Twins 2nd-round pick Canterino flourishing in first year as a pro

The Minnesota Twins have positioned themselves as a playoff contender, but the team still has a number of promising 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 17th edition of the 2019 Young Twins Tracker.

 

Jordan Balazovic, SP (age 20/High-A)

Last week: 2 games (2 starts), 0-0, 9.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 16 K

Season (High-A): 15 games (14 starts), 6-4, 2.84 ERA, 73 IP, 52 H, 3 HR, 21 BB, 96 K, .193 OBA, 1.00 WHIP

Season (Low-A): 4 games (4 starts), 2-1, 2.18 ERA, 20.2 IP, 15 H, 1 HR, 4 BB, 33 K, .195 OBA, 0.92 WHIP

Notable: After striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings on Aug. 22 vs. Charlotte, Balazovic fanned nine in five scoreless innings on Aug. 28 at Dunedin, throwing just 61 pitches (46 for strikes).

 

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Keoni Cavaco, SS (age 18/Rookie)

Last week: 2 games, 9 AB, 1 H, 1 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 4 K, .111 BA

Season: 25 games, 87 AB, .172 BA, .217 OBP, .253 SLG, .470 OPS, 4 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 9 R, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 4 BB, 35 K.

Notable: Cavaco’s sporadic playing time continued, playing in games Aug 23 and 26. He had a hit in the latter, his first since Aug. 7, but he’d played in only three other games since.

 

Nick Gordon, 2B/SS (age 23/Triple-A)

Last week: n/a

Season: 70 games, 292 AB, .298 BA, .342 OBP, .459 SLG, .801 OPS, 29 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 49 R, 40 RBI, 14 SB, 18 BB, 65 K.

Notable: Gordon remains on the injured list , where he was placed on Aug. 5 after being hit by a pitch below the new in an Aug. 3 game.

 

Brusdar Graterol, SP (age 21/Triple-A)

Last week: 2 games, 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Season (Triple-A): 3 games, 0-0, 6.23 ERA, 4 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 5 K, .250 OBA, 1.38 WHIP

Season (Double-A): 12 games (9 starts), 6-0, 1 SV, 1.71 ERA, 52 2/3 IP, 32 H, 2 HR, 21 BB, 50 K, .179 OBA, 1.01 WHIP

Notable: Graterol turned 21 on Aug. 26 then the next day allowed a three-run homer, his first runs allowed since returning from injury in late July. He had tossed 11 1/3 combined scoreless innings in that span in Rookie league (rehab), Double-A and Triple-A.

 

Young Twins Tracker Archive

Alex Kirilloff, OF (age 21/Double-A)

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

Season: 91 games, 363 AB, .281 BA, .338 OBP, .413 SLG, .752 OPS, 17 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 45 R, 41 RBI, 7 SB, 26 BB, 75 K.

Notable: Kirilloff had a hit in five of Pensacola’s six games last week including a pair of two-hit contests on Aug. 22 and Aug. 25.

 

Trevor Larnach, OF (age 22/Double-A)

Last week: 6 games, 20 AB, 4 H, 1 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 4 BB, 7 K, .200 BA

Season (Double-A): 38 games, 139 AB, .273 BA, .363 OBP, .424 SLG, .787 OPS, 3 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 22 R, 19 RBI, 0 SB, 18 BB, 47 K.

Season (Single-A): 84 games, 320 AB, .316 BA, .382 OBP, .459 SLG, .842 OPS, 26 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 33 R, 44 RBI, 4 SB, 35 BB, 74 K.

Notable: Larnach had a hit in each of the last three games of the week and has reached base in five straight.

 

Royce Lewis, SS (age 20/Double-A)

Last week: 6 games, 23 AB, 5 H, 4 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 2 BB, 6 K, .217 BA

Season (Double-A): 28 games, 114 AB, .246 BA, .296 OBP, .368 SLG, .664 OPS, 9 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 16 R, 13 RBI, 5 SB, 8 BB, 27 K.

Season (Single-A): 94 games, 383 AB, .238 BA, .289 OBP, .376 SLG, .665 OPS, 17 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 55 R, 35 RBI, 16 SB, 27 BB, 90 K.

Notable: Lewis had his first three-hit game in Double-A on Aug. 23 vs. Jacksonville when he poked a trio of doubles. His last three-hit game came for FortMyers on July 19. It was his sixth multiple-hit game for Pensacola overall.

 

Brent Rooker 1B/OF (age 24/Triple-A)

Last week (GCL): 2 games, 6 AB, 2 H, 2 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 0 K, .333 BA

Season: 65 games, 228 AB, .281 BA, .398 OBP, .535 SLG, .933 OPS, 16 2B, 0 3B, 14 HR, 41 R, 47 RBI, 2 SB, 35 BB, 95 K.

Notable: Playing for the first time since July 13, Rooker is on rehab with the GCL Twins and played Aug. 26-27, getting hits in both games. The GCL’s season is ending early on Thursday (there were only two additional days of games plus playoffs remaining) due to Hurricane Dorian, so Rooker’s rehab will have to continue elsewhere or be sent back to Rochester.

Others:  On Aug. 23, Pensacola RHP Jhoan Duran struck out 11, the third time he’s had 11+ whiffs this season (the previous two were with Fort Myers), in a career-high eight scoreless innings. He had a no-hitter through six innings and finished with just two hits and one walk allowed. … Blue Wahoos RHP Bailey Ober (12th round, 2017) pitched seven scoreless innings for the second straight start, allowing four hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts. He’s allowed just one run on nine hits with two walks and 31 strikeouts over his last three starts, going seven innings in each. … From Aug. 23-27, Fort Myers OF Jose Miranda was 8-for-14 (.571) with four doubles. … Miracle 2B Yeltsin Encarnacion was 9-for-18 last week. … Cedar Rapids RHP Matt Canterino (2nd round, 2019) allowed three hits and two runs in a combined 10 innings last week. On Aug. 28 he fanned seven and allowed one hit in five scoreless frames. Canterino made two starts with the GCL Twins (5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K) before being moved up the Kernels. In five starts with Cedar Rapids he’s given up five runs (three earned) in 20 innings (1.35 ERA), allowing just eight hits (.091 OBA) and two walks (0.65 WHIP) with 25 strikeouts. Canterino left Rice after his junior year after being named Conference USA pitcher of the year. … Elizabethtown 3B Seth Gray (4th round, 2019) went 9-for-25 (.360) with three doubles, two home runs and six RBI. … OF Luke Raley, out since mid-May, went 7-for-19 with a homer in five games on rehab with the GCL Twins. … Minnesota is supplying these players to the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League: RHP Dakota Chalmers (3rd round, 2015), RHP Moises Gomez, OF Kirilloff (1st round, 2016), SS Lewis (1st round, 2017), LHP Jovani Moran (7th round, 2015), LHP Zach Neff (31st round, 2018) plus a catcher to be announced later.

Statistics courtesy milb.com and baseball-reference.com

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns