19 Mar

one step back

Barring an injury or trade before opening day, Matt Wallner will start the 2023 season in the minors. Minnesota optioned ex-Southern Miss star Wallner to Triple-A St. Paul on Saturday; Wallner made his MLB debut last summer and batted .228 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 18 games. USM’s career home run leader, he homered in his first big league game. The Twins have a glut of outfielders and DH-types on their 40-man roster, several of them lefty hitters like Wallner. Wallner is hitting just .207 this spring with one homer in 29 at-bats. A highly rated prospect, he put up big numbers (.277, 27 bombs, 95 RBIs) in Double-A and Triple-A last year before his call-up. He’ll get another shot sometime this season. Wallner is the 21st USM alum to play in the majors and was the third to debut in 2022, joining Kirk McCarty (Cleveland) and Chuckie Robinson (Cincinnati). McCarty has gone to Korea and Robinson is no longer on the Reds’ 40-man, leaving Nick Sandlin (Cleveland) as the only Golden Eagles alum currently in the majors. Note: There are a bunch of pitching prospects from USM in the minors.

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