Saints Sign Ace Righty Daniel Minor
St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis watched first-hand the dominance of starter Daniel Minor in 2018. The right-hander was pitching for the Gary SouthShore RailCats and, despite pitching for only two months with them before signing in Mexico, was an instrumental reason they eked out the North Division title over the Saints that season. Coming off a championship season, Tsamis wants to make sure he’s got the arms to get him to that point again and signing one of the top pitchers in the league from two seasons ago is sure to help as Minor was signed for the 2020 season.
The 28-year-old Minor spent all last season in the Atlantic League with the York Revolution. Facing a league full of former Major Leaguers, Minor went 8-9 with a 4.99 ERA in 26 games (25 starts). In 126.1 innings he walked just 21 and struck out 108 while opponents hit .294 against him. One of his best performances of the season came on August 4 at New Britain when Minor hurled 8.0 innings allowing one unearned run on just two hits. He helped guide the Revolution to the playoffs where they lost three-games-to-one to the Sugar Land Skeeters in the semi-finals.
Minor was a ninth-round draft pick in 2012 by the Houston Astros out of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, becoming the highest draft pick ever out of that school. He dominated in his first season of professional baseball with the Greenville Astros in the Rookie Appalachian League. He went 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA in 11 starts. In 59.0 innings pitched he walked just 10 and fanned 48 while opponents hit .229 against him. Over his final four starts he allowed just one earned run in 26.0 innings. He fanned a season high 11 on August 10 at Princeton. Minor finished first in the league in ERA, on base percentage (.271), WHIP (1.03), and tied for third in opponents batting average against (.229).
The following season Minor was promoted to Single-A Quad Cities in the Midwest League where he went 8-3 with a 3.71 ERA in 31 games (12 starts). In 99.1 innings pitched he walked 29 and struck out 85 while opponents hit .282 against him. In order to keep his innings and pitch count down, the Astros elected to bounce him back and forth between starting and relieving.
Minor was strictly a reliever in 2014 when he was promoted to High-A Lancaster in the hitter-friendly California League. He went 9-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 36 relief appearances. In 53.0 innings pitched he walked 17 and struck out 51 while opponents hit .254 against him. He didn’t allow a run in 12 straight appearances (17.1 IP) from April 21-June 6. On May 13, Minor was a part of history combining with two other pitchers to throw just the third no-hitter in JetHawks history. Minor recorded the final three outs, including striking out Kyle Waldrop to end the game.
In 2015, Minor began the season at Double-A Corpus Christi in the Texas League and was 0-1 with a 3.48 ERA in seven relief appearances before being released by the Astros on May 21. Just two weeks later he spent his first stint in the American Association, signing with the Laredo Lemurs. He pitched in just two games allowing six runs (four earned) in 2.0 innings before being released on June 10.
After not pitching in 2016 and transferring to Texas State to finish his degree in Exercise and Sports Science and helping with the Texas State baseball program, Minor signed with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 2017 and went 0-0 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 relief appearances. In 20.2 innings pitched he walked four and struck out 24. He did not allow a run in his first seven appearances and allowed just one run over his first 12 appearances; 11.2 innings pitched. After allowing 11 runs over his next nine relief appearances, the Goldeyes traded him to the GarySouthShore RailCats along with four players to be named later and cash considerations for RHP Charle Rosario. Minor began his career ascent with the RailCats going 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA in seven games (six starts). In 36.2 innings pitched he walked six and struck out 41 while opponents hit .160 against him. He struck out 27 hitters over a three-game stretch from August 24-September 1, spanning 21.2 innings. Minor struck out a career high 12 in a one-run, three-hit, 8.0 inning performance on September 1 vs. Lincoln. He helped guide the RailCats to the playoffs where they were swept by the Wichita Wingnuts in the semi-finals.
Minor dominated the league in 2018 with the RailCats. He went 11-2 with two complete game shutouts in 15 starts. In 97.0 innings pitched he walked 19 and struck out 77 while opponents hit .235 against him. He finished tied for first in the league in shutouts, second in ERA and win percentage (.846), and tied for third in wins. He threw nine quality starts, defined as at least 6.0 innings and three runs or less, and allowed two runs or less in eight starts. In a five-span start from June 19-July 8 Minor allowed four runs in 36.0 innings. He won his final eight appearances with the RailCats. His first career complete game shutout came in a rained shortened game on June 24 at Sioux City where he allowed three hits in 6.2 innings while striking out eight. In his final start before signing in Mexico, Minor tossed a 9.0 inning six-hit complete game shutout while striking out eight on July 25 against Sioux Falls. On July 26 he signed with Saltillo in the Mexican League and went 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in seven starts. In 36.2 innings pitched he walked five and struck out 22.
Minor began his college career at McLennan Community College before transferring to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He was the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year and a First-Team All-Southland before the Astros drafted him.
This is the sixth off-season signing for the Saints.
RHP Tanner Kiest
RHP Daniel Minor
RHP Matt Quintana
INF Josh Allen
INF Telvin Nash
OF Michael Lang
The reigning American Association Champion Saints begin the 2020 season with the banner raising ceremony on Tuesday, May 19 at CHS Field against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 p.m.
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints