Twins farm team Fort Myers advances to championship

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 19th edition of the 2018 Young Twins Tracker.

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Byron Buxton, OF (age 24/Triple-A)

Last week: 2 games, 8 AB, 2 H, 2 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 3 K, .250 BA

Season (Triple-A): 35 games, 136 AB, .272 BA, .331 OBP, .456 SLG, .787 OPS, 11 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 22 R, 14 RBI, 4 SB, 9 BB, 42 K

Notable: Buxton won’t be a September call-up, which is a bit surprising given his recent production in Triple-A. Given his health issues this season, maybe reinserting him into the major-league lineup so quickly amounts to playing with a bit more fire than the Twins’ front office would like.

 

 

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

Last week: 5 games, 19 AB, 4 H, 1 3B, 4 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 2 BB, 5 K, .211 BA

Season (Triple-A): 99 games, 382 AB, .212 BA, .262 OBP, .283 SLG, .544 OPS, 13 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 40 R, 29 RBI, 13 SB, 23 BB, 82 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: After starting the season hot in Chattanooga, Gordon didn’t have the sort of year Twins fans were expecting in Triple-A. His struggles in Rochester aren’t particularly alarming, but it changes the equation for next year a bit. That OPS was way down, while the power he had shown to that point never really translated.

 

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

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 0-0, 4 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K

Season (High-A): 11 games, 5-2, 3.26 ERA, 60 2/3 IP, 59 H, 0 HR, 19 BB, 56 K, .261 OBA, 1.286 WHIP

Season (Low-A): 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: Graterol’s final start of the regular season went pretty well. He fanned four and allowed three hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings, but threw 73 pitches. The Miracle’s season continues Friday, when they take kick off the best-of-five Florida State Championship Series against either Clearwater or Daytona.

 

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

Last week: 4 games, 13 AB, 4 H, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 4 BB, 1 K, .308 BA

Season (High-A): 61 games, 247 AB, .364 BA, .388 OBP, .538 SLG, .926 OPS, 24 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 37 R, 42 RBI, 2 SB, 10 BB, 38 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 hasn’t slowed down at all in the postseason. He homered in Game 1, then went 5-for-5 in Game 2, the first five-hit game of his career, to help the Miracle advance to the FSL Championship Series.

 

Trevor Larnach, OF (age 21/Low-A)

Last week (Low-A): 4 games, 12 AB, 5 H, 5 R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, 1 HR, 0 SB, 5 BB, 3 K, .417 BA

Season (Low-A): 20 games, 91 AB, .297 BA, .373 OBP, .505 SLG, .878 OPS, 8 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 17 R, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 11 BB, 17 K

Season (Rookie): 17 games, 60 AB, .300 BA, .405 OBP, .467 SLG, .872 OPS, 4 2B, 2 HR, 10 R, 15 RBI, 2 SB, 10 BB, 11 K

Notable: Larnach finished off his first pro season with a pair of multi-hit games, both of which included a double.  He also hit a home run last Thursday, snapping a five-game homer-less streak.

 

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

Last week: 3 games, 17 AB, 4 H, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 5 K, .235 BA

Season (High-A): 46 games, 188 AB, .255 BA, .327 OBP, 399 SLG, .726 OPS, 6 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 33 R, 21 RBI, 6 SB, 19 BB, 35 K

Season (Low-A): 75 games, 295 AB, .315 BA, .368 OBP, .485 SLG, .853 OPS, 23 2B, 0 3B, 9 HR, 50 R, 53 RBI, 22 SB, 24 BB, 49 K

Notable: Lewis bounced back a bit last week, and came through with two singles Friday. He hasn’t been able to match Kirilloff’s production in the playoffs, and is currently 1-for-9 in two postseason games.

 

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

Last week: 5 games, 19 AB, 3 H, 0 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 3 BB, 5 K, .158 BA

Season: 130 games, 503 AB, .254 BA, .333 OBP, .465 SLG, .798 OPS, 32 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 72 R, 79 RBI, 6 SB, 56 BB, 150 K

Notable: The Lookouts finished the season 65-72, meaning Rooker won’t get a shot at the postseason. Rooker struggled down the stretch, and had just one extra-base hit — a double — in his last 10 games.

 

Other notes:  Cedar Rapids RHP Carlos Suniaga allowed five hits and one run in seven innings in his only start last week. … Fort Myers CF Aaron Whitefield went 4-for-12 with a double. … Fort Myers LHP Charlie Barnes (4th round, 2017) allowed one hit in 4 2/3 innings in his only start. … Chattanooga RHP Tyler Wells (15th round, 2016) allowed four hits and one run while striking out eight in his only start. … Chattanooga CF Jimmy Kerrigan went 6-for-15 with a double, a home run and four RBI. … Rochester 1B Kennys Vargas went 7-for-18 with four RBI, three doubles and a home run.

Statistics courtesy milb.com and baseball-reference.com