Minnesota Twins Appalachian League Elizabethton affiliate wins championship!

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 7: The grounds crew for the Minnesota Twins work on the mound as rain falls before the fifth inning of the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Oakland Athletics on May 7, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Athletics 6-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 7: The grounds crew for the Minnesota Twins work on the mound as rain falls before the fifth inning of the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Oakland Athletics on May 7, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Athletics 6-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The minor league playoffs are beginning to wrap up, and the Minnesota Twins claimed their first affiliate championship as the Elizabethton Twins won the Appalachian League.

The Minnesota Twins have seen their minor league teams this year rate as the top team in many of their affiliate levels. After three teams failed to get all the way to a championship, the Elizabethton team made the championship and won the whole thing!

Elizabethton went 41-27 on the season, which was good enough to win the West division, though it was the 3rd best regular season record in the league. The E-Twins had to endure through rough weather in the first weekend to get past the Greeneville team in order to face Pulaski. In the first game of the best-of-3 series, the Twins blew out the Yankees 12-1 but on Friday evening, they had a big 8-3 lead before the Yankees clawed back with 4 seventh inning runs. The E-Twins held on to win 8-7, sweeping the championship!

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

Lineup

The Twins had an exceptional offense this season, leading the Appy League in hitting with a .288 average. The Twins scored the most runs in the league by over 20 runs more than the next-closest team, with 432 runs. The E-Twins also led the league in home runs with 69 (12 more than 2nd place), on base (.365), slugging (.443, 28 points better than 2nd place), and OPS (.808).

Some of the best individual performances:

  • One of the few players to spend all season with Elizabethton,
    Jose Miranda had an excellent season, though he did fall off significantly from his early season hitting to finish at .283/.340/.484 with 11 home runs to lead the team.
  • Rainis Silva was the lead catcher of the team in Elizabethton in 2017, hitting .356/.446/.446 with 10 doubles and 5 home runs.
  • Wander Javier played well on the season, fighting through injuries to finish at .299/.383/.471 with 13 doubles, a triple, 4 home runs, and 4 stolen bases.
  • He came up part way through the season, but Akil Baddoo was arguably the best hitter for the E-Twins on the season, hitting .357/.478/.579 in his time with Elizabethton with 15 doubles, 2 triples,
    3 home runs, and 5 stolen bases.
  • A trio of guys found their way up the ladder partway through the season. While in Elizabethton, Jordan Gore hit .389/.443/.500, Shane Carrier hit .348/.359/.529, and Brent Rooker hit .282/.364/.588.
  • Three college draftees this season each produced well. Andrew Bechtold went .299/.406/.424, Carson Crites went .300/.349/.453 with 4 home runs and 4 steals, and J.J. Robinson went .264/.337/.480 with 9 home runs.

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Pitching

Even with such excellent hitting, the Twins pitching was solid, finishing 3rd with a 3.86 ERA. While they did finish third in strikeouts, the E-Twins did lead the Appy League in WHIP with a team mark of 1.29.

Some of the best individual performances:

  • The team’s most consistent “short” starter in the season really put his most important postseason performance in the playoffs in relief as Ryley Widell threw a 2.43 ERA and 41 strikeouts over 29 2/3 innings in the regular season.
  • Edwar Colina threw the most innings of the team, throwing 59 1/3 innings, with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP with a 29/56 BB/K ratio.
  • The most impressive starter was Nick Brown, who threw 50 1/3 innings, with a 3.93 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and a 15/54 BB/K.
  • Short stint starters had good performances for Elizabethton as well, including Bailey Ober with a 3.21 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 3/35 BB/K ratio over 28 innings, Randy Dobnak had a 2.39 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 6/22 BB/K over 26 1/3 innings, Bryan Sammons with a 1.46 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over 24 2/3 innings, and Charlie Barnes had a 1.19 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over 22 2/3 innings.
  • Brusdar Graterol came up after dominating at GCL and threw well, though not quite as dominant, with Elizabethton, posting a 3.92 ERA,
    1.21 WHIP, and a 9/24 BB/K ratio over 20 2/3 innings.
  • The most dominant bullpen arm for the E-Twins was easily the man who closed out the championship with 2 1/3 innings of dominant relief on Friday, as Jovani Moran threw 24 2/3 innings of relief on the year, with a 0.36 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, and a 6/45 BB/K ratio.
  • The team leader in saves was Jared Finkel, who saved 3 in his 17 appearances and 33 innings, posting a 2.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and a 7/29 BB/K ratio.

Next: Twins Minor League Awards

It was very exciting to watch this team throughout the season. A number of guys will be very interesting to watch as they work their way up the major leagues over the next half-decade!