Young flamethrower Graterol turning heads in Cedar Rapids

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 in Minnesota’s farm system — as well as noting others who might be stepping up — measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress.

This is the ninth edition of the 2018 Young Twins Tracker.

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Stephen Gonsalves, LHP (age 23/Triple-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 1-0, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 1 K

Season (Triple-A): 10 games (10 starts), 5-3, 4.56 ERA, 47 1/3 IP, 34 H, 5 HR, 33 BB, 47 K, .192 OBA, 1.42 WHIP

Season (Double-A): 4 games (4 starts), 3-0, 1.77 ERA, 20 1/3 IP, 11 H, 2 HR, 10 BB, 25 K, .167 OBA, 1.03 WHIP

Notable: Gonsalves pitched five-plus innings of shutout baseball for the second straight week, allowing just two hits in his lone start. His command wasn’t spectacular — five walks against just one strikeout — but it was another encouraging performance from a pitcher who struggled a bit out the gate in Triple-A.

 

Nick Gordon, SS (age 22/Triple-A)

Last week: 6 games, 24 AB, 7 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 R, 0 RBI, 1 SB, 1 BB, 4 K, .292 BA

Season (Triple-A): 35 games, 134 AB, .261 BA, .281 OBP, .358 SLG, .639 OPS, 7 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 9 R, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 4 BB, 26 K

Season (Double-A): 42 games, 162 AB, .333 BA, .381 OBP, .525 SLG, .906 OPS, 10 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 22 R, 20 RBI, 7 SB, 11 BB, 27 K

Notable: Gordon continues to adjust in his second month in Triple-A, but his major-league debut could be coming sooner rather than later. Gordon has started nine games at second base since joining the Red Wings and 25 games at shortstop after starting just six times at second in 42 games with Double-A Chattanooga. If the Twins eventually opt to move Brian Dozier this year, Gordon could finally have opening.

 

Brusdar Graterol, RHP (age 19/High-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 1-0, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K

Season: 8 games, 3-2, 2.18 ERA, 41 1/3 IP, 30 H, 2 HR, 9 BB, 51 K, .195 OBA, 0.94 WHIP

Notable: A new addition to the tracker, Graterol was reportedly promoted to High-A Fort Myers earlier this week after posting some eye-popping numbers in Cedar Rapids. The short version: The right-hander lost 2016 to Tommy John surgery, is a big fan of Twins pitcher Jose Berrios, and has a fastball that routinely reaches triple digits. The Twins’ No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Graterol is one to watch going forward.

 

Tyler Jay, LHP (age 24/Double-A)

Last week: 2 games (0 starts), 0-0, 2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K

Season: 18 games, 1-1, 3.64 ERA, 29 2/3 IP, 35 H, 3 HR, 12 BB, 26 K, .292 OBA, 1.58 WHIP

Notable: Jay was roughed up Friday, allowing three runs (all earned) on four hits in a loss to Biloxi. He gave up two hits, one a home run, in another loss to Biloxi Monday.

 

Alex Kirilloff, OF (age 20/High-A)

Last week: 6 games, 29 AB, 8 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 5 K, .276 BA

Season (High-A): 6 games, 29 AB, .276 BA, .300 OBP, .414 SLG, .714 OPS, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 5 K

Season (Low-A): 65 games, 252 AB, .333 BA, .391 OBP, .607 SLG, .999 OPS, 20 2B, 5 3B, 13 HR, 36 R, 56 RBI, 1 SB, 24 BB, 47 K

Notable: Kirilloff’s first week in Fort Myers wasn’t quite as spectacular as his run in Cedar Rapids, but he continues to rake, and already has his first High-A home run.

 

Royce Lewis, SS (age 19/Low-A)

Last week: 5 games, 17 AB, 5 H, 0 2B, 1 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 2 SB, 3 BB, 3 K, .294 BA

Season: 60 games, 239 AB, .301 BA, .349 OBP, .456 SLG, .805 OPS, 16 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 41 R, 43 RBI, 18 SB, 17 BB, 41 K

Notable: His eight-game hit streak came to an end Monday, but Lewis has reached base safely in 10 straight.

 

Brent Rooker, 1B (age 23/Double-A)

Last week: 6 games, 24 AB, 6 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 2 BB, 9 K, .250 BA

Season: 70 games, 275 AB, .258 BA, .312 OBP, .465 SLG, .778 OPS, 16 2B, 4 3B, 11 HR, 37 R, 43 RBI, 1 SB, 21 BB, 86 K

Notable: Rooker had a productive week with the Lookouts taking on Biloxi, racking up four extra-base hits in the series.

 

LaMonte Wade, OF (age 24/Double-A)

Last week: 5 games, 16 AB, 3 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 4 BB, 5 K, .188

Season (Triple-A): 17 games, 50 AB, .200 BA, .403 OBP, .300 SLG, .703 OPS, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 6 R, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 16 BB, 10 K

Season (Double-A): 46 games, 171 AB, .298 BA, .393 OBP, .444 SLG, .837 OPS, 2 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 30 R, 27 RBI, 5 SB, 26 BB, 20 K

Notable: A week after getting his first Triple-A extra-base hit, Wade hit his first home run since being promoted.

 

Others: 3B Miguel Sano went 3-for-12 in his second week with Fort Myers, striking out six times. He’s now 5-for-20 since being sent all the way down to Single-A earlier this month. … OF Byron Buxton is hitting .182/.250/.318 in his rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester. He remains on the disabled list, but could return to the majors at any time. … OF Trevor Larnach, the Twins’ first-round pick in the recent MLB draft, hit a two-run homer Wednesday in the College World Series to help Oregon State to an improbable win over Arkansas in Game 2.

Statistics courtesy milb.com and STATS