No June swoon for Twins prospect Nick Gordon

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 7th edition of the 2019 Young Twins Tracker.

 

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

Last week: 2 games (2 starts), 1-1, 10 2/3 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 14 K

Season (High-A): 7 games (7 starts), 4-1, 2.75 ERA, 36 IP, 23 H, 3 HR, 8 BB, 49 K, .178 OBA, 0.86 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 allowing just one run in 5 2/3 innings on June 6 against Florida, Balazovic allowed four runs and six hits – both tying his season high – and gave up his first home run of the season (and second and third) at Tampa in five innings on June 12. He whiffed seven in each start.

 

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

Last week: 6 games, 27 AB, 8 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 R, 5 RBI, 3 SB, 0 BB, 4 K, .296 BA

Season: 27 games, 110 AB, .291 BA, .329 OBP, .473 SLG, .800 OPS, 10 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 18 R, 15 RBI, 6 SB, 6 BB, 22 K.

Notable: Gordon has a 10-game hitting streak, which dates back to June 1. He had two-hit games on June 7 and June 12, doubling in each. On the season, Gordon has at least one hit in 23 of the 26 games in which he’s had at least one plate appearance.

 

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 remains on the injured list, where he was placed May 19 due to a right shoulder impingement.

 

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

Last week: n/a

Season: 29 games, 112 AB, .268 BA, .359 OBP, .402 SLG, .761 OPS, 7 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 R, 12 RBI, 3 SB, 14 BB, 27 K.

Notable: Kirilloff remains on the injured list, where he was placed on June 3.

 

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

Last week: 8 games, 30 AB, 9 H, 1 2B, 3 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 2 BB, 5 K, .300 BA

Season: 62 games, 235 AB, .311 BA, .381 OBP, .468 SLG, .849 OPS, 20 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 26 R, 33 RBI, 3 SB, 28 BB, 53 K.

Notable: Larnach, went 3-for-3 with a pair of run in the second game of a July 11 doubleheader, his ninth game this season with 3+ hits in a game.

 

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

Last week: 7 games, 29 AB, 7 H, 1 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 0 BB, 2 K, .241 BA

Season: 62 games, 252 AB, .226 BA, .281 OBP, .325 SLG, .606 OPS, 13 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 34 R, 17 RBI, 11 SB, 19 BB, 61 K.

Notable: Lewis had his first three-hit game since April 15 when he went 3-for-5 with a double on June 6. He also had a two-hit game in the second game of a doubleheader on June 11, going 3-for-8 overall in the twinbill.

 

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

Last week: 7 games, 22 AB, 7 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 R, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 8 BB, 8 K, .318 BA

Season: 36 games, 129 AB, .271 BA, .377 OBP, .504 SLG, .881 OPS, 9 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 23 R, 24 RBI, 1 SB, 18 BB, 58 K.

Notable: Rooker had a 13-game hitting streak snapped on June 12. He also had a streak of five straight games with a walk end.

Others:  Rochester OF Jake Cave is on a tear in June. Last week he was 12-for-29 (.414) with eight doubles, a homer and eight runs, and for the month he’s slashing .380/.418/.780 with 11 of his 19 hits going for extra bases. … Red Wings LHP Lewis Thorpe tossed five shutout innings on June 12, allowing one his while fanning nine. … Fort Myers 3B Jose Miranda (Comp. Round B, 2016) went 7-for-22 (.318) last week with two doubles and two home runs, doubling his season homer output. … In his second appearance of the season, Cedar Rapids RHP Kai-Wei Teng allowed one run in six innings on four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. The Taiwanese-born Teng is the youngest pitcher on the Kernels, having turned 20 last December. … Cedar Rapids RHP Derek Molina (14th round, 2017) had a win and two saves in his three games last week, tossing five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with seven Ks. … It was a good week for Kernels pitchers. RHP Josh Windler (7th round, 2018) pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. In 10 starts, Windler is 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

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