Minnesota Twins land 4 on the Southern League award team

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Nick Gordon
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Nick Gordon /

Minor leagues have begun to wrap up, and many are announcing their end-of-season awards. The Minnesota Twins landed four players on the Southern League list.

The Minnesota Twins have enjoyed a very positive season in the minor leagues with all affiliates currently competing for the postseason with roughly 10 days remaining on the regular season for stateside leagues and the Dominican Summer League regular season completed.

The Southern League released their list on Tuesday, the 29th, and the Minnesota Twins affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts, were well-represented, with four members, the most at the end of the season of any team in the league, which makes sense, as the Lookouts are 10 games better than any team in the Southern League on the season, with 85 total wins on the year, having won the first half North division title and have already clinched the second half North division title as well and are running away with the best record over the second half of the season.

Let’s take a look at the honorees:

Nick Gordon, SS

Widely considered the Minnesota Twins top prospect and a top 50 overall prospect in all of baseball, Gordon was selected by the Twins 5th overall in 2014 out of high school in Florida.

He’s had some tags due to his family name that led to expectations that he’d have incredible speed like his brother or a powerful arm like his father, both of whom have been major leaguers.

Gordon is a steady player with good skills across the board, and his performance at Chattanooga this year is a great example of exactly that. He hit .275/.348/.414 with 28 doubles, 8 triples, 8 home runs, and 13 stolen bases. The biggest concern for Twins fans will likely be the 123 strikeouts in 546 plate appearances, though that’s a 22.5% strikeout rate, hardly “high”, but higher than one would like for a likely hitter at the top of the lineup.

Edgar Corcino, OF

Originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2009 out of Puerto Rico, Corcina struggled with injury through his early minor league career before being released and signing with independent leagues. He played in independent league baseball in 2013 and 2014 before the Minnesota Twins signed him. He did nothing but hit ever since.

This season, Corcino opened the season in Chattanooga, hitting .297/.361/.388 with 17 doubles, a triple, and 5 home runs, stealing 4 bases. He’s been lauded for his incredible defense in the corner outfield positions.

He did move up to Rochester while Zack Granite was in Minnesota, struggling with the Red Wings, but he’s turned things back around now that he’s returned to Chattanooga to close out the season.

Jonathan Rodriguez, DH

While Rodriguez has only played roughly 25 of his 117 games at DH and has received very high marks for his defense at first base, he and Jackson’s Kevin Cron were arguably the two biggest bats in the league this season and both primarily played first base, so it was really semantics about who would be selected 1B and who would be DH on the awards team.

Rodriguez has been a revelation for the Lookouts this season after the Minnesota Twins signed him as a minor league free agent out of the St. Louis Cardinals system. While Rodriguez had shown some power before, he’s enjoyed by far his best season in virtually every statistic across the board, hitting .309/.415/.520 with 86 runs, 30 doubles, 20 home runs, and 74 RBI. He even posted a 79/111 BB/K ratio over 516 plate appearances.

Many have commented that Rodriguez should get a look in September with the big league club as his power bat could be what the team has wanted out of Kennys Vargas and ByungHo Park and not gotten from either the last few years.

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Gabriel Moya, RP

When the Minnesota Twins sent John Ryan Murphy to the Arizona Diamondbacks, they received a reliever in the Southern League that simply changed teams in the same league and kept dominating the league. Moya actually posted equal 0.82 ERAs for both Jackson and Chattanooga on the season!

Over the entire season, Moya made 45 appearances, with a 0.82 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and a 15/83 BB/K ratio over 54 2/3 innings. He also posted a 5-1 record and 23 saves on the season.

Moya is an impressive pitcher that should be a pitcher the Twins protect for a chance at the 2018 bullpen.

Next: Patience pays off with Buxton

More of the Minnesota Twins affiliate leagues should be announcing their end-of-season awards soon, and as the Twins have some very good teams this year, you can bet there will be more players receiving notice!