 24th birthday. One day earlier, he'd turned in his fifth strong outing since being promoted to Class-AA Chattanooga, logging six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. So far for the Lookouts, Wells has a 1.67 ERA and .196 BAA, with just one home run allowed in 27 frames. The former 15th-round draft pick is firmly in the second tier of Twins pitching prospects, but Wells is not one to overlook. It's hard enough to do so given his towering 6'8" stature, but the results are also plenty eye-catching. In 114 innings between High-A and Double-A this season he has a 113-to-27 K/BB ratio and opponents are slashing just .192/.245/.286. Elsewhere: Jhoan Duran, acquired in the Eduardo Escobar trade, put together another dazzling performance at Cedar Rapids, where he's got a 2.25 ERA and 41-to-7 K/BB rate through 32 innings after fanning 10 over six scoreless frames on Friday. Another standout in the farm's second tier of pitching prospects. Also in Cedar Rapids, first-round draft pick Trevor Larnach had a monster week, flashing his big offensive potential by going 9-for-26 (.375) with two doubles and a homer. LOOKING AHEAD It's the Derek Falvey/Thad Levine reunion tour, as Minnesota travels to take on both of the top execs' former organizations. This road trip extends into the following week, when they'll visit Houston. The Twins will need to reverse their immense struggles away from home (22-40) to avoid pushing the modest goal of a .500 finish out of reach. TUESDAY, 8/28: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Kyle Gibson v. RHP Carlos Carrasco WEDNESDAY, 8/29: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Kohl Stewart v. RHP Adam Plutko THURSDAY, 8/30: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Jake Odorizzi v. RHP Mike Clevinger FRIDAY, 8/31: TWINS @ RANGERS – LHP Stephen Gonsalves v. LHP Mike Minor SATURDAY, 9/1: TWINS @ RANGERS – RHP Jose Berrios vs. RHP Drew Hutchison SUNDAY, 9/2: TWINS @ RANGERS – RHP Kyle Gibson v. LHP Martin Perez Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps Game 123 | CHW 8, MIN 5: At Least That’s Out of the Way Game 124 | MIN 5, CHW 2: Wild Final Inning Puts Twins Over Game 125 | CHW 7, MIN 3: Sox Get to Gibby Game 126 | MIN 6, OAK 4: Twins Top Red-Hot A’s Game 127 | OAK 7, MIN 1: Puckett 2,304, Mauer 2,086, Carew 2,085 Game 128 | OAK 6, MIN 2: Gonsalves Gets Burned on Mistake Pitch Game 129 | OAK 6, MIN 2: Austin Goes Deep Twice in Loss
  19. A momentous milestone stood out as the biggest highlight in an otherwise lackluster week for the Minnesota Twins. Read on for the full rundown of everything you need to know from the past seven days. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 8/20 through Sun, 8/26 *** Record Last Week: 2-5 (Overall: 61-69) Run Differential Last Week: -16 (Overall: -37) Standing: 2nd Place in AL Central (13.0 GB) HIGHLIGHTS On Friday night, Joe Mauer notched his 2,086th career hit, surpassing Rod Carew for second place in Twins history. On that list, Mauer now trails only Kirby Puckett (2,304). He probably won't catch Puck but Mauer has admirably carved out a place in franchise lore. All-around, Mauer had an okay week by his current standards, collecting seven hits in 26 at-bats (.269) but it sort of epitomized his greatly reduced offensive impact. All seven hits were singles and he drew two walks, so the end result was a .590 OPS with one run scored and one driven in. On the same night Mauer made history, Jake Odorizzi ended his own (less favorable) run at the record books. Prior to completing seven innings against Oakland, Odorizzi had gone 30 consecutive starts without recording an out past the sixth, the sixth-longest streak ever. It was a very strong performance from the righty (7 IP, 1 ER), and a high point in what's been an up-and-down season. The aforementioned streak speaks to Odorizzi's lack of length – he's completed six innings only eight times in 27 starts this year – but altogether he's been about exactly what the Twins should have expected: an average starter and respectable back-end piece in the rotation. His ERA+ of 100 is nearly identical to last year's 101 and his career mark of 103. Some other good news: Tyler Austin just keeps mashing. The slugger launched three more home runs over the weekend, including two on Sunday (Minnesota's only offense in a 6-2 loss) and is now rocking a jaw-dropping .333/.370/.786 since coming over from New York at the deadline, with six home runs in 12 games. As I wrote last week, Austin is looking like a hell of a pickup by the front office, with a chance to play a key role in 2019. LOWLIGHTS The much-anticipated major-league debut of Stephen Gonsalves on Monday didn't exactly go as hoped. Facing the White Sox at Target Field, Gonsalves made it through one inning without much trouble but was ambushed in the second, allowing seven of eight hitters to reach base (triple, double, two singles, two walks, HBP) before getting the hook. His second turn on Saturday was an improvement, as he made it through five innings against Oakland, but he still wasn't sharp. He threw only 48 of 90 pitches for strikes, and while three of the four runs scored against him came on one swing of the bat, Gonsalves earned the poor results by allowing seven hits and four walks with just two strikeouts. Through two MLB starts, the left-hander has allowed as many earned runs (8) as in his last seven at Triple-A. It's a different ballgame up here, as Gonsalves is quickly learning. Hopefully the experience will ultimately benefit him. On Wednesday, Kyle Gibson failed to complete five innings for the first time since April, coughing up seven runs (four earned) in 4 2/3. He issued four walks, his highest total in two months. It wasn't pretty, but there's also not much reason for concern. Gibby did induce 14 swinging strikes (highest total in four August starts) and he had a 3.27 ERA over his previous five turns. Everyone has a hiccup here and there. The hiccups have been far too routine for Addison Reed, who continues to throw utterly hittable junk with the expected results. In three appearances last week he allowed three runs on six hits over four innings while striking out only one of the 18 batters he faced. On Friday night, the A's launched a pair of homers against him on meatballs left out over the plate. His once-powerful fastball has lost any semblance of effectiveness. This velocity chart via Brooks Baseball pretty much says it all: Download attachment: reedFBvelo.png With Jim Thome fittingly in attendance, Miguel Sano had a very loud hit on Saturday – the 13th-longest home run in Target Field history, per Twins communications boss Dustin Morse – but it was one of only two knocks for him in a week that saw his average sink to .212. It's now been almost a full month since Sano returned from his banishment to Single-A, and during that span he has hit .226/.305/.441 with a 33.3% K-rate. It's encouraging relative to what we saw early in the season, but still not entirely reaffirming. Sano would do much to bolster the team's 2019 outlook by putting together a convincingly excellent final month. TRENDING STORYLINE September call-ups are around the corner. With rosters expanding on Saturday, the Twins will have some important decisions to make regarding their team's makeup. (Though they may wait until minor-league seasons end a few days later to make the majority of decisions.) On the position player side, it's a fairly straightforward situation. The only big question is whether or not to recall Byron Buxton, though his improved play since returning to Rochester's lineup might be answering it – after collecting three hits on Sunday, Buxton's batting .333 with a .583 slugging percentage in eight games since his latest DL stint. If he does come back, it'll be interesting to see how much playing time Buxton can siphon away from Jake Cave, who's absolutely earned the right to keep seeing regular reps. The pitching side is more complicated. There are a lot of starters on the 40-man deserving of looks as potential 2019 contributors: Gonsalves (who should stay up), Fernando Romero, Zack Littell, Lewis Thorpe, maybe even Chase de Jong. It's a matter of finding innings for all of them, as there's not much point in calling anyone up to sit on the bench. As a possible solution, Paul Molitor has discussed a "piggybacking" approach, wherein multiple starting pitchers work in the same game (say, three or four innings apiece). This would make a lot of sense. But then there's the issue of a crowded bullpen picture. Desperately needing to evaluate options amidst an uncertain relief outlook, the Twins need to prioritize who they want to see. Sadly, there just won't be room for all of John Curtiss, Nick Anderson, Luke Bard and Jake Reed (the latter three would require 40-man roster moves). It's already been tough enough to find regular work for the bullpen's current occupants. We'll see how things play out next week. DOWN ON THE FARM On Sunday, Tyler Wells celebrated his 24th birthday. One day earlier, he'd turned in his fifth strong outing since being promoted to Class-AA Chattanooga, logging six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. So far for the Lookouts, Wells has a 1.67 ERA and .196 BAA, with just one home run allowed in 27 frames. The former 15th-round draft pick is firmly in the second tier of Twins pitching prospects, but Wells is not one to overlook. It's hard enough to do so given his towering 6'8" stature, but the results are also plenty eye-catching. In 114 innings between High-A and Double-A this season he has a 113-to-27 K/BB ratio and opponents are slashing just .192/.245/.286. Elsewhere: Jhoan Duran, acquired in the Eduardo Escobar trade, put together another dazzling performance at Cedar Rapids, where he's got a 2.25 ERA and 41-to-7 K/BB rate through 32 innings after fanning 10 over six scoreless frames on Friday. Another standout in the farm's second tier of pitching prospects. Also in Cedar Rapids, first-round draft pick Trevor Larnach had a monster week, flashing his big offensive potential by going 9-for-26 (.375) with two doubles and a homer. LOOKING AHEAD It's the Derek Falvey/Thad Levine reunion tour, as Minnesota travels to take on both of the top execs' former organizations. This road trip extends into the following week, when they'll visit Houston. The Twins will need to reverse their immense struggles away from home (22-40) to avoid pushing the modest goal of a .500 finish out of reach. TUESDAY, 8/28: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Kyle Gibson v. RHP Carlos Carrasco WEDNESDAY, 8/29: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Kohl Stewart v. RHP Adam Plutko THURSDAY, 8/30: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Jake Odorizzi v. RHP Mike Clevinger FRIDAY, 8/31: TWINS @ RANGERS – LHP Stephen Gonsalves v. LHP Mike Minor SATURDAY, 9/1: TWINS @ RANGERS – RHP Jose Berrios vs. RHP Drew Hutchison SUNDAY, 9/2: TWINS @ RANGERS – RHP Kyle Gibson v. LHP Martin Perez Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps Game 123 | CHW 8, MIN 5: At Least That’s Out of the WayGame 124 | MIN 5, CHW 2: Wild Final Inning Puts Twins OverGame 125 | CHW 7, MIN 3: Sox Get to GibbyGame 126 | MIN 6, OAK 4: Twins Top Red-Hot A’sGame 127 | OAK 7, MIN 1: Puckett 2,304, Mauer 2,086, Carew 2,085Game 128 | OAK 6, MIN 2: Gonsalves Gets Burned on Mistake PitchGame 129 | OAK 6, MIN 2: Austin Goes Deep Twice in Loss Click here to view the article
  20. TRANSACTIONS To Fort Myers: RHP Edwar Colina To Cedar Rapids: LHP Zach Neff, RHP Carlos Suniaga Also, Jordan Balazovic was placed on the Kernels’ DL and it was reported that Michael Pineda’s rehab assignment has been put on hold due to concerns over some soreness in his knees. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 1 Box Score W: Luke Bard (3.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) SV: John Curtiss (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) SP: Ryan Eades (3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Rochester scored all three of their runs on a two-out rally in the fifth inning. It all started with catcher Juan Graterol drawing a walk. Alex Perez followed with a single, which chased Syracuse’s starter from the game. Byron Buxton was hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Nick Gordon drew an RBI walk. Gregorio Petit capped it off with a two-run single. D.J. Baxendale had an impressive night, striking out four of the six batters he faced over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. John Curtiss struggled some with his control, throwing just 17 of his 33 pitches for strikes, but still picked up his ninth save. Buxton was 1-for-3 with a single, a hit-by-pitch and two strikeouts. He also threw out a runner at home to end the sixth inning. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jacksonville 5, Chattanooga 4 Box Score SP: Tyler Wells (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) HR: Andy Wilkins (8) Multi-hit games: Tanner English (2-for-2, 3B) This game started out as a pitchers duel, with Tyler Wells absolutely dealing for the Lookouts. The first run of the game didn’t come until the top of the eighth inning when Jacksonville took a 1-0 lead. Things got real interesting from there. Chattanooga responded with four runs in the bottom of the eighth, but their bullpen could not make that lead hold up, as they surrendered four runs right back to Jacksonville in the top of the ninth. Andy Wilkins delivered the big hit for Chattanooga, hitting a go-ahead, three-run homer with two outs in the eighth. Circling back to Wells, after six innings of shutout ball, his ERA is down to 1.67 since joining the Lookouts. He threw 63 of his 92 pitches for strikes and punched out seven batters. He’s given up just five earned runs in 27 innings for Chattanooga and has struck out 31 batters in the process. MIRACLE MATTERS St. Lucie 5, Fort Myers 2 Box Score SP: Griffin Jax (5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K) HR: Alex Kirilloff (5) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR), Robbie Rinn (2-for-4) Griffin Jax had his worst start of the season and the Miracle could not recover. Jax tied a season high with four earned runs and issued four walks in a start for the first time in 24 professional appearances. Alex Kirilloff hit a home run, his fifth with the Miracle and 18th overall this season. Adam Bray pitched the final three innings, giving up one run on two hits to go along with three strikeouts. The Minneapolis native and South Dakota State product has a 1.27 ERA in 17 games with Fort Myers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Kane County 2 Box Score W: Carlos Suniaga (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) HR: Michael Davis (7) Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo (3-for-4, BB), Michael Helman (2-for-5, 2B), Trevor Larnach (2-for-4), Michael Davis 2-for-4, HR) The Kernels had two runs on the board before they even made an out in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to victory. Leadoff man Akil Baddoo filled up the stat sheet, reaching base four times. He also stole his 22nd base of the season. A quartet of 2018 draftees had big games as well. First-round pick Trevor Larnach was 2-for-4, pushing his batting average since joining the Kernels to .310, and drove in two runs. Michael Helman, an 11th-round pick, was 2-for-5 with a double and is hitting .368 in 19 games with Cedar Rapids. Michael Davis, selected in the 24th round, hit a two-run homer, his seventh with the Kernels. Finally, 31st-round pick Zach Neff logged 2 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball to go with three strikeouts in his Midwest League debut. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 7, Bristol 5 Box Score W: Josh Winder (5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) SV: Erik Cha (2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) HR: Yunior Severino (7), Gilberto Celestino (1) Multi-hit games: Gilberto Celestino (3-for-4, HR), Yelstin Encarnacion (2-for-4) E-Town jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and fended off multiple comeback attempts by the Pirates to improve their record to 36-26 this season. Josh Winder put together a solid start and Yunior Severino socked a two-run homer in the second inning. Gilberto Celestino, acquired in the Ryan Pressly deal, hit his first homer since joining the Twins and finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Erik Cha, making his Appy League debut, inherited a one-run lead with one out and a runner on in the seventh inning. He gave up one hit and one walk over 2 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the save, striking out five of the 11 batters he faced in the process. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 7, GCL Red Sox 6 (13 innings) Box Score W: Michael Montero (3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) SP: Kai-Wei Teng (4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) HR: Shane Carrier (1) Multi-hit games: Estamy Urena (3-for-5), Shane Carrier (2-for-5, HR) Michael Montero entered this game with one out in the top of the 10th inning, after the Red Sox had scored the go-ahead run. He got out of a jam, recording the last two outs with runners on first and second base. Charles Mack tied it back up with a sac fly in the bottom of the 10th, and Montero just kept cruising. Despite having a runner start on second base each inning, Montero posted zeros in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings. Finally, in the bottom of the 13th Hunter Lee hit a walk-off single. Shane Carrier hit a three-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Chattanooga Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gilberto Celestino, Elizabethton TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-5, R, K 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 2-for-4, HR, RBi, R 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not pitch. 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 1-for-2, 2 BB, RBI 5. Stephen Gonsalves (MIN): Promoted to the Twins. 6. Trevor Larnach (CR): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, K 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 1-for-4, R, K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 3-for-4, BB, 2 R, K, SB 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not pitch. 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not pitch. 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): Did not play. 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-for-4, K 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not pitch. 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-for-4 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-for-3, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, K) 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Out for the season. 18. Ryan Jeffers (CR): Did not play. 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): 1-for-4, R, K 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 0-for-1, K (as a pinch hitter) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Syracuse, 12:05 pm CT: Lewis Thorpe Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville, 1:15 pm CT: TBD Fort Myers at St. Lucie, 11:00 am CT: TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Kane County, 2:05 pm CT: Tyler Watson Elizabethton at Bristol, 5:00 pm CT: TBD GCL Twins: Off Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  21. Tyler Wells continued to turn heads for the Lookouts tonight, lowering his Southern League ERA to 1.67. Also, in an E-Town win, Gilberto Celestino hit his first homer since joining the org, Akil Baddoo reached safely four times in a Cedar Rapids victory and Alex Kirilloff hit his 18th home run of the season. Come check out what else happened around the minor leagues Saturday.TRANSACTIONS To Fort Myers: RHP Edwar Colina To Cedar Rapids: LHP Zach Neff, RHP Carlos Suniaga Also, Jordan Balazovic was placed on the Kernels’ DL and it was reported that Michael Pineda’s rehab assignment has been put on hold due to concerns over some soreness in his knees. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 1 Box Score W: Luke Bard (3.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) SV: John Curtiss (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) SP: Ryan Eades (3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Rochester scored all three of their runs on a two-out rally in the fifth inning. It all started with catcher Juan Graterol drawing a walk. Alex Perez followed with a single, which chased Syracuse’s starter from the game. Byron Buxton was hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Nick Gordon drew an RBI walk. Gregorio Petit capped it off with a two-run single. D.J. Baxendale had an impressive night, striking out four of the six batters he faced over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. John Curtiss struggled some with his control, throwing just 17 of his 33 pitches for strikes, but still picked up his ninth save. Buxton was 1-for-3 with a single, a hit-by-pitch and two strikeouts. He also threw out a runner at home to end the sixth inning. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jacksonville 5, Chattanooga 4 Box Score SP: Tyler Wells (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) HR: Andy Wilkins (8) Multi-hit games: Tanner English (2-for-2, 3B) This game started out as a pitchers duel, with Tyler Wells absolutely dealing for the Lookouts. The first run of the game didn’t come until the top of the eighth inning when Jacksonville took a 1-0 lead. Things got real interesting from there. Chattanooga responded with four runs in the bottom of the eighth, but their bullpen could not make that lead hold up, as they surrendered four runs right back to Jacksonville in the top of the ninth. Andy Wilkins delivered the big hit for Chattanooga, hitting a go-ahead, three-run homer with two outs in the eighth. Circling back to Wells, after six innings of shutout ball, his ERA is down to 1.67 since joining the Lookouts. He threw 63 of his 92 pitches for strikes and punched out seven batters. He’s given up just five earned runs in 27 innings for Chattanooga and has struck out 31 batters in the process. MIRACLE MATTERS St. Lucie 5, Fort Myers 2 Box Score SP: Griffin Jax (5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K) HR: Alex Kirilloff (5) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR), Robbie Rinn (2-for-4) Griffin Jax had his worst start of the season and the Miracle could not recover. Jax tied a season high with four earned runs and issued four walks in a start for the first time in 24 professional appearances. Alex Kirilloff hit a home run, his fifth with the Miracle and 18th overall this season. Adam Bray pitched the final three innings, giving up one run on two hits to go along with three strikeouts. The Minneapolis native and South Dakota State product has a 1.27 ERA in 17 games with Fort Myers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Kane County 2 Box Score W: Carlos Suniaga (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) HR: Michael Davis (7) Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo (3-for-4, BB), Michael Helman (2-for-5, 2B), Trevor Larnach (2-for-4), Michael Davis 2-for-4, HR) The Kernels had two runs on the board before they even made an out in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to victory. Leadoff man Akil Baddoo filled up the stat sheet, reaching base four times. He also stole his 22nd base of the season. A quartet of 2018 draftees had big games as well. First-round pick Trevor Larnach was 2-for-4, pushing his batting average since joining the Kernels to .310, and drove in two runs. Michael Helman, an 11th-round pick, was 2-for-5 with a double and is hitting .368 in 19 games with Cedar Rapids. Michael Davis, selected in the 24th round, hit a two-run homer, his seventh with the Kernels. Finally, 31st-round pick Zach Neff logged 2 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball to go with three strikeouts in his Midwest League debut. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 7, Bristol 5 Box Score W: Josh Winder (5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) SV: Erik Cha (2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) HR: Yunior Severino (7), Gilberto Celestino (1) Multi-hit games: Gilberto Celestino (3-for-4, HR), Yelstin Encarnacion (2-for-4) E-Town jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and fended off multiple comeback attempts by the Pirates to improve their record to 36-26 this season. Josh Winder put together a solid start and Yunior Severino socked a two-run homer in the second inning. Gilberto Celestino, acquired in the Ryan Pressly deal, hit his first homer since joining the Twins and finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Erik Cha, making his Appy League debut, inherited a one-run lead with one out and a runner on in the seventh inning. He gave up one hit and one walk over 2 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the save, striking out five of the 11 batters he faced in the process. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 7, GCL Red Sox 6 (13 innings) Box Score W: Michael Montero (3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) SP: Kai-Wei Teng (4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) HR: Shane Carrier (1) Multi-hit games: Estamy Urena (3-for-5), Shane Carrier (2-for-5, HR) Michael Montero entered this game with one out in the top of the 10th inning, after the Red Sox had scored the go-ahead run. He got out of a jam, recording the last two outs with runners on first and second base. Charles Mack tied it back up with a sac fly in the bottom of the 10th, and Montero just kept cruising. Despite having a runner start on second base each inning, Montero posted zeros in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings. Finally, in the bottom of the 13th Hunter Lee hit a walk-off single. Shane Carrier hit a three-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Chattanooga Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gilberto Celestino, Elizabethton TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-5, R, K 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 2-for-4, HR, RBi, R 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not pitch. 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 1-for-2, 2 BB, RBI 5. Stephen Gonsalves (MIN): Promoted to the Twins. 6. Trevor Larnach (CR): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, K 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 1-for-4, R, K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 3-for-4, BB, 2 R, K, SB 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not pitch. 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not pitch. 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): Did not play. 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-for-4, K 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not pitch. 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-for-4 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-for-3, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, K) 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Out for the season. 18. Ryan Jeffers (CR): Did not play. 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): 1-for-4, R, K 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 0-for-1, K (as a pinch hitter) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Syracuse, 12:05 pm CT: Lewis Thorpe Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville, 1:15 pm CT: TBD Fort Myers at St. Lucie, 11:00 am CT: TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Kane County, 2:05 pm CT: Tyler Watson Elizabethton at Bristol, 5:00 pm CT: TBD GCL Twins: Off Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  22. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for July, there are some terrific starting performers that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Charlie Barnes - Ft. Myers Miracle - 5 GS, 27.1 IP, 1.98 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 26 H, 9 BB, 10 K Prelander Berroa - GCL Twins - 4 GS, 18.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 14 H, 8 BB, 12 K Donny Breek - GCL Twins - 4 G, 3 GS, 15.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 9 H, 7 BB, 17 K Andrew Cabezas - Elizabethton Twins - 18.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 13 H, 5 BB, 17 K Edwar Colina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 G, 4 GS, 26.2 IP, 2.36 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 20 H, 12 BB, 30 K Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 28.1 IP, 1.91 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 26 H, 4 BB, 22 K Blayne Enlow - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 12 K Tyler Palm - Elizabethton Twins - 4 GS, 19.0 IP, 1.89 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 23 H, 3 BB, 17 K Sean Poppen - Chattanooga Lookouts - 6 G, 3 GS, 32.1 IP, 1.95 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 24 H, 7 BB, 29 K THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 1-1, 3.52 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 23.0 IP, 15 H, 3 BB, 28 K The Twins drafted the 6-8 right-hander in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State-San Bernadino. Wells was our choice for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher in June, and he was very good again in July. Opponents hit just .183/.230/.329 (.559) off of him during the month. He struck out more than a batter per inning, and he showed very good control. Wells has worked very hard and lost about 50 pounds since being drafted, including about 30 pounds since last season. The results have shown for him, and as July was coming to an end, he received a promotion to Chattanooga. #4 - RHP Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 2-1, 1.91 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 28.1 IP, 26 H, 4 BB, 22 K Dobnak was signed just over a year ago out of the independent USPBL. Ever since, he has been a stable, consistent arm, mostly for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. In his July starts, the Alderson-Broaddus College graduate continued that trend. All four of his starts were quality starts. He averaged over seven innings per start and went at least 6 2/3 innings in each start. In fact, he has completed at least six innings in his last eight starts. The 23-year-old has a full pitch mix. While he doesn’t usually top 92 with his fastball, he has four good pitches. #3 - LHP Lewis Thorpe - Chattanooga Lookouts - 5 GS, 2-0, 2.05 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 22.0 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 25 K For the 22-year-old Australian,Thorpe has really made adjustments and improved over the course of the season at AA Chattanooga. The best way to illustrate that improvement might be by showing his OPS against numbers by month. In April, opponents posts a 1.020 OPS off him. In May, .839. June? .612. And in July, opponents hit just .171/.188/.232 (.420) off of the southpaw. Thorpe represented the Twins and Australia on the World team at the Futures Game. And the reasons for his improvement in July are clear. He didn’t give up many hits. He walked very few, and he struck out more than a batter per inning. Thorpe was added to the Twins 40-man roster last November. With the way he’s pitching, he could be debut with the Twins sometime in 2019. #2- LHP Stephen Gonsalves - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 2-0, 0.88 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 30.2 IP, 17 H, 9 BB, 24 K While Gonsalves could make a case to be the July pitcher of the month, it is more important to see just how well he has pitched of late. While the award might be nice, the reward Gonsalves likely wants most would be his first big-league promotion. That should be coming soon. It’s no secret that Gonsalves has had some highs and lows already this season. However, in his past eight starts, Gonsalves has gone 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA. In 46 1/3 innings, he has given up 23 hits, walked 22 and struck out 37 batters. He has given up zero home runs. The walks have been an issue throughout the season for Gonsalves, but in his past two starts, he has a total of one walk in 13 innings. Gonsalves looks the part of a major-league starting pitcher. He’s long and lean, and he’s got a smooth delivery. He’s got a plus-curveball and a solid, very slow curveball. He’s added a cutter/slider which all helps him miss bats with his low-90s fastball. There is no reason for Gonsalves not to make his debut within the next month. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Bailey Ober - 4 GS, 3-0, 0.73 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 24.2 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 36 K Ober was the Twins 12th-round draft pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston where he was national freshman of the year, but then he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed more time with other injuries. When healthy, the 6-8 right-hander has a lot of potential. He hyper-extended his knee in spring training and stuck in extended spring for about six weeks. He joined the Cedar Rapids Kernels in late April. In his Kernels debut, he gave up six earned runs and got just two outs. He gave up four runs in four innings during his second start. In his third start, he gave up four runs in five innings. However since that time, Ober has been one of the better, more consistent starters in the Twins farm system. In July, he was dominant in his first three starts. In his first July start, he went seven innings and struck out 12 batters. In his next start, he struck out ten batters in 6 2/3 innings. In his third start of the month, he struck out 12 batters in eight innings. That’s right. He struck out 34 batters in 21 2/3 innings over just three starts. And he walked just two during that time. Unfortunately in his final start of the month, July 27, Ober went just three innings before leaving the game. He was placed on the disabled list the next day with an elbow strain. He recently had and MRI to see what was going on. Results of the MRI have not yet been made public. Obviously we wish him the best. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of July, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Bailey Ober. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  23. Yesterday, we highlighted some incredibly hitting performances in the Twins minor league system. Ryan Jeffers was named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the month, but there were several strong candidates. Today, we take a look and highlight the top starting pitcher performances of the month. Like with the hitters, there are a lot of pitchers who were seriously considered for the top spot this month. Previous Starting Pitchers of the Month for 2018: April 2018: Aaron Slegers, Rochester Red Wings May 2018: Brusdar Graterol, Cedar Rapids Kernels June 2018: Tyler Wells, Fort Myers Miracle July 2018: See below…Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for July, there are some terrific starting performers that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Charlie Barnes - Ft. Myers Miracle - 5 GS, 27.1 IP, 1.98 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 26 H, 9 BB, 10 KPrelander Berroa - GCL Twins - 4 GS, 18.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 14 H, 8 BB, 12 KDonny Breek - GCL Twins - 4 G, 3 GS, 15.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 9 H, 7 BB, 17 KAndrew Cabezas - Elizabethton Twins - 18.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 13 H, 5 BB, 17 KEdwar Colina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 G, 4 GS, 26.2 IP, 2.36 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 20 H, 12 BB, 30 KRandy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 28.1 IP, 1.91 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 26 H, 4 BB, 22 KBlayne Enlow - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 12 KTyler Palm - Elizabethton Twins - 4 GS, 19.0 IP, 1.89 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 23 H, 3 BB, 17 KSean Poppen - Chattanooga Lookouts - 6 G, 3 GS, 32.1 IP, 1.95 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 24 H, 7 BB, 29 KTHE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 1-1, 3.52 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 23.0 IP, 15 H, 3 BB, 28 K The Twins drafted the 6-8 right-hander in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State-San Bernadino. Wells was our choice for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher in June, and he was very good again in July. Opponents hit just .183/.230/.329 (.559) off of him during the month. He struck out more than a batter per inning, and he showed very good control. Wells has worked very hard and lost about 50 pounds since being drafted, including about 30 pounds since last season. The results have shown for him, and as July was coming to an end, he received a promotion to Chattanooga. #4 - RHP Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 2-1, 1.91 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 28.1 IP, 26 H, 4 BB, 22 K Dobnak was signed just over a year ago out of the independent USPBL. Ever since, he has been a stable, consistent arm, mostly for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. In his July starts, the Alderson-Broaddus College graduate continued that trend. All four of his starts were quality starts. He averaged over seven innings per start and went at least 6 2/3 innings in each start. In fact, he has completed at least six innings in his last eight starts. The 23-year-old has a full pitch mix. While he doesn’t usually top 92 with his fastball, he has four good pitches. #3 - LHP Lewis Thorpe - Chattanooga Lookouts - 5 GS, 2-0, 2.05 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 22.0 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 25 K For the 22-year-old Australian,Thorpe has really made adjustments and improved over the course of the season at AA Chattanooga. The best way to illustrate that improvement might be by showing his OPS against numbers by month. In April, opponents posts a 1.020 OPS off him. In May, .839. June? .612. And in July, opponents hit just .171/.188/.232 (.420) off of the southpaw. Thorpe represented the Twins and Australia on the World team at the Futures Game. And the reasons for his improvement in July are clear. He didn’t give up many hits. He walked very few, and he struck out more than a batter per inning. Thorpe was added to the Twins 40-man roster last November. With the way he’s pitching, he could be debut with the Twins sometime in 2019. #2- LHP Stephen Gonsalves - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 2-0, 0.88 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 30.2 IP, 17 H, 9 BB, 24 K While Gonsalves could make a case to be the July pitcher of the month, it is more important to see just how well he has pitched of late. While the award might be nice, the reward Gonsalves likely wants most would be his first big-league promotion. That should be coming soon. It’s no secret that Gonsalves has had some highs and lows already this season. However, in his past eight starts, Gonsalves has gone 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA. In 46 1/3 innings, he has given up 23 hits, walked 22 and struck out 37 batters. He has given up zero home runs. The walks have been an issue throughout the season for Gonsalves, but in his past two starts, he has a total of one walk in 13 innings. Gonsalves looks the part of a major-league starting pitcher. He’s long and lean, and he’s got a smooth delivery. He’s got a plus-curveball and a solid, very slow curveball. He’s added a cutter/slider which all helps him miss bats with his low-90s fastball. There is no reason for Gonsalves not to make his debut within the next month. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Bailey Ober - 4 GS, 3-0, 0.73 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 24.2 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 36 K Ober was the Twins 12th-round draft pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston where he was national freshman of the year, but then he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed more time with other injuries. When healthy, the 6-8 right-hander has a lot of potential. He hyper-extended his knee in spring training and stuck in extended spring for about six weeks. He joined the Cedar Rapids Kernels in late April. In his Kernels debut, he gave up six earned runs and got just two outs. He gave up four runs in four innings during his second start. In his third start, he gave up four runs in five innings. However since that time, Ober has been one of the better, more consistent starters in the Twins farm system. In July, he was dominant in his first three starts. In his first July start, he went seven innings and struck out 12 batters. In his next start, he struck out ten batters in 6 2/3 innings. In his third start of the month, he struck out 12 batters in eight innings. That’s right. He struck out 34 batters in 21 2/3 innings over just three starts. And he walked just two during that time. Unfortunately in his final start of the month, July 27, Ober went just three innings before leaving the game. He was placed on the disabled list the next day with an elbow strain. He recently had and MRI to see what was going on. Results of the MRI have not yet been made public. Obviously we wish him the best. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of July, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Bailey Ober. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. Click here to view the article
  24. Two months ago, I wrote an article here about who should be promoted. Well, four of those five on the list have been promoted, as well as two of the three of my honorable mentions. Well, I am back again to do an updated list. I decided to write this one before I head off to school to work on my Master’s because I likely won’t have much time when that time comes. Honorable Mentions: Johan Quezada, RP, Elizabethton Tyler Benninghoff, SP, GCL Twins Anthony Escobar, SP, DSL Twins Todd Van Steensel, RP, Chattanooga 5. Janigson Villalobos, C, GCL Twins Villalobos was traded to the Twins earlier this season from San Diego in a deal that saw Minnesota say goodbye to Phil Hughes and a draft pick. In his first three seasons, he has improved dramatically, and he has made his biggest jump this year. In 56 at-bats this season in the Gulf Coast League, he has a slash line of .339/.413/.429. Only four of his 19 hits have been for extra bases, so hopefully that comes around for him. He does have a solid eye at the plate, as he has walked seven times in his 56 at-bats and has only struck out nine times (yes, I said that in an Ed Rooney voice). Having turned 21 a few months ago, he may have figured a few things out and a trip to Elizabethton could be in order. I mean, it makes sense, too. Ben Rodriguez was promoted to Fort Myers and Ryan Jeffers to Cedar Rapids. It makes logical sense that someone like Villalobos could take Jeffers’ roster spot in Tennessee. 4.. Bailey Ober, SP, Cedar Rapids Ober’s stats do not ‘wow’ you over the entire season, but he has been lights out his past three starts (and really good over his last seven). The 23-year-old has an ERA of 3.88, but while that may not seem impressive, it certainly is considering how his 2018 started. His season got off to a rocky start, allowing six runs on five hits in 2/3 of an inning in a 10-5 loss to Burlington in late April. In his first three starts, he allowed 14 runs in 9.2 innings, as well as at least four runs in five of his first six starts. But since, he has only allowed eight runs in previous seven starts combined, and four of those came in a 7-4 win over Burlington last month. Since the calendar turned to June, he is 6-1 with an ERA of 1.58, slicing his season ERA from 7.86 to 3.88. His opponents batting average also went down from .339 to .252, and his WHIP went down from 1.59 to an impressive 1.08. In his last three starts, he has turned it up a notch, allowing just one run in 21.2 innings (0.42 ERA), while striking out a whopping 34. I don’t know if he will be promoted just yet, but if he has another few starts like he has had recently, there is no choice but to promote him. Last week, former teammate Bryan Sammons was promoted from Cedar Rapids to Fort Myers. Ober could be next, maybe taking over a spot left by Tyler Wells, who I believe will move up to Double-A Chattanooga shortly. 3. Robby Rinn, 1B, Cedar Rapids Rinn is an older prospect, and I normally don’t put them on this list, but he has been mashing for the Kernels. The 25-year-old was in Fort Myers for six games earlier this year, but was then returned to Cedar Rapids, where he has had 169 at-bats. In the 43 games he has played with the Kernels, he has hit .314 and has a real nice OPS of .826. Being an older prospect in a low level like Low-A, Rinn should be able to perform well, and he has done just that. Rinn, who was a 25th round pick by the Kansas City Royals in 2016, was traded by the Royals to the Twins in March. In 322 at-bats for the Idaho Falls Chukars (Rookie) last year, Rinn had a slash line of .355/.429/.511. With Rinn turning 26 in October, he needs to be challenged and he can platoon with Lewin Diaz in High-A Fort Myers. It also makes sense for the Twins, as he can be replaced on the team by 2018 eighth round pick Chris Williams, who has a slash line of .271/.380/.551 for the Elizabethton Twins. 2. Tyler Wells, SP, Fort Myers All Tyler Wells has done since being drafted is dominate. Since being drafted in 15th round by the Twins in 2016, he had his worst year in Elizabethton after being drafted....and he went 5-2 with an ERA of 3.23 and a WHIP of 1.20. Following a successful stint in Cedar Rapids in 2017, Wells has had his best season in 2018. In 15 starts for the High-A Fort Myers Miracle, the Cal State Bernardino product has gone 7-4 with an ERA of 2.97 and a WHIP of an incredible 0.93. Like Rinn, he is also is a bit of an older prospect, as he turns 24 next month. He has slumped a little in July, just going 0-1 with an ERA of nearly five this month. But this comes on the heels of a great June, in which he went 4-0 with an ERA of just 1.63. Unlike many of the pitchers in the Twins organization, Wells does not have control problems, having just walked 16 in 78.2 innings so far this season. He should be promoted sometime late this year, which would create a roster spot for Ober to move to Fort Myers. 1. Victor Heredia, C/1B, DSL Twins There is a very real possibility you have never heard of this slugger from Venezuela. Well, he has used the Dominican Summer League as his personal launching pad. Heredia did decent last season as a 16 and 17-year-old, slashing .257/.356/.351. But he has turned it up a level this season. In 36 games, Heredia, who just turned 18 last month, has a slash line of .366/.404/.611. Of his 48 hits, 18 have been for extra bases. Last season, he was listed as a catcher, but he has played first base this season. He has the ability to do both, much like Ben Rodrguez, who was recently promoted to Fort Myers. After having a real nice June, having a batting average of .300 and an OPS of .867, he has gone into Terminator Mode. Since the calendar turned to the seventh month of the year, Heredia has a slash line of .466/.492/.759. Heredia has 10 extra base hits in his 58 at-bats in the month as well. Even as a right-handed hitter, he has shown to hit right-handed pitching better than lefties. In 82 at-bats against righties, the Venezuela native has a slash line of .391/.426/.685. There is nothing left to prove down in the Dominican Summer League. If they want to utilize him as a catcher, he can take the spot on the GCL Twins left by Villalobos, who I think should be promotoed soon. The Ryan Jeffers/Ben Rodriguez promotions could send help lead Heredia to the United States before the season ends. As always, feel free to critique and add who you feel should be promoted by the end of the 2018 season.
  25. The Minnesota Twins played extras at the big league level today, while the minor league action was split between day and night games. Michael Helman stayed hot for the E-Twins, Akil Baddoo paced the Kernels, and Tyler Wells continued to be unhittable on the mound. Check out the day’s action below.TRANSACTIONS Chattanooga Lookouts DEL C Brian Olson transferred to DL ADD RHP Ryan Eades transferred from DL RED WINGS REPORT Indianapolis 3, Rochester 1 Box Score Tonight the Red Wings employed the opener strategy again and while Gabriel Moya pitched a scoreless first inning, there just wasn’t enough offense to back Kohl Stewart. Working five innings for Rochester, Stewart allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits while walking two and striking out three. Indianapolis got on the board first with a run in the third inning. Thanks to a solo shot by Willians Astudillo, the lead was erased in the top half of the fourth. Ceding single runs in both the 5th and 6th innings, the Red Wings weren’t able to muster another tally with their five hits on the night. The series is now knotted at one game each with the rubber match scheduled for tomorrow night. LaMonte Wade recorded the lone multi-hit effort with a two-hit game, and Miguel Sano went 1-4 with his first double for the Red Wings. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Pensacola 5, Chattanooga 4 Box Score As has been somewhat of a trend through the Twins minor league system of late, the Chattanooga Lookouts went with the opener strategy in this one again. Paco Rodriguez worked one inning to begin the game, and the three-run deficit was one the home team never found themselves able to overcome. Rodriguez worked into the second inning but recorded just three outs. Chattanooga found themselves trailing 5-0 entering the sixth inning. After taking over for Rodriguez in the second, Sean Poppen turned in seven solid innings for the Lookouts. He allowed just two runs on his own (one earned) and surrendered five hits. The traditional starter also fanned seven while allowing just one free pass. In the bottom of the sixth, Chattanooga tallied their first runs. Jaylin Davis knocked his seventh double of the season to right field. With the bases loaded Luis Arraez, Chris Paul, and Mitchell Kranson all came around to score. Despite entering the inning with a large deficit, Chattanooga had cut the Blue Wahoos lead to just two. Entering the ninth, the Lookouts were up against it needing a rally to extend this one. Recently reinstated from the disabled list, Chris Paul picked up his 21st double of the season to drive in Brent Rooker. Tanner English then took over as a pinch runner and was in scoring position with two outs. After intentionally walking Kranson, Pensacola was able to set down Davis on strikes. The rally came up just short and Chattanooga dropped the contest 5-4. Looking to even the series, Chattanooga plays host again tomorrow night. A win would allow the Twins Double-A affiliate an opportunity to take the series in game five on Friday. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 1 Box Score Tyler Wells was on the mound for the Miracle in this one, which means that the Twins affiliate was bound to get a good start. When the dust settled, that’s exactly what Wells turned in. Twirling eight innings of one-run baseball, Wells allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out 10. His dominant outing was backed by just enough offense to get on the right side of the final score tonight. The scoring started in the fourth inning, thanks to a Taylor Grzelakowski double. With Royce Lewis coming around to score on the play, Fort Myers had the first run of the game. Alex Kirilloff then continued his hot hitting, and a single was enough to drive in Grzelakowski. Those two runs were all Fort Myers could muster out of their six hits on the evening. Thanks to Wells’ dominance however, that proved to be enough to get the job done. Kirilloff was the lone Miracle hitter to record a multi-hit effort, and that brings his streak of games accomplishing that feat to five. Now batting .374 through 30 games at High-A, he’s making this level look plenty easy as well. Fort Myers was able to take the series over Jupiter with tonight’s victory, and they’ll head to Daytona Beach for a four game set with the Tortugas beginning tomorrow night. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Clinton 2 Box Score Edwar Colina was on the bump to start this one for the Kernels, and thanks to seven strong innings of work, he picked up his fourth victory on the season. The Cedar Rapids starter allowed two runs on six hits but fanned nine and issued zero free passes. The lineup got Colina some breathing room in their first at-bats of the game. Akil Baddoo led off the bottom half of the inning with his ninth long ball of the season and put the home team on top 1-0. With the scoring ceasing for a few innings, it wasn’t until the middle innings that another run was tallied. Michael Davis hit a solo blast of his own, and the first in his time with Cedar Rapids, to stretch the lead to 2-0. With Baddoo on the bases, Jose Miranda dropped a single into centerfield and picked up an RBI in the process. Leaving the bottom of the fifth inning, the Kernels led 3-0. Looking to add some insurance in the late innings, another spark came for the Kernels in the seventh. Ryan Jeffers singled in David Banuelos, and Miranda drove in Davis on his second RBI single of the evening. Capping off the inning, Robby Rinn got in on the action. Lifting an RBI single to center, Baddoo and Jeffers were able to cross the plate as well. Calling it a night for his start after 89 pitches, Colina gave way to Rickey Ramirez and had him staked to a 7-0 lead. Clinton pushed across two runs in the top half of the eighth inning, but that’s all they’d get and this one was never in doubt. Taking the opener of the series, Cedar Rapids will look for similar success in games two and three the next two nights. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 6, Burlington 5 Box Score Moving to 20-11 on the year, offense has not ever been an issue for the E-Twins in 2018. Picking up six runs on 10 hits today, Tyler Palm was handed a lead and Elizabethton continued to tack on. As the away team, the E-Twins wasted no time in getting on the board. Trevor Larnach drove a sac fly out to left field and Michael Helman came in to score on the play. In the second, Helman did damage on his own, picking up an RBI on an infield single to third. Alex Robles then followed up with a single to center allowing Lean Marrero to cross the plate. Despite giving a run back in the bottom half of the inning, the E-Twins led 3-1 going into the third. Helman, who was 3-for-4 on the day, picked up his second RBI on a fourth inning single to left. As Tyler Webb scored, the E-Twins lead grew to 4-1. In the fifth, an error and a blast allowed Burlington grabbed the lead for the first time. Up 5-4, they’d look to hang on against the powerful Elizabethton offense. Fortunately for the good guys, Marrero ripped his third double of the year in the sixth and Webb scored again. Now knotted up at five all it was time for Elizabethton to regain the lead for good. Robert Molina singled in the top half of the seventh inning, plating Chris Williams and putting the E-Twins back on top. The 6-5 score would hold over the final two innings and was how this one ended. Elizabethton will look for the three game road sweep of Burlington tomorrow evening. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 0 Box Score Hailing from the Netherlands, 18-year-old Donny Breek was on top of his game today for the GCL Twins. He went five scoreless innings and gave up just one hit while walking one and fanning nine. Getting scoreless relief work from the bullpen, including 2018 drafty pick Erik Cha’s first pro save, the Twins blanked the Rays in this one. The scoring started in the second inning of this contest. Charles Mack drew a leadoff walk and was followed by both Hunter Lee and Kidany Silva. Having the bases loaded as he stepped to the plate, Victor Tademo grounded out. On the play, both Mack and Lee came around to score. The GCL Twins couldn’t push anything else across in the inning, but they had grabbed the 2-0 lead. As the GCL Rays were able to muster just two hits in this contest, there wasn’t much in the form of scoring chances. The Twins added another insurance run in the top half of the ninth to push the lead to 3-0. Erick Rivera singled to pick up his second hit on the day, and later came around to score on a LaRon Smith fielder’s choice. These two teams will square off again tomorrow morning, but the Twins will play as the home team in Fort Myers. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Wells 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Akil Baddoo 2-3, 3 R, RBI, HR(9) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-3, R #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) – 2-4, RBI, 2B #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-4, K #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) – 0-4, R #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-4, R, BB #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3, 3 R, RBI, HR(9) #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 2-4 #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) – 0-4 #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, R, RBI #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) – 1-2, R, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (2-2, 2.66 ERA) Pensacola @ Chattanooga (6:15AM CST) – TBD Fort Myers @ Daytona Beach (6:05PM CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (1-1, 3.08 ERA) Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (3-4, 4.80 ERA) Elizabethton @ Burlington (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Rays vs GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Click here to view the article
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