Twins promote Jhoan Duran, top prospect Royce Lewis

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 13th edition of the 2019 Young Twins Tracker.

 

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

Last week: N/A

Season (High-A): 11 games (10 starts), 5-3, 3.02 ERA, 53.2 IP, 40 H, 3 HR, 16 BB, 68 K, .201 OBA, 1.04 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 didn’t pitch for Fort Myers last week, but he did start a game Tuesday night for Team Canada in the Pan Am Games. Balazovic allowed four runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings, helping Team Canada to an 8-6 win over Team Cuba.

 

Keoni Cavaco, SS (age 18/Rookie)

Last week: 3 games, 10 AB, 0 H, 0 2B, 2 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 5 K, .000 BA

Season: 17 games, 59 AB, .169 BA, .234 OBP, .237 SLG, .472 OPS, 4 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 6 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 4 BB, 23 K.

Notable: It was another rough week for Cavaco, who struck out at least once in 13 of 17 games this year. The 18-year-old has posted just two multi-hit games in his first 17 career professional contests. But … it’s early. Very early.

 

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

Last week: 6 games, 26 AB, 11 H, 5 2B, 1 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 0 SB, 2 BB, 4 K, .423 BA

Season: 68 games, 286 AB, .304 BA, .347 OBP, .469 SLG, .816 OPS, 29 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 49 R, 39 RBI, 14 SB, 18 BB, 64 K.

Notable: Gordon is absolutely raking. He had multiple hits in four of six games last week and posted one of his best months as a professional hitter, batting .348/.402/.536 with 13 doubles and two homers in 26 games in July. Gordon is playing himself into consideration to be called up to the big leagues when rosters expand Sept. 1.

 

Brusdar Graterol, SP (age 20/Double-A)

Last week (ROK): 1 game (1 start), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K, 0 BB

Season: 10 games (10 starts), 5-0, 1.85 ERA, 48.2 IP, 31 H, 2 HR, 19 BB, 48 K, .185 OBA, 1.03 WHIP

Notable: Graterol returned to the mound Monday night in a rehab assignment with the GCL Twins. He started the game and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 first inning, fanning two batters while topping out at 101 mph on the gun. He’s expected to return to Double-A Pensacola soon.

 

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

Last week: 7 games, 29 AB, 5 H, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 0 BB, 7 K, .172 BA

Season: 67 games, 265 AB, .272 BA, .337 OBP, .381 SLG, .718 OPS, 13 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 30 R, 23 RBI, 4 SB, 21 BB, 62 K.

Notable: Kirilloff’s red-hot July skidded to a stop last week, although he finished the month with a .277/.308/.357 slash line. It’s a far cry from the .348/.392/.578 mark and 20 homers he posted last season in a breakout return to the minor leagues, but Kirilloff is showing his consistency at Double-A.

 

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

Last week: 8 games, 31 AB, 8 H, 0 2B, 0 HR, 5 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 3 BB, 12 K, .235 BA

Season (Double-A): 14 games, 52 AB, .250 BA, .328 OBP, .327 SLG, .655 OPS, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 9 R, 2 RBI, 0 SB, 5 BB, 19 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: The power numbers haven’t translated to the Double-A level yet, but Larnach is getting on base for Pensacola. The 22-year-old tallied at least one hit in seven of eight games last week.

 

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

Last week: 7 games, 29 AB, 5 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 1 BB, 3 K, .172 BA

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.

Season (Double-A): 4 games, 17 AB, .235 BA, .278 OBP, .353 SLG, .631 OPS, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 1 BB, 2 K.

Notable: The top pick in the 2017 draft is one step closer to the big leagues. Lewis was promoted to Double-A Pensacola on Sunday and made his presence known in his first game, tallying two hits and two RBI in the Blue Wahoos’ 5-0 win over Jacksonville. Lewis’ name was thrown around in rumors for a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline, but now that he’s staying put, the 20-year-old will be exciting to watch this summer at the Double-A level.

 

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

Last week: n/a

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: Rooker remains on the injured list, where he was placed July 16, retroactive to July 14.

 

Others: The Twins sent three prospects to San Francisco in exchange for reliever Sam Dyson – Rochester OF Jaylin Davis (24th round, 2015), Elizabethton RHP Prelander Berroa and Cedar Rapids RHP Kai-Wei Teng. Davis was hitting .331/.405/.708 with 15 homers in 41 games with Rochester this season. Berroa had a 2-1 record and 4.55 ERA with Elizabethton, while Teng logged a 4-0 record, 1.60 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings for the Kernels. … Minnesota sent 1B Lewin Diaz to Miami in the Sergio Romo trade. Diaz had been in the Twins’ organization since 2014 and posted a .285/.326/.536 slash line with 19 homers in 90 games with Fort Myers and Pensacola this season. … Since being optioned back down to Triple-A Rochester on July 25, OF Jake Cave is 10-for-20 with three doubles, one triple and one homer in five games. … Right-handed pitcher Jhoan Duran was promoted alongside Lewis to Pensacola on Sunday and made his Double-A debut that afternoon. He pitched five scoreless innings while scattering two hits and whiffing three hitters. … In seven starts with High-A Fort Myers this season, RHP Bailey Ober (7th round, 2017) owns a 4-0 record, 0.91 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings. … The Twins snuck in a pretty low-key move at the deadline, getting RHP Marcos Diplan from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations. Diplan, 22, was designated for assignment Monday. He started the season as a starter for Milwaukee’s Double-A affiliate before moving to the bullpen after five games, and has a 4.99 ERA with a 1.46 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings through 30 games. Diplan was MLB Pipeline’s No. 12-ranked Brewers prospect last season.

Statistics courtesy milb.com and baseball-reference.com