Young Twins Tracker: Minor-league MVPs

Every Thursday we took a closer look at some specific young players in the Minnesota Twins organization -- as well as noting others who were stepping up -- measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress.

For our 22nd and final edition of this year's Young Twins Tracker, we offer our MVPs for the Minnesota Twins' minor-league teams.

Note: MLB stats are through Wednesday

Triple-A: Rochester Red Wings

Record: 81-63, 3rd place in International League North

Most valuable hitter: Jorge Polanco (age 23)

Season (Triple-A): 75 games, 293 AB, .276 BA, .335 OBP, .457 SLG, .793 OPS, 32 R, 81 H, 14 2B, 6 3B, 9 HR, 39 RBI, 5 SB, 27 BB, 51 K
Season (MLB): 52 games, 181 AB, .298 BA, .348 OBP, .442 SLG, .790 OPS, 20 R, 54 H, 12 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 3 SB, 12 BB, 28 K
Total: 127 games, 474 AB, .285 BA, .340 OBP, .451 SLG, .792 OPS, 52 R, 135 H, 26 2B, 10 3B, 11 HR, 59 RBI, 8 SB, 39 BB, 79 K
Highlights: Polanco led the Red Wings in batting average among players who participated in at least 75 games. His 29 extra-base hits tied him for fourth on the team, and his six triples tied him for first. The Twins recalled Polanco from Rochester four times this season and have kept him in the major leagues since July 29. He has hit .310 in 155 at-bats since then.

Most valuable pitcher: Jose Berrios (age 22)

Season (Triple-A): 17 games (17 starts), 111 1/3 IP, 10-5, 2.51 ERA, 0.988 WHIP, 10.1 K/9
Season (MLB): 11 games (11 starts), 44 2/3 IP, 2-6, 9.27 ERA, 2.015 WHIP, 8.5 K/9
Total: 28 games (28 starts), 156 IP, 12-11, 4.46 ERA, 1.282 WHIP, 8.5 K/9
Highlights: Berrios tied for second on the Red Wings in wins, while leading the team in strikeouts with 125. He pitched at least five innings in every Triple-A start, yielding more than three earned runs just once. Berrios' best major-league start came May 2, when he yielded two runs in 5 1/3 innings vs. the Houston Astros. He has struggled for the most part for the Twins, however.

Most valuable relief pitcher: Marcus Walden (age 27)

Season (Triple-A): 36 games (zero starts), 46 IP, 1-1, 2.54 ERA 1.174 WHIP, 6.5 K/9
Season (Double-A): Six games (zero starts), 10 1/3 IP, 0-0, 1.74 ERA, 0.581 WHIP, 6.1 K/9
Total: 42 games (zero starts), 56 1/3 IP, 1-1, 2.40 ERA, 1.065 WHIP, 6.4 K/9
Highlights: Walden ranked second among Rochester pitchers with at least 30 appearances with the club in ERA and innings pitched. The 27-year-old right-hander was a ninth-round draft pick by Toronto in 2007 and was a full-time starting pitcher through 2013. He has yet to make his major-league debut.

Double-A: Chattanooga Lookouts (Southern League)

Record: 75-65, 3rd place in Southern League North

Most valuable hitter: Zach Granite (age 23)

Season: 127 games, 526 AB, .295 BA, .347 OBP, .382 SLG, .729 OPS, 86 R, 155 H, 18 2B, 8 3B, 4 HR, 52 RBI, 56 SB, 42 BB, 43 K
Highlights: Granite led the Lookouts in at-bats, hits and batting average among players who logged at least five games, while his 56 stolen bases led the Southern League. The 23-year-old left-handed hitter posted career highs in batting average, RBI and extra-base hits (26) and had the fewest strikeouts among Chattanooga players who participated in at least 60 games. The Twins drafted Granite in the 14th round of the 2013 draft out of Seton Hall.

Most valuable pitcher: Stephen Gonsalves (age 22)

Season (Double-A): 13 games (13 starts), 74 1/3 IP, 8-1, 1.82 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, 10.8 K/9
Season (High Single-A): 11 games (11 starts), 65 2/3 IP, 5-4, 2.33 ERA, 0.959 WHIP, 9.0 K/9
Season (Total): 24 games (24 starts), 140 IP, 13-5, 2.06 ERA, 1.021 WHIP, 10.0 K/9
Highlights: The Twins promoted Gonsalves to Double-A in June, and he was arguably more effective than in Single-A, yielding two or fewer runs in 12 of his 13 starts. The left-handed Gonsalves had the lowest ERA and highest strikeout rate among Chattanooga pitchers with at least 10 starts, though he ranked fourth on the team in walks. The Twins have to be pleased with the development of Gonsalves, a fourth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego.

Most valuable relief pitcher: Trevor Hildenberger (age 25)

Season (Double-A): 32 games (zero starts), 38 2/3 IP, 2-3, 0.70 ERA, 0.698 WHIP, 10.5 K/9
Season (High Single-A): Six games (zero starts), 9 1/3 IP, 1-1, 0.96 ERA, 1.179 WHIP, 7.7 K/9
Season (Total): 38 games (zero starts), 48 IP, 3-4, 0.75 ERA, 0.792 WHIP, 9.9 K/9
Highlights: Hildenberger proved virtually unhittable after his promotion to Double-A in late April, allowing just three earned runs for the Lookouts all season. He was manager Doug Mientkiewicz's primary closer this season, earning 19 saves in 21 opportunities. The 25-year-old right-hander went 15 straight games (19 1/3 innings) from May 14-June 23 without allowing a run, a stretch that included eight straight outings without allowing a hit. He wrapped up the season without allowing a run in 11 straight outings. The Twins drafted Hildenberger in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft out of Cal.

High Single-A: Fort Myers Miracle (Florida State League)

Record: 70-68, 3rd in Florida State League South

Most valuable hitter: Nick Gordon (age 20)

Season: 120 games, 461 AB, .291 BA, .335 OBP, .386 SLG, .721 OPS, 56 R, 134 H, 23 2B, 6 3B, 3 HR, 52 RBI, 19 SB, 23 BB, 87 K
Highlights: Gordon, a left-handed batter, had the highest batting average of any Fort Myers player with more than 150 at-bats. He was one of six Twins prospects assigned to the Arizona Fall League. The 20-year-old shortstop was the fifth-overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla. He has a .285 batting average in three minor-league seasons.

Most valuable pitcher: Felix Jorge (age 22)

Season (High Single-A): 14 games (14 starts), 93 IP, 9-3, 1.55 ERA, 0.935 WHIP, 7.5 K/9
Season (Double-A): 11 games (11 starts), 74 1/3 IP, 3-5, 4.12 ERA, 1.278 WHIP, 3.9 K/9
Season (Total): 25 games (25 starts), 167 1/3 IP, 12-8, 2.69 ERA, 1.088 WHIP, 5.9 K/9
Highlights: Jorge won seven straight starts for Fort Myers until his promotion to Double-A in July. The 22-year-old right-hander yielded two or fewer earned runs in 12 of his 14 starts for the Miracle and was named the Florida State League Player of the Month in June by He struggled at points for Chattanooga but yielded two or fewer runs in six of his 11 starts there. The Twins signed Jorge out of the Dominican Republic in 2011.

Most valuable relief pitcher: John Curtiss (age 23)

Season (High Single-A): 38 games (zero starts), 53 IP, 0-2, 3.06 ERA, 1.226 WHIP, 11.5 K/9
Season (Single A): 6 games (zero starts), 8 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.500 WHIP, 19.1 K/9
Season (Total): 44 games (zero starts), 61 IP, 0-2, 2.66 ERA, 1.131 WHIP, 12.5 K/9
Highlights: Curtiss made seven starts at Single-A last year but posted a 6.07 ERA there. This year he was effective as a full-time relief pitcher, posting a 1.80 in 23 appearances in the second half of Fort Myers' season. Curtiss, a right-hander, was a sixth-round draft pick for the Twins in 2014 out of Texas.

Single-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels (Midwest League)

Record: 78-61, 2nd in Midwest League Western Division

Most valuable hitter: Luis Arraez (age 19)

Season: 114 games, 475 AB, .347 BA, .386 OBP, .444 SLG, .830 OPS, 67 R, 165 H, 31 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 66 RBI, 3 SB, 31 BB, 51 K
Highlights: Arraez, a left-handed hitter, led the Midwest League in batting average and was second in the league in hits. He led the Kernels in hits, batting average and doubles and was second on the team in RBI. The 19-year-old second baseman was a mid-season All-Star and hit .374 in the second half of the season. The Twins signed the Venezuela native as a non-drafted free agent in 2013.

Most valuable starting pitcher: Cody Stashak (age 22)

Season (Single-A): 18 games (17 starts), 105 1/3 IP, 8-5, 3.16 ERA, 1.139 WHIP, 6.8 K/9
Season (High Single-A): 3 games (3 starts), 16 2/3 IP, 2-0, 0.54 ERA, 0.960 WHIP, 5.4 K/9
Season (Total): 21 games (20 starts), 122 IP, 10-5, 2.80 ERA, 1.115 WHIP, 6.6 K/9
Highlights: Stashak was one of three Cedar Rapids pitchers to log at least 100 innings there this year. He was promoted to Fort Myers in August and yielded just one earned run in three starts there. The 22-year-old right-hander was a 13th-round draft pick by the Twins in 2015 out of St. John's.

Most valuable relief pitcher: Anthony McIver (age 24)

Season: 31 games (zero starts), 52 1/3 IP, 0-2, 2.58 ERA, 1.108 WHIP, 9.5 K/9
Highlights: McIver had the most appearances of any Cedar Rapids pitcher and ranked among the team's top relief pitchers in strikeouts, ERA and WHIP. The 24-year-old lefty was drafted in the 15th round last year out of San Diego.

Rookie: Elizabethton Twins (Appalachian League)

Record: 36-31, 2nd in Appalachian League West

Most valuable hitter: Alex Kirilloff (age 18)

Season: 55 games, 216 AB, .306 BA, .341 OBP, .454 SLG, .794 OPS, 33 R, 66 H, 9 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 0 SB, 11 BB, 32 K
Highlights: Kirilloff, the Twins' first-round pick this year, led Elizabethton in at-bats, runs and hits. He hit .373 in July but struggled in August, hitting .232. The Pittsburgh native played entirely in the outfield for Elizabethton.

Most valuable starting pitcher: Tyler Wells (age 22)

Season: 10 games (10 starts), 47 1/3 IP, 5-2, 3.23 ERA, 1.204 WHIP, 11.2 K/9
Highlights: Wells pitched three straight games without allowing a run before yielding six runs in his final start on Sept. 4. The strong stretch included 14 strikeouts in an Aug. 22 start. The Twins drafted the 6-foot-8 Wells, a right-hander, in the 15th round this year out of Cal State San Bernardino.

Most valuable relief pitcher: Patrick McGuff (age 22)

Season: 18 games (zero starts), 26 IP, 2-0, 2.77 ERA, 1.269 WHIP, 11.4 K/9
Highlights: McGuff, a righty, had the lowest ERA among the 12 Elizabethton pitchers who appeared in at least 10 games. The Twins drafted him in the 36th round out of Moorhead State this year.

A glossary of some of the advanced statistics used:

OPS: On base percentage + slugging percentage
OPS+: OPS compared to league average of 100, adjusted to the player's ballpark
sOPS+: OPS for the split (in our case the last 7 days) compared to the league's split OPS (100 being average)
BAbip: Batting average on balls in play
WHIP: Walks plus hits divided by innings pitched
ERA+: ERA compared to league average of 100, adjusted to the player's ballpark
FIP: Fielding Independent Pitching. Measures a pitcher's effectiveness at presenting home runs, walks and hit by pitches while causing strikeouts. The MLB average FIP is the same as the MLB average ERA.
WAR: Wins Above Replacement value. Represents the number of wins the player added to the team above what a replacement player would add (we are using WAR from

Statistics courtesy