Hanson Provides Miracle Walk Off
· At about 10:20 today, I’ll be on KFAN with Paul Allen to talk about the Twins. Listen on am1130 in the Twin Cities, or on one of their affiliates, or even at www. KFAN.com.
The Ft. Myers Miracle scored three runs in the bottom of the 5th inning, and going into the eighth frame, they held a one run lead. Bruce Pugh blew his first save of the season. The teams went into the bottom of the 9th inning tied at five. With the bases loaded, Minnesota native Nate Hanson stepped to the plate and ended the game in style. Sure, all he needed was a walk or a single, but he ended the game by launching a walk-off grand slam giving the Miracle a 9-5 win over Bradenton.
No one is hotter at the plate right now than Hanson right now. In his last seven games played, he has six multi-hit games. He is 13-29 over that stretch (.448). On the season, he is now hitting .352/.390/.574 with three doubles and three home runs.
Hanson was the subject of an article in my Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2011. Although he was born in California, his family moved to Minnesota when he was young. He went to Eden Prairie High School and the University of Minnesota before the Twins drafted him in the 28th round of the 2008 draft. He spend 2010 with the Miracle as well and hit .254/.324/.385 with 18 doubles and 11 home runs. He probably could be up at Double-A New Britain, but with Chris Parmelee playing 1B there every day, Hanson finds himself back in the Florida State League. He is making the most of the opportunity and the everyday spot in the middle of the lineup.
Another former Gopher is off to a terrific start as well. 2010 was a frustrating season for the professorial right-hander. He split time between New Britain and Rochester and between being a starter and a bullpen arm. In all, he was 1-8 with a 5.79 ERA. He is working out of the bullpen now for the Rock Cats. He has thrown 9.1 innings in four games and is yet to allow an earned run. He has given up just two hits, walked one and has 12 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .065 against him. Another Eden Prairie high school alum, the 26 year old hopes to continue his success and get back to Triple-A. Not bad for a player who was not drafted and signed with the Twins in 2006.
The Twins drafted catcher Kyle Knudson out of the University of Minnesota in the 9th round of the 2010 draft. Right now, he is splitting time with two other catchers at Beloit. He is hitting .313 (5-16) in the early season. Derek McCallum, the Twins fourth round pick in 2009 has really struggled to stay healthy since signing. He is back in Beloit this year playing 2B and some in the outfield. He is off to a slow start, hitting just .148 through his first 27 at bats.
The Twins generally have a few Minnesota Gophers on their roster. Since the MLB draft starting in 1965, the Twins have drafted 35 Gophers.
Ya’ll, I’m so far behind on the minor league updates, so today is going to be very much just highlights from the past few games, just to get caught up. If you ever have any questions on the Twins minor league system, players, etc., please feel free to e-mail me.
SethSpeaks.net Minor League Hitter of the Day– Nate Hanson, Ft. Myers Miracle.
SethSpeaks.net Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Albers, Ft. Myers Miracle
Red Wings Ramblings
Wednesday – Red Wings – Kyle Gibson will take the mound in Game 1 of a Thursday doubleheader. He was set to start on Wednesday until the game was postponed by rain, snow and freezing conditions.
Rock Cats Report
Wednesday – Rock Cats 2, New Hampshire 6 – Deolis Guerra had his first rough start of the year. He gave up six runs on nine hits in three innings. Cole DeVries still hasn’t given up a run this year. He struck out two in two scoreless innings. Jake Stevens hasn’t either after two more shutout frames. Tyler Robertson struck out two in his two scoreless innings. Joe Benson and Evan Bigley were each 2-4.
Wednesday – Miracle 9, Bradenton 5 – If you’re reading this far into the blog, you know how this game finished up. Nate Hanson walked off with a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th to give the Miracle the 9-5 win. Hanson was 2-3 with two walks and it was his third home run of the year. Brian Dozier went 3-4 with a walk and three stolen bases. Danny Rams went 2-4 with his second triple and three RBI. Brad Stillings got the start for the Miracle and gave up four runs (2 earned) on three hits. He walked four and struck out three. Andrew Albers went 2.1 scoreless. Bruce Pugh gave up one run on five hits and a walk in his inning, so he gets the blown save. But he also gets the win thanks to that big, walk-off grand slam by Nate Hanson.
Wednesday – Snappers, Wisconsin – The conditions were bad enough that Wednesday night’s game was postponed already on Tuesday afternoon. The Snappers will resume play on Thursday in Peoria.
Feel free to leave your thoughts, questions or comments.