Twins prospect Brent Rooker’s red-hot June continues

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 8th edition of the 2019 Young Twins Tracker.

 

More Twins coverage

 

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

Last week: Did not pitch

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: 4 games, 16 AB, 6 H, 1 2B, 4 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB, 2 BB, 3 K, .375 BA

Season: 31 games, 126 AB, .302 BA, .343 OBP, .468 SLG, .811 OPS, 11 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 22 R, 16 RBI, 6 SB, 8 BB, 25 K.

Notable: Gordon extended his hitting streak to 14 games. He went 2-for-5 on June 13 and 2-for-4 with a double, a pair of runs and an RBI on June 18.

 

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: 3 games, 11 AB, 4 H, 1 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 5 K, .364 BA

Season: 65 games, 245 AB, .314 BA, .381 OBP, .473 SLG, .855 OPS, 22 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 27 R, 33 RBI, 3 SB, 28 BB, 58 K.

Notable: Larnach started in left field and batted fifth in the Florida State League All-Star Game. He went 1-for-2 before being subbed out. Larnach had a hit in all three of Fort Myers’ games last week.

 

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

Last week: 3 games, 11 AB, 2 H, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 4 K, .182 BA

Season: 65 games, 263 AB, .224 BA, .277 OBP, .342 SLG, .606 OPS, 13 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 34 R, 17 RBI, 11 SB, 19 BB, 65 K.

Notable: Lewis started in the Florida State League All-Star Game and played the entire game. Batting ninth, he went 0-for-3. However, in the first game of a June 19 doubleheader, Lewis hit a pair of homers, including a walk-off blast.

 

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

Last week: 5 games, 17 AB, 7 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 R, 6 RBI, 0 SB, 2 BB, 6 K, .412 BA

Season: 41 games, 146 AB, .288 BA, .390 OBP, .521 SLG, .910 OPS, 10 2B, 0 3B, 8 HR, 27 R, 30 RBI, 1 SB, 20 BB, 64 K.

Notable: Rooker had a hit in all five games last week and has a base knock in 18 of his last 19 contests. On June 18, he went 3-for-4 – Rooker’s second three-hit game of the season, with the other occurring April 13. In 17 June games, Rooker is batting .393/.533/.589 (a 1.123 OPS) with 22 hits, 14 walks, 14 runs and 18 RBI. Each of those stats ranks in the top five in the International League for the month (he leads in OBP, is second in average, third in RBI and tied for third in walks).

 

Others:  Rochester LHP Devin Smeltzer fanned 10 and walked none in 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs, on June 16. … In the Southern League All-Star Game, held June 17, Pensacola 2B Travis Blankenhorn started and batted fifth, going 0-for-2. OF Jaylin Davis (24th round, 2015) was the DH and hit sixth. He was 1-for-3 with an RBI. C Caleb Hamilton (23rd round, 2016) came in as a sub and was 0-for-2. Three Blue Wahoos pitchers were selected but did not go to the game due to injuries: Graterol, Griffin Jax (3rd round, 2016) and Ryan Mason (13th round, 2016). … At the FSL All-Star Game, C Ryan Jeffers (2nd round, 2018) started and went 0-for-3. RHP Alex Phillips pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out one while recording the save. RHP Johan Quezada went 1 2/3 innings, allowing two hits while fanning two. … At the Midwest League All-Star Game, 1B Chris Williams (8th round, 2018) served as the DH and started, going 0-for-3 with a walk. 1B Gabe Snyder (21st round, 2018) subbed in and went 0-for-2. RHP Josh Winder (7th round, 2018) faced two batters and struck out both.

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