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) - Nick Gordon (SS) - Our star for the Kernels this week is Nick Gordon, shortstop for Cedar Rapids. Gordon's bat has started to heat up in the past several games, starting to give Twins fans and the front office a glimpse of the player they drafted in the first round. In his last 10 games, Gordon is hitting .375 with 1 HR, 11 RBI, and 7 R. This has helped improved his numbers for the 2015 season. Nick is hitting .277 on the season with a .340 OBP, .353 SLG, and a .693 OPS. Gordon has 17 2B, 5 3B, 1 HR, 53 RBI, 63 R, and is 23/30 in SB. Nick does have 16 E on the season so there is some work to be done in cleaning up the defensive part of his game but with the skill set and high ceiling, we should see Gordon playing shortstop at Fort Myers at some point in early 2016.
- Fort Myers Miracle (A - High) - Adeline Meija (2B) - This week's star from the Fort Myers Miracle is Adeline Meija, second baseman for the Miracle. Meija is not one of the top draft picks or highly touted players from Fort Myers like others on the Miracle roster but his play in the last 10 games has started to attract some attention from Twins minor league watchers. In his last 10 games, Meija is hitting .395 with 11 RBI and 2 R. On the 2015 season, Meija is hitting .255 with a .331 OBP, .307 SLG, and a .639 OPS. Adeline has 6 2B, 1 3B, 19 RBI, 9 R, and is 3/7 in SB. He has played solid defense in the 40 games at Fort Myers in 2015 with just 4 errors on the season. Meija looks to be a possible utility player for the Twins in the future as he can effectively play both middle infield positions.
- Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) - D.J. Baxendale (P) - Our star from the Chattanooga Lookouts this week is D.J. Baxendale, starting pitcher for the Lookouts. Baxendale has been one of the few bright spots for the Lookouts in the second half of the 2015 campaign and has looked better as the season has progressed. In his last two starts, Baxendale is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA and a 5 SO/2 BB ratio. For the 2015 season, in 19 games pitched Baxendale is 5-3 with a 3.92 ERA over 96 1/3 innings pitched. D.J. has struck out 79 batters while walking 31 so control is something that he will need to continue to work on, which can also be seen in his 1.36 WHIP and .270 batting average against. The potential is there with Baxendale it will just be whether the organization can get him to harness his stuff, cut down on the walks, and shave down the batting average against. Right now, I would say that at least another half season or more at AA will be in the cards for Baxendale before a chance to move to Rochester.
- Rochester Red Wings (AAA) - Jose Berrios (P) - This week's star from the Rochester Red Wings is Jose Berrios, starting pitcher for Rochester. Not much needs to be said about Berrios that isn't already known by Twins fans as he is one of the most watched prospects in the Twins organization. In his last two starts at Rochester, Jose is 1-1, with a 1.93 ERA and a 13 SO/2 BB ratio in those two contests. For the season at Rochester, Berrios is 3-1 with a 3.02 ERA, a .232 average against, and a 1.12 WHIP. Berrios continues to have that same great strikeout to walk ratio at Rochester with 43 SO/12 BB. There is still a chance that Jose could be a September 2015 call-up but if not then he should definitely be in the battle for a spot in the Twins rotation at Spring Training in 2016.
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!