Twins’ 2017 first-round pick Rooker raking early in pro career

The Minnesota Twins are reshaping their franchise with an injection of youth and prospects.

Every Thursday for the rest of the season, FOX Sports North will take a closer look at some specific young players — as well as noting others who might be stepping up — measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress.

This is the 11th edition of the 2017 Young Twins Tracker.

 

Lewin Diaz (age 20/Low-A)

Last week: 5 games, 17 AB, 5 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 1 K, .294 BA.

Season: 82 games, 317 AB, .281 BA, .317 OBP, .461 SLG, .777 OPS, 25 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 34 R, 49 RBI, 0 SB, 17 BB, 51 K.

Notable: Diaz had a pair of games with two hits and now has four two-hit games in July and six over his last 11 games (although he was 0 for 3 in his last two games).

 

Stephen Gonsalves (age 23/Double-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 0-0, 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K

Season: 10 games (10 starts), 5-3, 2.95 ERA, 58 IP, 43 H, 7 HR, 12 BB, 65 K, .200 OBA, 0.95 WHIP

Notable:  Gonsalves had his shortest start of the season since his first appearance back on May 20. However, in that previous game he threw 57 pitches; on July 6 he threw 96.

 

Young Twins Tracker Archive

Nick Gordon (age 21/Double-A)

Last week: 3 games, 13 AB, 1 H, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 6 K, .077 BA.

Season: 79 games, 330 AB, .297 BA, .366 OBP, .455 SLG, .820 OPS, 22 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 51 R, 46 RBI, 9 SB, 35 BB, 83 K.

Notable: Gordon started at shortstop for Team USA in the Futures Game on July 9. Batting leadoff, he went 1 for 3 with a run.

 

Royce Lewis (age 18/Rookie)

Last week: 5 games, 20 AB, 8 H, 2 2B, HR, 8 R, 2 RBI, 4 SB, 3 BB, 3 K, .400 BA.

Season: 13 games, 53 AB, .340 BA, .426 OBP, .566 SLG, .992 OPS, 6 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 18 R, 8 RBI, 6 SB, 6 BB, 6 K.

Notable:  The No. 1 overall pick from this year’s draft continues to rake. Lewis had three multiple-hit games this past week, giving him seven overall in 13 games this season. On July 10 he hit his first home run since knocking one out of the park in his first pro at-bat.

 

Fernando Romero (age 22/Double-A)

Last week: 2 games (2 starts), 0-1, 10 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 12 K

Season: 17 games (16 starts), 7-6, 2.78 ERA, 90 2/3 IP, 79 H, 3 HR, 34 BB, 91 K, .231 OBA, 1.25 WHIP

Notable: Romero has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in nine straight starts. Over his last five starts, dating back to June 14, he’s allowed three runs in 26 innings on 19 hits with seven walks and 28 strikeouts.

 

Brent Rooker (age 22/Rookie)

Last week: 7 games, 22 AB, 12 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 R, 7 RBI, 2 SB, 8 BB, 4 K, .526 BA.

Season: 17 games, 65 AB, .323 BA, .406 OBP, .646 SLG, 1.054 OPS, 3 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 15 R, 12 RBI, 2 SB, 10 BB, 16 K.

Notable:  It’s only been a few weeks, but Rooker leads the Appalachian League in homers (helped out by the three he hit this past week), is third in slugging percentage and fourth in OPS.

 

Kohl Stewart (age 22/Double-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 starts), 1-0, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Season: 9 games (9 starts), 2-4, 3.73 ERA, 41 IP, 37 H, 1 HR, 25 BB, 23 K, .242 OBA, 1.51 WHIP

Notable: Stewart had a season-high 87 pitches in his latest start, on July 9, and has allowed one run in each of his last three outings.

 

Others: Rochester C Mitch Garver (9th round, 2013) hit three home runs on July 9 vs. Syracuse and had four for the week. He has 12 HR on the season. … Fort Myers CF Tanner English (11th round, 2014) batted .412 (7 for 17) with three home runs and four steals. … Miracle RHP Sean Poppen (19th round, 2016) tossed eight shutout innings, allowing five hits. He’s made two appearances with Fort Myers since being promoted from Cedar Rapids and has 10 shutout innings (6 H, 1 BB, 6 K).

Statistics courtesy milb.com