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It has been a rough year for the Twins, but it has also been a rough year for the Twins minor league system. However, once in a while, there is a story that just feels right. Alex Wimmers throwing a seven-inning no-hitter to give the Ft. Myers Miracle a 1-0 win in Game 2 of a double-header is one of those stories.
The Twins used their first-round pick in 2010 to take the two-time reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, Alex Wimmers, out of Ohio State. The right-hander waited until early August to sign, but he got a little bit of pro experience pitching in the Florida State League for the Ft. Myers Miracle. In four starts, he went 15.2 innings. He gave up just one run on six hits, he walked five and struck out 23. He was 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA. Most scouts said that Wimmers was the pitcher from the 2010 draft closest to the big leagues due to his control, his change up and his mental game.
This spring, he reported to camp and had a hamstring injury early. It affected his camp, but it wasn’t long before he developed an inability to throw strikes. Late in spring training, I heard that he had developed the yips. Then he was named the 5th starter for the Miracle, which surprised a lot of people. Until he made his first start, and it didn’t go so well. He faced six batters, and walked all six of them. Most of the pitches were nowhere near the plate. It was a complete surprise. The Twins wisely immediately shut him down, got him healthy, and then had him work with a sports psychologist. That first start came April 11. He did not return to the Miracle until the middle of July.
Since then, he has had hit moments. Good and bad. He has still walked some, almost one every other inning, but he also has 33 strikeouts in 36.2 innings and opponents are hitting just .194 against him. In other words, he is getting there.
The Ft. Myers Miracle won the first game of today’s double header today against Jupiter. Edgar Ibarra went seven shutout innings and gave up just five hits and one walk. Angel Morales hit his third home run and drove in two runs. Danny Rams hit his 7th home run and drove in four runs in the 7-0 win.
Wimmers got one run of support in Game 2. Aaron Hicks’ fifth triple drove in Nick Romero for the game’s only run. Wimmers did the rest. The right-hander gave up no runs on no hits. He walked two and struck out five.
I thought that Wimmers might head to the Arizona Fall League to make up some innings. This might be the perfect way for Wimmers to go into an offseason. This should help his confidence going into the offseason, looking to a 2012 season in which he could make a push for a big league spot as soon as late in the season.
Congratulations to Alex Wimmers, and his catcher tonight, Danny Rams, on a great game!