Don't worry, they do, and we're here to help you get to know them.
That's right. The ultimate road warrior's guide to Twins baseball on the road, Territory Train, has its sights set on entering the Minor League circuit this summer
But first, what is Territory Train? For those familiar with the TwinsTrain operation over the last couple of years, Territory Train has all the same features with all the same smiling faces. We simply changed the name.
For those who aren't familiar with our work over the last couple of years, we suggest taking a spin around our newly designed website. In a nutshell, we follow the Minnesota Twins when they hit the road, putting together trip packages including coach bus transportation, hotel, and game tickets.
This year, we've kept the recipe the same, but are adding one team to the mix: the Beloit Snappers.
Our trip, departing Friday, June 1, will take a premium motorcoach full of Twins fans (you) to follow the Beloit Snappers on a short midwestern tour, spanning across Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The Snappers -- the low-A Minor League affiliate of the Twins -- will play both the Quad Cities River Bandits (in Davenport, IA) and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (at home in Beloit, Wisconsin).
So why should you care about a Minor League trip? A lot of reasons. But the players involved surely will be the spotlight of this weekend adventure. So, let's spotlight three Snapper prospects expected to be on the roster, come June 1.
Sano is the gem of the Twins farm system and built to be a game-changer through and through. The Twins signed the Dominican prospect at the youthful age of 16 in 2009. But you wouldn't know he's that young upon seeing his 6'-3", 240-lb frame in person.
[Editors note: When you're at a Minor League ballpark, there are so many more opportunities to see just how impressive and athletic these phenoms are. First of all, the seats at these modest ballparks are stationed much closer to the field of play than a MLB stadium. But more importantly, you have far fewer fans to compete with for autographs, pictures, good seating etc.]
Ranked at #28 on the top-100 list of prospects at ESPN.com, Sano has exceptional power -- the kind of power that spacious Target Field won't be able to contain.
Rosario's start-up is a little bit different from Sano's, but the numbers so far are fairly identical for these two powerhouses. Rosario, currently a center fielder, is a left-handed source of home-run power. His swing is unique; almost as though his legs and hips are trying to lunge forward toward the pitcher's mound in concert with his swift upper body. Orthodox or not, this swing gets results, leading the Appalachian League in HRs (with Sano just one HR behind) in 2011.
Rosario is rumored to see some action at second base, as the Twins are doing their best to help strengthen their middle infield throughout the system. At just 20 years old, he, like Sano, has a very bright future ahead of him, coming in at #50 on the ESPN top prospects list.
Pettersen's a great player to keep an eye on for many reasons. As a Minnetonka-born and raised athlete and University of Minnesota graduate, this middle infielder has a special place in many Minnesotans' hearts. His stature isn't exactly what you would call comparative to a guy like Sano -- Pettersen comes in around 5'-9", 170 lbs -- but he brings an unmatched energy and grit to the lineup everyday of the week.
His strengths on the field project somewhat unclearly for the future, as the organization is looking to get him familiar with more than just a shortstop's mitt (his natural position).
Pettersen is an exceptionally nice guy and somebody you can get excited about supporting. It's an overused phrase for this organization over the last several years, but the kid plays the game the right way. I think a lot of Twins Daily readers will get a great sampling of the kind of player and person he is with his posts on this site throughout the year.
Territory Train plans to get you involved and keep you entertained every other moment these guys aren't center-stage. Like any other trip we've hosted over the last two years, ballpark food and refreshments are a big part of the weekend presentation.
On Saturday evening in Beloit, we will have admission to Pohlman Field's Hog Heaven, an all-you-can-eat/drink area on a porch just beyond the right field fence. The deck provides brats, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and peanuts. Beverages include: canned Pepsi products, Miller Lite, and Miller High Life.
Combined with the ballpark cuisine and the phenomenal skills displayed on the diamond, we pride ourselves on hosting guests who make great company. With this trifecta of public travel, we aspire to make each out-of-state experience an authentic slice of Twins territory.
So join the team, and support the Twins organization this summer from top to bottom -- from Target Field to Pohlman Field. Territory Train makes it easy and enjoyable.
We also offer trips to Milwaukee (May) and Kansas City (July). Take a look through the trip itineraries for seating photos and detailed accounts for the plans set forth for each weekend.