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  • Twins Minor League Report (6/23): Berrios, Roberts Lead Miracle

    The Twins have a scheduled off day before starting a series in Anaheim against the Angels.

    The club is expected to make a move before tomorrow's game. The belief is they'd like to get down to 12 pitchers. While the exact moves are unknown, it should be noted that Chris Herrmann was replaced in tonight's game for no apparent reason.

    We should know more tomorrow.

    Moving on to Monday's action:

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 2, Buffalo 4
    Box Score

    It would be great to read about Alex Meyer's return to the win column... or at least a return to pitching a good game. However, it wasn't good. It lasted only 3.2 innings (and 73 pitches), but not before giving up seven hits, four runs (two home runs), two walks and three strikeouts. This is Meyer's third consecutive start where he's failed to make it to the fifth inning. It should be noted, too, that Meyer is only ten innings short of his innings total of last year.

    Edgar Ibarra (two innings) and A.J. Achter (2.1 innings) each allowed two hits in scoreless appearances.

    The lineup left some things to be desired. Deibinson Romero, Daniel Ortiz and Chris Rahl each had two hits, including Rahl's home run and Ortiz's triple. James Beresford also tripled. Ortiz was stranded on third base to end the game.

    ROCK CATS REVIEW
    New Britain 3, Altoona 4
    Box Score

    Like all good things, the Rock Cats 12-game winning streak has come to an end. Despite winning 15 of their last 16 coming into tonight, New Britain (39-33) still trails Portland (50-26) by nine games in the Eastern League East Division.

    Virgil Vasquez was tasked to continue the streak and allowed four runs in six innings. The bullpen trio of Jim Fuller, Matt Summers and Dan Turpen combined for three shutout innings and five strikeouts, but the offense didn't offer enough support to get the win.

    Offensively, Eddie Rosario paced the lineup with three hits. He drove in a run and scored once also. Tony Thomas and Aaron Hicks added doubles. Hicks scored on a Rosario hit in the bottom of the ninth, but Rosario - the tying run - was stranded on third on when Reynaldo Rodriguez foul-popped out to end the game.

    Seth informed us on Twitter around 10 PM that it "appears" that Kennys Vargas will be on the Futures Game roster when it is announced tomorrow.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers 12, Charlotte 1
    Box Score

    The Miracle got it done early and often tonight. Nate Roberts collected his first hit of the year. And his second, third and fourth. He also hit three doubles, scored three runs and drove in two. If you're not familiar with Roberts - and you probably aren't unless you've followed the system closely for a long time - he is an on-base machine who has struggled (and that's not putting it too strongly) to stay healthy.

    Jorge Polanco, Niko Goodrum and Jairo Rodriguez all had two hits. This is the fifth-straight multi-hit game for Polanco. Rodriguez and Tyler Grimes both doubled. Goodrum stole his 13th base of the season.

    Travis Harrison was the only member of the lineup who didn't score a run; one of two (Dalton Hicks being the other) who didn't get a hit and one of two (Aderling Mejia, too) who didn't drive in a run. Harrison saw his 14-game hit streak come to an end.

    Jose Berrios was on the hill and was his normal self. In six innings, he allowed five hits and no walks. He struck out eight and allowed only one run. Two triples and the run occurred after Berrios had sat in the dugout and watched the hitters bat around and force a pitching change. In his last 10 games, Berrios is 7-1 with a 1.56 ERA. He's struck out 82 in 63.1 innings. He's only walked 16 and allowed 42 hits (for a WHIP of 0.92).
    No one is really sure why Berrios is still in Fort Myers and he's probably solidified his status as a mid-season Top 50 prospect in all of baseball.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids had a scheduled day off on Monday. Tomorrow they will begin a series in Peoria.

    E-TWINS E-NOTES
    Elizabethton 1, Pulaski 2
    Box Score

    The E-Twins fell to 3-2 on the season.

    E-town's pitching allowed only two runs on 12 hits. Derrick Penilla, back from Cedar Rapids, pitched 4.2 innings. He struck out five and allowed an unearned run on seven scattered hits. Randy LeBlanc allowed four hits in 2.1 innings. Cameron Booser allowed one hit in two innings.

    Offensively, the offense was pretty stagnant. Max Murphy and Brett Doe doubled and Austin Diemer, who had the only RBI, and Tyler Mautner singled. That was it for the offense. The team was 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

    Since his four-hit debut, Nick Gordon has gone 1-for-17 (0-for-4 tonight) and is batting .227. Fortunately, the cold streak has only included three strikeouts (but no walks).

    GCL TWINS TAKES
    GCL Twins 5, GCL Orioles 7
    Box Score

    The rookie league team dropped their 3rd straight game to start their young season.

    Amaurys Minier failed to get a hit for the first time this year, but he did walk twice and score a run. Again, he started the game in left field and finished it in first base. Minier remains the top prospect on the roster.

    Manuel Guzman, a shortstop, had the only multi-hit game for the team.

    Miguel Gonzalez made his season debut and it was forgettable. In 3.1 innings, he allowed eight walks and five earned runs. He did strike out four though and walked none.

    Onas Farfan made his professional debut. He collected five outs (two by strikeouts) and walked three. Reyson Zoquiel took the loss, giving up two runs in two innings.

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Nate Roberts, Fort Myers
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jose Berrios, Fort Myers

    TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Rochester @ Scranton/WB (6:05 CST) – Logan Darnell (Listen)
    Altoona @ New Britain (5:35 CST) – Pat Dean (Listen)
    Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (9:00 AM CST) – D.J. Baxendale (Listen)
    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (7:00 CST) - Ethan Mildren (Listen)
    Pulaski @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) – Michael Cederoth (Listen)
    GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00am CST) – TBD
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      No one is really sure why Berrios is still in Fort Myers and he's probably solidified his status as a mid-season Top 50 prospect in all of baseball.
      Unless of course its a list by Keith Law. But everyone has their opinion I guess.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      I saw in the box score that Eric Farris had 3 outfield assists.

      Its a shame that New Britain had that terrible start to the season. They were 10 games under .500 at one point if I'm not mistaken.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by righty8383 View Post
      Unless of course its a list by Keith Law. But everyone has their opinion I guess.
      While I get the concern of Law's of being an "extreme fly ball" guy, I do think that works out ok at Target Field.

      I would like to make the Berrios/Pedro comparisons, but Pedro was pretty close to 1:1 GO/FO. Pedro's fastball was only around 90 (which came as a surprise to me) according to Fangraphs.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      No one is really sure why Berrios is still in Fort Myers and he's probably solidified his status as a mid-season Top 50 prospect in all of baseball.
      Well this time, we know for sure it's not for lack of "consistency." Dean, Duffey, Rogers and Vasquez are "blocking" him in New Britain. Vasquez is 32, it seems that he should move on to Rochester in a long-relief role there or in New Britain, or as a replacement for Diamond. It seems like a waste to have him taking starts instead of Berrios.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I agree that Berrios has done enough to move up, but I am curious to those who are reading these comments, how would you expect Berrios to perform in AA New Britain? I think he'd be OK, but I thought Lewis Thorpe's control would help him in Cedar Rapids.

      I think it'll happen soon.
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Seth, in response, I think most any young pitcher might take a game or so to adjust to the next level, AA or otherwise. But personally, Berrios, in my opinion, has an almost warrior type attitude and work ethic. I wouldn't be surprised to see a rise in numbers, of course, but an almost equal level of dominance.

      Call me giddy to see!
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Good to see Nate Roberts back at it. If only he can stay healthy now.
    1. Larsbars08's Avatar
      Larsbars08 -
      I'm not expecting dominance at New Britain, although it wouldn't exactly surprise me. But I do wonder what is left for Berrios to learn in Ft. Myers.
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      Always been fascinated by Nate Roberts' numbers...never seen him play though.

      Best case scenario for him...would be ______ ?
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      And Cederoth is starting tomorrow (or today)!

      Gordon...gotta demote the guy...another 0-fer!
    1. f.k.saito's Avatar
      f.k.saito -
      If berrios is on the Futures Game roster, I want him to pitch as World team's starter.
    1. Ncgo4's Avatar
      Ncgo4 -
      Seth, thanks for all your reports. In response to your question, I haven't the foggiest idea, though I hope for continued dominance. The real point is that he has earned the opportunity whatever the outcome. At this point the Twins are almost to the point where they are cheating him.
    1. Ncgo4's Avatar
      Ncgo4 -
      I just noticed in looking at his last 10 games that the first of these was the "bad" one. In the last 9 games he's 7-1 with an ERA of 1.24 and never given up more than 2 runs in any game. Crazy, crazy numbers, yet here he sits.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ncgo4 View Post
      Seth, thanks for all your reports. In response to your question, I haven't the foggiest idea, though I hope for continued dominance. The real point is that he has earned the opportunity whatever the outcome. At this point the Twins are almost to the point where they are cheating him.
      He's super young and its not even July. Lets wait a bit before we condemn the twins. They have been aggressive with some prospects this year so I am willing to wait and see.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      While I get the concern of Law's of being an "extreme fly ball" guy, I do think that works out ok at Target Field.

      I would like to make the Berrios/Pedro comparisons, but Pedro was pretty close to 1:1 GO/FO. Pedro's fastball was only around 90 (which came as a surprise to me) according to Fangraphs.
      Pedro threw mid-90s when he was young. Injuries sapped his velocity, I believe shortly before Pitch f/x was introduced.

      Target Field is good for flyball pitchers, but based on his current rates Berrios would project to be among the most extreme flyball pitchers in MLB (hitters put more balls in the air as the levels advance).

      That's partly why it's strange Berrios hasn't been promoted - is it really a good thing for Berrios, who is completely dominant right now, to be shielded from his main weakness? He basically doesn't have to worry about allowing home runs there. Obviously a different kind of pitcher, but look at Baxendale - flyball pitcher dominates FSL and then is blown up in the EL.

      I think Berrios would be fine overall in AA, but he would be punished for bad pitches much more frequently. He's too good for the FSL and keeping him there makes no sense.
    1. Cody Christie's Avatar
      Cody Christie -
      Love the picture of Berrios with this article. Pretty epic.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
      That's partly why it's strange Berrios hasn't been promoted - is it really a good thing for Berrios, who is completely dominant right now, to be shielded from his main weakness? He basically doesn't have to worry about allowing home runs there. Obviously a different kind of pitcher, but look at Baxendale - flyball pitcher dominates FSL and then is blown up in the EL.

      I think Berrios would be fine overall in AA, but he would be punished for bad pitches much more frequently. He's too good for the FSL and keeping him there makes no sense.
      I agree that he is ready to move up as was Baxendale last year. Just know that it does not mean greatness at the next level. Every level is an adjustment and a different one for each player. Some play OK at high "A" and soar at "AA" (Vargas) and some excel at high "A" (Baxendale / Sano) and flutter (or at least without same dominance) at "AA". Each guy has their own adjustment monitor. Buxton was not good in GCL and OK in Appalachain League - The next year he was National Player of the Year. I beleive that some things can be worked on at any level and does not require being held back. Sometimes weaker competition can ony make you worse (JD Williams in Cedar Rapids - 2014). Promotions are needed but not to be over judged by new results (good or bad).
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I don't think anyone is assuming he will dominate in AA. We are saying he is no longer challenged at A ball. I am a believer that you get better by facing difficult challenges, which does not seem to be the case right now.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      He's super young and its not even July. Lets wait a bit before we condemn the twins. They have been aggressive with some prospects this year so I am willing to wait and see.
      Exactly.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Don't you think this has all been debated among the field staff? It could be something as simple as Berrios and his current pitching coach working on something. Why the angst about this on June 24th? It's not like he's incapable of getting better there.
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