Summing up the Dutchies per MLB organization: Minnesota Twins

Today in “Summing up the Dutchies per MLB organization:

             Number of Dutchies: 3

Matz Schutte with the European Baseball Academy     (photo: courtesy of Rob Jelsma photography)


Matz Schütte:

Matz signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins in September 2014. The tall pitcher who was born in Almere, came to Dutch Hoofdklasse club HCAW through his home town Almere ’90 and baseball academy Scimitars. Matz also participated in the European Academy of Major League Baseball. There were a couple of MLB clubs standing in line to sign him but eventually he opted for the Twins. After he signed the contract, Matz headed to Australia to participate in the Baseball Victoria Summer League. After the BVSL season, Matz headed to Florida to prepare on the new season and on June 24 Matz debuted with the GCL Twins. He debuted with a strikeout and two quick outs. Eventually he recorded two Ks in four innings and allowed two hits. In the first four games of his career he didn’t give up a run. Currently he is posting a 3.22 ERA and a 2-1 record in 11 games (one start). In 22.1 innings he recorded 11 strikeouts and gave up only three walks Only the batting average of his opponents is rather high: .259.

Ruar Verkerk:
The 18-year old Ruar Verkerk, born in Zwijndrecht in the Netherlands (about 20 kilometres south of Rotterdam) signed a contract with the Twins in July 2013. He participated in the Power Showcase in which he hit three homeruns, setting a record for Dutch participants.
On june 21 2014 Verkerk debuted with the GCL Twins. In his second at bat as a professional ball player he hit the ball for a single. Last year he ended the GCL season with a batting average of .147 and an OBP of .216.
This year he is doing a lot better, though there is still room for improvement. In 17 games and 53 at bats he collected 11 hits with a double and two RBI. His defense needs some improvement as well. In 15 games at third base he committed four errors, resulting in an .889 fielding percentage.

Zaino Henriquez:
His name sounds Spanish but he was born in Willemstad Curacao. This 17-year shortstop debuted in professional baseball  son May 30 2015. Zaino signed a contract with the team from Minneapolis on August 28, 2014. While participating in the Senior League World Series in Bangor, Maine, Henriquez had a walk-off hit over an American team just two weeks before he signed with the Twins.

Zaino Henriquez makes a diving play with the 2014 Senior League World Serie

As stated above, Zaino made his first steps in pro ball at the end of May this year. So far he has played in 42 games. In 128 at bats he collected 25 hits (.195) of which a double and a triple. His average may not seem high, but in his last ten games he lifted it from .173, so he is improving. Though his player page tells us that he is a shortstop, he has only played at second base. In 42 games at that position he committed six errors, resulting in a fielding percentage of .969. According to Twins Daily, Zaino is a very impressive shortstop, so probably we will see more from this kid in the (near) future.


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