Twins' 2019 top pick Cavaco makes pro debut

BY Dave Heller • June 27, 2019

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 9th edition of the 2019 Young Twins Tracker.

(note: The Young Twins Tracker will return in two weeks)

 



 

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

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 0-0, 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K

Season (High-A): 8 games (8 starts), 4-1, 2.63 ERA, 41 IP, 29 H, 3 HR, 11 BB, 54 K, .195 OBA, 0.98 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: Making his first start in 10 days, Balazovic threw 86 pitches at Jupiter on June 22. The six hits allowed tied his season high and was the second straight start in which he allowed that many.

 

Keoni Cavaco, SS (age 18/Rookie)

Season: 3 games, 11 AB, .182 BA, .182 OBP, .182 SLG, .364 OPS, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 1 K.

Notable: Minnesota’s top pick in the 2019 draft made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Twins on June 24, going 1-for-4 with a run. He was 0-for-3 the next day but again had a 1-for-4 day on June 26.

 

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

Last week: 6 games, 26 AB, 3 H, 2 2B, 3 R, 0 RBI, 1 SB, 0 BB, 11 K, .115 BA

Season: 38 games, 155 AB, .271 BA, .310 OBP, .426 SLG, .735 OPS, 14 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 25 R, 17 RBI, 8 SB, 9 BB, 38 K.

Notable: Gordon had his 16-game hitting streak snapped and proceeded to go in a slump, going hitless in four of his last five games. Gordon did have a pair of doubles on June 23, but also struck out three times in that game and had nine Ks in his last three.

 

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: 7 games, 267AB, 5 H, 3 2B, 6 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 9 K, .185 BA

Season: 36 games, 139 AB, .252 BA, .338 OBP, .381 SLG, .719 OPS, 10 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 17 R, 13 RBI, 3 SB, 15 BB, 36 K.

Notable: Kirilloff was activated from the injured list June 20. He had a hit in five of his seven games, including the last three straight.

 

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

Last week: 6 games, 22 AB, 8 H, 3 2B, 1 R, 4 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 6 K, .364 BA

Season: 71 games, 267 AB, .318 BA, .384 OBP, .476 SLG, .860 OPS, 25 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 28 R, 37 RBI, 3 SB, 29 BB, 64 K.

Notable: Larnach is riding a nine-game hitting streak and had back-to-back two-hit games June 21-22. Larnach leads the Florida State League in batting average. Only one other player in the league is above .300 (.304). He also tops the FSL in OPS among players still in the league.

 

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

Last week: 6 games, 27 AB, 7 H, 1 HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, 2 SB, 1 BB, 5 K, .259 BA

Season: 71 games, 290 AB, .228 BA, .278 OBP, .345 SLG, .623 OPS, 13 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 41 R, 23 RBI, 13 SB, 20 BB, 70 K.

Notable: Lewis had three straight two-hit games June 20-22 and a four-game hit streak overall. But he finished the week going 0-for-9.

 

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

Last week: 8 games, 23 AB, 6 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 R, 7 RBI, 0 SB, 8 BB, 10 K, .261 BA

Season: 50 games, 172 AB, .285 BA, .410 OBP, .564 SLG, .973 OPS, 12 2B, 0 3B, 12 HR, 36 R, 38 RBI, 1 SB, 29 BB, 75 K.

Notable: The power – and walking – surge continues for Rooker. He had an extra-base hit in five straight games from June 18-21 (which included a doubleheader) and has been issued a base on balls in seven of his last nine contests. Rooker is now slugging .659 in June. He’s up to sixth in the International League in on-base percentage, seventh in OPS and 10th in slugging percentage.

Others:  OF Jaylin Davis (24th round, 2015) is off to a good start at Triple-A Rochester. Promoted from Double-A on June 19, Davis is 10-for-32 (.310) with two doubles, a triple and three home runs (.719) in his first nine games, with six runs and 14 RBI. … Called up by the Twins on Thursday, OF LaMonte Wade (9th round, 2015) slashed .375/.529/.625 last week. … Pensacola LHP Bryan Sammons (8th round, 2017) made two appearances last week, winning both, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks with 14 strikeouts in 11 innings. … Blue Wahoos RHP Griffin Jax (3rd round, 2016) went a season-high seven innings (72 pitches), allowing no runs or walks with two hits and five whiffs. … Pensacola 2B Travis Blankenhorn (3rd round, 2015) hit two more homers last week and now has 13, which is tied for third in the Southern League. He’s also fourth in slugging percentage (.513). … 1B Lewin Diaz was promoted from Fort Myers to Pensacola on June 19. In his first seven games he’s 11-for-31 (.355) with four doubles, a triple, a home run (.645 slugging) and eight RBI. … Fort Myers RHP Cole Sands (5th round, 2018) was activated from the injured list June 23 and proceeded to then throw five shutout innings without allowing a hit. He walked one and struck out six. … Third-round pick SS Spencer Steer got off to a nice pro start, going 7-for-17 (.412) with a homer and 5 RBI in his first four games for Elizabethtown, including a four-hit game June 26.

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


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