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    by 06-03-2012, 07:43 PM

    Last night, word came out that Carl Pavano was going to undergo an MRI and it appears likely that he will end up on the disabled list. All indications are that Jeff Manship will be starting in Pavano’s spot on Wednesday. No word on whether Manship will be rocking a mustache or not.

    On Sunday evening, ESPN’s Jim Bowden broke (?) the news that the Astros will indeed be selecting Stanford RHP Mark Appel - confirming what many already believed - with the #1 overall pick tomorrow night. After a sigh of relief (for me personally), we can now wonder what the Twins will do with #2. The latest indications are the Twins are deciding between OF Byron Buxton and SS Carlos Correa, with P Kevin Gausman a wild card. The next 24 hours will be interesting.

    With that, let’s take a spin around the farm:
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    by 06-03-2012, 09:47 AM

    Worried about rush hour traffic, I left my sister’s place early, just to make sure I was in Woodbury by 8:45. Traffic wasn’t bad, so I was there before 8. By 8:15 or so, Scott (the man behind Territory Train) had arrived, and the bus was there by 8:30. I was thrilled that we were 1.) on a Lorenz Bus, and 2.) that our bus driver would again be Ed (the same driver from when I had gone on a Twins Train trip to Detroit two years earlier). There was even more good news, the bus had wireless internet and some electrical outlets. This trip was going to be great!!

    The bus was supposed to depart Woodbury at 9:00 on Friday morning, but everyone was there early and the bus left at 8:45. We made one stop, in Mason City, Iowa, for lunch. Yes, I went to Buffalo Wild Wings! Yum! We arrived at our hotel in Moline, Illinois, at about 3:45, which is nice because we were able to get settled in a little and rested up.

    We left for the Quad Cities ball park (which is in Davenport, Iowa) at about 5:00, knowing the gates opened at 5:30. I have to be honest. I was really, really excited about going to Modern Woodsmen Park. If you have seen the excellent baseball movie Sugar, a lot of it takes place at this field. Being there was even more incredible than seeing it on TV or in a movie. The biggest thing is the bridge that creates a picturesque view for the stadium.
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    by 06-03-2012, 08:47 AM

    Jaynesville, WI - The Twins were in Cleveland on Saturday night and won 7-4. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one inning thanks to RBI singles by Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Trevor Plouffe. Cleveland clawed back with single runs in the first, third, fourth and fifth to tie the game. However, Plouffe’s sixth home run of the season made it 5-4 after six, and Mauer’s third home run, a two-run shot, gave the Twins their 7-4. PJ Walters started and his string of quality starts came to an end. He gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks in 4.1 innings. The bullpen did great again. Brian Duensing threw two perfect innings. Jared Burton came on and struck out the two batters he faced. Glen Perkins worked a perfect eighth inning, and Matt Capps struck out two in the 9th for his 11th save.

    It was a mixed bag of success in the Twins farm system on Saturday. Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Saturday:
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    by 06-02-2012, 09:27 AM

    Earlier this week, I handed out the “awards” for Twins minor league relief pitcher and starting pitcher of the month for May. Today, it’s time to recognize the hitters. You’ll certainly notice that I ranked a top 6 for the two pitching categories and yet, today, I rank just five hitters. I wanted to give six, but there were a lot of guys that were in the same range, and none quite made me say that he had to be added. Miguel Sano, for instance, had an 0-24 stretch and a 1-39 stretch, and yet, he posted a .791 OPS for the month due to six doubles and seven home runs. He may have been #6 despite a .233 batting average. Tyler Grimes and Adam Bryant of the Snappers also had very solid months of day.

    Here are my selections for the Top 5 Twins Minor League hitters in May:
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    by 06-01-2012, 10:32 PM

    On Friday night, the Twins watched Carl Pavano struggle through another rough outing as he tries to find a way to fight through the shoulder problems that have plagued him in 2012. In less than five innings of work, Pavano gave up two home runs including a grand slam. By the time he left the mound, the Twins were in a 7-0 hole and it can be a challenge to come back from that big of a hole.

    The three-game winning streak for the Twins came to an end on Friday night so let's look around the minor leagues to find some standout performances. Since there was not a minor league recap written last night for the Twins Daily site, you will find short summaries of the Thursday night games including the pitcher and hitter of the night.
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    by 06-01-2012, 01:30 PM

    Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
    ----

    With the Twins having a severe need for pitching in the organization as well as six picks among the top 100, it is certain that more than one of those picks (and probably the second overall pick) will be used to draft a pitcher. To this respect, I am presenting profiles of the top 22 pitching prospects for the 2012 MLB draft.

    I have been presenting these alphabetically, and at the end I will rank them. I will be doing about one a day and I will finish before the June 4th draft day. You can find all the profiles (in reverse alphabetical order) as they are presented here. I will start with RJ Alvarez and end with Kyle Zimmer. Each profile will contain a bit of background information and statistics, a mini scouting report and videos and photos. Because Mitch Brown is local, and the Twins have been linked with him, and there is a good possibility that they might select him in the supplementary or second round, I am presenting his profile, in addition to the other 22.


    Profile 23: Mitch Brown
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    by 06-01-2012, 11:46 AM

    Original post from North Dakota Twins Fan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Get out the brooms because the Twins just got done sweeping the A's in a series at Target Field. It wasn't the prettiest of sweeps but a walk-off home run from Josh Willingham and an interesting outing from Francisco Liriano put the cap on the three game set. The A's aren't exactly the cream of the crop in the American League but at this point the Twins are just trying to play better baseball.

    The Twins head to Cleveland for a weekend series with the Tribe but many Twins fans have turned their attention to the MLB Draft that will take place at the beginning of next week. A franchise can be altered by the selection made by their front office and the scouting department. The number two selection in the draft will belong to the Twins and the team needs to hit a home run with this pick.
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    by 06-01-2012, 08:46 AM

    I posted the Twins Minor League Starting Pitchers of the month a day early, but nothing would have changed with it had I waited a day. This morning, I am happy to present to you the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month, and tomorrow, I’ll follow-up with the Twins minor league Hitter of the Month for May. Happy June!! I’m about to embark on the Territory Train, bound for Davenport, Iowa, tonight to watch the Quad Cities River Bats take on Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Twins Daily contributor AJ Pettersen and the rest of the Beloit Snappers. On Saturday morning, we will drive to Beloit to watch a Snappers game at Pohlmann Stadium. It should be a fun trip and expect a blog or two on the events.

    For now, enjoy the fact that there were a lot of very good relief pitching performances in the Twins organization in May. It was tough to limit the list to six. However, here are my choices for the Top 6 Twins Minor League Relief Pitchers in May:
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    by 05-31-2012, 01:49 AM

    Prior to the start of the season, I called Jamey Carroll "the latest passenger on Minnesota's never-ending shortstop carousel," noting the position's instability over the past decade. As it would turn out, the veteran's ride didn't last long, as he ceased drawing regular starts at short by early May.

    Granted, this had as much to do with external factors – most notably Danny Valencia's struggles at third – as Carroll's own play. But it quickly became apparent that the light-hitting 38-year-old is not suited to be a quality regular at this point in his career. Even in the short-term, the Twins knew they would have to look elsewhere for a fixture at shortstop.

    They would like it be Brian Dozier. More accurately, they need to it to be Brian Dozier.
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    by 05-30-2012, 11:01 PM

    It’s hard to believe that the month of May is already complete, and with it, it is time to announce the choices for Twins minor league hitter, starting pitcher and relief pitcher of the month. This month, we are going to start with the starting pitching. There were some very solid starting pitchers during the month of May. Instead of making four starts, as they did in April, they had to be good for five or six starts in May.

    Below, you will find my rankings of the Top 6 starting pitchers in the Twins farm system in the month of May. Be sure to vote for your choice in the comments.
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    by 05-30-2012, 10:15 PM

    Sweet Lord, the Twins swept a series. Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau, Francisco Liriano. Those were all big names going into 2012, and they all had good performances at some point in this series. Bottom line: the Twins won 3 games in a row. Yes, it was against another bad team, and yes, there are still major problems with the Twins. But, as fans, isn't it nice to see a few wins grouped together, rather than many, many losses? I posted this earlier today at Twins Fan From Afar, but here's some food for thought: Justin Morneau is on pace for 29 home runs and 81 RBIs; Joe Mauer is on pace for 39 doubles, 107 walks and is currently a seeing-eye single away from batting .300; Josh Willingham is on pace for 113 RBIs and 32 home runs; and Denard Span is on pace for 45 doubles (which would come close to doubling his career high of 26 from 2010). Yes, there are many bad things happening in Minnesota, but there are some good things, as well.

    Let's take a look at how the Twins' affiliates fared tonight.
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    by 05-30-2012, 10:08 PM

    The June 4, 2012 edition of Sports Illustrated had a story by Tom Verducci where he attempts to document... well, he's a better writer than I'll ever be, so let's let him tell you...

    “This is a story about the real cost of steroids in baseball -- not the broken records, not the litigation, not the talk-show drone about the elite players who juiced and how to weigh their Hall of Fame candidacy. This is a story about the hundreds, even thousands, of anonymous ballplayers whose careers and lives were changed by a temptation that defined an era. It is also a story about the secrets we keep and the casualties we create when we allow the corrupt to go unspoken -- especially when the corrupt is something far more horrific than steroids.”

    The story is especially interesting to Twins fans because it is mostly about Dan Naulty, a reliever from the Twins from 1996-98 who came up through the Twins farm system.
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    by 05-30-2012, 10:35 AM

    Brian Dozier’s profile was elevated quickly thanks to a strong spring training performance. The shortstop was lifted on to Twins fan’s radars when favorable reports emerged from Florida, touting him as the Twins’ next “big” prospect -- ignoring for a moment that at 25 years old he was far from a rising prospect or the fact that when he was excelling in the minors he was doing so at levels in which he was much older than the surrounding competition.

    Dozier arrived with the big club and begin to hit above many analysts’ expectations. Through his first 49 plate appearances, he was hitting .298/.327/.489 with five extra base hits including
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    by 05-30-2012, 05:55 AM

    A week ago, we started to take a look at my Top 50 Twins Prospects. Within the last week, we looked at prospects 11-20, prospects 21-30, prospects 31-40, and prospects 41 through 50. The general belief is that the Twins farm system is pretty weak and sadly, from doing this exercise, I find it hard to disagree. However, to say that it is bad and completely void of talent is also not true at all. Within this top ten, there is a lot of talent. There are still plenty of question marks due to age and injuries, but there are some high ceilings. The hope would be that after the Twins make six selections in the top 100 picks in next week’s draft (And sign them), there will be a lot more talent in the system to believe in. Most likely, the player the Twins select with the #2 overall pick should slot right into the #2 spot on the list below.

    Without further ado, let’s get to the list. Here are my choices for Twins Top Prospects:
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    by 05-29-2012, 10:49 PM

    Tommy Watkins has been in the Twins organization since 1998 when he was the team's 38th round draft pick of the Twins. He spent two seasons in the Gulf Coast League, one year in Elizabethton and one year in Quad Cities. He spent two years playing for his hometown Ft. Myers Miracle. After two-and-a-half seasons with New Britain, he was promoted to Rochester. He spent three-and-a-half seasons there before retiring. However, in late 2007, all the time and all the work paid off when he was called into his manager's office and told he was going to the big leagues. He played in nine games for the Twins and hit .357 (10-28). Watkins is now in his third season as the hitting coach of the Beloit Snappers where this year he gets to work with a team that is currently four games ahead of its nearest competition in its division.

    Tonight, I was joined by Watkins on the SethSpeaks Weekly Twins podcast. We talked about his career, but mainly about his coaching with the Snappers. We talked about Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, AJ Pettersen and more players. It was a fun conversation.
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    by 05-29-2012, 09:55 PM

    Less than a week ago, the thought of pitching at Target Field had to be far from the mind of Cole DeVries. But on Tuesday evening, DeVries found himself making his home debut in front of a crowd full of family and friends. It can be nerve racking to pitch in front of the home crowd for the first time and it had to be even harder for the Minnesota native to be throwing so close to where he grew up.

    Throughout the contest, DeVries worked himself into some jams by walking batters but he always seemed to find a way to wriggle out of these sticky situations. In five innings on the mound, he gave up no runs on two hits with five walks and one strikeout. He wouldn't factor into the decision but it was a decent effort from the 27-year old rookie.

    It wasn't that long ago that DeVries was part of the Rochester Red Wings so let's see how some of his former teammates and the rest of the farm system faired on Tuesday night.

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