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  • Twins Minor League Report (8/16-8/17): Two For One Special

    You're getting two days of minor league activity in one today, including a slew of transactions. The Twins signed a St. Paul Saint, they promoted two exciting pitching prospects up a level, and they found room for Chris Collabello in Rochester. Meanwhile, the weekend was good to some familiar names to Twins fans - albeit in Rochester. Meanwhile, AA-New Britain is facing elimination and adding some infielders. Could that mean promotions to AAA for a few of the Twins bigger prospects?


    Transactions
    As many of you know, on Friday Ryan Doumit was activated from the 7-day Concussion D.L. and Chris Colabello was optioned to Rochester to make room. Today, Rochester announced that RP Luis Perdomo was placed on the D.L. with a right calf strain. That opens a spot for Colabello.

    Also, yesterday 1B Michael Gonzales was activated by Cedar Rapids and earlier this morning MiLB.com posted on Twitter that Kohl Stewart was being promoted to Elizabethton. This likely has been the plan all along - to promote Stewart and Gonsalves together - but the cut on his foot set him a couple of weeks behind.

    Earlier this evening, the St. Paul Saints announced that the Twins had purchased the contract of 2B Brad Boyer. The Twins later confirmed that Boyer would be heading to New Britain.

    Don't forget to keep up-to-date on every affiliates roster (and more) on the site's Roster and Payroll page.

    Reviews are going to be briefer as they'll still be plenty to read.

    ROCHESTER RED WINGS

    Lost 2-6 at Buffalo Bison on Friday

    Pat Dean got the start and was closer to his prior self than his first two AAA starts. He gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings. He walked two and struck out one.

    He was relieved by Virgil Vasquez who struck out three in the final three innings. He allowed an unearned run to score.

    Both pitchers have been good in AAA as starters in recent weeks. It will be interesting to see how these two in particular are handled as the season draws to a close. They might both be worth keeping in Rochester for the playoffs. The assumption when Dean came up it was to make a brief appearance, but after two sensational starts it would have been hard to move him down.

    Darrin Mastroianni was an on-base machine. He went 1-for-2, but reached base twice on walks. Surprisingly, he wasn't able to steal any bases.

    James Beresford (now batting .294) and Ray Olmedo both had two singles.

    Chris Parmelee doubled.

    Won 7-3 vs Louiville Bats on Saturday

    Scott Diamond squared off with former farmhand Yohan Pino and came out victorious. Diamond was not as good as last time out, lasting five innings, scattering seven hits and a walk, and allowing three runs (two earned.)

    The bullpen picked Diamond up. A.J. Achter abandoned two of Diamond's runners as he completed two scoreless innings. Shairon Martis finished the game off with two innings of one-hit ball.

    The offense offered plenty of support. Darrin Mastroianni had three singles and a walk. Again, no stolen bases or attempts (which makes me question how good the leg really feels).

    Eric Fryer continues to be hot. He had three more hits including two doubles. He drove in three runs.

    Eduardo Escobar, James Beresford and Chris Colabello all added to hits a piece.

    Same two teams tomorrow at 6:05 ET with Logan Darnell on the hill.

    NEW BRITAIN ROCKCATS


    Lost 0-1
    at Binghamton Mets on Friday

    It's becoming more and more clear that New Britain is going to be the first affiliate eliminated from playoff contention. Their elimination number has decreased to 11 after Friday's loss.

    Cole De Vries was a tough-luck loser in this one. De Vries pitched five innings of three-hit one (home) run ball, but the offense provided no support.

    The bullpen of Dan Turpen and Dakota Watts completed the game with three shutout innings.

    Danny Santana and Reynaldo Rodriguez both had two hits for an offense that only managed to reach base six times and strike out 14 times.

    Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano and Even Bigley all struck out three times.

    Lost 4-5 at Binghamton Mets on Saturday

    The RockCats jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning, but ended up blowing a 4-0 lead to the team that is clearly - and by clearing, I mean 12 games - better than everyone else in the Eastern League.

    Miguel Sano warmed up after a cool stretch. He homered in the 3rd - his 15th in AA, 31st overall - and also added a double.

    Danny Santana had a nice three-hit, three-RBI game that included a double and a stolen base.

    Matt Summers struck out seven in 5.1 innings. He only allowed one hit, but walked four which ultimately led to three runs scoring. Ryan O'Rourke relieved Summers, but didn't record any outs while allowing a hit, a walk and two runners to score. Cole Johnson struck out four in 2.1 innings and didn't allow a run, but was credited with a blown save after allowing all three of his inherited runners to score.

    D.J. Baxendale starts for the RockCats tomorrow at 6:35 ET against Binghamton.

    The squad will need to make a roster move to add Brad Boyer. The intrigue is added when Boyer's primary two positions (2B and 3B) are manned with New Britain's best prospects. With the RockCats out of the playoff hunt, we could surely see some guys moving.

    FORT MYERS MIRACLE

    Lost 4-8 at Bradenton Marauders on Friday

    Despite out-hitting Bradenton 11-8, the Miracle came up short on Friday night.

    Manuel Soliman got roughed up and chased early (six runs in two innings pitched). Corey Williams struck out two, but walked three, in 2.1 scoreless. Steven Gruver (2.2 IP) and Chad Rodgers (1 IP) both gave up a run.

    The bats were active but the team struggled to string hits together as they only had six at-bats with RISP (2-for-6).

    Byron Buxton had two hits and two stolen bases. He's now batting .310 with 17 stolen bases in high-A. Combined, Buxton has 49 steals to go along with 45 extra base hits. His slugging percentage is the biggest thing to take a hit since his promotion. New Britain (and AA) will prove to be the ultimate test.

    D.J. Hicks had a 3-run blast which puts him at 103 combined RBI for the year. I believe Seth tweeted that when Hicks reached 100, Adam Walker and Hicks were the only two members of MiLB's 100 RBI club.

    Kennys Vargas did not play today. His numbers have continued to plummet since Sano left the lineup. The reason Vargas was left in Fort Myers was to see how he'd handle being in a lineup without Sano's protection. The results has been "not as good as D.J. Hicks".

    At literally the same age (Hicks is four months older), the question may become - or has it already been asked and answered - has Hicks passed Vargas on the Organizational Depth Chart?

    Lost 2-3 at Bradenton Marauders on Saturday (12 innings)

    Some good stuff here.

    In the top of the 4th inning, Jason Wheeler hit a Bradenton batter. It just so happened it was the same guy who ran over Jairo Rodriguez at home plate yesterday.

    Allegedly, after the batter was hit both managers ran onto the field and got into a fight behind home plate. The benches cleared and both Doug Mientkiewicz and Bradenton's manager were ejected. (You can get some video here or read it play-by-play style here.)

    The game itself also quite an affair. Though mostly because of it's length.

    The offense wasn't great - with only three players collecting hits.

    Byron Buxton had a double and triple (with ease) to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He also threw runners out at 3rd and at home and walked twice. He didn't rescue a cat from a tree tonight, though, so he has that going against him.

    Stephen Wickens extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a three-hit game that included two doubles.

    Mike Kvasnicka also had a three-hit game. He doubled once.

    The team as a whole was 0-for-11 with RISP.

    Jason Wheeler allowed an unearned run in 6.2 innings. He struck out six.

    Nelvin Fuentes allowed a run in 1.1 innings. Tyler Jones struck out three in three two-hit innings.

    Adrian Salcedo took the loss. He walked four batters and balked in the winning run. Ouch.

    David Hurlbut starts tomorrow at Bradenton, 5pm ET.

    CEDAR RAPIDS KERNELS

    Won 6-5 vs Beloit Snappers on Friday

    Is it just me or does it seem like the Kernels and Snappers have played 100 times already this year?

    The Kernels scored early and then barely withstood multiple Snapper rallies to win this game in front of 5,879 fans - the most in Perfect Game Field history.

    Max Kepler accounted for all (three) of the team's RBI with a triple and a home run. Joel Licon also had two hits. Both Licon and Mike Gonzalez added doubles.

    Brett Lee pitched 4.2 innings. He walked two and allowed two runs while striking out four. Dallas Gallant picked up the win by striking out three to secure the next four outs. Alex Muran allowed two runs and Madison Boer allowed an additional run, but earned the hold and save, respectively.

    Won 6-1 at Peoria Chiefs on Saturday

    The offense we've come to expect out of the Kernels lineup showed up today and helped improve the team to 30 games over .500.

    Max Kepler was again the story offensively. He homered and double tonight. While Kepler struggles against lefties and has been very inconsistent, he's also shown flashes of being a big-time prospect. The Twins face a very big decision with Kepler as he'll need to be protected from the Rule 5 draft this winter. He's probably three plus years from the Major Leagues - which means he'll be out of options around the same time he's ready. The alternative is exposing him for another team to stash on the 25-man for a year. A story line to keep an eye on.

    Adam Brett Walker also had two hits, including a double. The question often is asked, "Why is he still here?" Well, simply put, why not? He's getting the chance to be "the man" in this lineup - and he's proving he can do it - which is a confidence booster for both himself and the organization. He's also able to play everyday and get better. Fort Myers is shuffling six players through five spots (and you're not sitting Buxton), adding Walker would only compound the existing log-jam. Plus, while Walker has come a long way defensively, I'm still not 100% convinced he sticks in the OF. Cedar Rapids is a little more cozy than Fort Myers.

    Travis Harrison, who hit the "first full-year wall" and cooled off, also added two hits.

    Hudson Boyd struck out three in five innings. He walked four and allowed four hits, but only one runner scored.

    Former starters Christian Powell (4 K, 3 H, 2 IP) and Mason Melotakis (3 K, H, BB, 2 IP) finished out the convincing victory for the Kernels.

    Josue Montanez will take the mound in Peoria tomorrow at 5pm ET.


    ELIZABETHTON TWINS

    Won 3-2 vs Johnson City Cardinals on Friday (14 innings)

    It took 14 innings to finally beat the pesky Cardinals, who only managed five hits. The pitching was very good. Felix Jorge pitched the first seven innings, striking out seven and allowing two runs on four hits and two walks.

    Aaron Slegers pitched three innings of no-hit ball. He struck out four. Slegers could certainly help out Cedar Rapids as they inch closer to the postseason. In fact, with the starters at E-town currently, I'd presume there is a pretty good chance that both Slegers and Ryan Eades may start 2014 in the Miracle rotation.

    Brandon Peterson struck out five in three innings of one-hit ball.

    Josh Burris got the save after retiring the side in the 14th.

    The E-town bats collected 12 hits but struck out 15 times. Bryan Haar, Rory Rhodes and Zach Larson all had two-hit games.

    Romy Jimenez added a double.

    Lost 6-9 vs Johnson City Cardinals on Saturday

    Yorman Landa lasted five innings, but allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk. He only struck out two. Landa has seen the Ks go down and the hits and runs go up as he's progressed through the season.

    Bryan Haar had three hits. Rory Rhodes added a double. Zach Larson continues his solid year with another hit.

    Tomorrow's starter is TBD.

    GCL TWINS

    Won 7-3 at GCL Red Sox on Friday

    Jason Kanzler led the offensive charge Friday night with three hits including a double, two stolen bases and two runs scored. While Kanzler's bat hasn't gotten going yet, he remains intriguing due to his speed and defense.
    Recently-signed Ivory Thomas had two hits and two stolen bases. He's got four in his brief time in the GCL.

    Jonatan Hinojosa drove in two runs on two hits, including a double.

    Brandon Easton got another shot as a starter and walked six in three innings. He allowed two runs. Josh Guyer got the next three innings and gave up one run. He struck out two. Miguel Gonzalez (3 Ks in 2 IP) and Tyler Stirewalt (2 Ks in 1 IP) both made scoreless appearances.

    Won 8-1 vs GCL Red Sox on Saturday

    More offense and good pitching by the GCL squad earlier today. Eleven hits spread out pretty evenly. Brian Navaretto and Rick Schwarz both doubled. Chad Christensen and Kanzler added #ShowoffDoubles.

    Navaretto and Will Hurt both drove in two runs.

    Thomas and Kanzler each stole another base.

    The bats have been slow to get going - no one in today's lineup has a batting average of over .252 - but you wouldn't have known that judging by today's results.

    Sam Gibbons struck out six in five innings. He gave up one run on three hits.

    Seth Wagner made his fourth - and best - appearance as a member of the Twins organization with three innings of one-hit, one-walk ball. He struck out two. Wagner is a big-bodied kid who signed near the deadline. He's a project, but one to keep and eye on. Could he become a lefty version of Michael Tonkin?

    Check back later tonight when Saturday's games get added. If you have questions or comments, please leave below.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (8/16-8/17): Two For One Special started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Just a question for the stats guys.
      How can a team be 30 games over .500 when a team that is playing .500 ball is 15 games back in the standings.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      If they've played the same amount of games, say 30, and one team won them all (30-0) while the other team won half (15-15) its pretty easy to see. Its just that many less wins or "wins back".

      Think about games in pairs, you either go two games over .500, .500 or two games under .500.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      They will protect Kepler, if for no other reason than great trade bait. There are plenty of guys ahead of him they could unprotect and it would not matter.
    1. Pitz's Avatar
      Pitz -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      They will protect Kepler, if for no other reason than great trade bait. There are plenty of guys ahead of him they could unprotect and it would not matter.
      You may be right, but my question is whether any team would take him. Unless I'm mistaken, that team would have to keep a guy who's never played above A ball on their 25 man active roster for the entire season.
      That probably eliminates a lot of teams from taking him.
      And while the roster spot may not be an issue for a team like the Astros who have no notions of fielding a competitive team next year, it would be a terrible thing for Kepler's development. While teams would be interested in his talent, would they be willing to essentially waste a year of development by keeping him in the big leagues?

      I don't know all the ins and outs of the rule 5 and all of that, but maybe it is not a bad gamble for the Twins to expose him.
    1. Legend of the Arctic's Avatar
      Legend of the Arctic -
      Isn't there a minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft? I'm not an expert with the rules by any means, but I think it would be possible for a team to steal Kepler and put him at AAA instead of in the majors.
    1. markos's Avatar
      markos -
      It should be noted that the opposing starter in New Britain's Friday night game was Noah Syndergaard, who is one of the top 5-10 pitching prospects in baseball right now. He was obviously dealing that night, as he had 10 strikeouts in only 5 innings (to go with no walks and just 3 hits).

      Rosario and Sano both struck out twice in their two at bats against him. I haven't gone through the game logs to verify this, but there seems to be a good chance that Syndergaard is the best pitcher they have ever faced. Hopefully they will able to learn from these at bats, as they will be facing more and more pitchers of Syndergaard's quality (and better) as they move up the farm system and into the majors during the next year or so.

      I've always thought that an interesting research project would be to catalog whenever top prospects face each other. Though I suspect that the sample-sizes will be too small to be meaningful, it may provide some insight into how prospects will perform as they are promoted. For example, a hitter who hits well against all competition may do better on promotion than a hitter who hits well against the dregs of the level but struggles against the other elite talents, even though their overall stat lines may be identical.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      I have a question Jeremy. We learned of the signing of Thomas recently with many reports that he had just signed. Doesn't the new CBA require that all players had to sign by July 15th or they couldn't be signed?

      If that is the case, I expect Thomas signed then and no one learned about it until recently. That is unless there are exceptions to the July 15th rule.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
      I have a question Jeremy. We learned of the signing of Thomas recently with many reports that he had just signed. Doesn't the new CBA require that all players had to sign by July 15th or they couldn't be signed?

      If that is the case, I expect Thomas signed then and no one learned about it until recently. That is unless there are exceptions to the July 15th rule.
      As a college senior, he was not subject to the signing deadline
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Correct. Deadline doesn't apply to seniors, which could have added another element of intrigue to the potential selection of Mark Appel.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Kepler will absolutely be protected on the big league 40 man... he was on the AAA last year.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Um, yeah, Kepler's a no-brainer. Does the same hold true for Sano? They were signed the same year, but not really, as Kepler signed at the regular time and Sano signed late, if you remember.

      Hmmm, I ask the question of a thread that's no longer being read or that I'd likely not return to see the answer.
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