Minnesota Twins Gulf Coast League team wraps up season

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 17: Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey of the Minnesota Twins holds up a jersey with number one overall draft pick Royce Lewis and agent Scott Boras at a press conference on June 17, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 17: Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey of the Minnesota Twins holds up a jersey with number one overall draft pick Royce Lewis and agent Scott Boras at a press conference on June 17, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The minor league regular season finishes on Labor Day, and Minnesota Twins affiliates are showing very well. The GCL Twins wrapped up their season on Sunday

The Minnesota Twins have seen their minor league teams this year rate as the top team in many of their affiliate levels, and only one minor league level will end up missing out on the playoffs this season. The GCL Twins already played in their playoffs and were defeated, ending their season.

The Twins finished the season at 35-23. As the lowest-level stateside affiliate for the Twins, they established the winning culture that the entire system experienced this season. The Twins won the South division by 8 games, but they were knocked out by the Nationals in the one-game playoff for all four division winners before the best-of-three championship series.

Let’s take a look at a few of the standout players this season:

Lineup

The Twins finished 5th in the GCL in hitting, with a team batting average of .253, though they finished second in runs scored with 299 in 58 games. They also led the GCL in stolen bases by 1, with 88, one more than the Tigers, though the two of them were then 13 steals ahead of the next closest team.

Some of the best individual performances:

  • Utilityman Alex Robles led the GCL team in hitting, putting up a .324/.369/.407 line in 182 at bats with 3 home runs and 10 stolen bases.
  • One of the biggest prospects that remained on the team all season was Jean Carlos Arias, and he showed why he is well-regarded, hitting .298/.359/.476 with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 5 home runs, and 10 stolen bases over 48 games.
  • Big man Benjamin Rodriguez showed impressive bat control and power, though his over-the-fence power is still a work in progress, as he hit .290/.399/.457 with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs, and 4 stolen bases in 50 games.
  • Royce Lewis and Akil Baddoo offered impressive talent at the beginning of the 2017 GCL season, but both finished elsewhere. Lewis put up a .803 OPS over 36 GCL games with 11 extra base hits and 15 stolen bases,
    all while keeping a 19/17 BB/K ratio. Baddoo showed plenty in just 20 GCL games, with an .800 OPS along with 8 extra base hits and 4 steals in just 75 at bats.
  • Puerto Rican shortstop Ricky De La Torre didn’t have a great OPS, but he showed some impressive bat speed as he hit .268/.341/.359 with 7 extra base hits and 5 steals over 42 games.
  • One of the guys who was under the radar coming into the year was Emmmanuel Morel, but after this year, he’s made some definite waves.
    Morel isn’t going to be a power hitter, but with a .353 on base, 10 doubles, and 12 stolen bases over 38 games with incredible defense up the middle.

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Pitching

The Twins pitching was not as elite as the hitting, finishing more in the middle of the pack in team ERA. The Twins did lead the league in saves as a team.

Some of the best individual performances:

  • Carlos Suniaga led the entire GCL in ERA, with a 4-0 record,
    1.69 ERA, and 1.00 WHIP over 48 innings, posting a 12/38 BB/K ratio.
  • The GCL wins leader was Pedro Garcia, who went 6-2 with a 2.59 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 17/41 BB/K ratio over 48 2/3 innings.
  • One of the highest upside arms available in the 2017 draft,
    third-round pick Blayne Enlow threw 20 1/3 innings, going 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, and a 4/19 BB/K ratio.
  • Fellow draftee Landon Leach didn’t put up as shiny numbers as Enlow, but his were solid, with a 3.38 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and a 6/10 BB/K over 13 2/3 innings.
  • Derek Molina was impressive out of the bullpen, going 16 2/3 innings, allowing a 1.08 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with a 3/21 BB/K ratio.
  • Kevin Marnon came out of the bullpen 7 times, throwing 16 2/3 innings, posting a 0.54 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and a 4/17 BB/K ratio.
  • Brusdar Graterol earned his way up to Elizabethton with an impressive GCL performance, going 2-0 over 19 1/3 innings, allowing a 1.40 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and a 4/21 BB/K ratio.
  • Multiple Twins pitchers that rehabbed with the GCL Twins from various levels of the organization threw very well over the season as well.

Next: Twins Chances in Playoffs as Wild Card

While it could be disappointing to be knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, the Twins were certainly happy to get the performances that they did from the players that they sent to GCL, especially the pitching.

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