TCD Player of the Week: Yohan Pino

Since signing with the Twins, Yohan Pino has done one thing better than nearly every other Minnesota Twins prospect: Win Games. Coming into the 2007 season, Pino has posted a 33-5 career record, and is one of the better pitchers on a very good Fort Myers Miracle pitching staff.

One would think that one of the star pitchers at Rochester (Matt Garza, Brian Duensing or Nick Blackburn), who all had great outings this past week would be this week's selection. However, this week's award goes to a 23-year old right-hander who came into the 2007 season with a 33-5 career record.

The best performance this week was by Miracle reliever turned starter, Yohan Pino, who is a 23 year old native of Turmero, Venezuela.

Entering this season, Pino had a 33-5 record in this three seasons with the Twins organization while with the DSL Twins, Elizabethton Twins and Beloit Snappers. Three year ago, Pino was 10-1 in the DSL with a 0.53 era and 81 strikeouts with only 5 walks in 85.2 innings. The following year he was one of the top starters for the championship Elizabethton Twins where he had a 9-2 record with a 3.72 era and 64 strikeouts with 13 walks in 67.2 innings. Last season at Beloit, Yohan pitched in 42 games (7 starts) with a 14-2 record and 1.91 era with 99 strikeouts and 20 walks in 94.0 innings.

Pino's 14 wins last year were the second most in the Midwest League and tied for tops in the Twins organization. He was selected for last season's Midwest League All-Star Game and following the season, he was named a Post Season Low A All-Star by Baseball America.

Pino began this season as a reliever with the Miracle before joining the starting rotation. He has appeared in 16 games (7 starts), pitching 49.2 innings with a 2-3 record, 38 hits, 11 runs, 46 strikeouts and 13 walks. Although he is just a few innings short of qualifying for league leadership, his 1.99 era would currently be third best and hit 1.03 WHIP would be sixth best, however, only 0.06 behind the league leader.

On Tuesday the Miracle won 2-0 behind an excellent start by Pino who pitched 8.0 shutout innings while allowing only 5 hits with 7 strikeouts and no walks. Pino is certainly another top prospect who could be a member of the Twins staff when they open their new stadium in 2010.

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