There haven’t been many weeks in recent months where a Twins position player has failed to win at least one of the Offensive Player of the Week awards in minor league baseball. So it’s hardly earth shattering (but still exciting) to learn that Miguel Sano took Eastern League honors for the week of August 5th through the 11th. Appearances from Minnesota pitching prospects on the Pitchers of the Week lists have been far more scarce this summer. They bucked that trend this time around as not just one, but two pitchers from the system were named today. Jose Berrios took the Midwest League honors and Hein Robb captured the title in the Appalachian League.
Update: I completely overlooked that Rochester’s Pat Dean was named International League Pitcher of the Week. My oversight completely hoses my title but I can still give Mr. Dean his due by adding his accomplishments at the bottom.
For Miguel Sano it was just another week at the office.
When he heats up there are a scarce few prospects in the game that can match his production and the 20-year old 3B seems to lock in more often than most of his peers as well. That’s great news for Twins fans but not for opposing pitchers who are trying to gloss up their minor league resumes.
Sano was 10-24 over six games last week with four doubles and three home runs but his run of success has been much longer and much more impressive than that. He has hits in 13 of his last 16 games and eight of those have been multi-hit games. The numbers are jaw dropping since July 19th with 8 1B, 7 2B, 7 HR, 13 R, 24 RBI, 11 BB and 19 SO. For some players that’s a productive couple of months, but for Sano that’s his production in his last 59 at bats. All of that works out to an incredible 0.373/.486/.847 slash line over his last three and a half weeks of baseball.
It’s hard for pitchers to put together weeks that are as impressive as their offensive counterparts since they only have one or two starts, or a handful of relief appearances, to compile stats but two Twins starters certainly earned the recognition this past week.
19-year Jose Berrios however pitched a 7.1 inning, two-hit shutout for Cedar Rapids. Not only was it the deepest he’s ever gone in his brief professional career, it also resulted in a 80 GSc. Berrios walked just one and struck out seven in the start, and it was the first time all season that he didn’t allow a run to cross home plate. He’s now thrown 94.0 innings on the season with a 3.45 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 96 H, 34 BB and 92 SO. Solid numbers that are even more impressive when you put his age into context.
21-year old lefty Hein Robb hasn’t has as smooth a season as either Sano or Berrios and his accomplishments are as impressive when factoring his age relative to his peers into the equation. After three very rough starts with Cedar Rapids to open the year (10.2 IP, 11 H, 9 ER, 9 BB, 10 SO) he’s gotten back on track with the E-Twins. In the Appy League Robb now has a 2.87 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 36-7 SO-to-BB in 47.0 IP (8 GS). His start this past week, a complete game, 2-hit shutout with no walks and nine strikeouts is the crown jewel of his five-year professional career. The 9.0 innings eclipsed his previous best of 7.2 while the nine strikeouts also set a new career high. The resulting game score from his start last Wednesday was 92.
Again my deepest apologies to Dean and Rochester Red Wings fans for not giving him his just due in the title and for my oversight. Promoted to Rochester on August 5th, I wrote the following:
By the numbers [Dean] didn’t seem likely to get moved up to Triple-A. After all his 4.68 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 61-17 SO-to-BB in 125.0 IP hardly smacked of a successful campaign. Of course the same could have been said when he moved up from Fort Myers.
The day he was promoted he threw 7.0 innings of shutout baseball with two hits and three walks allowed while striking out four. For anyone who thought it was just a case of beginner’s luck Dean was also successful in his second Triple-A start on Saturday. In that outing he gave up two runs and six hits but struck out six, didn’t walk anyone and went 7.2 IP. Some players perform better when they get moved up a level and this may be one of those cases. However the 24-year old has shown the ability to string together several excellent starts in a row before hitting long stretches of lackluster results so I’m tempering my excitement for the time being.