This week we'll be taking a look at some of the stories that have hit the Twins' minor league system, including a discussion on a 50-game suspension for a Cedar Rapids player.
As Jesse discussed yesterday, the Twins have a lot to look forward to as Alex Meyer continues to pitch well at new levels. Earning his first win in Rochester this week, Meyer fanned 11 batters in just 6 innings, giving up only 2 hits and 3 walks. His ERA is now 2.70 in 25+ innings pitched (he also has 35 Ks). Thankfully, Meyer's success brings a spark of hope to what the starting rotation in the Cities could have shortly.
Yohan Pino has been having some success in Rochester as well, as he leads the team in WHIP as of today. Pino has 27 K in 23 innings pitched, while giving up 12 hits, 3 earned runs, and 7 walks. His WHIP is now 0.83. Alex Meyer's WHIP is currently 1.13.
Cedar Rapids prospect, 21-year-old second baseman Jonatan Hinojosa, was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for "metabolites of Nandrolon". Nandrolon is a drug used in treatments for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The weirdest part is that Hinojosa is the 8th minor leaguer in the past two years to be caught with the substance.
Down in Cedar Rapids, right-handed starter Aaron Slegers is having a nice start to the 2014 campaign, as he's now 2-0 with a 3.14 ERA. His start this past week was a 7 inning effort, in which he only gave up one earned run on six hits. He didn't walk anyone and struck out eight -- bringing his season total to 27 Ks in 28.2 innings pitched.
The Kernels are also seeing some success lately from right-handed second base prospect Tanner Vavra. Vavra's now hitting .350 with 8 RBI and a stolen base. He has struck out 15 times to taking just 4 walks, but he's seeing the ball a bit better and hopefully the walks will climb while those strikeouts lower.
In New Britain, the Rock Cats are seeing some oomph from their first base prospect Kennys Vargas. Vargas is currently leading the team in average, homers, and RBI (though the season is still very young). He's hitting .278 with 3 dingers and 12 RBI. He's also taken 10 walks, though he has struck out 16 times in 79 AB. He's currently 0-for-1 in stolen bases.
As far as pitching goes for the Rock Cats, Pat Dean leads the pack in ERA and WHIP right now, posting a 3.51 and 1.32, respectively. While those may not be the most impressive of numbers, the team still has some time to straighten out their pitching staff a bit. Dean's pitched 25.2 innings, giving up 27 hits, 15 runs (only 10 earned), 7 walks, and has 20 Ks.
Don't worry too much, Twins fans, if the big league club hits a rough patch now and then. Keep in mind that the future still has bright spots coming up, and even if he's injured, we still have the number one ranked prospect in all of baseball. Oh, crap.