I returned to Minnesota on Sunday night after a six-day excursion to southern Florida that featured plenty of baseball, beaches and beer. The vacation was perfect medicine after a long, cold winter here in the northland.
If you haven't journeyed to Ft. Myers in March before, I can't recommend it highly enough. Beyond the incredible weather and tasty eats in the area, the Twins do a great job of providing fans with a stellar experience at Lee County Sports Complex, whether you're taking
The headliner on Thursday was Aaron Hicks, who blasted three homers in a game against the Phillies in Clearwater. I didn't make the three-hour trip, opting to stay back in Ft. Myers for the home half of the split-squad set, and thus missed out on my favorite prospect's banner day.
I can hardly complain. While hanging around the Lee County Sports Complex, I had the opportunity to check out plenty of intriguing prospects, and while the home game against Boston wasn't anywhere near as
After watching my hometown get blanketed with several inches of snow on Monday and Tuesday, I finally said, "Screw it, I need to get out of here." So I hopped on a plane and flew to Florida.
OK, it wasn't quite that spontaneous, but I am down here in Ft. Myers, and making several trips to the ballpark this week, so I figured I would share some of my observations. On Wednesday, I had the chance to take in the tilt between the Twins and Puerto Rico's World Baseball Classic squad at Hammond
While center field is still in flux, it is fairly clear at this point how the Twins envision their starting lineup coming together at the start of the season. Chris Parmelee will be taking over for Ben Revere in right, and Ron Gardenhire has made no secret of the fact that he'd like to see Brian Dozier and Pedro Florimon take the reigns in the middle infield. All other positions will be occupied by players reprising their roles from 2012.
There is less certainty when it comes to the
As they try to rebuild their shattered starting pitching corps, the Twins are relying on Kyle Gibson to become a fixture in the rotation. Whereas the rest of the organization’s top pitching prospects are widely considered to be at least a year or two away, Gibson is ready now.
After being sidetracked by Tommy John surgery, he’s returned throwing harder than ever and – much like in his first big-league camp in 2011 – he is impressing coaches and onlookers
Spring is an exciting time for baseball. Players are happy to be back in camp doing what they love. Coaches are pumped to reacquaint with returning team members and welcome new ones. Fans are giddy at the sound of gloves popping under the sun.
It’s easy for reporters on hand to get caught up in the flurry of good vibes. This year’s prime example is Mike Pelfrey, who wowed everyone present during his early workouts, less than 10 months removed from Tommy John
When the Twins rose to prominence after the turn of the millennium, dominating the AL Central for nearly a decade, they always relied on a steady bullpen that protected leads.
During that time, Terry Ryan was extremely adept at plucking overlooked assets from other organizations, which allowed him to build effective relief units on the cheap.
There are many examples. Matt Guerrier was a nondescript Pirates farmhand when the Twins grabbed him off waivers in 2003. Dennys
Every year around this time the talk is about how hope springs eternal; how the slate is wiped clean and every team is 0-0; how every club is tied for first place.
For these 2013 Twins, optimism is noticeably subdued. For most people, a realistic form of “hope” involves approaching a .500 record and avoiding the cellar for a third straight year. The Twins have more question marks dotting their roster than perhaps any other team in the American League.
The odds are against
Over the past two weeks, we've gradually laid out our selections for the Twins organization's top ten prospects. Each day, we took an in-depth look at a different rising star within the system, outlining their strengths and weaknesses while spelling out what each must do to succeed in the majors. Here's how our list came together:
10. Max Kepler, OF
9. Trevor May, RHP
8. J.O. Berrios, RHP
7. Eddie Rosario, 2B
6. Kyle Gibson, RHP
5. Alex Meyer, RHP
Age: 19 (DOB: 5/11/93)
A: .258/.373/.521, 28 HR, 100 RBI, 75 R, 8/11 SB
Since his days crushing baseballs in the Dominican Republic, where he attracted the attention of numerous pro scouts, everything about Miguel Sano has screamed "Superstar."
The 2011 documentary Ballplayer: Pelotero followed a 16-year-old Sano, along with another teenage Dominican prospect, as they sought to impress the right people
Age: 23 (DOB: 10/2/89)
AA: .286/.384/.460, 13 HR, 61 RBI, 100 R, 32/43 SB
When it comes to physical tools, Aaron Hicks is tough to top. A muscular 6'2" outfielder with tremendous speed and an arm so strong that many teams considered drafting him as a pitcher, he's the type of player scouts salivate over.
Will the production match the athleticism? That's a question that has followed him throughout
The hits have just kept on coming for the Twins over the past two seasons, leaving those who believe in karmic balance to wonder just when a spell of good fortune would come along for a change. Apparently we're still not there yet, as La Velle E. Neal III indicated on Friday that reigning No. 1 starter Scott Diamond is "really iffy" to be ready for Opening Day after undergoing offseason elbow surgery.
Diamond is a prime regression candidate, but he's the
Age: 25 (DOB: 10/23/87)
GULF: 14.2 IP, 2.45 ERA, 16/4 K/BB, 0.89 WHIP
A: 7.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 7/1 K/BB, 1.00 WHIP
AAA: 6.2 IP, 9.45 ERA, 10/1 K/BB, 1.80 WHIP
Turn the calendar back two years. It's spring training 2011 and the Twins are coming off a second straight division championship. Kyle Gibson is an attention magnet in camp. He's coming off a spectacular pro debut that saw him fly through three levels
A thick coat of snow fell upon Target Field over the weekend, transforming the structure into a lifeless, cold and white blob. On Tuesday, temperatures in the Twin Cities rose toward 30 and the clouds dissipated.
Bathed in sun, with green plastic seat-backs peeking through the melting snow, the ballpark started to look like… well, a ballpark. This coming weekend, temperatures in Minnesota will near the 40s while pitchers and catchers unpack their bags in