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Javier finishes strong but Kernels eliminated

September 9, 2019

Here’s a look at the top performances of the past week by Twins prospects in the Minor Leagues:

AL East BAL, BOS, NYY, TB, TOR
AL Central CLE, CWS, DETKC, MIN
AL West HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TEX
NL East ATL, MIA, NYM, PHI, WSH
NL Central CHC, CIN, MIL, PIT, STL
NL West ARI, COL, LAD, SD, SF
Top prospect performers

Here’s a look at the top performances of the past week by Twins prospects in the Minor Leagues:

Top 30 Prospects | Complete prospect stats | Draft stats

Monday, Sept. 9: Javier finishes strong
Wander Javier
, the Twins’ No. 7 prospect, went 3-for-5, but it wasn’t enough as Class A Cedar Rapids fell, 6-2, to Clinton in Game 3 of the Midwest League semifinals. The loss eliminates Cedar Rapids as Clinton will take on South Bend for the title. Javier, 20, struggled in his first year of full-season ball, hitting just .177 over 80 games, but he went 7-for-24 (.292/.320/.542) with four extra-base hits and two multihit performances in six playoff games. Monday's prospect stats »

Sunday, Sept. 8: Cedar Rapids walk off to stay alive
The Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels were three outs away from elimination on Sunday night against Clinton, but stormed back with two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off win, 3-2. The win forced a third and deciding game in the Midwest League semifinals, which will be played on Monday at home for the Kernels. DeShawn Keirsey was the walk-off hero with a single to center field in the bottom of the ninth, which was set up by a game-tying RBI single off the bat of Tyler Webb. Cedar Rapids was down 2-1 late, but got solid relief efforts from Dylan Thomas, who threw 2 2/3 shutout innings, and Rickey Ramirez, who earned the win by striking out four batters over three shutout innings of his own.

No. 10 prospect Ryan Jeffers went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run on Sunday, but Double-A Pensacola took the loss, 8-4, to Biloxi and were eliminated from the Southern League postseason. Pensacola dropped the first two games of the semifinals series, but fought back to force a fifth and deciding game on Sunday. Jeffers capped off a 2019 season in which he hit .264 with 14 home runs and a .762 OPS between two Minor League levels. No. 1 prospect Royce Lewis (No. 7 in MLB) also went 3-for-5 with a double in the loss. The Blue Wahoos carried a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning, but allowed five runs in the frame. Sunday's prospect stats »

Saturday, Sept. 7: Kirilloff homers in fourth straight game
Make it four home runs in four playoff games this postseason for No. 2 prospect Alex Kirilloff, who belted another in Pensacola’s 10-5 win over Biloxi on Saturday. Major League Baseball’s No. 15 prospect finished the day 2-for-4 with the home run and two RBIs, including driving in the go-ahead run on a single in what would be a five-run ninth inning to win the game. He got off to a slow start to the season while recovering from a wrist injury and spent time on the injured list during the middle of the season, as well, but he's finished strong and is showing why he's viewed as one of the best all-around hitters in the Minors.

No. 1 prospect Royce Lewis (No. 7 in MLB) reached base three times, going 1-for-3 with an RBI, two walks, two runs scored and a stolen base. The Blue Wahoos lost the first two games of their best-of-five Southern League semifinals series against Biloxi, but have now won back-to-back games to force a fifth and deciding game on Sunday on the road. Sautrday's prospect stats »

Friday, Sept. 6: Pensacola stays alive, Cedar Rapids advances
Double-A Pensacola faced elimination Friday but came through with a 3-2 victory over Biloxi to cut its Southern League semifinals deficit to 2-1. Twins No. 2 prospect and No. 15 overall Alex Kirilloff hit a solo homer in the third inning, and Ryan Costello followed with a solo homer in the fourth. In the fifth, No. 24 prospect Travis Blankenhorn singled home top prospect Royce Lewis (No. 7 overall) for the go-ahead run. No. 4 prospect Jordan Balazovic started the game, striking out seven batters and allowing two runs in 4 2/3 frames.

Class A Cedar Rapids advanced to the Midwestern League semifinals with a 4-2 win over Quad Cities. Josh Winder was impressive over six scoreless innings, giving up six hits while walking none and striking out seven. First baseman Gabe Snyder went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in the first inning. Friday's prospect stats »

Thursday, Sept. 5: Kirilloff homers in playoff loss
Alex Kirilloff
launched a solo home run in the ninth inning, but that was the entire offense for Pensacola, which fell, 4-1, to Biloxi and is now down 2-0 in the Double-A Southern League semifinals. Kirilloff also homered in Game 1 of the series on Wednesday. The Twins’ No. 2 prospect and Major League Baseball’s No. 15 overall prospect hit .283 with nine home runs and a .756 OPS over 94 games this season in Double-A. Pensacola has a chance to keep the best-of-five semifinals alive at home on Friday before the series is scheduled to return to Biloxi for the fourth and fifth games. Thursday's prospect stats »

Wednesday, Sept. 4: Kirilloff, Lewis come up clutch
Alex Kirilloff
and Royce Lewis hit back-to-back home runs as Double-A Pensacola rallied to score five runs in the ninth inning to take the lead, only to get walked off by Biloxi, 11-10, in 10 innings to open the best-of-five Southern League semifinals.

The first three batters for Pensacola reached base to open the ninth ahead of Kirilloff, who deposited a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right field for a game-tying grand slam. After a Biloxi pitching change, Lewis lined the second pitch he saw from the Shuckers’ reliever out to left field to give the Pensacola the lead.

Lewis, the Twins’ top prospect (MLB No. 7), finished the game 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, while Kirilloff (No. 2, MLB No. 15) drove in four runs as part of a 2-for-5 performance from the leadoff spot. They both scored two runs, as did Trevor Larnach (No. 5, MLB No. 93), who went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. Wednesday's prospect stats »