Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Twins Minor League Report (6/24): Big News for Berrios, Vargas

If not for injuries to top prospects Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, it's likely that both players would be heading to their second straight Futures Game. With both players on the shelf, the Twins will have the opportunity to showcase some of their other top talent on Sunday of All-Star week.

The rosters were announced for the MLB Future's Game on Tuesday and the Twins will be represented by first baseman Vargas and right-handed pitcher Jose Berrios. Vargas is near the top of the Twins minor league leader board in almost every major offensive category. Berrios is in the midst of a breakout season in the Florida State League and he could be considered a top 50 prospect in all of baseball.

Berrios pitched on Monday night so he wouldn't be part of Tuesday's action. Kennys Vargas has played at New Britain all season and Berrios could be well on his way to joining him with the Rock Cats. Let's see how New Britain did along with a jammed packed day in the minors.


Rochester 7, Scranton/WB 5 
Box Score
The Red Wings didn't make it easy on this night as they found themselves in a back and forth contest with the RailRiders. Out of Rochester's ten hits, six of them were for extra-bases. The team was also able to overcome leaving 10 men on base and only notching two hits with runners in scoring position. The win snapped a three-game losing skid.

Chris Colabello lead the way offensively going 2-for-5 with a home run, double and two RBI. It was his first home runs since June 20th and only his second home run in 29 Triple-A games this year. Eric Farris was back in the leadoff spot and he collected three hits and two RBI. 

Logan Darnell earned the victory but he wasn't exactly sharp. He tied a career-high with five walks and it was the second time in three starts that he had allowed that many free passes. He allowed three runs over five frames. Michael Tonkin earned his fifth save with a perfect ninth inning. 


New Britain 5, Altoona 2
Box Score
The Rock Cats ended their 12-game winning streak on Monday so it was time to start a new winnings streak on Tuesday. Pat Dean tossed 6.2 frames while allowing one earned run on seven hits for his sixth win of the season. Cole Johnson and Lester Oliveros took care of the rest of the game as Altoona only had one base runner over the last 2.1 innings. 

New Britain's offense showed some strength with a trio of home runs. Mike Kvasnicka hit a two-run bomb in the second inning to start the scoring for the Rock Cats. Reynaldo Rodriguez and Brandon Waring added solo shots later in the game. Aaron Hicks continued his rehab assignment and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. Kennys Vargas got big news earlier in the day but he failed to pick up a hit in four trips to the plate. 

The Rock Cats are 13 games over .500 and the club has won 15 of their last 17 contests.


Fort Myers 7, Charlotte 6 (10th inning)
Box Score
It took two late inning lead changes and a clutch RBI triple from Stuart Turner in the 10th for the Miracle to sweep the Stone Crabs. It was the first extra-innings win for Fort Myers in 2014. Travis Harrison started the top of the tenth with his team-leading 20th double, a pinch hit, and Turner followed with the game-winning hit.

The Miracle pounded out 15 hits including three hit efforts from Tuner, Lance Ray, and Aderlin Mejia. Ray collected two doubles and he scored a run while Mejia had two RBI. The team went 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position to help the cause. 

Fort Myers had to rely a lot on their bullpen in this game. DJ Baxendale lasted 4.2 innings while surrendering five runs on eight hits. Steven Gruver finished the fifth and pitched the next two frames without allowing a run. Tyler Jones was asked to get a two-inning save but he blew the lead in the bottom of the ninth. With the comeback, Jones earned his first victory of the season and Mason Melotakis struck out the side in the 10th for his first save.


Cedar Rapids 1, Peoria 3 
Box Score
Cedar Rapids scored the first run of this game but they would come up empty the rest of the way. The Kernels struggled to a total of five hits and one extra-base hit. Zack Granite led off the game with a double and he was knocked in a couple batters later by Chad Christensen. The four through eight hitters in the order didn't collect a hit and combined for eight strikeouts.

Ethan Mildren pitched five innings and allowed three runs but he didn't get much offensive support. It was the second straight loss for Mildren after winning two straight starts. He's pitched at least five innings in nine of his last ten starts. Brandon Bixler was solid in relief as he allowed two hits and struck out two over two shutout innings.

The loss dropped Cedar Rapids 11 games under the .500 mark.


Elizabethton 6, Pulaski 9 (10 Innings)
Box Score
The E-Twins jumped out to any early 6-0 lead after only two innings but the bullpen faltered down the stretch allowing the Mariners to get back into the game. It was the second consecutive loss for Elizabethton after winning three of the team's first four games. On this night a wild pitch and a fielding error with two outs would cost the team the game.

Three doubles in the first inning and two doubles in the second inning helped the E-Twins offense but the club wouldn't record another extra-base hit the rest of the way. Trey Vavra went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Max Murphy knocked his second double of the year as part of a two hit night.  Every starter for the Twins had at least one hit.

Michael Cederoth started and pitched 2.2 shutout innings. Dereck Rodriguez earned his first hold of the year by throwing two innings and only allowing one unearned run. CK Irby had his first blown save of the year and Josue Montanez took the loss. Montanez didn't allow an earned run as a wild pitch and a fielding error proved costly.


GCL Twins 9, GCL Orioles 1
Box Score
The GCL Twins had struggled out of the gate losing their first three contests of the year and things didn't start out too great in this one as the team found themselves in any early 1-0 hole. Luckily for the Twins, the Orioles didn't do much else after that and the Twins offense found some life.

Roberto Gonzalez was hitless so far this season but that didn't stop him from collecting two doubles as part of a three hit effort. All three of Gonzalez's RBI came with two outs in the inning. Dubal Baez did a good job setting the table out of the lead-off spot. He went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI. 

Michael Theofanopoulos earned his first victory of the season by throwing two shut-out innings with four strikeouts. Wilfredy Liranzo started the game and allowed one run on two hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Eduardo Del Rosario and Miles Nordgren locked down two innings apiece to notch the team's first victory.


Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Pat Dean, New Britain Rock Cats
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Stuart Turner, Fort Myers Miracle


Rochester @ Scranton/WB (6:05 CST) – Kris Johnson (Listen)
Altoona @ New Britain (11:05 CST) – Taylor Rogers (Listen
St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – B.J. Hermsen (Listen)
Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (7:00 CST) - Kohl Stewart (Listen)
Pulaski @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) – TBD (Listen
GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00am CST) – TBD

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