A year ago, Jonathan Murphy was a 22-year old 19th round draft pick out of Jacksonville University just starting out his professional baseball career in the Minnesota Twins organization with the Twins’ complex-rookie level Gulf Coast League team in Fort Myers.
Today, Murphy is the primary leadoff hitter and centerfielder for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
It’s not at all unusual for a second-year professional player drafted out of college to be spending time with the Kernels,
Updated 07-30-2013 at 07:13 PM by SD Buhr
Celebrating the affiliation agreement with the Minnesota Twins has been pretty much an “all season long” thing for the Cedar Rapids Kernels and their fans, but this weekend was the official Twins Weekend event in Cedar Rapids.
Guests of honor have included all-time Twins great Tony Oliva, Twins organist Sue Nelson and mascot TC Bear. All three made appearances at the Kernels’ game with visiting Peoria on Friday night.
Oliva signed autographs for a long line of fans
With just 40 games remaining in their regular season schedule, now seems like a good time to step back and take a look at the state of the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
It's almost laughable to even question whether or not the affiliation switch from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to the Minnesota Twins has been good for Cedar Rapids. Of course it has, by pretty much every measurement.
The Kernels have already qualified for the Midwest League postseason by virtue of their
You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
This is the time of year when, like it or not, there’s a lot of discussion going on about who will or will not be wearing a Twins uniform a week or two… or a month or two… from now.
The reality is, when your favorite Major League Baseball team is not a contender in July, there will almost certainly
A number of this year's Cedar Rapids Kernels have had to make an adjustment to wearing a Kernels uniform this summer after playing last season for the Beloit Snappers, who were the Minnesota Twins Midwest League affiliate during the eight prior years. It no doubt felt a little odd to some of them.
But to Tyler Grimes, who was the Snappers primary shortstop much of last season, the change in geographic location was far from the most drastic of the adjustments he's had to make.
Updated 07-16-2013 at 11:02 PM by SD Buhr
It's the top of the seventh inning and his team is leading by two runs. There are two outs, but the bases are loaded with opposing base runners.
It's the kind of situation the best relief pitchers almost seem to relish coming in to face.
Lefty Steve Gruver and right-hander Tyler Jones have been among the most reliable bullpen arms in the Midwest League this season and have presented a formidable lefty-righty combination out of the Kernels bullpen.
Cedar Rapids Kernels hitting coach Tommy Watkins knows his way around a minor league field, having spent parts of 11 seasons as a player in the Minnesota Twins minor league system. Toward the end of the 2007 season, he got to live the dream of every player who ever put on a minor league uniform when he was called up to the Big Leagues by the Twins.
Tommy Watkins hitting ground balls to third
Updated 07-05-2013 at 09:13 AM by SD Buhr
Cedar Rapids Kernels middle infielder Niko Goodrum was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the second round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft and spent the past two years playing for the Twins short season rookie league team in Elizabethton.
The 21 year old switch-hitter from Georgia got off to a good start with the Kernels, most often batting second in Manager Jake
Minnesota Twins super-prospect Byron Buxton led the Cedar Rapids Kernels through a pretty amazing first half of their Midwest League season. They led the league’s West Division almost from wire to wire.
But on Sunday, June 16, the Kernels gave up a late lead to the Peoria Chiefs and sealed their fate as the Division Runner-Up.
That was the last day that Buxton wore his Kernels home whites on Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Updated 07-02-2013 at 03:56 PM by SD Buhr
It may surprise some Twins and Kernels fans to learn that, even with the promotion of fan-favorite Byron Buxton on Sunday, the Kernels still have an outfielder in their line up that was ranked among the Top 10 prospects of the parent Minnesota Twins coming in to the season.
The reason for the surprise is that few fans have seen that prospect on the ball field yet this year.
Max Kepler was promoted to Cedar Rapids last week and arrived just in time to join the team
Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Mason Melotakis and first baseman Dalton (DJ) Hicks are roommates this summer, sharing the same host family during their stay in Cedar Rapids. Both players played major roles with the Kernels as the team qualified for the Midwest League Playoffs by finishing second in the league’s Western Division during the first half of the season and both could be candidates for promotion at some point this summer.
Melotakis leads the Kernels pitching staff in wins with
Hall of Famer Paul Molitor was in Cedar Rapids over the course of most of the past homestand in his capacity with the Twins organization.
Molitor was gracious enough to answer some questions last Thursday, the first day of his stay in Cedar Rapids, as well as a few follow-up questions Monday afternoon after the final game of the Kernels’ homestand.
I used several excerpts from the Thursday interview in an article posted at MetroSportsReport.com last week, but there
I've never been someone that pays an enormous amount of attention to the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Most years, I would glance at a few writers focusing on who the Twins might draft in the first round, but the draft itself just held little interest for me.
I suppose, like many people, it just seemed to me that it was going to be several years before I would ever see any of the young players drafted in a given year put on a Twins uniform, so there was little point in spending
Through May 21, the Cedar Rapids Kernels had built up an impressive 30-13 record and held a five game lead over their closest competition in the Western Division of the Midwest League.
They then left town for a quick three-game road trip to Beloit after taking three out of four games from Kane County. They had no clue at that time that they not only would get swept by the second place Snappers on that trip, but would also return home and drop all three games of a series against the