This week we go into the Minnesota Twins minor league organization to find the shining talent that we name the Minor League Stars of the Week. Read on to see who we have named for this week's stars and take a moment to answer the poll and comment on any other players you feel that should have been named.
- Cedar Rapids (A - Low) - Stephen Gonsalves (P) - For the second week in a row, Gonsalves has won the star of the week award for the Low A level. Stephen continues to impress in Cedar Rapids and while taking a loss this past week still has an impressive statline with a 2-1 record, a 1.33 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, and 38 SO/3 BB. The command is still there and with 8 K's in his last start on Friday, Gonsalves continues to dominate hitters in the Midwest League. With continued performances like this, I would be surprised if he's not in Fort Myers by early to middle July.
- Fort Myers (A - High) - Chih-Wei Hu (P) - Hu is also a two time star of the week winner as he continues to shine for the Miracle. With another win in his start this week, Hu is now 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA, along with a 0.71 WHIP and a 28 SO/3 BB ratio. This is another pitcher in the Minnesota Twins minor league organization that is dominating at his level and Hu should be promoted to Chattanooga by the beginning of the second half of the season, leaving that door open for Gonsalves to move to Fort Myers.
- Chattanooga (AA) - Byron Buxton (OF) - Buxton is not only out star of the week but has also been named the Southern Player of the Week for his performance this past week. This is Byron's first player of the week award at the AA level but with weeks like this, there are more to come. Over the past week, Byron is on a seven game hitting streak and has had multi-hit games in five out of seven. He has also belted four triples in that span, along with stealing five bases and scoring 11 runs which is the highest total in all of Minor League Baseball over that span. He capped off the week with a Saturday performance to remember ripping off two triples and a double to seal the award.
- Rochester (AAA) - Lester Oliveros (P) - Oliveros gets the nod from the Red Wings as the star of the week and he has been tremendous out of the Rochester bullpen. Lester is 1-0, with a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in 12 innings pitched but what impresses even more is that in those 12 innings, he has 22 SO/4 BB so almost fanning two batters per inning. With a continued showing like this start to the season by Oliveros, I think it will be a very short amount of time before Terry Ryan and the Minnesota Twins make the call to promote Lester from AAA.
There you have it for this week, our Minor League Stars of the Week. Catch next week's article to see who cracks the list from Cedar Rapids to Rochester and shines from within the Minnesota Twins organization. Check out the poll to vote for your favorite star and use the comments section to let us know who else you think has been deserving of being named a star!