FOX Sports North's Tyler Mason highlights some of the standouts in Minnesota's farm system from the past week, including a recent Twin tearing it up in his first-ever stint in Triple-A -- slugger Kennys Vargas.
Once again, there are a few new faces on this week’s list of the Twins’ minor-league stars of the week. They join a few familiar names whose recent performances were too good to ignore. One player making his debut here is first baseman Kennys Vargas, who had a red-hot week with Triple-A Rochester after his recent demotion from the majors. After putting up big numbers for the Red Wings, Vargas has earned the honor of FOXSportsNorth.com Minor League Player of the Week. Here’s a look at what Vargas and others in the Twins’ minor-league system did this past week.
Player of the Week: 1B Kennys Vargas
2015 stats: .367/.424/.733, 3 HR, 2 2B, 7 R, 7 RBI in 8 games
Recent highlights: Vargas was demoted to Rochester late last week after struggling to drive in runs and produce extra-base hits in the majors. Since joining the Red Wings — his first-ever stint at Triple-A — Vargas has done nothing but hit the ball well. He had a two-homer, four RBI game last Friday and also homered Monday against Durham. Vargas has hits in six of his first eight games with Rochester.
Pitcher of the Week: LHP Tommy Milone
2015 stats: 4-0, 0.28 ERA, 41 K, 2 BB in 31 2/3 IP
Recent highlights: Since his demotion to Rochester, Milone has been lights-out in the Red Wings rotation. He didn’t allow a run in his first three starts before finally surrendering his first run — and raising his ERA to 0.28 — his last start out. Still, Milone nearly completed his second straight complete game but came two outs shy. He struck out eight in 8 1/3 innings and earned the win against Norfolk.
2015 stats: .256/.300/.548, 12 HR, 11 2B, 39 RBI in 44 games
Recent highlights: Walker makes his return to this list after an impressive week. Though his four RBI game technically fell into last week’s timeframe, Walker still put up big numbers over the last five games. He homered Thursday against Biloxi and drove in seven total runs in a five-game span, as well as four runs scored. Walker’s 12 homers are tops in the Southern League, as are his 39 RBI.
Pitcher of the Week: RHP Jose Berrios
2015 stats: 6-2, 2.84 ERA, 70 K, 17 BB in 63 1/3 IP
Recent highlights: Berrios has graced this list a few times already this year, and for good reason. The right-hander, who turned 21 this week, continued his strong 2015 season in the past week. In his two latest starts, Berrios was 2-0 with 12 total strikeouts and just one walk while allowing two runs each. His most recent outing came Thursday against Biloxi in which he pitched 7 1/3 innings, struck out seven and didn’t allow a walk while surrendering just two runs.
HIGH-A FORT MYERS
Player of the Week: C Alex Swim
2015 stats: .337/.367/.361, 4 2B, 18 R in 40 games
Recent highlights: Swim continues to hit for a high average, despite a lack of extra-base hits. In the last week, the Miracle catcher — who has also played right field and first base — batted .364 (8 for 22) with three RBI and three runs in six games. Swim’s .337 average this season is currently the third-highest among all players in the Florida State League.
2015 stats: 3-2, 2.59 ERA, 31 K, 8 BB in 48 2/3 IP
Recent highlights: Slegers made just one start in the past week, but it was a gem. The 6-foot-10 Slegers pitched a shutout against Brevard County, striking out nine and allowing just three hits in his third win of the season. Slegers was the Twins’ fifth-round pick out of Indiana in the 2013 draft. His shutout Sunday was Slegers’ third complete game of his minor-league career.
LOW-A CEDAR RAPIDS
Player of the Week: OF Max Murphy
2015 stats: .251/.325/.394, 2 HR, 5 3B, 22 RBI in 44 games
Recent highlights: Several Kernels batters had a good week at the plate, but Murphy was particularly impressive. The Robbinsdale, Minn., native scored 10 runs in a seven-game stretch and also had two triples and two doubles in that span. Murphy’s 31 runs this year lead all Cedar Rapids hitters. The 22-year-outfielder was the Twins’ ninth-round pick in last year’s draft.
Player of the Week: LHP Stephen Gonsalves
2015 stats: 5-1, 1.31 ERA, 66 K, 11 BB in 48 IP
Recent highlights: Gonsalves has made this list before, but his most recent outing might be one of his most impressive. The 20-year-old left-hander struck out 12 batters in just six shutout innings to beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The 12 strikeouts were a career-high for Gonsalves, who began his pro career in 2013 after the Twins took him in the fourth round of that year’s draft. His 66 strikeouts are tops in the Midwest League and his 1.31 is the third-lowest among all pitchers in the league.