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  1. We are officially past the halfway point in the minor league season. By the next time we provide a Week in Review, the trade deadline will have passed, we will post our July minor league awards, and it is likely the Twins will add more prospects to the organization. . Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the Transactions and the FCL Twins game on Monday: Infielder Yunior Severino was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. Right-Handed Pitcher Cole Bellair was sent from Ft. Myers to the Complex. FCL Twins Talk On Monday, the FCL Twins game against the FCL Orioles Black was suspended in the first inning. With that, let’s look at Week 12 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, @ Omaha), overall (37-34) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (4-2, @ Arkansas), overall (41-31) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, hosting Beloit), overall (40-32) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Daytona), overall (39-33) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (5-14) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: All Four Teams Over .500 Tuesday: Balazovic Extends Scoreless Streak Wednesday: Dingers Galore, Nick Vincent Shines Thursday: Little Bit of Everything One Prospect the Twins Should be Willing to Trade Friday: Close Games Across the Board Twins Minor League Pitching Report: Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman Finding Hope for a 2022 Bullpen Saturday: Some Strong Corn Sunday: Fantastic Feliz! This Saints Outfielder is Making his Mark Highlights We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 12 performances Twins Player of the Week: Trey Cabbage, Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage was the Twins choice for Hitter of the Week. He played in all six games for the Wind Surge. He hit .304/.320/.652 (.972) with two doubles and two home runs. Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He began the season in High-A Cedar Rapids. In 40 games, he hit .266/.342/.538 (.880) with 10 doubles and nine home runs. In 25 games for Wichita, he has hit .231/.317/.451 (.768) with five doubles and five more home runs. His 15 doubles this season is fifth in the Twins system, and his 14 homers ranks fourth. His 49 RBI ranks third in the organization this year. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels In his second start with the Kernels, Varland tossed five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out nine batters. In his first start for Cedar Rapids, he threw six shutout innings. Overall this year, he is 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 58 1/3 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 90 batters. Varland, who has a diploma from North St. Paul High School, was the Twins 15th round pick in 2019 out of Concordia University in St. Paul. His brother Gus Varland pitches for Tulsa, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Highlights St. Paul Saints It’s the highlights list, so of course Jose Miranda needs to be here. In six games last week, he hit .321/.345/.714 (1.059) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI. Roberto Pena doesn’t play a ton, but he went 3-for-9 with a double and a homer. He also walked three times. Jimmy Kerrigan played in five games and hit .300/.533/.800 (1.333) with two doubles, a homer and five walks. Andrew Albers gave up one run on six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd gave up one runover five innings in his outing. He struck out six as well. Andrew Vasquez came out of the Saints’ bullpen three times and recorded seven outs, three on strikeouts. Wichita Wind Surge Along with Cabbage, the Wind Surge’s top performers last week were hitters signed to minor league contracts before or during the season. Catcher/First Baseman Roy Morales played in all six games and hit .500/.571/.636 (1.208) with a double, a triple and five walks. Jermaine Palacios was limited to three games, but he hit .308/.357/.769 (1.126) with two home runs. DJ Burt played four games and went 8-for-15 (.533) with a double and a triple. Adam Lau made a spot start for the Wind Surge. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit and walk. He struck out six. Continuing his return to the mound, Cole Sands struck out four batters over three shutout innings. Chris Vallimont was very good in his start. He tossed six scoreless innings, gave up three hits, three walks and struck out eight batters. On Tuesday, Jordan Balazovic tossed seven shutout innings to extend his streak to 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless frames. He wasn’t as strong in his second start of the week. He gave up three runs on five hits and five walks in five innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels The highlight of the week for the Kernels, at least from a Twins/Player Development standpoint, has to be the return of Matt Wallner from his hamate bone injury. He played in five games and hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two home runs. Gabriel Maciel played in four games and hit .500/.571/.583 (1.155) with a double and three big RBI. Kyle Schmidt played in three games and went 5-for-11 (.455). Along with Louie Varland, the Kernels had some really good starts. Ben Gross struck out eight batters in five shutout innings. Jon Olsen gave up just three hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Cody Laweryson and Tyler Watson both gave up one run on three hits in their five-inning starts. The sixth Kernels starter, Tyler Beck gave up two runs (and struck out seven batters) in five innings. Melvi Acosta struck out six batters in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up only an unearned run. Zach Featherstone struck out six batters in 2 2/3 one-hit innings. Erik Manoah struck out five batters in three no-hit innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Charlie Mack played in five games last week. He hit .333/.429/.500 (.929) with three walks, a homer and four RBI. Jesus Feliz posted an .807 OPS, but he also provided the team with a walk-off homer on Sunday. Lefty Zarion Sharpe had his best start. He gave up two hits over five shutout innings. He struck out five. Sawyer Gipson-Long had a Quality Start. He gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out 11 batters. Denny Bentley pitched in three games. He got a Win and two Saves. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up one hit, walked three and struck out seven batters. FCL Twins Luis Baez went 6-for-15 (.400) with a double and a triple last week. Alexander Pena went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double. LaRon Smith, Malfrin Sosa, Argenis Jimenez and Kala’i Rosario each hit a home run. Develson Aria and Juan Mendez each tossed three scoreless innings. Aria struck out six and gave up only one hit. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints It has certainly been a struggle of late for JT Riddle. He played all six games last week, but went just 1-for-19 (.053). Ian Hamilton has been fantastic for the Saints for a couple of months, but he had a rough week. He came into three games and was charged with four runs on one hit and four walks. That said, he also was 2-for-2 in Save Opportunities. Yennier Cano gave up five runs (4 earned) on nine hits over just 3 2/3 innings. Wichita Wind Surge Last week, we highlighted catcher Chris Williams. This week, he only played twice and went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-17 (.118, .308 OPS). Spencer Steer went 3-for-22 (.136) with a homer (.409 OPS). Bryan Sammons gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in three innings in his appearance. Joe Kuzia made one appearance and gave up three runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in just 2/3 of an innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels A lot of Kernels struggled at the plate last week. Wander Javier went 2-for-20 (.100) with eight strikeouts. Edouard Julien went 2-for-24 (.083) with 11 strikeouts. Max Smith went 1-for-11 (.091). DaShawn Keirsey went 1-for-12 (.083). Luis Rijo made one appearance out of the bullpen. In 1 2/3 innings, he gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Justin Washington played four games and went 1-for-12 (.083). Willie Joe Garry was hitless in 14 at bats, but he did walk five times for a .300 on-base percentage. Keoni Cavaco played in four games in his return to the lineup after missing a week. He went 3-for-19 (.158) with eight strikeouts. Aaron Sabato went 2-for-16 (.125) with ten strikeouts in five games. He did walk seven times and had an on-base percentage of .391. Bobby Milacki gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Juan Pichardo gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings. FCL Twins 31-year-old lefty Sean Gilmartin pitched in 81 games in the big leagues from 2015 through 2020. The Twins signed him a few weeks ago, probably with the plan of getting him up to the Double-A or Triple-A level soon. In three games and 4 1/3 innings, he has given up nine runs (8 earned) on ten hits, two walk sand eight strikeouts. It’s been a tough season for righty from The Netherlands, Donny Breek. He pitched in four games with the Mighty Mussels earlier this year. He gave up 11 runs on six hits and 12 walks in just 3 2/3 innings. For the FCL Twins, he has now worked 1 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs (4 earned) on zero hits and seven walks. Overall, that’s a 25.31 ERA and a 4.69 WHIP in 5 1/3 innings. He’s given up six hits, walked 19, hit four and struck out three batters. Trending Storyline The trade deadline is Friday afternoon at three o’clock. The team has already made one trade, acquiring Triple-A right-handed pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman from the Rays for Nelson Cruz. There is a good chance that by the next time you read this, the Twins will have acquired several more prospect for us to research and discuss. Along with the draft picks that have signed, we may even be in need of a new prospect rankings. PROSPECT SUMMARY We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 10 GS, 49.1 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 61 K, 2.74 ERA, 1.14 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 71 games, .342/.405/.610 (1.015) with 16 doubles, 21 homers, 60 RBI, 28 BB, 43 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 42 games, .264/.343/.346 (.689) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 1 homer, 19 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 70 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 24 games, .322/.380/.600 (.980) with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 36 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (10 GS, 43.1 IP, 42 H, 13 BB, 45 K, 5.19 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 9 GS, 36.2 IP, 25 H, 18 BB, 49 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (12 games, .136/.191/.386 (375) with 2 double, 3 homers, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 18 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 64 games, .208/.310/.308 (618) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 42 RBI, 34 BB, 56 K, 10 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 68 games, .244/.356/.465 (.821) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 37 RBI, 42 BB, 59 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 66 games, .215/.274/.400 (.674) with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 9 homers, 36 RBI, 18 BB, 96 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 12 GS, 51.0 IP, 46 H, 28 BB, 82 K, 3.88 ERA, 1.45 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (Sawyer Gipson-Long, Brent Headrick, Landon Leach, TBD, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin:(Louie Varland, Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Cody Laweryson, Tyler Beck) Wichita @ NW Arkansas: (Chris Vallimont (Cole Sands), Austin Schulfer, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, TBD, Chris Vallimont) Indianapolis @ St. Paul: (Beau Burrows, Charlie Barnes, Matt Shoemaker, Griffin Jax, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows): Feel free to ask any questions you like. View full article
  2. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the Transactions and the FCL Twins game on Monday: Infielder Yunior Severino was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. Right-Handed Pitcher Cole Bellair was sent from Ft. Myers to the Complex. FCL Twins Talk On Monday, the FCL Twins game against the FCL Orioles Black was suspended in the first inning. With that, let’s look at Week 12 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, @ Omaha), overall (37-34) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (4-2, @ Arkansas), overall (41-31) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, hosting Beloit), overall (40-32) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Daytona), overall (39-33) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (5-14) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: All Four Teams Over .500 Tuesday: Balazovic Extends Scoreless Streak Wednesday: Dingers Galore, Nick Vincent Shines Thursday: Little Bit of Everything One Prospect the Twins Should be Willing to Trade Friday: Close Games Across the Board Twins Minor League Pitching Report: Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman Finding Hope for a 2022 Bullpen Saturday: Some Strong Corn Sunday: Fantastic Feliz! This Saints Outfielder is Making his Mark Highlights We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 12 performances Twins Player of the Week: Trey Cabbage, Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage was the Twins choice for Hitter of the Week. He played in all six games for the Wind Surge. He hit .304/.320/.652 (.972) with two doubles and two home runs. Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He began the season in High-A Cedar Rapids. In 40 games, he hit .266/.342/.538 (.880) with 10 doubles and nine home runs. In 25 games for Wichita, he has hit .231/.317/.451 (.768) with five doubles and five more home runs. His 15 doubles this season is fifth in the Twins system, and his 14 homers ranks fourth. His 49 RBI ranks third in the organization this year. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels In his second start with the Kernels, Varland tossed five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out nine batters. In his first start for Cedar Rapids, he threw six shutout innings. Overall this year, he is 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 58 1/3 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 90 batters. Varland, who has a diploma from North St. Paul High School, was the Twins 15th round pick in 2019 out of Concordia University in St. Paul. His brother Gus Varland pitches for Tulsa, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Highlights St. Paul Saints It’s the highlights list, so of course Jose Miranda needs to be here. In six games last week, he hit .321/.345/.714 (1.059) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI. Roberto Pena doesn’t play a ton, but he went 3-for-9 with a double and a homer. He also walked three times. Jimmy Kerrigan played in five games and hit .300/.533/.800 (1.333) with two doubles, a homer and five walks. Andrew Albers gave up one run on six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd gave up one runover five innings in his outing. He struck out six as well. Andrew Vasquez came out of the Saints’ bullpen three times and recorded seven outs, three on strikeouts. Wichita Wind Surge Along with Cabbage, the Wind Surge’s top performers last week were hitters signed to minor league contracts before or during the season. Catcher/First Baseman Roy Morales played in all six games and hit .500/.571/.636 (1.208) with a double, a triple and five walks. Jermaine Palacios was limited to three games, but he hit .308/.357/.769 (1.126) with two home runs. DJ Burt played four games and went 8-for-15 (.533) with a double and a triple. Adam Lau made a spot start for the Wind Surge. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit and walk. He struck out six. Continuing his return to the mound, Cole Sands struck out four batters over three shutout innings. Chris Vallimont was very good in his start. He tossed six scoreless innings, gave up three hits, three walks and struck out eight batters. On Tuesday, Jordan Balazovic tossed seven shutout innings to extend his streak to 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless frames. He wasn’t as strong in his second start of the week. He gave up three runs on five hits and five walks in five innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels The highlight of the week for the Kernels, at least from a Twins/Player Development standpoint, has to be the return of Matt Wallner from his hamate bone injury. He played in five games and hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two home runs. Gabriel Maciel played in four games and hit .500/.571/.583 (1.155) with a double and three big RBI. Kyle Schmidt played in three games and went 5-for-11 (.455). Along with Louie Varland, the Kernels had some really good starts. Ben Gross struck out eight batters in five shutout innings. Jon Olsen gave up just three hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Cody Laweryson and Tyler Watson both gave up one run on three hits in their five-inning starts. The sixth Kernels starter, Tyler Beck gave up two runs (and struck out seven batters) in five innings. Melvi Acosta struck out six batters in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up only an unearned run. Zach Featherstone struck out six batters in 2 2/3 one-hit innings. Erik Manoah struck out five batters in three no-hit innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Charlie Mack played in five games last week. He hit .333/.429/.500 (.929) with three walks, a homer and four RBI. Jesus Feliz posted an .807 OPS, but he also provided the team with a walk-off homer on Sunday. Lefty Zarion Sharpe had his best start. He gave up two hits over five shutout innings. He struck out five. Sawyer Gipson-Long had a Quality Start. He gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out 11 batters. Denny Bentley pitched in three games. He got a Win and two Saves. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up one hit, walked three and struck out seven batters. FCL Twins Luis Baez went 6-for-15 (.400) with a double and a triple last week. Alexander Pena went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double. LaRon Smith, Malfrin Sosa, Argenis Jimenez and Kala’i Rosario each hit a home run. Develson Aria and Juan Mendez each tossed three scoreless innings. Aria struck out six and gave up only one hit. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints It has certainly been a struggle of late for JT Riddle. He played all six games last week, but went just 1-for-19 (.053). Ian Hamilton has been fantastic for the Saints for a couple of months, but he had a rough week. He came into three games and was charged with four runs on one hit and four walks. That said, he also was 2-for-2 in Save Opportunities. Yennier Cano gave up five runs (4 earned) on nine hits over just 3 2/3 innings. Wichita Wind Surge Last week, we highlighted catcher Chris Williams. This week, he only played twice and went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-17 (.118, .308 OPS). Spencer Steer went 3-for-22 (.136) with a homer (.409 OPS). Bryan Sammons gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in three innings in his appearance. Joe Kuzia made one appearance and gave up three runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in just 2/3 of an innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels A lot of Kernels struggled at the plate last week. Wander Javier went 2-for-20 (.100) with eight strikeouts. Edouard Julien went 2-for-24 (.083) with 11 strikeouts. Max Smith went 1-for-11 (.091). DaShawn Keirsey went 1-for-12 (.083). Luis Rijo made one appearance out of the bullpen. In 1 2/3 innings, he gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Justin Washington played four games and went 1-for-12 (.083). Willie Joe Garry was hitless in 14 at bats, but he did walk five times for a .300 on-base percentage. Keoni Cavaco played in four games in his return to the lineup after missing a week. He went 3-for-19 (.158) with eight strikeouts. Aaron Sabato went 2-for-16 (.125) with ten strikeouts in five games. He did walk seven times and had an on-base percentage of .391. Bobby Milacki gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Juan Pichardo gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings. FCL Twins 31-year-old lefty Sean Gilmartin pitched in 81 games in the big leagues from 2015 through 2020. The Twins signed him a few weeks ago, probably with the plan of getting him up to the Double-A or Triple-A level soon. In three games and 4 1/3 innings, he has given up nine runs (8 earned) on ten hits, two walk sand eight strikeouts. It’s been a tough season for righty from The Netherlands, Donny Breek. He pitched in four games with the Mighty Mussels earlier this year. He gave up 11 runs on six hits and 12 walks in just 3 2/3 innings. For the FCL Twins, he has now worked 1 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs (4 earned) on zero hits and seven walks. Overall, that’s a 25.31 ERA and a 4.69 WHIP in 5 1/3 innings. He’s given up six hits, walked 19, hit four and struck out three batters. Trending Storyline The trade deadline is Friday afternoon at three o’clock. The team has already made one trade, acquiring Triple-A right-handed pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman from the Rays for Nelson Cruz. There is a good chance that by the next time you read this, the Twins will have acquired several more prospect for us to research and discuss. Along with the draft picks that have signed, we may even be in need of a new prospect rankings. PROSPECT SUMMARY We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 10 GS, 49.1 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 61 K, 2.74 ERA, 1.14 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 71 games, .342/.405/.610 (1.015) with 16 doubles, 21 homers, 60 RBI, 28 BB, 43 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 42 games, .264/.343/.346 (.689) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 1 homer, 19 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 70 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 24 games, .322/.380/.600 (.980) with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 36 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (10 GS, 43.1 IP, 42 H, 13 BB, 45 K, 5.19 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 9 GS, 36.2 IP, 25 H, 18 BB, 49 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (12 games, .136/.191/.386 (375) with 2 double, 3 homers, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 18 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 64 games, .208/.310/.308 (618) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 42 RBI, 34 BB, 56 K, 10 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 68 games, .244/.356/.465 (.821) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 37 RBI, 42 BB, 59 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 66 games, .215/.274/.400 (.674) with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 9 homers, 36 RBI, 18 BB, 96 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 12 GS, 51.0 IP, 46 H, 28 BB, 82 K, 3.88 ERA, 1.45 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (Sawyer Gipson-Long, Brent Headrick, Landon Leach, TBD, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin:(Louie Varland, Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Cody Laweryson, Tyler Beck) Wichita @ NW Arkansas: (Chris Vallimont (Cole Sands), Austin Schulfer, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, TBD, Chris Vallimont) Indianapolis @ St. Paul: (Beau Burrows, Charlie Barnes, Matt Shoemaker, Griffin Jax, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  3. Zarion Sharpe hoped to hear his name called during the recent five-round MLB draft. Unfortunately, he went undrafted. He was interested in signing a pro contract and last week, he reached an agreement to sign with the Minnesota Twins. Recently, we caught up with the lefty from UNCW to discuss his career and signing with the Twins.Zarion Sharpe grew up in Pinetops, North Carolina, a small town of about 1,500 people. He went to school there until high school when he transferred to Oakwood School in Greeneville. He grew up playing baseball. His older brother played Division II baseball at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina. He watched his brother play and grew to love the game. He played some football before high school. He also was a good basketball player. It almost became his sport of choice. “I never played AAU. I just played school ball. Honestly, I tried to play basketball as my primary sport. Almost gave baseball up. Good thing I didn’t though.” As Sharpe now has an agreement to sign a professional baseball contract with the Minnesota Twins, I think we can agree that he made the right choice. In high school, Sharpe played center field and when he wasn’t pitching, he hit .487 as a senior. He was a four-year letter winner. He was named All State three times. He was his conference’s player of the year twice. As a senior, his team won a state championship. He played for the Dirtbags baseball program in North Carolina during his summers throughout high school. He had opportunities to be a two-way player at a couple of schools. It wasn’t until late in his senior year that he made his college choice. He was staying in-state, but headed south, to Wilmington. “Actually talked to them (UNCW) pretty late in my high school career. It was about two to three weeks before the end of my senior season. They saw video one time, and they texted me and told me they wanted to come watch me throw a bullpen. Then they got me on campus for a visit. When I got here, knowing their reputation for being a good mid-major and all the success they had in regionals and conference championships. And, you can’t go wrong with going to school on the beach.” As with most freshman in college, it took Sharpe a little bit of time to make some adjustments. “It was tough at first. The game was a lot faster. Margin of error was a lot smaller. Especially with the fall scrimmages with the offense we had at that time, with (Ryan) Jeffers and others. However, he ended the season strong by posting six straight wins and ended the season with a 6-1 record. He was feeling pretty good going into this sophomore season, but after just five games, his season came to an abrupt end. “I had an avulsion fracture, a build up of stress over time in my shoulder. I had a small, little crack in my bone. It wasn’t big enough to where I needed surgery. I had to just sit out and rest. The recovery time was six to seven months.” It was disappointing and frustrating for Sharpe who was a key cog in a team that was really good. “It was definitely frustrating. That year was probably the best team that we’ve had since I’ve been here because of the combination of the pitching staff and the offense that we had. It was definitely frustrating not being able to play with those guys, but also not being there when we won the conference championship. We got put into the East Carolina Region which is in Greeneville and that’s where I live. So that was definitely hard not being able to play there. I had to sit in the stands and watch.” He was able to get a medical redshirt, so he returned in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore. He returned by pitching out of the bullpen, but it wasn’t long before he was back in the starting rotation. One year ago, Zarion Sharpe heard his name called in the MLB Draft. In the 19th round, the St. Louis Cardinals selected the lefty. Sharpe had a big decision, but he decided to return to college for another year. He recalled, “It was tough. At first I thought about taking it, but then listening to some people close to me and my advisor. They were telling me that I had the chance to play summer ball in the Cape and get my name out there. I still had two years of eligibility, so I’d come back as a redshirt junior. I had a chance to come back, and go a little higher and earn a little more money. So those were the deciding factors for me to go back.” So he headed north to Chatham and played the summer in the Cape Cod League. He pitched well, posting a 1.35 ERA and striking out 24 batters in 20 innings. He loved the experience. “It was probably the best summer that I’ve ever had playing ball. The people up there just love baseball. The whole town comes out and watches. Everybody knows who you are. People are really nice. The competition was the best I’ve ever played against. So just all those things put together made it. It was everything I thought it would be, but it wasn’t what I thought because I didn’t realize how much people really liked going to the games up there.” Sharpe continued to pitch well when his 2020 college season started. The southpaw was 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA in 20 2/3 innings. He has walked eight batters and struck out 20. And then came another abrupt end to a season, this time due to COVID-19. Sharpe recalled, “It was honestly kind of surprising. We had a mid-week game against East Carolina, and we won on a walkoff. I remember getting home that night, and we learned that the NBA was suspending its season, and some of the guys were saying it doesn’t mean they’ll cancel our games. We were fine. It was spring break. The next day we got to practice. I was eating lunch in the locker room. We all got the notifications on our phones that our conference was suspending the rest of our season too. It was a surprise obviously.” With so much uncertainty, Sharpe just tried to keep and stay busy. He finished his classes online. He is currently 18 hours shy of graduating with a major in Sociology with a minor in Public Health. “As far as workouts, I’ve been throwing at one of the parks with some of my teammates. A lot of it has been at-home workouts. I bought some dumbbells and a bar, a lot of body weight. A lot of running, just trying to keep myself in some decent shape.” Nikki Netzer, UNCW Then came June and the 2020 MLB Draft. Sharpe noted, “I thought there would be a 50/50 chance that I would get taken in the top five (rounds). I had a call and a chance to actually go, but that didn’t work out.” He was obviously disappointed, but he didn’t have a lot of time before things got busy again. “Once the free agent stuff started, things really picked up. Just really busy for three or four days, talking on the phone.” Sharpe continued, “I heard from quite a few (teams), and then it was about reducing it to a certain number of teams where I felt I would be a good fit.” Sharpe said that he had a few criteria that he went into the process looking for: “It was really just trying to find somewhere that needed some left-handed pitching, and” “A place with a reputation for really good player development.” The Twins fit both categories for Sharpe. “I felt that the Minnesota Twins had both of those. From talking to people that I know in the organization, and from being on the phone with scouts and people in player development, they just made it seem like a really good atmosphere, a place where I could grow and hopefully work my way through the system and get to the Major Leagues some day.” One of the people that Sharpe knows in the organization is the Twins area scout in North Carolina, Ty Dawson. He is the area scout who most saw Twins first-round draft pick Aaron Sabato. Dawson and Sharpe have known each other for years already. “Mostly talked to Ty Dawson. He actually recruited me. When I was in high school, he was at North Carolina A&T. So we’ve known each other for a couple of years. We have a really good relationship.” Another person that he talked to is the Twins top catching prospect and former UNCW star Ryan Jeffers. “He (Jeffers) was really the only (player) I know. We have a really good relationship. We played together for two years. We built a relationship just from him catching me a lot. I talked to him. He put in a good word. He talked really highly of the organization. So that was one thing that helped me out.” What’s Next? Sharpe hopes that he will soon be able to get his physical and get officially signed. “After that, just wait and see and find out what’s going to happen in the minor leagues and when I have to report and see what happens after that.” Scouting Report Sharpe stands 6-5 and about 210 pounds. He’s long, but he’s pretty strong with room to grow. He throws both a four-seam and a two-seam fastball. He currently tops out around 93-94 mph He’s also got a slider and a changeup. He says that his slider is his best pitch. Naturally, a baseball fan thinks about those lefty-lefty matchups either as a starter or in late-inning situations out of the bullpen. For his part, Sharpe is fine with whatever role the Twins choose to put him in. “They haven’t really told me anything. I guess I’ll have to get in and see what they need honestly. I’m willing to do whatever.” He has experience out of the bullpen and says he is comfortable with that. “When I came back from my injury, I actually came out of the bullpen in a relief role. When I went and played summer ball, my first two outings were out of the bullpen, so I’m comfortable doing either.” Sharpe is grateful for the opportunity with the Twins, but also for the opportunities he has had to this point. He said he is thankful for his high school and college coaches, but there is one person he gives a ton of credit to. “My mom. All the stuff she’s done as far as traveling, and financially. Without her, none of this would be possible” He is very appreciative of his time at UNCW and playing for coach Randy Hood. It was clear to me how close-knit the team is. When I tweeted news that the Sharpe had agreed to sign with the Twins, many of Sharpe’s teammates and coaches not only liked the tweet, but they sent him heartfelt responses. Here is a recent interview between Sharpe and UNCW Assistant Director Athletic Communications, Tom Riordan. Click here to view the article
  4. Zarion Sharpe grew up in Pinetops, North Carolina, a small town of about 1,500 people. He went to school there until high school when he transferred to Oakwood School in Greeneville. He grew up playing baseball. His older brother played Division II baseball at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina. He watched his brother play and grew to love the game. He played some football before high school. He also was a good basketball player. It almost became his sport of choice. “I never played AAU. I just played school ball. Honestly, I tried to play basketball as my primary sport. Almost gave baseball up. Good thing I didn’t though.” As Sharpe now has an agreement to sign a professional baseball contract with the Minnesota Twins, I think we can agree that he made the right choice. In high school, Sharpe played center field and when he wasn’t pitching, he hit .487 as a senior. He was a four-year letter winner. He was named All State three times. He was his conference’s player of the year twice. As a senior, his team won a state championship. He played for the Dirtbags baseball program in North Carolina during his summers throughout high school. He had opportunities to be a two-way player at a couple of schools. It wasn’t until late in his senior year that he made his college choice. He was staying in-state, but headed south, to Wilmington. “Actually talked to them (UNCW) pretty late in my high school career. It was about two to three weeks before the end of my senior season. They saw video one time, and they texted me and told me they wanted to come watch me throw a bullpen. Then they got me on campus for a visit. When I got here, knowing their reputation for being a good mid-major and all the success they had in regionals and conference championships. And, you can’t go wrong with going to school on the beach.” As with most freshman in college, it took Sharpe a little bit of time to make some adjustments. “It was tough at first. The game was a lot faster. Margin of error was a lot smaller. Especially with the fall scrimmages with the offense we had at that time, with (Ryan) Jeffers and others. However, he ended the season strong by posting six straight wins and ended the season with a 6-1 record. He was feeling pretty good going into this sophomore season, but after just five games, his season came to an abrupt end. “I had an avulsion fracture, a build up of stress over time in my shoulder. I had a small, little crack in my bone. It wasn’t big enough to where I needed surgery. I had to just sit out and rest. The recovery time was six to seven months.” It was disappointing and frustrating for Sharpe who was a key cog in a team that was really good. “It was definitely frustrating. That year was probably the best team that we’ve had since I’ve been here because of the combination of the pitching staff and the offense that we had. It was definitely frustrating not being able to play with those guys, but also not being there when we won the conference championship. We got put into the East Carolina Region which is in Greeneville and that’s where I live. So that was definitely hard not being able to play there. I had to sit in the stands and watch.” He was able to get a medical redshirt, so he returned in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore. He returned by pitching out of the bullpen, but it wasn’t long before he was back in the starting rotation. One year ago, Zarion Sharpe heard his name called in the MLB Draft. In the 19th round, the St. Louis Cardinals selected the lefty. Sharpe had a big decision, but he decided to return to college for another year. He recalled, “It was tough. At first I thought about taking it, but then listening to some people close to me and my advisor. They were telling me that I had the chance to play summer ball in the Cape and get my name out there. I still had two years of eligibility, so I’d come back as a redshirt junior. I had a chance to come back, and go a little higher and earn a little more money. So those were the deciding factors for me to go back.” So he headed north to Chatham and played the summer in the Cape Cod League. He pitched well, posting a 1.35 ERA and striking out 24 batters in 20 innings. He loved the experience. “It was probably the best summer that I’ve ever had playing ball. The people up there just love baseball. The whole town comes out and watches. Everybody knows who you are. People are really nice. The competition was the best I’ve ever played against. So just all those things put together made it. It was everything I thought it would be, but it wasn’t what I thought because I didn’t realize how much people really liked going to the games up there.” Sharpe continued to pitch well when his 2020 college season started. The southpaw was 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA in 20 2/3 innings. He has walked eight batters and struck out 20. And then came another abrupt end to a season, this time due to COVID-19. Sharpe recalled, “It was honestly kind of surprising. We had a mid-week game against East Carolina, and we won on a walkoff. I remember getting home that night, and we learned that the NBA was suspending its season, and some of the guys were saying it doesn’t mean they’ll cancel our games. We were fine. It was spring break. The next day we got to practice. I was eating lunch in the locker room. We all got the notifications on our phones that our conference was suspending the rest of our season too. It was a surprise obviously.” With so much uncertainty, Sharpe just tried to keep and stay busy. He finished his classes online. He is currently 18 hours shy of graduating with a major in Sociology with a minor in Public Health. “As far as workouts, I’ve been throwing at one of the parks with some of my teammates. A lot of it has been at-home workouts. I bought some dumbbells and a bar, a lot of body weight. A lot of running, just trying to keep myself in some decent shape.” Nikki Netzer, UNCW Then came June and the 2020 MLB Draft. Sharpe noted, “I thought there would be a 50/50 chance that I would get taken in the top five (rounds). I had a call and a chance to actually go, but that didn’t work out.” He was obviously disappointed, but he didn’t have a lot of time before things got busy again. “Once the free agent stuff started, things really picked up. Just really busy for three or four days, talking on the phone.” Sharpe continued, “I heard from quite a few (teams), and then it was about reducing it to a certain number of teams where I felt I would be a good fit.” Sharpe said that he had a few criteria that he went into the process looking for: “It was really just trying to find somewhere that needed some left-handed pitching, and” “A place with a reputation for really good player development.” The Twins fit both categories for Sharpe. “I felt that the Minnesota Twins had both of those. From talking to people that I know in the organization, and from being on the phone with scouts and people in player development, they just made it seem like a really good atmosphere, a place where I could grow and hopefully work my way through the system and get to the Major Leagues some day.” One of the people that Sharpe knows in the organization is the Twins area scout in North Carolina, Ty Dawson. He is the area scout who most saw Twins first-round draft pick Aaron Sabato. Dawson and Sharpe have known each other for years already. “Mostly talked to Ty Dawson. He actually recruited me. When I was in high school, he was at North Carolina A&T. So we’ve known each other for a couple of years. We have a really good relationship.” Another person that he talked to is the Twins top catching prospect and former UNCW star Ryan Jeffers. “He (Jeffers) was really the only (player) I know. We have a really good relationship. We played together for two years. We built a relationship just from him catching me a lot. I talked to him. He put in a good word. He talked really highly of the organization. So that was one thing that helped me out.” What’s Next? Sharpe hopes that he will soon be able to get his physical and get officially signed. “After that, just wait and see and find out what’s going to happen in the minor leagues and when I have to report and see what happens after that.” Scouting Report Sharpe stands 6-5 and about 210 pounds. He’s long, but he’s pretty strong with room to grow. He throws both a four-seam and a two-seam fastball. He currently tops out around 93-94 mph He’s also got a slider and a changeup. He says that his slider is his best pitch. Naturally, a baseball fan thinks about those lefty-lefty matchups either as a starter or in late-inning situations out of the bullpen. For his part, Sharpe is fine with whatever role the Twins choose to put him in. “They haven’t really told me anything. I guess I’ll have to get in and see what they need honestly. I’m willing to do whatever.” He has experience out of the bullpen and says he is comfortable with that. “When I came back from my injury, I actually came out of the bullpen in a relief role. When I went and played summer ball, my first two outings were out of the bullpen, so I’m comfortable doing either.” Sharpe is grateful for the opportunity with the Twins, but also for the opportunities he has had to this point. He said he is thankful for his high school and college coaches, but there is one person he gives a ton of credit to. “My mom. All the stuff she’s done as far as traveling, and financially. Without her, none of this would be possible” He is very appreciative of his time at UNCW and playing for coach Randy Hood. It was clear to me how close-knit the team is. When I tweeted news that the Sharpe had agreed to sign with the Twins, many of Sharpe’s teammates and coaches not only liked the tweet, but they sent him heartfelt responses. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1273398628648968192 “It was great. From the first day I got onto campus my freshman year, it’s been a family atmosphere. We get guys drafted, but not the numbers like we see some of the bigger schools do. So a lot of the guys have been there for four or even five years. We all get to know each other personally. We get to know everything about each other, like a brotherhood. Just seeing some of the things those guys said about me, it was great. I love those guys. I’m definitely going to miss them, but I know the ones that are going back, I know they’ll do great things. The ones that are leaving, I know that they’re also going to do great things outside of baseball as well. It was nice to see that though.” . https://twitter.com/CoachHood17/status/1273584976307597314?cxt=HHwWgsC9oYm766wjAAAA Here is a recent interview between Sharpe and UNCW Assistant Director Athletic Communications, Tom Riordan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t8hfEByUQg
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