Young Twins Tracker: Buxton breaks out; Kirilloff named league MVP

BY foxsports • September 8, 2016

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 -- as well as noting others who might be stepping up -- measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress. Please note the glossary of advanced stats at the bottom of the story.

This is the 21st edition of the Young Twins Tracker.

Note: Statistics/information through Wednesday's games

IN THE MAJORS

Jose Berrios (age 22)

Last week (MLB): 1 game (1 start), 0-1, 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 6 K

Season (Triple-A): 17 games (17 starts), 111 1/3 IP, 10-5, 2.51 ERA, 0.988 WHIP, 10.1 K/9

Season (MLB): 10 games (10 starts), 2-5, 42 IP, 9.21 ERA, 1.976 WHIP, 8.8 K/9

Notable: Berrios was recalled ahead of a game against the Royals on Monday. He continues to rack up strikeouts despite his shoddy numbers, but he has yet to make it out of the sixth inning for the Twins.

 

Byron Buxton (age 22)

Last week: 7 games, 27 PA, 12 H, 10 R, 4 2B, 4 HR, 10, RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 7 K, .462 BA, .481 OBP, 1.077 SLG, 294 sOPS+, .533 BAbip

Season (Triple-A): 49 games, 190 AB, .305 BA, .359 OBP, .568 SLG, .927 OPS, 11 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR, 24 RBI, 7 SB, 14 BB, 58 K

Season (MLB): 70 G, 245 PA, .224 BA, .273 OBP, .404 SLG, .676 OPS, 30 R, 50 H, 17 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 9 SB, 14 BB, 87 K, 80 OPS+, 1.3 WAR, .336 BAbip

Notable: Has Buxton finally arrived? Maybe. He has hits in six of his seven games since being called up last Thursday, and has four home runs in that span after hitting just one in his first 63 MLB games of the season. That 1.077 SLG isn't hurting him either.

 

Max Kepler (age 23)

Last week: 6 games, 24 PA, 6 H, 3 R, 0 RBI, 2 2B, 0 HR, 0 SB, 0 BB, 7 K, .250 BA, .250 OBP, .333 SLG, 57 sOPS+, .353 BAbip

Season (Triple-A): 30 G, 128 PA, 110 AB, .282 BA, .367 OBP, .455 SLG, .822 OPS, 16 R, 31 H, 4 2B, 6 3B, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 1 SB, 16 BB, 14 K

Season (MLB): 95 G, 373 PA, .244 BA, .320 OBP, .457 SLG, .777 OPS, 48 R, 80 H, 18 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 59 RBI, 5 SB, 37 BB, 79 K, 107 OPS+, 2.4 WAR, .269 BAbip

Notable: Kepler smacked a pair of doubles in the Twins' 11-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, but didn't drive in any runs last week.

 

Pat Light (age 25)

Last week: 4 games (0 starts), 0-0, 0 SV, 2 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 BB, 3 K

Season (Triple-A/Twins only): 6 games (0 starts), 1-0, 2 SV, 2.57 ERA, 7 IP, 5 H, 0 HR, 2 BB, 6 K, 1.000 WHIP

Season (MLB/Twins only): 9 games (0 starts), 0-1, 0 SV, 11.25 ERA, 8 IP, 12 H, 10 R, 2 HR, 10 BB, 9 K, 2.750 WHIP

Notable: It was a rough week for Light, who was shelled in a pair of brief appearances against the Royals, but it did lead to this delightful pronouncement from our friend Rex Hudler over at FOX Sports Kansas City: "That ball was tattered and battered, and Pat Light is getting lit." Sorry, Pat.

 

Jorge Polanco (age 23)

Last week: 6 games, 29 PA, 6 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 0 SB, 3 BB, 4 K, .250 BA, .345 OBP, .333 SLG, 58 sOPS+, .486 BAbip

Season (Triple-A): 75 G, 293 AB, .276 BA, .335 OBP, .457 SLG, .793 OPS, 32 R, 81 H, 14 2B, 6 3B, 9 HR, 39 RBI, 27 BB, 51 K

Season (MLB): 47 games, 181 PA, .297 BA, .341 OBP, .430 SLG, .771 OPS, 11 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 18 R, 16 RBI, 3 SB, 9 BB, 27 K, 107 OPS+, .345 BAbip, 1.1 WAR.

Notable: Polanco registered a hit in all but one game last week, and had his first multi-RBI game since Aug. 19 in an 11-3 win over the White Sox.

 

Eddie Rosario (age 24)

Last week: 6 games, 22 PA, 5 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB, 2 BB, 4 K, .250 BA, .318 OBP, .450 SLG, 105 sOPS+, .267 BAbip

Season (Triple-A): 38 games, 150 AB, .307 BA, .329 OBP, .513 SLG, .842 OPS, 46 H, 13 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 24 R, 23 RBI, 5 SB, 6 BB, 24 K 

Season (MLB): 86 games, 332 PA, .268 BA, .294 OBP, .420 SLG, .714 OPS, 17 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 49 R, 31 RBI, 5 SB, 11 BB, 84 K, 90 OPS+, 1.0 WAR, .335 BAbip

Notable: Rosario's seven-game hitting streak came to an end on Sept. 1, but he had one of his best games of the season a few days later. He racked up three hits in a loss to the Royals on Monday.

 

Miguel Sano (age 23)

Last week: 6 games, 27 PA, 6 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 0 SB, 3 BB, 10 K, .250 BA, .333 OBP, .583 SLG, 181 sOPS+, .333 BAbip

Season (Triple-A): 6 games, 19 AB, .158 BA, .304 OBP, .474 SLG, .778 OPS, 3 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 SB, 4 BB, 7 K

Season (MLB): 103 G, 441 PA, .239 BA, .324 OBP, .460 SLG, .784 OPS, 52 R, 93 H, 20 2B, 0 3B, 22 HR, 59 RBI, 1 SB, 49 BB, 155 K, 109 OPS+, 0.5 WAR, .332 BAbip

Notable: Sano kicked off a four-game hitting streak on Saturday with his first home run since Aug. 12, and hit another one in the follow-up. He had three hits in a 13-11 loss to the White Sox on Sunday.

 

DOWN ON THE FARM

Alan Busenitz (age 25/Triple-A)

Last week: 2 games, 1-0, 2 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Season (Double-A/Twins only): 5 games (0 starts), 0-0, 3.52 ERA, 7 2/3 IP, 9 H, 0 HR, 1 BB, 5 K, 1.304 WHIP

Season (Triple-A/Twins only): 6 games (0 starts), 2-0, 1 save, 3.52 ERA, 7 2/3 IP, 8 H, 0 HR, 4 BB, 5 K, 1.565 WHIP

Notable: Busenitz closed for the Red Wings again on Friday, retiring the only three batters he faced, but the Red Wings weren't able to pick up the win.

 

Stephen Gonsalves (age 22/Double-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K

Season (High Single-A): 11 games (11 starts), 65 2/3 IP 5-4, 2.33 ERA, 43 H, 19 R, 2 HR, 20 BB, 66 K, 0.959 WHIP

Season (Double-A): 13 games (13 starts), 8-1, 1.82 ERA, 74 1/3 IP, 43 H, 1 HR, 37 BB, 89 K, 1.076 WHIP

Notable:  Gonsalves was named a first-team minor-league all-star on Thursday after finishing the season with a 2.06 ERA and 155 strikeouts split between Fort Myers and Chattanooga. He also allowed just three home runs on the season.

 

Nick Gordon (age 20/High Single-A)

Last week: 3 games, 11 AB, 3 H, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 SB, 1 BB, 3 K, .273 BA

Season: 116 games, 461 AB, .291 BA, .335 OBP, .386 SLG, .721 OPS, 56 R, 23 2B, 6 3B, 3 HR, 52 RBI, 19 SB, 23 BB, 87 K

Notable: Gordon was named a Florida State League All-Star last week, Fort Myers' only representative on the team.

 

Alex Kirilloff (age 18/Rookie)

Last week: N/A

Season: 55 games, 216 AB, .306 BA, .341 OBP, .454 SLG, .794 OPS, 33 R, 9 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 0 SB, 11 BB, 32 K

Notable: Kirilloff was sidelined for the final week of the Appalachian League season with elbow inflammation after being named the league's player of the year on Aug. 23.

 

Adalberto Mejia (age 23/Triple-A)

Last week: N/A

Season (Triple-A/Twins only): 4 games (4 starts), 2-2, 3.76 ERA, 26 1/3 IP, 28 H, 3 HR, 3 BB, 25 K, 1.177 WHIP

Season (MLB/Twins only): 1 game (0 starts), 0-0, 7.71 ERA, 2 1/3 IP, 5 H, 0 HR, 1 BB, 0 K, 2.571 WHIP

Notable: Mejia didn't pitch after being sent back down to Triple-A after one relief appearance for the Twins on Aug. 20.

 

Kohl Stewart (age 21/Double-A)

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

Season (Single-A): 9 games (9 starts), 3-2, 2.61 ERA, 51 2/3 IP, 39 H, 19 R, 2 HR, 19 BB, 44 K, 1.12 WHIP

Season (Double-A): 15 games (15 starts), 8-6, 3.14 ERA, 86 IP, 88 H, 4 HR, 41 BB, 46 K, 1.500 WHIP

Notable: Stewart returned to the lineup after being sidelined with right bicep tendinitis last week, allowing three hits and one run three six innings of work.

 

Adam Walker (age 24/Triple-A)

Last week: 5 games, 18 AB, 1 H, 0 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 7 K, .056 BA

Season (Triple-A): 132 games, 478 AB, .243 BA, .305 OBP, .479 SLG, 22 2B, 5 3B, 27 HR, 61 R, 75 RBI, 7 SB, 44 BB, 202 K

Notable: Walker hit 27 home runs, second-most in the International League this season, and was named the Red Wings' MVP.

 

A glossary of some of the advanced statistics used:

OPS: On base percentage + slugging percentage

OPS+: OPS compared to league average of 100, adjusted to the player's ballpark

sOPS+: OPS for the split (in our case the last 7 days) compared to the league's split OPS (100 being average).

BAbip: Batting average on balls in play.

WHIP: Walks plus hits divided by innings pitched.

ERA+: ERA compared to league average of 100, adjusted to the player's ballpark

FIP: Fielding Independent Pitching. Measures a pitcher's effectiveness at presenting home runs, walks and hit by pitches while causing strikeouts. The MLB average FIP is the same as the MLB average ERA.

WAR: Wins Above Replacement value. Represents the number of wins the player added to the team above what a replacement player would add (we are using WAR from baseball-reference.com).

Statistics courtesy of baseball-reference.com and milb.com

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