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  • Twins Minor League Report (5/23): Baxendale, Darnell Shine

    I’ve been following the Twins minor league system pretty much daily for the past eight years. I can honestly say that I have not seen a pitcher have an opening stretch like DJ Baxendale has had this season. His May numbers (see below) have been incredible. But there were other great performances including a 22-year-old southpaw throwing eight innings in New Britain. And Ft. Myers continues to get offense from unlikely sources.

    Check out what happened in the Twins minor league system on Thursday:

    Rochester Red Wings 4, Charlotte Knights 3

    Box Score

    Rochester got another quality start from Andrew Albers. In six innings he gave up three runs on ten hits and one walk while striking out six. Then Aaron Thompson came on for his second Red Wings appearance. The lefty worked three perfect innings and struck out three for the save.

    Brian Dinkelman led the offense. He went 3-3 with his sixth and seventh doubles. Doug Bernier was 2-3.

    New Britain Rock Cats 1, Binghamton Mets 0

    Box Score

    Lefty Logan Darnell pitched a tremendous game Thursday morning. In eight innings he yielded no runs, giving up six hits and one walk, and he struck out nine. His ERA dropped to 2.47. He has given up just one run in his past two starts (15 innings). Need innings? The 24-year-old Darnell, the Twins' 6th round pick in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky, has thrown 23 innings over his last three starts.

    Michael Tonkin came on and pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save of the year.

    There was very little offense from the Rock Cats. James Beresford raised his average to .346 by going 2-4, but Danny Ortiz’s sixth home run of the year was all the team needed. Twins Daily’s AJ Pettersen went 1-3. He now has a modest three game hitting streak and is hitting .375 in it.

    Ft. Myers Miracle 6, Lakeland Tigers 1

    Box Score

    The DJ Baxendale story continues to get better and better. On this night, the 22-year-old righty gave up only an unearned run over seven innings. He gave up three hits, walked two and struck out four. It reduces his season ERA to 0.94. After being the choice for Pitcher of the Month of April, he has not yet allowed an earned run in 28 innings in May.

    photo by Greg Wagner

    Nelvin Fuentes came on and struck out one in a scoreless inning. Then Corey Williams gave up a walk and a hit in a scoreless ninth inning.
    Aderlin Mejia was a GCL all-star a year ago, the lone member of last year’s GCL Twins team to achieve that honor. He had been at extended spring training this spring, waiting for the Elizabethton season to begin. The Miracle had a need and Mejia was called up for a short time. Well, that short time has now become 13 games, and he is doing the job. He is hitting .360 after going 3-5 on Thursday. He also stole three bases and has seven on the year.

    Angel Morales should soon be promoted to New Britain. He went 2-4 with his fourth home run and third stolen base. Kyle Knudson went 3-4 with his third double. Levi Michael went 2-5. Miguel Sano and Kennys Vargas each hit their 12th double. Sano stole his seventh base.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 3, Beloit Snappers 5

    Box Score

    It was a rough one for Mason Melotakis. The lefty gave up five runs on seven hits. He walked four and struck out three in 4.1 innings. Alex Muren came on and got the next five outs. He walked two and struck out one. Josh Burris and David Hurlbut each gave up a hit and struck one out in his inning.

    Byron Buxton went 2-4 with a walk, his 11th double, his 21st stolen base and his eighth caught stealing. Candido Pimentel was 2-4 with a walk and his eighth stolen base. JD Williams was 2-4 with his ninth stolen base.

    Note also that the Twins Dominican Summer League schedule is about to get started. On Thursday, the Twins' team played an exhibition game against a Canadian national team.

    Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (5/23): Baxendale, Darnell Shine started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Great game by Darnell. He looks like he is trying out for the Role held by Duensing. he has a .47 ERA vs lefties - But I still can't figure out how they determine ERA by the handedness of the batter.

      Seth
      Any updates on Kepler & Bard? Two months in and nothing from those guys.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Baxendale needs to be promoted to New Britain. Morales too. And the rest should follow. There is no need to wait anymore for those two. And J.D. Williams.

      Anyway, I am glad to see Darnell bust a game like that out. I had almost given up on those guys (Darnell, Dean, etc.) as a whole.
    1. rickyhawaii's Avatar
      rickyhawaii -
      Gotta be happy for Angel Morales. he's been pretty much written off, but still has some potential. he's really good at hitting lefties. his defense and arm are still strong. Could be a possible four OFer or good bench guy..i hope they keep him around for a couple more years.
    1. Richard Campbell's Avatar
      Richard Campbell -
      What has happened to Rosario? He has not had a hit in a week or two and has not played that much.
    1. Jeff A's Avatar
      Jeff A -
      It's definitely time to move Baxendale up. I know he doesn't strike a lot of guys out, but he's completely dominating the FSL. It accomplishes nothing to keep him in a league that he's obviously too good to be in.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Let me try to answer a few questions in one spot here. Might lump some things here.

      With the Twins taking Walters and Deduno, and likely eventually Gibson, from Rochester, they're going to need someone in the rotation. Have to think that Darnell has earned a shot in Rochester. That opens up a spot in New Britain for Baxendale, etc. yes, Worley went down, but someone is going to have to get DFAd and we'll see how it all plays out.

      I'm really happy for Morales. he's a terrific guy. He was drafted very young out of Puerto Rico. Contact is his issue, but I think he' the type that could move up to New Britain and do a little bit better.

      Regarding Rosario... there are reasons. he was hit by the pitch several days ago, but he has returned from that. I'll just say that he is healthy.

      Regarding Kepler and Bard. I posted a minor league injury report in the Minor League forum last week that has about 30 updates. But to these two specifically. Kepler has an elbow issue, but he started DHing in EST late last week. Could see him in Beloit soon. I hope. Bard has a shoulder impingement so they figured it would be another month.
    1. shanemcdowell's Avatar
      shanemcdowell -
      Doesn't Levi Michael have something like a 10+ game hitting streak? Is he starting to "figure it out?"
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Great game by Darnell. He looks like he is trying out for the Role held by Duensing. he has a .47 ERA vs lefties - But I still can't figure out how they determine ERA by the handedness of the batter
      I don't know how they do that either (at the milb.com site). The better measure will be opponent's OPS, which is part of the awesome new B-Ref minor league splits:

      Logan Darnell 2013 Minor League Gamelogs & Splits - Baseball-Reference.com

      Darnell's at .545 vs LHB, and .735 vs RHB. His league's total OPS is .723.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by shanemcdowell View Post
      Doesn't Levi Michael have something like a 10+ game hitting streak? Is he starting to "figure it out?"
      12 games. He's got 6 doubles in that span, but otherwise it's pretty empty as far as hitting streaks go (.775 OPS):

      Levi Michael Minor League Gamelogs & Splits - Baseball-Reference.com

      He's got a .691 OPS on the season, in a league he's repeating after posting a .649 last year.
    1. jsimssd72's Avatar
      jsimssd72 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      .Regarding Kepler and Bard. I posted a minor league injury report in the Minor League forum last week that has about 30 updates. But to these two specifically. Kepler has an elbow issue, but he started DHing in EST late last week. Could see him in Beloit soon. I hope. Bard has a shoulder impingement so they figured it would be another month.
      I sure hope they don't send Kepler to Beloit. Unless the Twins get something good in the trade. (Old habits are hard to break I guess.)
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      It's too bad Bard, Melotakis, and Chargois aren't doing much (or anything) this year. That was a lot of high draft picks, with nothing to show for them.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Someone who needs to be considered for a promotion is Beresford. I know his slugging percentage is less than his on base percentage, but the kid continues to hit for a great average, while striking out at only a 17% rate. And with only two errors in 31 games, he is getting it done defensively.

      Beresford's promotion would open a spot for Rosario, when he is back. That would enable the Miracle to keep Mejia who has struck out (4) less than he has walked (6) in 50 at bats. Having more stolen bases (7) than K's is sick! Defensively, he hasn't made an error. I know the Twins philosophy on young player development. But do you think he will stay at Fort Myers or will he automatically go to ETon a month from now?

      Mejia along with Polanco and Rosario, you can no longer say that the organization is week at second base.
    1. Han Joelo's Avatar
      Han Joelo -
      Cryptic comment about Rosario, Seth. I hope he's not in too much trouble.
      Bad timing with Michael and Meija doing well. Is Meija an under the radar breakout guy? At any rate, the Twins now have several intriguing MI prospects in the low minors.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      DJ Baxendale could be as much a key to the team's success in coming years as Alex Meyer or Trevor May. The Twins need to get lucky with a later round draft pick, hopefully a couple of them. Somebody has to emerge out of nowhere, maybe by learning a new pitch that's surprisingly hard to hit, whatever.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by jsimssd72 View Post
      I sure hope they don't send Kepler to Beloit. Unless the Twins get something good in the trade. (Old habits are hard to break I guess.)
      I would have thought I'd have had that habit broken long ago.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Han Joelo View Post
      Cryptic comment about Rosario, Seth. I hope he's not in too much trouble.
      Bad timing with Michael and Meija doing well. Is Meija an under the radar breakout guy? At any rate, the Twins now have several intriguing MI prospects in the low minors.
      Some things need to stay within a clubhouse and that's fine with me. I'll respect that. It isn't anything legal or off field though. Not a huge deal. And, Rosario has nothing to worry about with Michaels or Mejia, I'm sure.

      Mejia spent two years in the GCL. he's an athlete. Good speed, very talented, but it's just 13 games. But his name is on the radar, for sure. He actually got off to an amazing start tow years ago in the GCL and then ended up posting a very low OPS there. Last year, he was good. He should be a top player at elizabethton too.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jimbo92107 View Post
      DJ Baxendale could be as much a key to the team's success in coming years as Alex Meyer or Trevor May. The Twins need to get lucky with a later round draft pick, hopefully a couple of them. Somebody has to emerge out of nowhere, maybe by learning a new pitch that's surprisingly hard to hit, whatever.
      Baxendale could be a steal as a 10th rounder last year but let's not get ahead of ourselves. With his college experience he is just doing what he is supposed to be doing. His AA numbers will tell the real story. As I say this if he turns out to be a back of the rotation guy that's a HUGE win for the Twins.
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