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Thread: Article: Twins Minor League Report (6/12): Pino Wins Again!

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    Article: Twins Minor League Report (6/12): Pino Wins Again!


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    Twins Contributor All-Star Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
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    After the Kernels game, they activated Zack Granite and released Ivory "Trap Boy" Thomas, a late-round 2013 draftee.

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    Adam Walker with a couple of walks yesterday. OBP now about .50 ahead of his BA. Still needs work there, but I like the end result if the improvements continue.

    That said, 2012 draft is really starting to look good, despite being a weak class overall.

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    Looking forward to Granite being back. My understanding Jeremias Pineda is back in FtM now to get work in before rejoining CR, as well. JD Williams, Logan Wade and Zack Larson remain on the DL but if the Kernels can get guys healthy, scoring runs may become a little bit easier in the 2nd half. Going to be some more tough decisions made on some players, perhaps, however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
    After the Kernels game, they activated Zack Granite and released Ivory "Trap Boy" Thomas, a late-round 2013 draftee.
    Is this just the first among a slew of moves and releases coming in the next week or so? Low A and High A have their All Star games in the next couple of days- a traditional time to make roster adjustments. Both teams have a boatload of players on the DL. Hearing anything on the health progress of the key injured players or..... any pending promotions?-

    Of interest for the Kernels, Kohl Stewart, obviously, but has Mitch Garver turned enough heads to push out one of the catchers at Ft Myers? And how about a couple of the RPs? For Ft Myers, Berrios, of course, and maybe Shibuya and Adam Walker?

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=pino--001yoh Pino is really interesting. We all saw last year and earlier this year what likely happens when a very successful and older player from AAA gets promoted but he is still interesting.

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    Twins scouting director Deron Johnson was with the team in Kane County over the weekend and has been with them in CR this week. So, yeah, with FSL AS break starting now and MWL AS break starting Monday, there's some evaluating going on.

    As I mentioned above, the Kernels have several players nearing readiness to come off the DL. They're going to need to clear room for those guys on the roster, whether by release, sending down to EST or promotion.

    Garver, who has reached base in 21 straight games, and Chad Christensen would both be candidates for promotion IMO.

    As for pitchers, almost the entire bullpen has looked stong. Van Steensel has K'd 28 in 14 (correction, 22.1 innings) innings and has a 0.90 WHIP. Jared Wilson, Brandon Bixler, Alex Muren, Hudson Boyd all have probably shown enough to get promotion consideration if there's room cleared ahead of them. (Not suggesting all would be promoted, just that it wouldn' shock me if any of them were.)

    If Stewart wraps up the 1st half with another strong start on Sunday, could make a case for himself if the organization were to decide they want to push him aggressively. I just think that's unlikely given his age and experience level.
    Last edited by SD Buhr; 06-13-2014 at 09:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    Twins scouting director Deron Johnson was with the team in Kane County over the weekend and has been with them in CR this week. So, yeah, with FSL AS break starting now and MWL AS break starting Monday, there's some evaluating going on.

    As I mentioned above, the Kernels have several players nearing readiness to come off the DL. They're going to need to clear room for those guys on the roster, whether by release, sending down to EST or promotion.

    Garver, who has reached base in 21 straight games, and Chad Christensen would both be candidates for promotion IMO.

    As for pitchers, almost the entire bullpen has looked stong. Van Steensel has K'd 28 in 14 innings and has a 0.90 WHIP. Jared Wilson, Brandon Bixler, Alex Muren, Hudson Boyd all have probably shown enough to get promotion consideration if there's room cleared ahead of them. (Not suggesting all would be promoted, just that it wouldn' shock me if any of them were.)

    If Stewart wraps up the 1st half with another strong start on Sunday, could make a case for himself if the organization were to decide they want to push him aggressively. I just think that's unlikely given his age and experience level.
    Thanks JC! You posted while I was composing. Yes, you're right, it looks like the BP has been the Kernels salvation this year. Is there any buzz yet about Burdi possibly landing in Cedar Rapids when his college season ends (or Gordon before the end of the season)? Do you have an opinion or projection on Van Steensel and Bixler long-term?

    On Stewart, given the huge success of Berrios this year at Ft Myers, I was wondering if there's any benefit to moving Kohl to Ft Myers should Berrios get the promotion to AA? ( With the understanding that it would be a disappointment to the Kernels and all of you guys in Cedar Rapids ).

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    It would be disappointing to see Stewart leave, but if Gonsalves replaced him, the disappointment could be tempered. In any event, we're quite familiar with losing good players at mid-seson. I just think they're wanting Stewart to work on his fastball and change up command, while doing so at a level where he can also have some success getting guys out. If someone like Slegers or Eades put together 2-3 good starts in a row at this point, I could see them getting pushed a bit more aggressively than Stewart.

    Bixler looks really good about 2 out of every 3 appearances, but still has a clunker occasionally. He has ability, but he's 22 and when you look at all the RPs ahead of him in the organization, he's clearly got his work cut out for him to climb that ladder.

    Van Steensel has just been lights out since joining CR. He's given up 3 runs, total, in 22.1 innings over 14 games and all 3 were on solo HRs. Again, though, he's 23 yrs old so he will need to start passing up some guys ahead of him.

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    Josmil Pinto, making his 2014 Red Wings debut, went 0-4.

    More importantly, he was catching Pino. I hope Pinto has the opportunity to catch pitchers that we may see with the big league club because in the long run, I think that familiarity between pitcher/catcher will be helpful to all of them. From several comments, I've sensed that there may be a bit of reluctance by pitchers with the ML club to put their fate in the hands of a rookie catcher. While that is understandable -- particularly if the pitcher is in a troublesome spot himself -- it had to make everything harder for Pinto.

    So get Pinto as much experience as possible behind the plate while he's in ROC (and with a variety of different pitchers). The hits will come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    It would be disappointing to see Stewart leave, but if Gonsalves replaced him, the disappointment could be tempered. In any event, we're quite familiar with losing good players at mid-seson. I just think they're wanting Stewart to work on his fastball and change up command, while doing so at a level where he can also have some success getting guys out. If someone like Slegers or Eades put together 2-3 good starts in a row at this point, I could see them getting pushed a bit more aggressively than Stewart.

    Bixler looks really good about 2 out of every 3 appearances, but still has a clunker occasionally. He has ability, but he's 22 and when you look at all the RPs ahead of him in the organization, he's clearly got his work cut out for him to climb that ladder.

    Van Steensel has just been lights out since joining CR. He's given up 3 runs, total, in 22.1 innings over 14 games and all 3 were on solo HRs. Again, though, he's 23 yrs old so he will need to start passing up some guys ahead of him.
    Thanks again, JC, very helpful. One more. Speaking of guys who need to move up because of age, have you seen enough of Garver as a Catcher to surmise that he's good enough with the glove to supplant someone up the chain? It looks like his bat is too advanced for the Midwest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Thanks again, JC, very helpful. One more. Speaking of guys who need to move up because of age, have you seen enough of Garver as a Catcher to surmise that he's good enough with the glove to supplant someone up the chain? It looks like his bat is too advanced for the Midwest.
    I like Garver behind the plate. Case in point was last night. This is the kind of night he had:

    Coached Ryan Eades through 7 innings of 9-hit ball, giving up just 2 runs and 2 Ks (and in an interview after the game, raved about his pitcher... very mature).

    Threw out 2 guys stealing.

    Threw out another guy trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd on a ball in the dirt. Technically, not a "caught stealing," but tell that to the runner and his pitcher.

    Similarly, on another ball in the dirt, a runner on 1st started toward 2nd. Garver controlled the ball and the runner froze, waiting for Garver to throw at one of the bases. Instead he ran right at the guy. In fact he made the tag himself when the guy finally tried to move back toward first.

    I like Garver a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Thanks JC! You posted while I was composing. Yes, you're right, it looks like the BP has been the Kernels salvation this year. Is there any buzz yet about Burdi possibly landing in Cedar Rapids when his college season ends (or Gordon before the end of the season)?
    Sorry, I meant to respond to this earlier and didn't.

    I could see Burdi getting up to CR. It's not really unusual to see college pitchers get their feet wet in Elizabethton after they sign and then spend August at low-A.

    With Gordon, I'm not so sure. If they didn't send Buxton to Beloit his first season, I don't know that we should expect them to send Gordon to CR, either. Seems more likely we'd see him to open 2015.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    I like Garver behind the plate. Case in point was last night. This is the kind of night he had:

    Coached Ryan Eades through 7 innings of 9-hit ball, giving up just 2 runs and 2 Ks (and in an interview after the game, raved about his pitcher... very mature).

    Threw out 2 guys stealing.

    Threw out another guy trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd on a ball in the dirt. Technically, not a "caught stealing," but tell that to the runner and his pitcher.

    Similarly, on another ball in the dirt, a runner on 1st started toward 2nd. Garver controlled the ball and the runner froze, waiting for Garver to throw at one of the bases. Instead he ran right at the guy. In fact he made the tag himself when the guy finally tried to move back toward first.

    I like Garver a lot.
    OK, now you've got me going.....from very intrigued....to.....get me out of the Fever Swamp! I get that Stuart Turner has better catching tools, is younger, and outplayed Garver last year, but after some fast digging..... look at this from Baseball America last year before the draft:

    Asked to name the Top Five offensive catchers and top 5 defensive catchers, Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt answered:
    From a defensive point of view, I think those two and Ty Ross are the cream of the crop. Offensively, I’ll go with Indiana’s Kyle Schwarber and New Mexico’s Mitch Garver along with Stuart Turner. Turner is the best all-around catcher, the way I see it.
    So our 2013 9th round pick, Mitch Garver is mentioned in the same breath with this year's #4 overall pick, Schwarber, as well as with Turner? And unlike Schwarber, no talk of Garver having to necessarily switch positions at some point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    Sorry, I meant to respond to this earlier and didn't.

    I could see Burdi getting up to CR. It's not really unusual to see college pitchers get their feet wet in Elizabethton after they sign and then spend August at low-A.

    With Gordon, I'm not so sure. If they didn't send Buxton to Beloit his first season, I don't know that we should expect them to send Gordon to CR, either. Seems more likely we'd see him to open 2015.
    Thanks again. Tom Kelly pushed Mike Radcliff on the air last weekend, and Radcliff relented on Burdi as a very possible candidate for starting out in Cedar Rapids, so fingers crossed.

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    BTW, it's an absolute atrocity that Mitch Garver was left off the MWL All-Star roster.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Great stuff on Garver, SDBuhr. Was very curious about his defense. I really think that he is a bit underrated. Yes, he was a ninth round pick in part, maybe, because he was a senior and they were able to sign him for well below slot and sign other guys with that extra money. However, he was runner up to Stuart Turner in the Johnny Bench Award voting last year which is an award for the top college catcher in the country. In other words, he's also very good.

    To compare statistically Turner and Garver this year isn't really fair due to level of competition from Cedar Rapids to Ft. Myers, but Garver deserves quite a bit of credit for being pretty solid prospect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    BTW, it's an absolute atrocity that Mitch Garver was left off the MWL All-Star roster.
    Yeah I saw that, and coupled with the seeming indifference about that disappointing development for him from the Twins prospect rankers, as Seth states in the previous post, I assumed that he must be displaying Ryan Doumit-like catching skills in Cedar Rapids.

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    Since I'm on a roll here and I'd obviously rather be doing this than working today, let me just add a couple more position player names to the possible promotion list. Probably not at the AS break, but as a possibility down the road: Jason Kanzler and Engelb Vielma.

    Kanzler's K/BB ratio is pretty ugly, but he's an excellent outfielder carrying a .291/.338/.466 slash line, with 5 doubles, 5 triples and 6 HR. He's also stolen 10 bases. He's not at the Garver/Christensen level, by any means, but he's worth watching.

    I'm having a lot of fun watching Vielma play baseball. He looks like he should be playing JV on a high school team somewhere (listed at 157 pounds, which might be generous), but this guy can play shortstop. It's a little deceiving because he makes everything look so easy. Last night, he made a play up the middle and had to spin to throw to first - right on target. He also fielded a throw from Garver that short-hopped him to catch a guy trying to steal. Those things don't show up in a stat line, but you notice them. Makes good contact with the bat, just needs to get stronger. But he's just 19 (for another 9 days) and plenty of room/time to do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
    Since I'm on a roll here and I'd obviously rather be doing this than working today, let me just add a couple more position player names to the possible promotion list. Probably not at the AS break, but as a possibility down the road: Jason Kanzler and Engelb Vielma.

    Kanzler's K/BB ratio is pretty ugly, but he's an excellent outfielder carrying a .291/.338/.466 slash line, with 5 doubles, 5 triples and 6 HR. He's also stolen 10 bases. He's not at the Garver/Christensen level, by any means, but he's worth watching.

    I'm having a lot of fun watching Vielma play baseball. He looks like he should be playing JV on a high school team somewhere (listed at 157 pounds, which might be generous), but this guy can play shortstop. It's a little deceiving because he makes everything look so easy. Last night, he made a play up the middle and had to spin to throw to first - right on target. He also fielded a throw from Garver that short-hopped him to catch a guy trying to steal. Those things don't show up in a stat line, but you notice them. Makes good contact with the bat, just needs to get stronger. But he's just 19 (for another 9 days) and plenty of room/time to do that.
    Hopefully the bat will come, obviously, it's not as big a priority at SS if he's got the fielding chops, but how about Vielma's arm?

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