Twins prospect Luis Rijo celebrates July 4 with career game
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 10th edition of the 2019 Young Twins Tracker.
Jordan Balazovic, SP (age 20/High-A)
Last week: n/a
Season (High-A): 9 games (9 starts), 4-2, 3.00 ERA, 45 IP, 34 H, 3 HR, 15 BB, 58 K, .205 OBA, 1.09 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: Balazovic pitched the seventh inning of the All-Star Futures Game, retiring the first two batters he faced. Braves prospect Cristian Pache reached on an error, but Balazovic caught him attempting to steal second to finish off the inning.
Keoni Cavaco, SS (age 18/Rookie)
Season: 6 games, 20 AB, .250 BA, .250 OBP, .400 SLG, .650 OPS, 3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 4 K.
Notable: Cavaco appeared in just one game last week, going 1-for-2 with a double and driving in a run. He’s up to three doubles in his last two games. [CHECK STATUS]
Nick Gordon, 2B/SS (age 23/Triple-A)
Last week: 5 games, 20 AB, 6 H, 2 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 0 BB, 3 K, .300 BA
Season: 50 games, 207 AB, .290 BA, .332 OBP, .449 SLG, .781 OPS, 21 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 37 R, 29 RBI, 12 SB, 14 BB, 49 K.
Notable: Gordon was on a seven-game hitting streak before going 0-for-4 on July 7. He doubled in five straight games from July 1-5, and is tied for 11th in the International League with 21 doubles on the season.
Brusdar Graterol, SP (age 20/Double-A)
Last week: n/a
Season: 9 games (9 starts), 5-0, 1.89 ERA, 47.2 IP, 31 H, 2 HR, 19 BB, 46 K, .188 OBA, 1.05 WHIP
Notable: Graterol has been on the injured list since May 19 due to a right shoulder impingement.
Alex Kirilloff, OF (age 21/Double-A)
Last week: 6 games, 27 AB, 10 H, 1 3B, 2 HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 5 K, .370 BA
Season: 49 games, 191 AB, .283 BA, .366 OBP, .429 SLG, .795 OPS, 12 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 24 R, 19 RBI, 3 SB, 21 BB, 44 K.
Notable: Kirilloff’s numbers have been on the rise since he returned from the injured list on June 20. He’s hitting .304 over that span with five doubles, two home runs and a triple. He registered his fourth three-hit game of the season July 8, racking up a pair of singles and his second triple of the season.
Trevor Larnach, OF (age 22/High-A)
Last week: 5 games, 19 AB, 6 H, 1 2B, 2 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 2 BB, 3 K, .316 BA
Season: 81 games, 306 AB, .307 BA, .374 OBP, .448 SLG, .822 OPS, 26 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 31 R, 38 RBI, 4 SB, 33 BB, 73 K.
Notable: Larnach’s .307 average still leads the Florida State League. He ranks second in OPS, fourth in SLG and fourth in OBP while leading the league in hits, doubles and total bases. He added another three-hit game July 10, his 10th of the season, with a double and a walk.
Royce Lewis, SS (age 20/High-A)
Last week: 3 games, 12 AB, 5 H, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 2 BB, 1 K, .417 BA
Season: 81 games, 330 AB, .239 BA, .288 OBP, .373 SLG, .660 OPS, 14 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 48 R, 32 RBI, 14 SB, 23 BB, 78 K.
Notable: Lewis, one of the youngest players in High-A, isn’t having the greatest season, but he’s picked it up this month. The Twins’ top prospect led Fort Myers with a .417 average in limited action last week, and is 9-for-24 at the plate in six games this month. He homered in back-to-back games earlier this week, and had a hit in the All-Star Futures Game.
Brent Rooker 1B/OF (age 24/Triple-A)
Last week: 5 games, 20 AB, 5 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 4 K, .250 BA
Season: 62 games, 220 AB, .286 BA, .406 OBP, .550 SLG, .956 OPS, 16 2B, 0 3B, 14 HR, 41 R, 47 RBI, 2 SB, 35 BB, 91 K.
Notable: After a slow start Rooker has been on the rise since returning from a quick stint on the IL on June 1. He’s hitting .331/.479/.600 with a 1.079 OPS in 38 games since, and .313/.371/.563 with a .934 OPS in eight games this month. He hit another home run July 7, and now ranks seventh in the Southern League in OPS, though he’s also tied for eighth with 91 strikeouts.
Others: RHP Luis Rijo turned in his best game as a pro on July 4, racking up a career-high 10 strikeouts for Single-A Cedar Rapids. Rijo, 20, allowed just one hit in seven innings with no walks. The Twins’ 30th-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, Rijo came over from the New York Yankees as part of the Lance Lynn trade last July. … OF Jaylin Davis (24th round, 2015) continues to tear it up since moving from Double-A to Triple-A on June 19. He hit .444 in 18 at-bats last week with two home runs, a double and six RBI. He’s hitting .333/.388/.744 with a 1.132 OPS, eight home runs and six doubles in 21 games with Rochester. … 2B Ronald Torreyes hit .421 with a double and a triple in three games for Rochester last week, and has eight hits in his last five games. … OF Jake Cave had time for three games with Rochester last week before rejoining the Twins on Sunday, hitting .467 with 5 RBI, a double and a triple but striking out five times in 15 at-bats. … 2B Travis Blankenhorn (3rd round, 2015) had two multi-hit games last week and homered July 6, hitting .308 in six games for Double-A Pensacola. … RHP Edwar Colina pitched another gem for Fort Myers a week after allowing just one hit with nine strikeouts in eight innings. He allowed just three hits with no walks and eight strikeouts through seven innings in his latest start, lowering his ERA to 2.34 through 10 starts. … RHP Jhoan Duran also shined for the Miracle, fanning eight in seven innings while allowing just two earned runs with no walks.
Statistics courtesy milb.com and baseball-reference.com