Friday, September 2, 2016

Twins 2016 Short-Season Minor League Pitcher Of The Year - Huascar Ynoa

Short season pitchers can be tough to evaluate. One bad outing when players have limited innings can really skew a player's overall numbers. Should fans only be looking at the players that are starters? Can a relief pitcher be the best player on short season team?

As evident by the ballots below, the Twins Daily minor league writing team had a tough time voting for this award. The overall winner was left off one person's ballot, was fifth on another ballot, but he was the only player to make it onto four ballots. The third place winner only made it on to two ballots but he finished first on both of those ballots.

The five Twins Daily Minor League Report authors were asked to vote for the various awards. For the short-season pitcher of the year, we each voted for five players. The player who was voted as #1 received five points, #2 received four points and so on with the #5 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below.

First, a reminder of our previous awards:
Short profiles of our top five are to follow, but first, some players worthy of Honorable Mention.

Honorable Mention:
  • Brady Anderson, GCL Twins: 13 G, 9 GS, 5-0, 1.43 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 56.2 IP, 43 H, 0 BB, 42 K.
  • Moises Gomez, GCL Twins: 13 G, 0 GS, 3-0, 1.38 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 32.2 IP, 29 H, 11 BB, 21 K.
  • Migeul De Jesus, GCL Twins/ Elizabethton Twins : 11 G, 11 GS, 3-3, 2.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 53.0 IP, 37 H, 19 BB, 47 K.
Pitcher of the Year

Here are the top five vote-getters for Twins Short-Season Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year.

#4 (Tie) –Tyler Wells, Elizabethton Twins: 10 GS, 5-2, 3.23 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 47.1 IP, 40 H, 17 BB, 59 K.

Wells ended on quite the stretch for the E-Twins. He earned victories in his last four starts (24.1 IP) and he posted a 0.74 ERA and a 27 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio during that stretch. He lowered his ERA by 3.24 between July and August while decreasing his walk rate and his WHIP. Wells was particularly effective against right-handed batters as he collected 34 strikeouts compared to six walks over 112 at-bats.  

#4 (Tie) – Taylor Clemensia, GCL Twins: 11 G, 10 GS, 1-4, 2.47 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 43.2 IP, 27 H, 26 BB, 47 K.

Clemensia joined the Twins organization this season after pitching last year in the Dutch Major League. He got off to a strong start as he allowed two earned runs and held opponents to a .083 batting average through his first four appearances. Walks have been the biggest struggle for Clemensia as he has allowed batters to get on base over 31% of the time. 

#3 – Bo Hellquist, GCL Twins: 11 GS, 3-2, 1.34 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 60.2 IP, 46 H, 15 BB, 49 K.

Hellquist, an Edina native and a University of Minnesota-Duluth product, has been very consistent this season as he didn't allow more than one earned run in his first 10 appearances. In his last outing, he allowed three earned runs but he struck out six on the way to his fifth victory. His ERA was 2.50 or lower in each month of the season.

Even though he is a lefty, Hellquist fared better against right-handed foes. Lefties posted a .705 OPS and a 9 to 2 strikeout to walk ratio (56 AB) while righties had a .571 OPS and a 37 to 5 strikeout to walk ratio (156 ABs). He struck out five or more batters in four of his eleven appearances and he never walked more than two batters in a game. 

#2 – Patrick McGuff, Elizabethton Twins/GCL Twins 22 G, 17 GF, 2-0, 2.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 31.2 IP, 26 H, 10 BB, 42 K.

During his professional debut, McGuff has shown plenty of positive signs. He started the year with four appearances out of the GCL Twins bullpen. He picked up two saves and only allowed three base runners during that stretch. He struck out nine and didn't issue a walk before being promoted to the E-Twins.

He continued his hot pitching after being promoted. Through his first six appearances with Elizabethton, he didn't allow an earned run and he posted a 17 to 5 strikeout to walk ratio. Over his next four games, he allowed a pair of earned runs but he was still able to pick up saves in two of those outings.

Across his last eight games (11.0 IP), he has earned a save or victory as the E-Twins were in the midst of the playoff hunt. Opponents were limited to a .275 SLG during this stretch and he had a 12 to 2 strikeout to walk ratio.

Starting Pitcher of the Year – Huascar Ynoa, GCL Twins : 11 G, 11 GS, 3-5, 3.88 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 51.0 IP, 44 H, 12 BB, 51 K.

In his first year of baseball in the United States, Ynoa took awhile to get the ball rolling. Through his first five appearances (27.1 IP), he had an 0-4 record but combined for a respectable 2.96 ERA with a 31 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio. Opponents were hitting .241/.299/.287 against him during this stretch but he wasn't able to earn a win.

As the calendar flipped to August, Ynoa began to find his groove. He would reel off three straight wins to start the month where he pitched five innings in every outing and allowed only one earned run. He collected 13 strikeouts and only two walks through those three games as opponents were limited to a .426 OPS and a .243 BABIP.

His last two stars would not be as clean as he allowed nine runs (eight earned runs) in 8.2 innings of work. Batters were getting on over 32% of the time and he allowed more than a hit per inning. Even with this rough end to the season, Ynoa did well enough to be the Twins best short season pitcher.

There you have it, the top pitchers in the short season leagues. 

The Ballots

In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers:
  • Seth Stohs – 1) Patrick McGuff, 2.) Moises Gomez, 3.) Huascar Ynoa, 4.) Jordan Balazovic, 5.) Taylor Clemensia
  • Jeremy Nygaard – 1) Huascar Ynoa, 2.) Taylor Clemensia, 3.) Brady Anderson , 4.) Miguel De Jesus, 5.) Patrick McGuff
  • Cody Christie – 1) Bo Hellquist, 2.) Tyler Wells, 3.) Huascar Ynoa, 4.) Tyler Beardsley, 5.) Miguel De Jesus
  • Steve Lein – 1) Brady Anderson, 2.) Patrick McGuff, 3.) Tyler Wells, 4.) Miguel De Jesus, 5.) Huascar Ynoa
  • Eric Pleiss – 1) Bo Hellquist, 2.) Taylor Clemensia, 3.) Colton Davis, 4.) Tyler Wells,  5.) Moises Gomez
Feel free to discuss. What do you think? How would you rank them? How would your ballot look?

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