Kohl Stewart, Tyler Jay and Stephen Gonsalves began the season at Class A Fort Myers but eventually made it up to Class AA Chattanooga. And double-A is where a player can really prove he's major league ready.
 
Stewart has a 3.07 ERA in 12 starts but has to work on his strikeout rate. Jay is on the disabled list with a nerve problem.
 
Gonsalves, however, is making a name for himself.
 
The lefthander threw his first complete game on Thursday in a 7-1 win over Birmingham. Gonsalves was touched for one unearned run on three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in a dominant performance. His game score of 85 - according to baseball-reference.com - tied for the highest of his minor league career.
 
Gonsalves faced the minimum from the third through the ninth innings, and threw a total of 101 pitches. While his line was impressive, Gonsalves told MILB.com that the process wasn't.
 
``It's kind of funny -- I didn't have any of my pitches working for me early on. I started the game with a four-pitch walk. I had my worst bullpen. I think I bounced about 20 balls," he said. "I was all over the zone. I told the catcher, Stu (Turner), 'It can only get better from here.' I kept digging. He told me to dig deep, because he knew I didn't have my best stuff. But I was lucky enough that they kept swinging at anything close to the zone."
 
Gonsalves, 21 and a fourth round pick in 2013, is 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA in nine starts at Rochester.  He throws a fastball in the low 90's and backs it up with an improved curveball and really nice change up. His 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings is what you want to see out of a starting pitching prospect. He does need to work on his 4.4 walks per nine innings.
 
The stats suggest that he has good movement on his fastball - he's allowed just nine home runs in his minor league career.
 
Gonsalves is having the kind of year that can put him on the major league radar during the 2017 season. The Twins have plenty of options to be part of the rotation. But, as we have seen this season, you can never have too many pitchers. 
 
NOTE: That wasn't the only strong outing on Thursday. Class A Fort Myers righthander Cody Stashak tossed seven shutout innings against Charlotte and is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA for the Miracle since being promoted from Low-A Cedar Rapids. Stashak was a 13th round pick in 2015 out of St. John's - the New York one.

Older Post

Postgame(s): A day gone very bad at Target Field

Newer Post

Twins-Royals game underway after rain delay