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  1. The Twins have an increasing number of intriguing options to help their major-league bullpen in 2022. Here are three names you need to know for next season. Understandably, much of the early off-season Twins conjecture has surrounded trades and free-agent additions the Twins can make to boost their beleaguered pitching staff. The promotion of Jovani Moran and his dynamic changeup is indicative of another direction the organization will have to succeed at if they are to compete in 2022, promoting from within. Twins fans have bemoaned the organization's poor returns on developing its own pitching for as long as I can remember. 2022 will be the year that narrative begins to change. It’s well known that the Twins have a stable (sorry PETA) of young arms in AA and above, with Josh Winder, Jhoan Duran, Cole Sands, Chris Vallimont, Jordan Balazovic approaching major league consideration. What about bullpen options? Here are three names Twins fans should be familiar with who will likely feature in the major league bullpen during the 2022 season. Ian Hamilton Ian Hamilton is perhaps the best known of the trio to Twins fans. A former White Sox top prospect, Hamilton has made a remarkable recovery from a minor car accident and being struck in the face by a batted ball in 2019. Hamilton struck out 33.5% of hitters he faced in 2021 (13.1 K/9) and has enough velocity to be a high-leverage arm. Control was Hamilton’s issue in 2021, with a 15.2% BB%. Hamilton spoke of the challenges of regaining confidence in his mechanics after his injuries. If he can return to the type of command he showed in the 2018 season 5.1% BB%, he could be a huge boon to the Twins bullpen in 2022. Ryan Mason Conversely, Ryan Mason is the name on this list least well known by Twins fans. It’s time to pay attention. Mason was drafted in the 13th round of the 2016 draft out of UC-Berkley. The 6’6 California native was promoted to the Saints at the end of July, after impressing at AA Wichita. Mason combined for 54 innings across two minor-league levels with the Twins and got better when he was promoted to St. Paul. He struck out 29.4% of the batters he faced at AAA (12.1 K/9) and managed a 3.47 FIP. Similarly to Hamilton, it’s control that will be a decisive factor for Mason. At AAA in 2021, he walked 11.8% of hitters (4.8 BB/9). Also like Hamilton, he has a history of good control prior to a pandemic-lost 2020 season (1.6 BB/9 in 92 2/3 innings between 2018-2019). Mason is another MLB-caliber arm to watch out for in 2022. Yennier Cano Cano is an unusual bullpen prospect. The 27-year-old out of Cuba throws in the mid-to-upper 90s and offers a fastball, slider, splitter combination which he executed to great effect in St. Paul in 2021. Cano’s ascent through the Twins MiLB ranks is impressive. He has moved from Rookie ball to AAA in just two seasons, with a season off in-between due to the pandemic. Cano struck out 25.7% of hitters he faced in 51 AAA innings (10.2 K/9). Cano struggled with his control at AAA with a 12.8% BB%, compared to just 6.2% at AA. Similar to Hamilton and Mason, Cano has shown the stuff and performance to be a high-leverage arm, if he can arrive at a greater level of consistency. These three internal options for the Twins bullpen have striking similarities. Excellent arms, excellent stuff, and a need to develop more consistent control. Whether that need arose through injury, or simply missed development time, it’s critical the Twins begin to show the type of success developing their own relievers as many have predicted for their starters in forthcoming seasons. While there is work to be done for all three, make no mistake. Help for the major-league arm barn is on the way from St. Paul. View full article
  2. Understandably, much of the early off-season Twins conjecture has surrounded trades and free-agent additions the Twins can make to boost their beleaguered pitching staff. The promotion of Jovani Moran and his dynamic changeup is indicative of another direction the organization will have to succeed at if they are to compete in 2022, promoting from within. Twins fans have bemoaned the organization's poor returns on developing its own pitching for as long as I can remember. 2022 will be the year that narrative begins to change. It’s well known that the Twins have a stable (sorry PETA) of young arms in AA and above, with Josh Winder, Jhoan Duran, Cole Sands, Chris Vallimont, Jordan Balazovic approaching major league consideration. What about bullpen options? Here are three names Twins fans should be familiar with who will likely feature in the major league bullpen during the 2022 season. Ian Hamilton Ian Hamilton is perhaps the best known of the trio to Twins fans. A former White Sox top prospect, Hamilton has made a remarkable recovery from a minor car accident and being struck in the face by a batted ball in 2019. Hamilton struck out 33.5% of hitters he faced in 2021 (13.1 K/9) and has enough velocity to be a high-leverage arm. Control was Hamilton’s issue in 2021, with a 15.2% BB%. Hamilton spoke of the challenges of regaining confidence in his mechanics after his injuries. If he can return to the type of command he showed in the 2018 season 5.1% BB%, he could be a huge boon to the Twins bullpen in 2022. Ryan Mason Conversely, Ryan Mason is the name on this list least well known by Twins fans. It’s time to pay attention. Mason was drafted in the 13th round of the 2016 draft out of UC-Berkley. The 6’6 California native was promoted to the Saints at the end of July, after impressing at AA Wichita. Mason combined for 54 innings across two minor-league levels with the Twins and got better when he was promoted to St. Paul. He struck out 29.4% of the batters he faced at AAA (12.1 K/9) and managed a 3.47 FIP. Similarly to Hamilton, it’s control that will be a decisive factor for Mason. At AAA in 2021, he walked 11.8% of hitters (4.8 BB/9). Also like Hamilton, he has a history of good control prior to a pandemic-lost 2020 season (1.6 BB/9 in 92 2/3 innings between 2018-2019). Mason is another MLB-caliber arm to watch out for in 2022. Yennier Cano Cano is an unusual bullpen prospect. The 27-year-old out of Cuba throws in the mid-to-upper 90s and offers a fastball, slider, splitter combination which he executed to great effect in St. Paul in 2021. Cano’s ascent through the Twins MiLB ranks is impressive. He has moved from Rookie ball to AAA in just two seasons, with a season off in-between due to the pandemic. Cano struck out 25.7% of hitters he faced in 51 AAA innings (10.2 K/9). Cano struggled with his control at AAA with a 12.8% BB%, compared to just 6.2% at AA. Similar to Hamilton and Mason, Cano has shown the stuff and performance to be a high-leverage arm, if he can arrive at a greater level of consistency. These three internal options for the Twins bullpen have striking similarities. Excellent arms, excellent stuff, and a need to develop more consistent control. Whether that need arose through injury, or simply missed development time, it’s critical the Twins begin to show the type of success developing their own relievers as many have predicted for their starters in forthcoming seasons. While there is work to be done for all three, make no mistake. Help for the major-league arm barn is on the way from St. Paul.
  3. The Twins needs to add stability to their bullpen to rebound in 2022. Who are some attractive options to pursue on the free agent market? It was already over by May 1st. The futility of the Twins 2021 season was summed up by the first-half performance of its pitching staff. The Twins hurlers collected a pitifully sad 4.4 fWAR in the first half of the season, good for 29th in MLB. For the sake of comparison, the White Sox, who had the best first half, came in at 16.1 fWAR. The bullpen itself finished 26th. This is one of the occasions where the eye test and the numbers match up. We all remember April, Alexander Colome being sent out night after night, like an unsuspecting contestant in ‘Red Light, Green Light’ from Squid Game. It ended the same on almost every occasion, a sad, predictable massacre. There was an improvement, however. The Twins finished middle of the pack by most metrics in the second half, although their outcomes belied some of the processes, with a cumulative K/9 in the bottom third of the league and vastly better BaBIP, the Twins bullpen is an important area of focus if the team is to compete in 2022. Similarly to last week, when I wrote about starting pitching free-agent options, I’m choosing to make some assumptions for the sake of looking at some targets in this piece. The Twins have some strong pieces in place. Assuming their return, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Jorge Alcala, and Caleb Thielbar provide the bullpen with a strong spine. They have some effective pieces in place, a couple of high-leverage arms, and are all set on lefties. The Twins have strong options at AA and AAA. Jovani Moran and his deadly changeup made their major league debut in September. The Twins have additional high-quality, high-velocity arms that performed well at AAA, including Yennier Cano, Ian Hamilton, and Ryan Mason. Those three alone combined for 235 strikeouts in 183 MiLB innings in 2021. In addition to Moran, that’s a group that should be counted on for 1-2 spots in the 2022 season. 2021 will not scare the front office away from waiver wire pickups. The Twins did not show an ability to tweak or develop any waiver-wire pickups in 2021, a la Matt Wisler in 2020. That doesn’t mean that they should, or will, stop looking for value. The Twins need to try and add some stability to the bullpen through free agency. The organization is presented with a difficult challenge, then. Add stability to the solid bullpen foundation already in place with some consistent, reliable free-agent additions. Relief pitchers are notoriously fickle, so fleshing out the bullpen will present a tricky off-season challenge. There is no shortage of options available in the relief pitching market. I counted 92 free agent relief pitchers, with two-thirds of those having positive 2021 seasons. So who are some possibilities the Twins may target? Kendall Graveman Graveman made just $1.25 million in 2021 with the Mariners and Astros, so is due for a solid raise in advance of the 2022 season. He made all kinds of breakthroughs this season with his average fastball velocity climbing from 94.2 mph to 96.5 mph and his K/9 increasing from 7.23 to 9.80. Graveman finished the season with an xERA of 3.65 in 56 innings pitched and was acquired by the Astros at the deadline. Archie Bradley Bradley was a popular addition candidate with Twins fandom in 2020. He signed for Philadelphia on a 1-year, $6 million deal and should get a similar AAV in 2022. Bradley has strong velocity in the mid-90s but did see some concerning drop-offs in 2021. His K/9 fell to 7.1 (from a previous high of 10.9) and his control was inconsistent. It’s also worth noting that Philadelphia seems to be where relief pitching goes to die. Bradley would be a strong possibility for the Twins if the front office sees something they can tweak in his approach, as the stuff and the track record is there. Corey Knebel Knebel rebounded in 2021 after a dreadful 2020. Unsurprisingly, it was the Dodgers who helped him find his best stuff again. Knebel put together a 2.96 xERA in 25 2/3 innings, maintaining a healthy 10.5 K/9. Knebel is a true two-pitch reliever (fastball/curveball) who can run it up into the high 90s. The Dodgers trusted him to open a critical Game 5 of the NLDS against the Giants. Knebel was tied to the Dodgers on a 1-year, $5.25 million deal in 2021. Which of these candidates do you like or not like for the Twins bullpen? Which other free-agent relief pitchers would you like to see the Twins target? View full article
  4. It was already over by May 1st. The futility of the Twins 2021 season was summed up by the first-half performance of its pitching staff. The Twins hurlers collected a pitifully sad 4.4 fWAR in the first half of the season, good for 29th in MLB. For the sake of comparison, the White Sox, who had the best first half, came in at 16.1 fWAR. The bullpen itself finished 26th. This is one of the occasions where the eye test and the numbers match up. We all remember April, Alexander Colome being sent out night after night, like an unsuspecting contestant in ‘Red Light, Green Light’ from Squid Game. It ended the same on almost every occasion, a sad, predictable massacre. There was an improvement, however. The Twins finished middle of the pack by most metrics in the second half, although their outcomes belied some of the processes, with a cumulative K/9 in the bottom third of the league and vastly better BaBIP, the Twins bullpen is an important area of focus if the team is to compete in 2022. Similarly to last week, when I wrote about starting pitching free-agent options, I’m choosing to make some assumptions for the sake of looking at some targets in this piece. The Twins have some strong pieces in place. Assuming their return, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Jorge Alcala, and Caleb Thielbar provide the bullpen with a strong spine. They have some effective pieces in place, a couple of high-leverage arms, and are all set on lefties. The Twins have strong options at AA and AAA. Jovani Moran and his deadly changeup made their major league debut in September. The Twins have additional high-quality, high-velocity arms that performed well at AAA, including Yennier Cano, Ian Hamilton, and Ryan Mason. Those three alone combined for 235 strikeouts in 183 MiLB innings in 2021. In addition to Moran, that’s a group that should be counted on for 1-2 spots in the 2022 season. 2021 will not scare the front office away from waiver wire pickups. The Twins did not show an ability to tweak or develop any waiver-wire pickups in 2021, a la Matt Wisler in 2020. That doesn’t mean that they should, or will, stop looking for value. The Twins need to try and add some stability to the bullpen through free agency. The organization is presented with a difficult challenge, then. Add stability to the solid bullpen foundation already in place with some consistent, reliable free-agent additions. Relief pitchers are notoriously fickle, so fleshing out the bullpen will present a tricky off-season challenge. There is no shortage of options available in the relief pitching market. I counted 92 free agent relief pitchers, with two-thirds of those having positive 2021 seasons. So who are some possibilities the Twins may target? Kendall Graveman Graveman made just $1.25 million in 2021 with the Mariners and Astros, so is due for a solid raise in advance of the 2022 season. He made all kinds of breakthroughs this season with his average fastball velocity climbing from 94.2 mph to 96.5 mph and his K/9 increasing from 7.23 to 9.80. Graveman finished the season with an xERA of 3.65 in 56 innings pitched and was acquired by the Astros at the deadline. Archie Bradley Bradley was a popular addition candidate with Twins fandom in 2020. He signed for Philadelphia on a 1-year, $6 million deal and should get a similar AAV in 2022. Bradley has strong velocity in the mid-90s but did see some concerning drop-offs in 2021. His K/9 fell to 7.1 (from a previous high of 10.9) and his control was inconsistent. It’s also worth noting that Philadelphia seems to be where relief pitching goes to die. Bradley would be a strong possibility for the Twins if the front office sees something they can tweak in his approach, as the stuff and the track record is there. Corey Knebel Knebel rebounded in 2021 after a dreadful 2020. Unsurprisingly, it was the Dodgers who helped him find his best stuff again. Knebel put together a 2.96 xERA in 25 2/3 innings, maintaining a healthy 10.5 K/9. Knebel is a true two-pitch reliever (fastball/curveball) who can run it up into the high 90s. The Dodgers trusted him to open a critical Game 5 of the NLDS against the Giants. Knebel was tied to the Dodgers on a 1-year, $5.25 million deal in 2021. Which of these candidates do you like or not like for the Twins bullpen? Which other free-agent relief pitchers would you like to see the Twins target?
  5. MINOR LEAGUE END OF THE YEAR AWARDS There have been quite a few bright spots around the Twins' farm system throughout the 2021 season. Yet through all the ups, downs, wins, and losses there were a number of players who distinguished themselves as crowned jewels. Congrats to all of our 2021 Minor League Award winners! Twins Daily 2021 Minor League Hitter of the Year: Jose Miranda Twins Daily 2021 Starting Pitching of the Year: Louie Varland Twins Daily 2021 Relief Pitcher of the Year: Jovani Moran Short Season Awards Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Hitter of the Year: Kala'i Rosario Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Pitcher of the Year: Samuel Perez TRANSACTIONS The Saints placed catcher Ben Rortvedt on the IL with a concussion. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 2, Toledo 0 Box Score A late-inning blast and dominant pitching led to a gutsy win for the Saints on Thursday night at Fifth Third Field. After six innings of a stalemate, the Saints struck the scoreboard in the top of the seventh. Leadoff man Jose Miranda reached on a hit by pitch and eventually moved his way to third on a groundout and wild pitch. He may as well stayed at first. Moments later, Mark Contreras launched a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall to give the Saints a 2-0 lead. The blast was Contreras' 18th on the year and fifth in September. Starting pitcher Derek Law was rock solid on the night, tossing three innings of scoreless ball. Law allowed three hits and two walks while striking out four. And while Law kicked off the party, the guest of honor title belonged to the St. Paul bullpen. The duo of Chandler Shepherd and Yennier Cano rattled off six innings of scoreless ball to hold the lead for the Saints. Shepherd was nearly perfect through four innings, giving up one hit, zero walks, and striking out three. Cano entered in the eighth and put the nail in the coffin for St. Paul. After a smooth eighth, Cano gave up a one-out double to Mud Hen shortstop Ryan Kreidler. It didn't matter. Cano regained the momentum and struck out the next two batters to seal the deal for the Saints. The Mud Hens outhit St. Paul 5-2, with a Jose Miranda single playing as the only other hit for the Saints in addition to Contreras' blast. Yet when it came to crunch time, Toledo couldn't convert, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The Saints are now 5-2 in the Final Stretch of the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Mark Contreras (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, K Pitcher of the Day: Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul)- W, 4.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, H, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #6- Jose Miranda (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, R #7- Joe Ryan (Minnesota)- Game in progress #13- Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul)- 0-for-4, K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota)- Game in progress FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTER St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) RHP Beau Burrows (4-5, 5.16 ERA)
  6. Trademarked as a relief pitcher, Derek Law diced through the first three innings for the Saints on Thursday night against Toledo. Add in a timely homer and a lights-out bullpen performance and there was nothing the Mud Hens could do. MINOR LEAGUE END OF THE YEAR AWARDS There have been quite a few bright spots around the Twins' farm system throughout the 2021 season. Yet through all the ups, downs, wins, and losses there were a number of players who distinguished themselves as crowned jewels. Congrats to all of our 2021 Minor League Award winners! Twins Daily 2021 Minor League Hitter of the Year: Jose Miranda Twins Daily 2021 Starting Pitching of the Year: Louie Varland Twins Daily 2021 Relief Pitcher of the Year: Jovani Moran Short Season Awards Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Hitter of the Year: Kala'i Rosario Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Pitcher of the Year: Samuel Perez TRANSACTIONS The Saints placed catcher Ben Rortvedt on the IL with a concussion. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 2, Toledo 0 Box Score A late-inning blast and dominant pitching led to a gutsy win for the Saints on Thursday night at Fifth Third Field. After six innings of a stalemate, the Saints struck the scoreboard in the top of the seventh. Leadoff man Jose Miranda reached on a hit by pitch and eventually moved his way to third on a groundout and wild pitch. He may as well stayed at first. Moments later, Mark Contreras launched a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall to give the Saints a 2-0 lead. The blast was Contreras' 18th on the year and fifth in September. Starting pitcher Derek Law was rock solid on the night, tossing three innings of scoreless ball. Law allowed three hits and two walks while striking out four. And while Law kicked off the party, the guest of honor title belonged to the St. Paul bullpen. The duo of Chandler Shepherd and Yennier Cano rattled off six innings of scoreless ball to hold the lead for the Saints. Shepherd was nearly perfect through four innings, giving up one hit, zero walks, and striking out three. Cano entered in the eighth and put the nail in the coffin for St. Paul. After a smooth eighth, Cano gave up a one-out double to Mud Hen shortstop Ryan Kreidler. It didn't matter. Cano regained the momentum and struck out the next two batters to seal the deal for the Saints. The Mud Hens outhit St. Paul 5-2, with a Jose Miranda single playing as the only other hit for the Saints in addition to Contreras' blast. Yet when it came to crunch time, Toledo couldn't convert, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The Saints are now 5-2 in the Final Stretch of the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Mark Contreras (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, K Pitcher of the Day: Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul)- W, 4.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, H, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #6- Jose Miranda (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, R #7- Joe Ryan (Minnesota)- Game in progress #13- Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul)- 0-for-4, K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota)- Game in progress FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTER St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) RHP Beau Burrows (4-5, 5.16 ERA) View full article
  7. Lewis Thorpe had an encouraging performance in what was his fourth appearance since being activated off the IL. Read all about that and more in Friday night’s edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS RHP Orlando Rodriguez of Fort Myers placed on the 7-day IL. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Indianapolis 5 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5), Tomas Telis (2-for-5, HR), Mark Contreras (2-for-5), Gilberto Celestino (2-for-5, 2B), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4) HR: Kerrigan (16), Telis (7) Lewis Thorpe looked comfortable and confident tonight. He was throwing his curveball and changeup early in counts, then working in high fastballs to try to finish hitters off. He threw 50 of his 78 pitches for strikes (64.1%) and was efficient enough to record two outs in the sixth inning. This was a jump up from the 58 pitches he threw in his last outing for the Saints. The Twins are clearly viewing Thorpe as a starting pitcher at this point. It would make sense for him to make another start with the Saints, stretching out another 15-20 pitches, but with Michael Pineda exiting his start early, Thorpe may be looked upon as a potential replacement. The St. Paul lineup was patient with 36-year-old knuckleballer Steven Wright, who threw 97 pitches in four innings. Along with the five batters who had multiple hits listed above, Nick Gordon also reached twice, drawing a pair of walks, and stole a base. He played center field tonight. Yennier Cano had an eventful ninth inning, giving up a run on three hits, but locked down the save by striking out the final two batters he faced, stranding runners at second and third base. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 4, Wichita 1 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3) HR: None The Surge were scheduled to play a doubleheader today but more inclimate weather resulted in the first game being postponed, leaving one seven-inning game left to be played. Neither team scored through seven, however, so this one went into “extra” innings. B.J. Boyd singled home the Wichita bonus runner in the top of the inning. The Wind Surge were an out away from victory but a ground ball got by first baseman Andrew Bechtold for a game-tying single and the next batter hit a walk-off home run. Tyler Beck was turning in an impressive Double-A debut before things fell apart with two outs in the eighth inning. He was attempting to cover the final four frames, and had struck out five of the first 15 batters he faced. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 3 Box Score Jon Olsen: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (4-for-5, 2B), Jefferson Morales (2-for-4) HR: Matt Wallner (10) Yunior Severino and Jeferson Morales have been huge boosts to the Kernels since being called up from Fort Myers. After a four-hit night, Severino is hitting .439 with a 1.147 OPS in his first 15 games with the club. Morales hasn’t been around as long, this was just his fourth game with Cedar Rapids, but he has a .563 average with a 1.463 OPS. Matt Wallner hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. It was his 10th homer of the year and 18th as a pro, just the fourth that’s come against a lefty. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Bradenton 1 Box Score Casey Legumina: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Keoni Cavaco (2-for-6), Jesus Feliz (2-for-5, 2B), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, BB) HR: Will Holland (8) Every member of the Fort Myers lineup reached base and everyone but Jesus Feliz also struck out. The team combined for 10 hits, eight walks and 14 strikeouts. Keoni Cavaco had a multi-hit game, but he also struck out four times. Here’s his two-run single in what was a big five-run inning for the Mussels. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher: Lewis Thorpe, St. Paul Hitter: Yunior Severino, Cedar Rapids PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – DNP #4 – Matt Canterino (Fort Myers) – DNP #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 3-for-5, R #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 2-for-6, 2 RBI, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – DNP #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-6, RBI #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, HR, BB, HBP, 2 RBI, R #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – DNP #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – DNP #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – DNP #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-3 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5 #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – DNP #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – DNP SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers at Bradenton, 11 am CT: Bobby Milacki St. Paul at Indianapolis, 6:05 pm CT: Beau Burrows Cedar Rapids at Peoria, 6:35 pm CT: Sawyer Gipson-Long Wichita at Tulsa, 7:05 pm CT: Cole Sands View full article
  8. TRANSACTIONS RHP Orlando Rodriguez of Fort Myers placed on the 7-day IL. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Indianapolis 5 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5), Tomas Telis (2-for-5, HR), Mark Contreras (2-for-5), Gilberto Celestino (2-for-5, 2B), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4) HR: Kerrigan (16), Telis (7) Lewis Thorpe looked comfortable and confident tonight. He was throwing his curveball and changeup early in counts, then working in high fastballs to try to finish hitters off. He threw 50 of his 78 pitches for strikes (64.1%) and was efficient enough to record two outs in the sixth inning. This was a jump up from the 58 pitches he threw in his last outing for the Saints. The Twins are clearly viewing Thorpe as a starting pitcher at this point. It would make sense for him to make another start with the Saints, stretching out another 15-20 pitches, but with Michael Pineda exiting his start early, Thorpe may be looked upon as a potential replacement. The St. Paul lineup was patient with 36-year-old knuckleballer Steven Wright, who threw 97 pitches in four innings. Along with the five batters who had multiple hits listed above, Nick Gordon also reached twice, drawing a pair of walks, and stole a base. He played center field tonight. Yennier Cano had an eventful ninth inning, giving up a run on three hits, but locked down the save by striking out the final two batters he faced, stranding runners at second and third base. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 4, Wichita 1 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3) HR: None The Surge were scheduled to play a doubleheader today but more inclimate weather resulted in the first game being postponed, leaving one seven-inning game left to be played. Neither team scored through seven, however, so this one went into “extra” innings. B.J. Boyd singled home the Wichita bonus runner in the top of the inning. The Wind Surge were an out away from victory but a ground ball got by first baseman Andrew Bechtold for a game-tying single and the next batter hit a walk-off home run. Tyler Beck was turning in an impressive Double-A debut before things fell apart with two outs in the eighth inning. He was attempting to cover the final four frames, and had struck out five of the first 15 batters he faced. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 3 Box Score Jon Olsen: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (4-for-5, 2B), Jefferson Morales (2-for-4) HR: Matt Wallner (10) Yunior Severino and Jeferson Morales have been huge boosts to the Kernels since being called up from Fort Myers. After a four-hit night, Severino is hitting .439 with a 1.147 OPS in his first 15 games with the club. Morales hasn’t been around as long, this was just his fourth game with Cedar Rapids, but he has a .563 average with a 1.463 OPS. Matt Wallner hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. It was his 10th homer of the year and 18th as a pro, just the fourth that’s come against a lefty. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Bradenton 1 Box Score Casey Legumina: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Keoni Cavaco (2-for-6), Jesus Feliz (2-for-5, 2B), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, BB) HR: Will Holland (8) Every member of the Fort Myers lineup reached base and everyone but Jesus Feliz also struck out. The team combined for 10 hits, eight walks and 14 strikeouts. Keoni Cavaco had a multi-hit game, but he also struck out four times. Here’s his two-run single in what was a big five-run inning for the Mussels. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher: Lewis Thorpe, St. Paul Hitter: Yunior Severino, Cedar Rapids PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – DNP #4 – Matt Canterino (Fort Myers) – DNP #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 3-for-5, R #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 2-for-6, 2 RBI, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – DNP #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-6, RBI #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, HR, BB, HBP, 2 RBI, R #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – DNP #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – DNP #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – DNP #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-3 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5 #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – DNP #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – DNP SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers at Bradenton, 11 am CT: Bobby Milacki St. Paul at Indianapolis, 6:05 pm CT: Beau Burrows Cedar Rapids at Peoria, 6:35 pm CT: Sawyer Gipson-Long Wichita at Tulsa, 7:05 pm CT: Cole Sands
  9. Some possible solutions to the rotation were found with the return from the Nelson Cruz trade on Thursday. Still, the front office has their work cut out for them to improve the pitching staff as a whole. More trades are surely on the way and a fair share of the available payroll will likely be spent on arms. There are three relievers at AAA however who we may see by season’s end that could put a massive patch in the sinking ship that is this pitching staff. Ian Hamilton Nick summarized just about every reason to have hope for Hamilton in one tweet. Hamilton was drafted in the 11th round in 2016 and quickly proved to be an exciting up and coming bullpen arm in the White Sox system. Unfortunately Hamilton’s career was thrown off course by two freak accidents. He struggled thereafter and eventually bounce around waiver claims before the Twins claimed him (and then successfully DFAd him) this spring. Hamilton has spent the entire season in St. Paul which is by no means an indicator of his effectiveness. Instead, it almost seems like the Twins are developing the 26-year-old as if he was a prospect as he weathers his first full season of professional baseball since 2018. This plan appears to have paid dividends, as Hamilton has posted a 34% K rate with a 0.58 HR/9 so far and has sorted out his early season walk issues. He should get a chance by season’s end to showcase his high 90s fastball at Target Field in an attempt to earn a place for 2022. Yennier Cano Signed in 2019 as an international free agent out of Cuba, Cano is a bit different than most prospects in the Twins top 30 as he’s 27 years old. Cano has moved a bit more slowly through the system than expected when he was signed, but he appears to be on the precipice of the Major Leagues after debuting at AA ball this year and getting called up to St. Paul a few weeks ago. Cano got hit around a bit in his AAA debut allowing three Earned Runs in 1 2/3 innings. He’s settled down since then, dropping his ERA to 4.50 with a 3.05 FIP. He’s struck out 28.4% of the hitters he’s faced. He has a pitch mix that profiles extremely well with a mid 90s fastball to go with a great slider and a splitter to equalize left-handed hitters. It’s honestly a bit surprising that Cano hasn’t received The Call already, but it’s easy to foresee him in Minneapolis very soon. Jovani Moran Moran was Cano’s partner in crime when it came to terrorizing opposing lineups out of the AA bullpen to start the year. Moran has long had the reputation of having nasty stuff but has struggled with control thus far in his career. After having 14% walk rates at both levels in 2019, it was encouraging even to see those numbers drop to 10% at AA to start the season. Moran is a left-handed pitcher with a low-to-mid 90s fastball, but his changeup is likely one of the best the Twins system has seen since Johan Santana as Lucas points out (tweet above). The pitch allows him not only to avoid big lefty/righty splits, but is also his go-to weapon for swings and misses. He seems to have the right idea, as he’s struck out 46% of AA hitters and 44.4% of AAA hitters thus far. His late arrival to AAA makes him a bit more questionable to debut with the Twins this season, but it’s certainly a possibility depending on how the trade deadline shakes out. Skepticism is warranted after this season, but it’s been a long time since the Twins in particular have developed arms with such high octane, can’t miss stuff. While far from a sure thing, we should get a look at at least a few of them this year. At the very least it’s a bit of excitement in what will be an inconsequential finish to 2021. At best, we just might get a glimpse into a more effective stable of arms for 2022. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  10. It’s easy to feel hopeless about the Twins pitching staff and bullpen in particular after such an abysmal 2021. There may be help on the way, however. A trio of arms in St. Paul just might be worth holding out hope for 2022. Some possible solutions to the rotation were found with the return from the Nelson Cruz trade on Thursday. Still, the front office has their work cut out for them to improve the pitching staff as a whole. More trades are surely on the way and a fair share of the available payroll will likely be spent on arms. There are three relievers at AAA however who we may see by season’s end that could put a massive patch in the sinking ship that is this pitching staff. Ian Hamilton Nick summarized just about every reason to have hope for Hamilton in one tweet. Hamilton was drafted in the 11th round in 2016 and quickly proved to be an exciting up and coming bullpen arm in the White Sox system. Unfortunately Hamilton’s career was thrown off course by two freak accidents. He struggled thereafter and eventually bounce around waiver claims before the Twins claimed him (and then successfully DFAd him) this spring. Hamilton has spent the entire season in St. Paul which is by no means an indicator of his effectiveness. Instead, it almost seems like the Twins are developing the 26-year-old as if he was a prospect as he weathers his first full season of professional baseball since 2018. This plan appears to have paid dividends, as Hamilton has posted a 34% K rate with a 0.58 HR/9 so far and has sorted out his early season walk issues. He should get a chance by season’s end to showcase his high 90s fastball at Target Field in an attempt to earn a place for 2022. Yennier Cano Signed in 2019 as an international free agent out of Cuba, Cano is a bit different than most prospects in the Twins top 30 as he’s 27 years old. Cano has moved a bit more slowly through the system than expected when he was signed, but he appears to be on the precipice of the Major Leagues after debuting at AA ball this year and getting called up to St. Paul a few weeks ago. Cano got hit around a bit in his AAA debut allowing three Earned Runs in 1 2/3 innings. He’s settled down since then, dropping his ERA to 4.50 with a 3.05 FIP. He’s struck out 28.4% of the hitters he’s faced. He has a pitch mix that profiles extremely well with a mid 90s fastball to go with a great slider and a splitter to equalize left-handed hitters. It’s honestly a bit surprising that Cano hasn’t received The Call already, but it’s easy to foresee him in Minneapolis very soon. Jovani Moran Moran was Cano’s partner in crime when it came to terrorizing opposing lineups out of the AA bullpen to start the year. Moran has long had the reputation of having nasty stuff but has struggled with control thus far in his career. After having 14% walk rates at both levels in 2019, it was encouraging even to see those numbers drop to 10% at AA to start the season. Moran is a left-handed pitcher with a low-to-mid 90s fastball, but his changeup is likely one of the best the Twins system has seen since Johan Santana as Lucas points out (tweet above). The pitch allows him not only to avoid big lefty/righty splits, but is also his go-to weapon for swings and misses. He seems to have the right idea, as he’s struck out 46% of AA hitters and 44.4% of AAA hitters thus far. His late arrival to AAA makes him a bit more questionable to debut with the Twins this season, but it’s certainly a possibility depending on how the trade deadline shakes out. Skepticism is warranted after this season, but it’s been a long time since the Twins in particular have developed arms with such high octane, can’t miss stuff. While far from a sure thing, we should get a look at at least a few of them this year. At the very least it’s a bit of excitement in what will be an inconsequential finish to 2021. At best, we just might get a glimpse into a more effective stable of arms for 2022. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  11. Rocco Baldelli came into this season expecting to compete for a third straight division title. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, that reality isn’t going to play out. The second half now should be about evaluation for Minnesota. As 40-man and 26-man roster spots open up, it will be imperative for the Twins to look at fresh faces and see what they have. On the pitching side, here are some names to consider: Before individual deep dives, I think the trio of Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic, and Cole Sands all fit here. Winder needs to debut, having already made his way to Triple-A. I can understand not starting the clock on Balazovic and Sands missed time due to injury. Of the names in this article, though, these are all the premier prospect types. There's also the recent call ups and guys with little time that need extended run. Throw Bailey Ober, Griffin Jax, and now Charlie Barnes into this category. Randy Dobnak and Lewis Thorpe (when healthy) would join them as well. Beau Burrows A former first-round pick and solid prospect for the Tigers, Burrows is now a reclamation project for the Twins. He was blown up in his Major League debut, and he was awful at Triple-A Toledo. Still just 24, Burrows is the exact type of prospect a team like the Twins should be taking a flier on. Strikeouts haven’t ever followed him in large quantities, but a new development infrastructure could bear fruit. He’ll need to accumulate a more substantial sample size at Triple-A St. Paul before getting a call but putting him out there with a tweaked repertoire may make for an interesting acquisition. Yennier Cano Signed by Minnesota back in 2019, Cano is now 27 and not a prospect. He was slow-played but has finally made his way to Triple-A St. Paul. The stuff has been legit at each professional level, and he’s currently rocking a 2.37 ERA across 30 1/3 innings between Double and Triple-A this season. With a 12.5 K/9 and just a 3.3 BB/9, that’s shaping up like an arm both Wes Johnson and Rocco Baldelli could utilize in relief. There’s not much reason to continue holding him back at this point, and Cano could resemble a late-blooming pen arm. Ian Hamilton Having been through injury, a car accident, and many hurdles halting his big league career, Hamilton is one of the few waiver claims from this winter that hasn’t shown up in Minnesota. He owns a 1.08 ERA across 25 innings for the Saints, but it comes with a gaudy 18 walks. The strikeouts are there (35), and he’s allowed just three homers which have helped limit the damage. With a high-velocity fastball, this is an arm the Twins need to take a look at before allowing him a new landing spot in 2022. Hector Lujan A 35th round pick back in 2016, Lujan has earned every single opportunity he’s been provided in pro ball. Now at Double-A Wichita, the 26-year-old owns a 2.49 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. His strikeout numbers are modest by today’s standards, but he’s been tremendous at limiting free passes (1.8 career BB/9). He pitched at Double-A back in 2019 and should already be getting run for the Saints. Maybe there isn’t a ton of upside here, but there’s also a seemingly safe floor that could factor in as a nice middle relief piece. Ryan Mason Picked in the 13th round of the 2016 draft, Mason has consistently climbed the ladder for the Twins. He’s at Double-A now and has compiled a 2.67 ERA in 30 1/3 innings. It’s been time for a promotion to Triple-A, and the 4.2 BB/9 in 2021 is uncharacteristic for a guy with a 1.9 BB/9 career mark. He gets his strikeouts, and Mason has never had an ERA north of 2.77 as a reliever. He’ll be 27 in 2022 and is already well above the average age of his current level. You’re probably not getting a high leverage guy here, but there’s no reason Mason can’t be seen as a middle innings gap guy. Jovani Moran Drafted out of school in Puerto Rico back in 2015, Moran is now 24 and playing at Double-A Wichita. It’s his second turn through the level, and he’s been dominant with a 1.91 ERA across 37 2/3 innings. He’s striking out over 15 batters per nine, and the career 4.1 BB/9 is workable in relief. Moran should get a bump to Triple-A in short order, and with some final tweaks, it could be a nice success story through a longer progression for the Twins. Chris Vallimont Minnesota acquired Vallimont alongside Sergio Romo back in 2019. He was a former 5th round draft pick and is now 24 at Double-A. The strikeout stuff has always been good, and while the walks are higher than you’d like for a starter, he’s done well to avoid damage. Vallimont owns a 3.96 ERA for Wichita this year, and despite throwing less than 40 innings, a promotion to Triple-A could make sense soon. Maybe he debuts in the bullpen for Minnesota, but I think this is an arm you’d like to see get some big-league run. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  12. A selloff is coming for the 2021 Minnesota Twins, and that's in large part because they've been a bad baseball team. To capitalize on being interesting down the stretch, there's some names that belong on the bump. Rocco Baldelli came into this season expecting to compete for a third straight division title. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, that reality isn’t going to play out. The second half now should be about evaluation for Minnesota. As 40-man and 26-man roster spots open up, it will be imperative for the Twins to look at fresh faces and see what they have. On the pitching side, here are some names to consider: Before individual deep dives, I think the trio of Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic, and Cole Sands all fit here. Winder needs to debut, having already made his way to Triple-A. I can understand not starting the clock on Balazovic and Sands missed time due to injury. Of the names in this article, though, these are all the premier prospect types. There's also the recent call ups and guys with little time that need extended run. Throw Bailey Ober, Griffin Jax, and now Charlie Barnes into this category. Randy Dobnak and Lewis Thorpe (when healthy) would join them as well. Beau Burrows A former first-round pick and solid prospect for the Tigers, Burrows is now a reclamation project for the Twins. He was blown up in his Major League debut, and he was awful at Triple-A Toledo. Still just 24, Burrows is the exact type of prospect a team like the Twins should be taking a flier on. Strikeouts haven’t ever followed him in large quantities, but a new development infrastructure could bear fruit. He’ll need to accumulate a more substantial sample size at Triple-A St. Paul before getting a call but putting him out there with a tweaked repertoire may make for an interesting acquisition. Yennier Cano Signed by Minnesota back in 2019, Cano is now 27 and not a prospect. He was slow-played but has finally made his way to Triple-A St. Paul. The stuff has been legit at each professional level, and he’s currently rocking a 2.37 ERA across 30 1/3 innings between Double and Triple-A this season. With a 12.5 K/9 and just a 3.3 BB/9, that’s shaping up like an arm both Wes Johnson and Rocco Baldelli could utilize in relief. There’s not much reason to continue holding him back at this point, and Cano could resemble a late-blooming pen arm. Ian Hamilton Having been through injury, a car accident, and many hurdles halting his big league career, Hamilton is one of the few waiver claims from this winter that hasn’t shown up in Minnesota. He owns a 1.08 ERA across 25 innings for the Saints, but it comes with a gaudy 18 walks. The strikeouts are there (35), and he’s allowed just three homers which have helped limit the damage. With a high-velocity fastball, this is an arm the Twins need to take a look at before allowing him a new landing spot in 2022. Hector Lujan A 35th round pick back in 2016, Lujan has earned every single opportunity he’s been provided in pro ball. Now at Double-A Wichita, the 26-year-old owns a 2.49 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. His strikeout numbers are modest by today’s standards, but he’s been tremendous at limiting free passes (1.8 career BB/9). He pitched at Double-A back in 2019 and should already be getting run for the Saints. Maybe there isn’t a ton of upside here, but there’s also a seemingly safe floor that could factor in as a nice middle relief piece. Ryan Mason Picked in the 13th round of the 2016 draft, Mason has consistently climbed the ladder for the Twins. He’s at Double-A now and has compiled a 2.67 ERA in 30 1/3 innings. It’s been time for a promotion to Triple-A, and the 4.2 BB/9 in 2021 is uncharacteristic for a guy with a 1.9 BB/9 career mark. He gets his strikeouts, and Mason has never had an ERA north of 2.77 as a reliever. He’ll be 27 in 2022 and is already well above the average age of his current level. You’re probably not getting a high leverage guy here, but there’s no reason Mason can’t be seen as a middle innings gap guy. Jovani Moran Drafted out of school in Puerto Rico back in 2015, Moran is now 24 and playing at Double-A Wichita. It’s his second turn through the level, and he’s been dominant with a 1.91 ERA across 37 2/3 innings. He’s striking out over 15 batters per nine, and the career 4.1 BB/9 is workable in relief. Moran should get a bump to Triple-A in short order, and with some final tweaks, it could be a nice success story through a longer progression for the Twins. Chris Vallimont Minnesota acquired Vallimont alongside Sergio Romo back in 2019. He was a former 5th round draft pick and is now 24 at Double-A. The strikeout stuff has always been good, and while the walks are higher than you’d like for a starter, he’s done well to avoid damage. Vallimont owns a 3.96 ERA for Wichita this year, and despite throwing less than 40 innings, a promotion to Triple-A could make sense soon. Maybe he debuts in the bullpen for Minnesota, but I think this is an arm you’d like to see get some big-league run. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  13. I wrote a few days ago on starting pitchers that we are likely to see in the dog days of summer. This of course assumes that the Twins are going to continue down the horrid path that they've gotten off to in the first 40 games of the season, and expiring deals like Michael Pineda and J.A. Happ are moved. The bullpen also contains two names who were brought in on one year deals, one throwing very well, and the other getting off to a horrid start. If someone told you that one would be good and one would be bad, you may not be shocked, but the fact that Robles has outperformed Colome is surprising. If the Twins do decide that they are going to sell, those two will certainly be moved. Some other names like Tyler Duffey or Taylor Rogers could also find themselves being traded, but as I'm writing this I don't foresee it happening. Either way, with injuries, taxing bullpen arms, or relievers not performing, there will be plenty of chances for the Twins brass to bring up some young, intriguing arms. RHP Yennier Cano Cano was signed as an older international free agent in 2018 for 750,000 dollars, just before the international period was about to end. The Twins essentially traded OF Zack Granite to the Rangers for Cano, as 750,000 in international money is what the Twins received in compensation. Cano was ranked as the #2 player in the international class, behind OF Victor Victor Mesa. Cano features a unique three-quarters delivery in which he features a fastball sitting in the mid-90's, topping out at 97 MPH. Cano also features a heavy sinker which induces a lot of ground balls, and works a slider and splitter for strikeouts. Cano is currently in AA Wichita, and has gotten off to a torrid start. At the time of this writing, he's worked 6.2 innings with 12 strikeouts, no walks, and no home runs. Cano is likely going to be called up to Saint Paul in the near future, and if things go well, there is no doubt that the 27 year old will be up with the Twins. Due to his age, the ceiling is limited, but Cano could prove to be a useful middle reliever on a team the could badly use one. RHP Dakota Chalmers Chalmers was acquired as a lottery ticket arm in the 2018 trade that sent Fernando Rodney to the Oakland A's, after being a 3rd round pick in the 2015 draft, being signed way over slot at 1.2M. Chalmers battled injury issues early in his career, and received the dreaded Tommy John Surgery in 2018. Due to Chalmers missing much of the 2018 season, the Twins sent Chalmers to the Arizona Fall League in 2019, where things didn't go according to plan. Chalmers made 6 starts, totaling 17.2 IPs, allowing 17 hits and 12 walks. However, Chalmers, who has always had 80 grade stuff, struck out 25 batters. Despite the rough outing in 2019, the Twins added Chalmers to the 40 man roster. Chalmers has continued to work as a starter in 2021 at AA Wichita, but the results still haven't turned around. Chalmers has walked 4 in 8.2 innings, and given up 8 hits, including 4 home runs. Due to Chalmers having 20 or 25 grade control, his chances at starting seem slim to none. Getting Chalmers in the bullpen as an effectively wild pitcher is the best hope for both him and the Twins brass. RHP Tom Hackimer Hackimer is an under the radar pitcher within the Twins organization, not appearing on any top prospect list on any site. However, Hackimer has been a very effective reliever in the minors, largely due to his unique delivery. The Twins righty throws with a submarine type wind-up, which he compares to former Astros reliever Joe Smith. Hackimer doesn't have blow you away type stuff, with a fastball that sits around 90 MPH, topping out at 94 MPH, but due to the spin rate and unique arm angle, it plays faster than it is. He also features a big, sweeping slider that can get right handed hitters out. He is also working on developing a changeup in order to get left handed hitters out more effectively, but it's a work in progress. If Hackimer is ever going to crack the big leagues, at least with the Twins, this is going to be the year he does so. He is not on the 40 man roster as of now, but with the expected trades, the Twins can make a move to get him a look if they feel like he can succeed. Hackimer is currently at AAA Saint Paul, putting up a scoreless 7.1 innings pitched, and 11 strikeouts. During his minor league career, he's thrown 176.1 innings of 2.65 ERA, while striking out 204 batters.
  14. With no minor league action last year, it was certainly tough to evaluate prospects this past winter. Games are underway and a few prospects have already started to standout. Keoni Cavaco, SS (Low-A) Cavaco was a player that had shot up draft boards when the Twins drafted him back in 2019. He didn’t make many appearances at the big prep events leading into the draft and so there were questions about how he would fare against tougher professional competition. His first professional season fed into those concerns as he hit .172/.217/.253 (.470) with 35 strikeouts in 87 at-bats. As an 18-year-old, he looked overmatched and missing development time last year only added more questions. He has started the 2021 season on a rampage at Low-A as he entered play on Thursday hitting .355/.444/.516 (.916) with three extra-base hits in 31 at-bats. He is still striking out in over 22% of his at-bats, but he seems more than comfortable on the offensive side of the ball. Cavaco is over a year younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he has faced older pitchers in 86% of his plate appearances. Yennier Cano, RHP (Double-A) Cano was a late signing back in the 2019 international signing period as they inked him to a $750,000 bonus. At the time, MLB.com had him ranked as the second-best international prospect in his class. When he signed, he was 25-years old, which is old for a prospect, but that also means he came with plenty of professional experience. He joined the Twins with five different pitches and the ability to pitch multiple innings each time out. Now, Cano is 27-years old and pitching out of Wichita’s bullpen. So far this year, he has posted a 1.59 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP. Those numbers are great, but his strikeout numbers are what truly make him standout. He has struck out 11 of the 24 batters he has faced for a 17.5 SO/9. He’s old for his current level, but he has only pitched 15 innings since signing with the Twins. Look for him to move quickly if he continues to strikeout batters at a high rate. Melvi Acosta, RHP (High-A) Acosta is entering his fifth professional season after joining the Twins as an international signee out of Venezuela in 2015. During the 2019 season, he split time as a starter and reliever. There were some positive signs in his transition to the bullpen as he saw his strikeout rate improve from 5.8 SO/9 to 9.9 SO/9. The 2020 season would have allowed him to prove that he was a potential weapon out of the bullpen, but that obviously didn’t happen. Fast-forward to 2021 and Acosta will get the opportunity to pitch out of the bullpen on a regular basis. He’s made three appearances for Cedar Rapids and posted a 1.42 ERA with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. His strikeout rate (9.9 SO/9) has continued to stay high, and batters are having a tough time reaching base against him as he’s posted a 0.79 WHIP. Like Cano, he is old for his level, but maybe he will have the opportunity to follow in Cano’s footsteps as he moves up the organizational ladder. What prospects have stood out to you so far this year? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  15. Keoni Cavaco, SS (Low-A) Cavaco was a player that had shot up draft boards when the Twins drafted him back in 2019. He didn’t make many appearances at the big prep events leading into the draft and so there were questions about how he would fare against tougher professional competition. His first professional season fed into those concerns as he hit .172/.217/.253 (.470) with 35 strikeouts in 87 at-bats. As an 18-year-old, he looked overmatched and missing development time last year only added more questions. He has started the 2021 season on a rampage at Low-A as he entered play on Thursday hitting .355/.444/.516 (.916) with three extra-base hits in 31 at-bats. He is still striking out in over 22% of his at-bats, but he seems more than comfortable on the offensive side of the ball. Cavaco is over a year younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he has faced older pitchers in 86% of his plate appearances. Yennier Cano, RHP (Double-A) Cano was a late signing back in the 2019 international signing period as they inked him to a $750,000 bonus. At the time, MLB.com had him ranked as the second-best international prospect in his class. When he signed, he was 25-years old, which is old for a prospect, but that also means he came with plenty of professional experience. He joined the Twins with five different pitches and the ability to pitch multiple innings each time out. Now, Cano is 27-years old and pitching out of Wichita’s bullpen. So far this year, he has posted a 1.59 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP. Those numbers are great, but his strikeout numbers are what truly make him standout. He has struck out 11 of the 24 batters he has faced for a 17.5 SO/9. He’s old for his current level, but he has only pitched 15 innings since signing with the Twins. Look for him to move quickly if he continues to strikeout batters at a high rate. Melvi Acosta, RHP (High-A) Acosta is entering his fifth professional season after joining the Twins as an international signee out of Venezuela in 2015. During the 2019 season, he split time as a starter and reliever. There were some positive signs in his transition to the bullpen as he saw his strikeout rate improve from 5.8 SO/9 to 9.9 SO/9. The 2020 season would have allowed him to prove that he was a potential weapon out of the bullpen, but that obviously didn’t happen. Fast-forward to 2021 and Acosta will get the opportunity to pitch out of the bullpen on a regular basis. He’s made three appearances for Cedar Rapids and posted a 1.42 ERA with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. His strikeout rate (9.9 SO/9) has continued to stay high, and batters are having a tough time reaching base against him as he’s posted a 0.79 WHIP. Like Cano, he is old for his level, but maybe he will have the opportunity to follow in Cano’s footsteps as he moves up the organizational ladder. What prospects have stood out to you so far this year? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  16. Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson has focused on slider development since joining the organization and many players have seen positive growth. Here are the best sliders among the Twins top prospects.5. Blayne Enlow Current/Future Slider: 50/50 The last time Enlow appeared in a professional game, he was pitching well at High-A as a 20-year-old. Now he is 22-years old, and he has made some adjustments. His fastball sits in the low-90s, but he has a ton of spin on it, which can make it tough for hitters to make solid contact. When he locates his slider, it can be his best pitch. Some refer to his slider as a cutter because he gets similar action on the pitch. He should be pitching in the upper levels of the minors this year as he continues to improve his repertoire. 4. Yennier Cano, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Cano might be the least recognizable name on this list as the team signed him out of Cuba back in 2018. His fastball can reach the high-90s but his arm slot allows him to throw a slider, sinker, and splitter. He has experience on the Cuban National Team and in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He’s already 26-years old and he has never pitched higher than High-A. That being said, his fastball and slider combination might be enough for him to earn a middle relief job at the big-league level. 3. Edwar Colina, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Colina is going to be used in the bullpen and he will likely be relying on two pitches, an overpowering fastball and a slider. His slider is hard for batters to make strong contact because of how hard he throws it. He commands his slider better than his fastball and he can rely on the pitch in almost any count. Colina’s stocky build and starter experience might give way to him becoming a multi-inning reliever in the years to come. Either way, he is a very intriguing relief prospect. 2. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Like the top name on this list, Balazovic was a late addition to the team’s alternate site and reports were good. Out of the team’s top two pitching prospects, Balazovic is the only one that throws a slider, and it is his second-best pitch overall. This is the pitch he uses to miss bats and his mechanics allow it to play up against right-handed hitters. As he continues to develop, his slider should also be a weapon against lefties, especially with the presence of his ever-improving changeup. 1. Matt Canterino, RHP Current/Future Slider: 55/60 During last season, Canterino was a late addition to the team’s alternate site, but he is clearly one of the team’s top pitching prospects. His slider and his changeup both project to be plus pitches and his fastball can hit the mid-90s. His four-pitch mix gives him a chance to be a big-league starter and his slider projects to be the best pitch. Since being drafted, he has slowly moved up Twins prospect lists and he can end the 2021 season in the team’s top-5 prospects. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Fastball Prospects -Speed Tool Prospects -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  17. 5. Blayne Enlow Current/Future Slider: 50/50 The last time Enlow appeared in a professional game, he was pitching well at High-A as a 20-year-old. Now he is 22-years old, and he has made some adjustments. His fastball sits in the low-90s, but he has a ton of spin on it, which can make it tough for hitters to make solid contact. When he locates his slider, it can be his best pitch. Some refer to his slider as a cutter because he gets similar action on the pitch. He should be pitching in the upper levels of the minors this year as he continues to improve his repertoire. 4. Yennier Cano, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Cano might be the least recognizable name on this list as the team signed him out of Cuba back in 2018. His fastball can reach the high-90s but his arm slot allows him to throw a slider, sinker, and splitter. He has experience on the Cuban National Team and in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He’s already 26-years old and he has never pitched higher than High-A. That being said, his fastball and slider combination might be enough for him to earn a middle relief job at the big-league level. 3. Edwar Colina, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Colina is going to be used in the bullpen and he will likely be relying on two pitches, an overpowering fastball and a slider. His slider is hard for batters to make strong contact because of how hard he throws it. He commands his slider better than his fastball and he can rely on the pitch in almost any count. Colina’s stocky build and starter experience might give way to him becoming a multi-inning reliever in the years to come. Either way, he is a very intriguing relief prospect. 2. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Like the top name on this list, Balazovic was a late addition to the team’s alternate site and reports were good. Out of the team’s top two pitching prospects, Balazovic is the only one that throws a slider, and it is his second-best pitch overall. This is the pitch he uses to miss bats and his mechanics allow it to play up against right-handed hitters. As he continues to develop, his slider should also be a weapon against lefties, especially with the presence of his ever-improving changeup. 1. Matt Canterino, RHP Current/Future Slider: 55/60 During last season, Canterino was a late addition to the team’s alternate site, but he is clearly one of the team’s top pitching prospects. His slider and his changeup both project to be plus pitches and his fastball can hit the mid-90s. His four-pitch mix gives him a chance to be a big-league starter and his slider projects to be the best pitch. Since being drafted, he has slowly moved up Twins prospect lists and he can end the 2021 season in the team’s top-5 prospects. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Fastball Prospects -Speed Tool Prospects -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  18. If you missed the first round rounds, you can view them here. A brief primer: We're taking 16 players with "prospect" or "rookie" status. Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher. (Please note that comments under the picks were made by the person making the selection.) Round 9 Seth Stohs - DaShawn Keirsey, OF 2019 was a tough season for Keirsey. He struggled and he just wasn’t able to stay on the diamond for an extended period of time. But, he is as athletic as anyone in the organization, and he can play a very good defensive centerfield. Steve Lein - Moises Gomez, RP Happy to land the guy I voted for as Twins Daily's 2019 Relief Pitcher of the year. He led Twins minor leaguers in K/9 rate at 13.3 and held hitters to an average under .150. He finished his season by being sent to the Arizona Fall League. Ted Schwerzler - Chris Williams, C The bat wasn’t what it was in 2018 with Elizabethton, but Chris Williams put on a show during his pro debut year. He swatted 15 dingers right out of the gate, and even in a down 2019, reached double digits. Lots to like here, and while he may not be the ideal defender behind the plate, I’m banking on the offense. Cody Christie - Jacob Pearson, OF I’ve been a big fan of Pearson since the Twins acquired him from the Angels. The organization has been aggressive with him and he put up some of his best offensive numbers after getting to the FSL last season. If the Twins continue to be aggressive with him, I think there will be positive results. Jeremy Nygaard - Yennier Cano, RP The Twins signing MLB.com’s #2 international free agent didn’t make big news as it came at the close of the 2019 IFA period and amidst the Twins division pennant run. Cano struggled with control during his American debut, but has the chance to move very quickly (and be a steal at this point in the draft.) I should also note Thievin’ Ted took the other two guys I targeted for this pick. Matt Braun - Yeltsin Encarnacion, SS I needed a shortstop like a plant needs water. Encarnacion fills the role with a passable bat for the position and the opportunity to move as Royce Lewis moves through the minor league system. Plus, his name is “Yeltsin”, what isn’t to love? Round 10 Matt Braun - Gabe Snyder, 1B Snyder provides the standard 1st base pop that was needed in my lineup. He isn’t as flashy of an option as someone like Zander Wiel but a 131 wRC+ at Cedar Rapids is great no matter how you slice it. Jeremy Nygaard - Anthony Prato, 2B Had to reverse course after plans to add power in Julien or Wiliams was foiled. Prato, who lacks power, makes up for it with speed and on-base skills. Between the top three of Celestino-Prato-Wade, there will be plenty of guys on base (who can also pose a threat to steal) for Wiel. Now just need to find more power bats... Cody Christie - Charles Mack, 2B The Twins took Mack out of high school back in 2018 and he played all last season with the E-Twins. He’s been young for both levels he has played at so far and he has been able to hold his own. Defensively, he has split time between third and second base. I’ll pencil him at second since I already have Steer at third. Ted Schwerzler - Max Smith, OF Smith was a late round pick in 2019, and while he was old for the Appy League, he showed up nicely. Power isn’t something I’d expect from him, but he did put seven balls over the fence. Add in that he can play all three outfield positions and this is where I’ll build that group from. Steve Lein - Caleb Hamilton, C Lot of reliever arms still left I like here, but pitchers need someone to throw to, right? Hamilton has played all over the diamond, but I'll keep him at catcher to utilize his leadership. Hamilton also gets on base and flashes power. Seth Stohs - Jovani Moran, LHRP He struggled a bit in 2019, primarily with control, but Moran has a track record of dominance. In 34 innings in 2019, he struck out 50 batters. Then he struck out 14 batters in nine innings in the AFL. From a roster construction standpoint, it will be good to have a lefty in the bullpen too. Round 11 Seth Stohs - Wander Valdez, 3B In the GCL last summer, Valdez hit .323 with six doubles and four home runs. This spring training in Ft. Myers, Valdez was one of the most impressive young prospects that I saw. He’s big, strong and athletic and looks to have a ton of power potential. Steve Lein - Tom Hackimer, RP The sidewinding righty has been phenomenal in the Twins system thus far with a 2.77 ERA and K/9 rate north of 10 as a pro. Surgery held him back for most of the 2018 season, slowing his rise, but rebounded in 2019 and could be an option for the Twins bullpen in the near future. Ted Schwerzler - Ernie De La Trinidad OF Acquired in the Eduardo Escobar trade with the Diamondbacks, De La Trinidad brings it across the board. None of the tools are flashy, but all have a chance to be average or better. Another strong outfield type, he’ll fit nicely out there on my team. Cody Christie - Victor Heredia, 1B Heredia showed some power during his time in the DSL but that power didn’t follow him last year as he made his debut with the GCL Twins. With another year of experience under his belt, I think the power will return and he completes the right side of my infield. Jeremy Nygaard - Zach Neff, LHRP Neff was a late-round pick in 2018, but has impressed enough to get a post-2019 invite to the AFL. He’s not great against right-handed batters, but dominates lefties and has posted over 9.00 K/9s both seasons as a pro. Matt Braun - Hector Lujan, RHRP Lujan had an odd year in 2019 as he struck out less hitters than usual at Fort Myers but then walked more hitters than usual at Pensacola. He’s been remarkably consistent so far in his career and his miniscule homerun rate made him an attractive candidate for my first reliever spot. Round 12 Matt Braun - Ryan Shreve, RHRP Everyone has “their guy” in the system and Shreve is certainly mine. He struck out 29.9% of batters in rookie ball for his first taste of professional baseball and that will work at any level. Once his BABIP is under control, he should move quickly through the system. Jeremy Nygaard - Drew Maggi, 3B Adding a 31-year-old to provide veteran leadership to an infield that includes two guys making their full-season debut. Good for getting on base, I also expect Maggi to bring double digits home runs and stolen bases to the lineup. Cody Christie - Anthony Escobar, RHRP I need to fill up a bullpen with the rest of my picks and Escobar is a good starting point. The 19-year old made his GCL debut last season and was asked to finish games for the first time in his career. His strikeout numbers aren’t there yet, but he doesn’t walk a ton and he has the potential to add to his small frame. Ted Schwerzler - Jimmy Kerrigan, OF Kerrigan was undrafted and has spent time in Indy Ball, but he’s also flashed at different stops in the Twins system. There’s both power and speed potential here, and rounding out my outfield this is a safe pick. Steve Lein - Jordan Gore, SS Ted sniped me above with Kerrigan, but I've also been planning to start shuffling some prior picks around the diamond to accomodate what is left. I like Gore's defense at SS a bit more than Gordon's, so I'll shift Nick to 2B. There's not been much bat here yet, but is a switch hitter with some speed and arguably the best hair in the organization. Side Note - Gore has been moved to the mound and is 100% a pitcher in 2020, so Steve has a true dual threat on his hands! Seth Stohs - Michael Helman, 2B Helman had a fantastic college career, and the Twins made him their 11th round pick in 2018. After signing, he quickly moved up to Cedar Rapids. He was pushed very aggressively to Ft. Myers to start 2019 and really struggled with the bat until a season-ended wrist injury. But he could hit, and he is a terrific middle-infield glove. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. We kick off the back-half of the draft with rounds nine through 12. By this point, each drafter is digging fairly deep into their minor league knowledge for their picks. Drafting at this point is not unlike searching for supplies during an apocalypse as you're really hoping that no one is looking where you're looking. Each snipe is even more brutal as there are generally very few players who can now replace the guy you were looking at. Let us know who you think is shaping up to have the best roster after 12 full rounds.If you missed the first round rounds, you can view them here. A brief primer: We're taking 16 players with "prospect" or "rookie" status. Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher. (Please note that comments under the picks were made by the person making the selection.) Round 9 Seth Stohs - DaShawn Keirsey, OF 2019 was a tough season for Keirsey. He struggled and he just wasn’t able to stay on the diamond for an extended period of time. But, he is as athletic as anyone in the organization, and he can play a very good defensive centerfield. Steve Lein - Moises Gomez, RP Happy to land the guy I voted for as Twins Daily's 2019 Relief Pitcher of the year. He led Twins minor leaguers in K/9 rate at 13.3 and held hitters to an average under .150. He finished his season by being sent to the Arizona Fall League. Ted Schwerzler - Chris Williams, C The bat wasn’t what it was in 2018 with Elizabethton, but Chris Williams put on a show during his pro debut year. He swatted 15 dingers right out of the gate, and even in a down 2019, reached double digits. Lots to like here, and while he may not be the ideal defender behind the plate, I’m banking on the offense. Cody Christie - Jacob Pearson, OF I’ve been a big fan of Pearson since the Twins acquired him from the Angels. The organization has been aggressive with him and he put up some of his best offensive numbers after getting to the FSL last season. If the Twins continue to be aggressive with him, I think there will be positive results. Jeremy Nygaard - Yennier Cano, RP The Twins signing MLB.com’s #2 international free agent didn’t make big news as it came at the close of the 2019 IFA period and amidst the Twins division pennant run. Cano struggled with control during his American debut, but has the chance to move very quickly (and be a steal at this point in the draft.) I should also note Thievin’ Ted took the other two guys I targeted for this pick. Matt Braun - Yeltsin Encarnacion, SS I needed a shortstop like a plant needs water. Encarnacion fills the role with a passable bat for the position and the opportunity to move as Royce Lewis moves through the minor league system. Plus, his name is “Yeltsin”, what isn’t to love? Round 10 Matt Braun - Gabe Snyder, 1B Snyder provides the standard 1st base pop that was needed in my lineup. He isn’t as flashy of an option as someone like Zander Wiel but a 131 wRC+ at Cedar Rapids is great no matter how you slice it. Jeremy Nygaard - Anthony Prato, 2B Had to reverse course after plans to add power in Julien or Wiliams was foiled. Prato, who lacks power, makes up for it with speed and on-base skills. Between the top three of Celestino-Prato-Wade, there will be plenty of guys on base (who can also pose a threat to steal) for Wiel. Now just need to find more power bats... Cody Christie - Charles Mack, 2B The Twins took Mack out of high school back in 2018 and he played all last season with the E-Twins. He’s been young for both levels he has played at so far and he has been able to hold his own. Defensively, he has split time between third and second base. I’ll pencil him at second since I already have Steer at third. Ted Schwerzler - Max Smith, OF Smith was a late round pick in 2019, and while he was old for the Appy League, he showed up nicely. Power isn’t something I’d expect from him, but he did put seven balls over the fence. Add in that he can play all three outfield positions and this is where I’ll build that group from. Steve Lein - Caleb Hamilton, C Lot of reliever arms still left I like here, but pitchers need someone to throw to, right? Hamilton has played all over the diamond, but I'll keep him at catcher to utilize his leadership. Hamilton also gets on base and flashes power. Seth Stohs - Jovani Moran, LHRP He struggled a bit in 2019, primarily with control, but Moran has a track record of dominance. In 34 innings in 2019, he struck out 50 batters. Then he struck out 14 batters in nine innings in the AFL. From a roster construction standpoint, it will be good to have a lefty in the bullpen too. Round 11 Seth Stohs - Wander Valdez, 3B In the GCL last summer, Valdez hit .323 with six doubles and four home runs. This spring training in Ft. Myers, Valdez was one of the most impressive young prospects that I saw. He’s big, strong and athletic and looks to have a ton of power potential. Steve Lein - Tom Hackimer, RP The sidewinding righty has been phenomenal in the Twins system thus far with a 2.77 ERA and K/9 rate north of 10 as a pro. Surgery held him back for most of the 2018 season, slowing his rise, but rebounded in 2019 and could be an option for the Twins bullpen in the near future. Ted Schwerzler - Ernie De La Trinidad OF Acquired in the Eduardo Escobar trade with the Diamondbacks, De La Trinidad brings it across the board. None of the tools are flashy, but all have a chance to be average or better. Another strong outfield type, he’ll fit nicely out there on my team. Cody Christie - Victor Heredia, 1B Heredia showed some power during his time in the DSL but that power didn’t follow him last year as he made his debut with the GCL Twins. With another year of experience under his belt, I think the power will return and he completes the right side of my infield. Jeremy Nygaard - Zach Neff, LHRP Neff was a late-round pick in 2018, but has impressed enough to get a post-2019 invite to the AFL. He’s not great against right-handed batters, but dominates lefties and has posted over 9.00 K/9s both seasons as a pro. Matt Braun - Hector Lujan, RHRP Lujan had an odd year in 2019 as he struck out less hitters than usual at Fort Myers but then walked more hitters than usual at Pensacola. He’s been remarkably consistent so far in his career and his miniscule homerun rate made him an attractive candidate for my first reliever spot. Round 12 Matt Braun - Ryan Shreve, RHRP Everyone has “their guy” in the system and Shreve is certainly mine. He struck out 29.9% of batters in rookie ball for his first taste of professional baseball and that will work at any level. Once his BABIP is under control, he should move quickly through the system. Jeremy Nygaard - Drew Maggi, 3B Adding a 31-year-old to provide veteran leadership to an infield that includes two guys making their full-season debut. Good for getting on base, I also expect Maggi to bring double digits home runs and stolen bases to the lineup. Cody Christie - Anthony Escobar, RHRP I need to fill up a bullpen with the rest of my picks and Escobar is a good starting point. The 19-year old made his GCL debut last season and was asked to finish games for the first time in his career. His strikeout numbers aren’t there yet, but he doesn’t walk a ton and he has the potential to add to his small frame. Ted Schwerzler - Jimmy Kerrigan, OF Kerrigan was undrafted and has spent time in Indy Ball, but he’s also flashed at different stops in the Twins system. There’s both power and speed potential here, and rounding out my outfield this is a safe pick. Steve Lein - Jordan Gore, SS Ted sniped me above with Kerrigan, but I've also been planning to start shuffling some prior picks around the diamond to accomodate what is left. I like Gore's defense at SS a bit more than Gordon's, so I'll shift Nick to 2B. There's not been much bat here yet, but is a switch hitter with some speed and arguably the best hair in the organization. Side Note - Gore has been moved to the mound and is 100% a pitcher in 2020, so Steve has a true dual threat on his hands! Seth Stohs - Michael Helman, 2B Helman had a fantastic college career, and the Twins made him their 11th round pick in 2018. After signing, he quickly moved up to Cedar Rapids. He was pushed very aggressively to Ft. Myers to start 2019 and really struggled with the bat until a season-ended wrist injury. But he could hit, and he is a terrific middle-infield glove. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
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