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 Kernels (A - Low) - Trevor Hildenberger (P) - Our star for the Kernels this week is Trevor Hildenberger, relief pitcher for Cedar Rapids. Hildenberger has been one of the strongest arms out of the Kernels bullpen all season and continues to roll with his latest outing against the Beloit Snappers on July 6th in which Trevor pitched one inning and allowed one hit while striking out three Beloit batters to earn the save. For the 2015 season, Trevor is 2-1 with 10 saves in 11 opportunities and has a 0.89 ERA along with a stingy 0.67 WHIP. Hildenberger has an outstanding 53 SO/5 BB ratio and is currently allowing opposing batters to only hit .156 off of him in 2015. He is also yet to allow any HR's in the 2015 season and looks to be a bright opportunity for the Twins organization as a future closer or set up option from the bullpen. My call is that Trevor gets a chance in Fort Myers with the Miracle yet in 2015, but if not he's certain to be there in 2016.
- Fort Myers Miracle (A - High) - Engelb Vielma (SS) - This week's star from the Fort Myers Miracle is Engelb Vielma, shortstop for the Miracle. Vielma has been on a tear for Miracle as of late, hitting .389 (14-36) over the past 10 games. Engelb also mixed in 4 RBI, 6 runs scored, and 3 stolen bases over that span, showing the possible threat on the base paths that he could be for the Twins organization if the bat and glove continue to improve. Vielma's offensive numbers are starting for improve for the season as well as he is hitting .257 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, and 21 RBI. He has 69 hits for the season and has scored 29 runs, along with 20 stolen bases for the Miracle. If he can continue to work on his plate appearances and shave down his error number from 11, that speed could be what Minnesota is looking for in a shortstop and other than Jorge Polanco at Rochester the prospects at that position are currently on the lean side. Look for Vielma to finish 2015 at Fort Myers and most likely start there in 2016 but with Polanco moving to Rochester, a spot could definitely open at Chattanooga for Vielma.
- Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) - Max Kepler (OF) - Our star from the Chattanooga Lookouts this week is Max Kepler, outfielder for the Lookouts. Kepler has made this list previously in 2015 and with the performance across his past 10 games showed why he's back on the list again. The Lookouts have been struggling starting the second half of the 2015 season but Kepler has started to heat up again in his last 10 games hitting .294 (10-34) with 6 RBI, 6 R, and 1 SB. Max still looks to be a strong candidate to fight for a Minnesota Twins outfield position at Spring Training in 2016 with his strong overall 2015 campaign. For the year, Kepler is hitting .324 with a .400 OBP, a .912 OPS, and is Slugging .512. His numbers are spectacular across the board with 23 2B, 8 3B, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 47 R, and 13 SB. Max's defensive skills have been just as good as the offensive numbers with only 3 errors combined at 1B/OF for the 2015 season. I will be very surprised if Kepler is not moved up to Rochester by the end of 2015 and will definitely be in the hunt for a roster spot with the Twins in 2016.
- Rochester Red Wings (AAA) - Oswaldo Arcia (OF) - This week's star from the Rochester Red Wings is Oswaldo Arcia, outfielder for Rochester. Arcia is trying to work his way back to the Twins 25-man roster and if he continues to have stretches like he has had recently, he could be back in Minneapolis to provide an additional boost of power for the Twins during their playoff hunt. In his past 10 games, Arcia has been hitting .375 (15-40) with 5 HR, 11 RBI, and 9 R. The Twins are still on the lookout for additional power, even with the promotion of Miguel Sano and if Arcia can consistently be a run producer like he has over the past 10 games, it will make it hard for Terry Ryan and the front office to keep Oswaldo in Rochester. For his 2015 season in Rochester, Arcia is hitting .262 along with a .462 slugging percentage and an OPS of .754. He has played 35 games in Rochester and has 8 2B, 6 HR, 23 RBI, and 13 R. He definitely has flashes of the kind of the power that the Twins need in the 4-7 spots of the lineup and just needs to continue to work on pitch selection and cutting down on his strikeout rate. If Arcia can accomplish this, we should see him back at Target Field in time for the final push towards the playoffs.
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!