matt-wallner-twins-tracker

Minor-league baseball is back! With games back on in 2021 every Thursday for the rest of the season, Bally Sports North will take a closer look at some specific young players in the Minnesota Twins’ farm system -- as well as noting others who might be stepping up -- measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress.

This is the 10th edition of the 2021 Young Twins Tracker.

Jordan Balazovic, SP (age 22/Double-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 0-0, 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 4 K

Season: 10 games (10 starts), 3-1, 2.74 ERA, 49 1/3 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 61 K, .218 OBA, 1.14 WHIP

Notable: Balazovic’s string of four consecutive starts without allowing a run came to an end July 25, thanks in part to an uncharacteristic fit of wildness. His five walks were easily a single-game high in 2021 – his previous most was two – and he’d walked just two combined batters over his last three starts.

Matt Canterino, SP (age 23/High-A)

Last week: DNP

Season: 4 games (4 starts), 1-0, 1.00 ERA, 18 IP, 10 H, 1 HR, 3 BB, 35 K, .154 OBA, 0.72 WHIP

Notable: Canterino hasn’t pitched since May 28, out with right elbow inflammation.

Keoni Cavaco, SS (age 20/Low-A)

Last week: 5 games, 23 AB, 4 H, 3b, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 8 K, .174 BA

Season: 40 games, 154 AB, .266BA, .347 OBP, .364 SLG, .710 OPS, 5 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 23 R, 18 RBI, 5 SB, 17 BB, 49 K.

Notable: After not playing since July 13, Cavaco returned to action July 22. He had a hit in four of his five games, homering July 27.

Jose Miranda, 3B (age 23/Triple-A)

Last week: 6 games, 28 AB, 11 H, 2 2b, 3 HR, 9 R, 4 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 2 K, .393 BA

Season (Triple-A): 26 games, 110 AB, .355 BA, .415 OBP, .691 SLG, 1.106 OPS, 10 2b, 0 3b, 9 HR, 28 R, 23 RBI, 0 SB, 11 BB, 18 K.

Season (Double-A): 47 games, 194 AB, .345 BA, .408 OBP, .588 SLG, .996 OPS, 8 2B, 13 HR, 36 R, 38 RBI, 4 SB, 17 BB, 25 K.

Notable: Miranda keeps mashing in St. Paul. He had four multiple-hit games last week, including back-to-back games with three hits. Over his last three games, Miranda is 10-for-14 with six runs, three RBI, two doubles and two homers. Against left-handed pitchers this year the right-handed hitter is slashing .391/.443/.805 with 10 home runs in 97 plate appearances.

Aaron Sabato, 1B (age 22/Low-A)

Last week: 3 games, 11 AB, 1 H, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 3 BB, 11 K, .091 BA

Season: 70 games, 238 AB, .185 BA, .370 OBP, .290 SLG, .660 OPS, 13 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 38 R, 26 RBI, 1 SB, 66 BB, 97 K.

Notable: Sabato last played July 24. He was 0-for-7 with two walks and seven strikeouts in his last two games.

Matt Wallner, OF (age 23/High-A)

Last week: 5 games, 21 AB, 9 H, 2 2b, 4 HR, 6 R, 5 RBI, 0 SB, 0 BB, 6 K, .429 BA

Season: 24 games, 93 AB, .355 BA, .408 OBP, .742 SLG, 1.150 OPS, 5 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 15 R, 20 RBI, 0 SB, 7 BB, 36 K.

Notable: A wrist injury curtailed nearly two months of Wallner’s season, but back healthy he’s mashing once again at Cedar Rapids. He had a trio of three-hit games this week – each of which included him homering. He went 3-for-5 vs. Beloit on July 24 with a dinger, 3-for-4 at Wisconsin with a double and two homers July 27 and the next day saw him go 3-for-5 with another double and home run. The No. 39 overall pick in the 2019 draft. Despite playing in only 24 games, Wallner is tied for 16th in homers in High-A Central and his slugging percentage is tops for anyone with at least 53 at-bats.

Josh Winder, SP (age 24/Triple-A)

Last week: DNP

Season (Triple-A): 4 games (4 starts), 1-0, 4.67 ERA, 17 1/3 IP, 14 H, 4 HR, 3 BB, 15 K, .219 OBA, 0.98 WHIP

Season (Double-A): 10 games (10 starts), 3-0, 1.98 ERA, 54 2/3 IP, 41 H, 5 HR, 10 BB, 65 K, .245 OBA, 0.93 WHIP

Notable: Winder hasn’t pitched since July 21.

Others: The two pitchers, Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman, obtained for Nelson Cruz were assigned to Triple-A St. Paul but neither have pitched for the Saints as of yet. Ryan has a good reason – he’s in Tokyo as a member of the Team USA Olympic baseball team. … Wichita SS Spencer Steer (3rd round, 2019) went 10-for-23 (.435) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs (.913 SLG%), eight runs and seven RBI. Steer has seven homers in 25 games since being moved up to Double-A and 17 HR overall this season. … Wind Surge 2B Aaron Whitfield stole three bases giving him 20 on the season. He’s tied for third in steals in Double-A Central. … Cedar Rapids RHP Ben Gross (10th round, 2019) tossed five shutout innings on four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. He has a 2.41 ERA over 56 innings. … Kernels LHP Zach Featherstone (12th round, 2016), the former first baseman, picked up a pair of saves while not allowing a run over four innings. He gave up one his and fanned nine. He now has 63 K in 35 IP. … Fort Myers RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (6th round, 2019) allowed one unearned run on three hits in seven innings while striking out nine.

Statistics courtesy baseball-reference.com and milb.com