The minor league playoffs are in full swing, and Minnesota Twins teams are well-represented. Wednesday, the Fort Myers Miracle saw their playoff run come to a close.
The Minnesota Twins have seen their minor league teams this year rate as the top team in many of their affiliate levels. Sadly, the weather played havoc with the playoffs in a few leagues, including the Florida State League, where the Fort Myers Miracle lost on Wednesday to end their playoff run.
The Miracle were roughly .500 in the first half of the season, but in the second half, the team really turned it on, finishing with the South division title in the second half. Overall, Fort Myers had a 75-60 record, which was the second-best record in the Florida State League this season.
Let’s take a look at a few of the standout players this season:
While the Miracle were 3rd from last in team batting average in the league, they finished 3rd in runs scored.
Some of the best individual performances:
- Chris Paul came out strong, but he broke his hamate bone and missed a large chunk of the season. He returned and finished well, with a season line of .328/.380/.471 with 18 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs, and a steal.
- One of the few hitters to be in the Miracle lineup all season,
Zander Wiel hit well and showed his athleticism in handling the outfield and not just first base. He worked through a few rough slumps but still finished with a .250/.344/.429 line with 30 doubles, 6 triples, 13 home runs, and 8 stolen bases.
- One of the few guys who produced well enough to earn a promotion in the early part of the season, Max Murphy played so well early in the year that he earned an end-of-season award from the league. His final line at the level was .307/.390/.430 with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, and 9 steals.
- One of the major reasons for the success of the Miracle in the second half was the impressive presence of Brent Rooker in the middle of the lineup. Rooker hit .280/.364/.552 at the level, hitting 6 doubles and 11 home runs in just 40 games.
- Jermaine Palacios and Jaylin Davis both came up after really playing well with Cedar Rapids in the first half, and they both struggled mightily overall, but took different paths to get there, with Davis struggling early but putting up a .310/.362/.425 line in August and Palacios hitting .295/.313/.418 in July and then seeing his season finish around a .500 OPS from that point forward.
- An incredible raw athlete, Tanner English‘s overall line outside of rate stats is impressive, but he put up a .215/.330/.376 overall line. He adds 16 doubles, 4 triples, 8 home runs, and 29 steals in 92 games to those averages, however.
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Much like hitting, Fort Myers wasn’t exactly a standout as a team in any particular category. The team didn’t finish better than 4th in any category.
Some of the best individual performances:
- Lewis Thorpe had one of his best seasons, finally staying healthy enough to make 16 appearances and throw 77 innings, and the results were there, with a 2.69 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and a 31/84 BB/K.
- Australian country mate Lachlan Wells seemed to pick up Thorpe’s issues with nagging injuries, though he did throw 81 1/3 innings,
it seemed he missed quite a few starts. On the season, he tallied a 3.98 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and a 19/68 BB/K ratio.
- Cody Stashak had a solid year as a sinker baller, making 16 starts, throwing 83 1/3 innings, posting a 3.89 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
- Three starters with partial seasons really threw well for Fort Myers in Dereck Rodriguez, who had a 2.51 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over 11 starts,
Sean Poppen, who had a 3.63 ERA over 11 starts, and Randy LeBlanc, who posted a 2.82 ERA over 8 starts.
- The Miracle bullpen was absolutely outstanding all season. Sam Clay led the team in appearances and was arguably the best reliever as well, posting a 1.38 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 9 saves over 65 relief innings.
- Williams Ramirez was an ideal middle relief guy who was tough to drive the ball on, allowing no home runs over 60 1/3 innings on the year, posting a 2.98 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.
- One of the best swingmen in the entire Twins system was Anthony McIver, who made 28 appearances, 6 of them starts, throwing 63 2/3 innings with a 2.26 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
- Tom Hackimer may be the best Twitter follow in the minor leagues, but he also was excellent out of the bullpen, with a 1.93 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 37 1/3 relief innings, along with 7 saves.
- Other guys split their outstanding relief seasons with part of the season in Fort Myers like Andrew Vasques, who posted a 1.51 ERA and 11/52 BB/K ratio over 35 2/3 innings, Alex Muren, who had a 2.25 ERA over 36 innings, and Nick Anderson, who posted a 0.89 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and 3/20 BB/K ratio in 20 1/3 innings.
While it could be disappointing to finish the season the way they did, it should not take away from the fact that the Miracle had a great year and won a second-half division title. There were some very exciting players on this team that should be finding their way to Minnesota soon!