Minor League Report...July 9, 2011

The organization wasn't able to play winning ball this week, finishing with a 23-25 record. The GCL Twins led the way at 5-3 with Ft. Myers also playing winning ball (4-3).

The Red Wings placed Anthony Slama on the disabled list with Jeff Manship returning from a rehab assignment in the GCL. Kevin Slowey and Delmon Young both joined the Red Wings on rehab assignments. New Britain activated Spencer Steedley with Michael Tarsi replacing him on their disabled list. Ft. Myers and New Britain traded closers, with Dakota Watts moving up to the Rock Cats and Bruce Pugh going back to Ft. Myers. Joe Benson also returned to New Britain after a short rehab assignment. Minnetonka native A. J. Pettersen was hit in the face with a pitch and will miss several weeks. Oswaldo Arcia missed a few games, however, was back in action last night.

The Twins announced that they signed Dominican right handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez on the first day of the International signing period. Beloit's Jairo Perez was named the Midwest League's Batter of the Week and Rochester's Chuck James was their lone selection to the International League All-Star game.

Eddie Rosario was our Player of the Week with the largest vote of the year, 69%. This week's review follows the jump.

The last place Rochester Red Wings (3-5) began their week by dropping two, 1-0 and 3-1, at division leading Lehigh Valley. Scott Diamond was very good on Saturday, pitching eight innings with only five hits and a single run. The Wings returned home to win one of three against Pawtuckett. Their lone "W" came in the opener of Tuesday's double header when Kevin Slowey made a rehab start, pitching 2.2 innings with four hits, two runs, no walks and two strikeouts. Slowey said afterwards that his fast ball was fine but his breaking ball needs work. The Wing's scored eleven runs off IL All-Star Matt Fox in their 13-3 win, hitting six home runs with two from Trevor Plouffe. Lehigh Valley came to upstate New York on Wednesday, with the Red Wings taking two (7-0 and 6-4) before last night's 9-5 loss. Jeff Manship, who made his first start back with the Wings on Wednesday, pitched four no-hit innings in a game that he would combine with Jake Stevens, Kyle Waldrop and Jim Hoey for an unusual no-hitter.

Delmon Young was 6-23 with a pair of doubles and home run in six games as he prepares for his return after the all-star break. Aaron Bates continues as the Wings top hitter at .330/.406/.440 in 200 at bats. Kyle Gibson took a break this week following his last outing on June 30 when he allowed five runs in five innings. Gibson, who is noticeably absent from the International League All-star roster, has a 4.17 ERA in sixteeen games (86.1 innings).

Rochester's top player was Trevor Plouffe who has twice been voted Player of the Week by the readers of Twinkie Town. Plouffe, who is currently on a seven game hitting streak, was 9-28 (.321 average) with two doubles, three home runs, six runs scored and four runs batted in. Plouffe is now hitting .304 average with a 1.026 OPS in 181 at bats with the fifth most (most in Twins organization) fifteen home runs even though he has about a hundred less at bats than those ahead of him on the IL home run leader board.

New Britain (3-4) lost a double header against Harrisburg last Saturday, 9-3 and 11-3. Steve Hirschfeld had his toughest start of the year, allowing eight runs in 1.1 innings in the nightcap. The Cats beat Harrisbug Sunday when Liam Hendriks pitched seven innings, allowing two runs with seven strikeouts. The Cats lost the first two of a four game series with division leading New Hampshire, 11-1 and 7-2, before winning the last two, 4-3 in ten innings and 5-2, to split the series. Joe Benson returned on Tuesday with a 1-2 night. He also had a sacrifice fly, was hit by a pitch and threw a runner out at home from center field. Steve Hirschfeld recovered from his rough start on Saturday to pitched six innings with only one run on Thursday. Last night's game with Binghamton was rained out as New Britain finished its week at 45-39, four games out.

Liam Hendriks, who will head to Phoenix for this weekends Future Game, has the league's third most wins (8-2), sixth best ERA (2.70), ninth most strikeouts (81), and fourth best WHIP (1.14) in ninety innings. One player not often talked about is short reliever Tony Davis. Davis, who was the Twins twelfth round pick in 2009, split last year at Ft. Myers and New Britain with a 2.77 ERA. He has cut down his walks this year (11 in 25.0 innings versus 46 in 68.1 innings last year), which has helped him compile an excellent 2.88 ERA in fifteen appearances (25.0 innings).

This week's Player of the Week is a young man who could be nominated nearly every week. The Cats leading hitter, Yangervis Solarte, is hitting .328/.367/.449 in 305 at bats with a team leading 22 doubles. Solarte has struck out 23 times while taking only 15 walks. Solarte began his week with a 5-7 day in Saturday's double header, finishing at 8-21 (.380 average) with five runs scored, two doubles and three runs batted in.

The Ft. Myers Miracle (4-3) had a winning week, yet find themselves in fifth place two games behind four teams tied for first. Their week began by splitting a pair with Charlotte, winning 9-3 and losing 6-0. Pat Dean earned his first FSL win on Saturday, pitching 5.1 innings while allowing two runs. Oswaldo Arcia and Danny Rams supported Dean with home runs. They would open a four game series with St. Lucie with a 9-5 win on Monday. Logan Darnell had a quality start which was supported by a 4-5 night from Arcia and another home run from Rams. After dropping a 9-2 game on Tuesday, the Miracle would split the series with a 3-2 win in eleven innings on Wednesday. Jhon Garcia pitched six strong innings, allowing one run. The Miracle opened a weekend series at Brevard County last night with a 5-4 win. Edgar Ibarra picked up the win with two shutout innings in relief of Tom Stuifbergen, who allowed four runs in six innings.

One of the Miracle's best relievers all season has been Andrew Albers, who has a 4-1 record with a 1.61 ERA in 21 games (50.1 innings) with 44 strikeouts and only 7 walks. Since his promotion from Beloit, Matt Hauser has a 1-1 record, three saves and 2.37 ERA in 19.0 innings with 21 striketouts. Before moving on to New Britain, Dakota Watts compiled a 2-2 record with eight saves and a 4.60 ERA in 24 games (31.1 innings) with 25 strikeouts.

Oswaldo Arcia is adjusting very well to FSL pitching as he is hitting .297 average in 37 at bats with three doubles and a home run. Although he missed a couple games this week, Arcia was the Miracle's best hitter at 8-19 (.421 average) with a double, home run, four runs scored and five runs batted in.

The Beloit Snappers (3-4) are tied with Clinton, a game behind Kane County. They beat Kane County last Saturday behind a great start by B. J. Hermsen who allowed one run in seven innings with ten strikeouts. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers came to Beloit on Sunday. The Snappers lost the opener, 5-4, when Jose Gonzalez blew a save after a quality start by Adrian Salcedo. Ryan O'Rourke missed a quality start by one out in a game they would lose in eleven innings Monday, 11-8. The Timber Rattlers completed the sweep on Tuesday, 8-3. They lost the opener Wednesday at Peoria, 3-2, before winning a pair, 10-4 and 4-1. B. J. Hermsen had his second quality start of the week Thursday as did Salcedo on Friday with Jairo Perez getting multiple hits in both games.

Nate Roberts had hits in all four games he played. He is one of the team's top hitters with a .295 average in 200 at bats with a team high four triples. Although Danny Ortiz' average has dipped to .259, he leads the Snappers with 25 doubles. After hitting only .162 average in April, Lance Ray has twenty doubles with his average up to .258. With two wins this week, B. J. Hermsen has a 8-6 record to go with a 3.52 ERA.

The Snappers' top player this week is also one of the organization's top starters, twenty year old Adrian Salcedo. He allowed one earned run in 6.2 innings with seven hits, two walks and three strikeouts on Sunday. Salcedo returned for a no decision last night, again pitching 6.2 innings with six hits, one run, two strikeouts and two walks. For the season, Salcedo has a 5-3 record in sixteen starts in the league's second most innings (99.1), with a 2.81 ERA, 68 strikeouts and 24 walks.

Although the Elizabethton Twins (3-4) had a losing week, they remained in second place four games behind Johnson City. The Twins dropped their last game with Kingsport, 8-6, on Saturday before dropping two against Greeneville, 3-2 and 6-3. Recently signed Matt Summers made his first appearance Sunday, striking out all three batters he faced. Bart Carter nearly matched Summers, striking out six in three innings without any hits or walks. They traveled to Kingsport on Tuesday for a three game sweep, 6-4, 9-3 and 9-7. Madison Boer was the winner in relief on Tuesday. Opening day starter Todd Van Steensel pitched five shutout innings for his second win Wednesday. The bullpen closed the door again on Thursday with Carter, Summers and Boer pitching 3.2 shutout innings with only one hit and seven strikeouts. The Twins hosted Greeneville last night in a game they lost 9-4 after Cesar Ciurcina allowed five runs in 1.1 innings.

Madison Boer (second round pick), Matt Summers (fourth round) and Bart Carter are becoming a force at the back end of the Twins bullpen. Boer has a 2-1 record with three saves and a 2.84 ERA in six games (6.1 innings) with thirteen strikeouts and no walks. Carter has a 1-0 record with a 1.69 ERA in five games (10.2 innings) with twenty strikeouts and no walks. Summers appeared in three games this week (3.0 innings) without allowing a hit while striking out seven and walking one.

This week's player of the week is Miguel Sano who hit safely in all seven games. Sano was 11-30 (.366 average) with three doubles, three triples, one home run, seven runs scored and five runs batted in. Although only eighteen years old, Sano is hitting .307/.338/.587 in 75 at bats with a team best six doubles and three triples. Playing both third base and shortstop, Sano has also commited eleven errors.

The Gulf Coast League Twins (5-3) remain in a tie for first with the Orioles. They dropped a game to the cross town Red Sox on Saturday, 3-1, wasting an excellent start by Bobby O'Neill who pitched three shutout innings. Luis Nunez pitched four no-hit innings of relief in the first half of Monday's double header with the Rays that the Twins won, 6-2. Tyler Herr pitched two no-hit innings of relief to pick up the win in the nightcap, 3-2. The Twins would complete their sweep of the Rays on Tuesday, 8-3, with Australian Josh Hendricks having his third consecutive multi-hit game. Catcher Michael Quesada was 2-3 with a pair of home runs. The Twins would get only five hits, losing to the Orioles on Wednesday, 5-3. They then split two with the Orioles on Thursday by identical 3-1 scores. Bobby O'Neill returned with another three innings of shutout ball in the nightcap. The Twins closed out their week with a 5-1 win over the Red Sox yesterday when Ricardo Arevelo pitched three innings of no-hit ball. Wander Guillen, who was 2-4, is now hitting .351 average in 37 at bats.

Ricardo Arevalo, who returns to the GCL Twins for a second year, leads the staff with 14.0 innings, a 1.29 ERA and 16 strikeouts. Tyler Herr has appeared in six games (11.1 innings) with a 2.38 ERA. Angel Mata is an eighteen year old starter who moved up from the DSL Twins. Mata has started three games (10.0 innings) with a 1.80 ERA and nine strikeouts.

Phillip Chapman was this year's thirty-fifth round pick out of the University of Memphis. Chapman leads the GCL Twins with a .379 average in 29 at bats with a team high five doubles for a 1.024 OPS. This week, Chapman was 6-14 (.428 average) with five runs scored, two runs batted in and four doubles.

The DSL Twins (2-2) lost two games this week to bad weather as they remain in third place a game behind the White Sox. They opened their week with a 4-3 win over the Cubs-1. Edgar Martinez picked up his first win with three perfect innings. The Twins wouldn't return to action until Wednesday, when they beat the Padres, 3-2. Feliz Jorge made his second start, pitching three innings with one hit and and two unearned runs. The Twins lost to the Diamondbacks Thursday, 14-3, before dropping a heartbreaker to the White Sox yesterday, 2-1. Randy Rosario pitched three innings with only two hits and a run. Edgar Martinez didn't allow any hits, however, gave up a run after walking two to pick up the loss.

Edgar Martinez made two appearances this week, pitching 4.2 innings with no hits and no strikeouts. Unfortunately, his two walks last night led to a one run loss to the division leading White Sox. Regardless, Martinez is this week's DSL Twins Player of the Week.

My featured player is a young shortstop who was selected the Midwest League's Batter of the Week, Jairo Perez. Perez signed with the Twins as an eighteen year-old free-agent on July 25, 2006. He broke in with the DSL Twins in 2007, hitting .091 in 33 at bats. He stepped it up the following year when he was the DSL Twins top hitter with a .338 average in 160 at bats with a team best sixteen doubles and four home runs. Perez moved up to the GCL in 2009 where he hit for only a .217 average in 120 at bats. He missed all of 2010 with Tommy John surgery.

Perez began this season in extended spring training, joining the Snappers in early June. With only one solid season behind him, Perez has surprised many as he became the Midwest League's top hitter with a .400 average in 95 at bats. He also has six doubles and six home runs for an amazing 1.130 OPS. He has shown excellent plate discipline with only fourteen strikeouts and eleven walks. Perez also has some speed as he has stolen five bases in eight attempts. Normally a twenty-three year old prospect playing well at Beloit wouldn't be exciting news. But a young man who missed all of last year who is hitting .400 average after skipping a level is very big news!

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