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  • Twins Report from Fort Myers: March 27th edition (TK and the Beloit Snappers)

    This post was originally posted in its entirety at The Tenth Inning Stretch. Because of the image limitations I can only post some of it. To see the whole post with Action Photos of Twins' prospects including 2 Round 1 draft picks, please go here

    Today the big boys were playing the Orioles in Sarasota. So were the AAA, AA and A+ squads and the only action at the Lee County Sports Complex was the Beloit Snappers hosting the Orioles A league squad at field number 3 and several other players, most of them rookies, practicing and scrimmaging in field 1.

    The Beloit game was a treat in many respects. First and foremost was that TK was the manager and it was interesting to watch TK manage a game from a dugout, even though this game was an A level Spring Training Game.

    A lot of interesting names in this game, and if one assumes that they all will start in Beloit, the Snappers' fans will be in for a treat. Here is the lineup:

    2B AJ Petersen
    3B Nick Lockwood
    RF Max Kepler
    1B DJ Romero (a surprise to play at that level)
    CF Romy Jimenez (another surprise to see at the level, the other way from Romero)
    SS Tyler Grimes
    DH Drew Leachman
    C Matt Koch
    LF Wang-Wei Lee

    JD Williams, Nate Roberts and Miquel Sano were around and did not play and Micheal Quesada entered later as a Catcher.

    Interesting to see Tom Kelly around young players at that level, especially for the ones of us who knew how he was with rookies as a major league manager later in his career. Lots of yelling encouraging stuff from the dugout, lots of playing and teasing with them (esp. Sano, more on that later) and in general good good feeling. I am certain that these players had a blast.

    BJ Hermsen was the starter and he lasted about 3 innings. Hermsen is 22, played last season in Beloit and a little bit at Fort Myers, and he seems to be repeating Beloit. He was somewhat disappointing, having issues with his control and walking a lot of baby Orioles. I was really expecting a somewhat more polished pitcher than what I saw today. Maybe it is just a matter of time.

    Second pitcher in was Steve Gruver (LHP) the 2011 7th Round pick who actually pitched 3 innings (and looks like he is stressed to be a starter in 2012.) He was very effective, a quick worker and he missed a few bats. I think that he has the potential to surprise in 2012.

    Another pitcher I haven't seen play (other than that awful video from Vandy where he broke his kneecap on the mount and made the play) is Corey Williams, the Twins' 3rd round pick in 2011. This guy can be really special for the organization. He has a heavy singing FB with a lot of movement, that sits around 91-92 (had to move and go to the scouting table to look his velocity, because his staff is THAT good) a good curve in the low mid 70s and he is playing with a change. His sinker/cutter is his bread and butter and he both missed bats and induced ground balls. And he is a leftie. He will probably be the closer for Beloit but I can see him make it all the way up to New Britain this season, he is just this good. Alternatively, he might be stressed to be a starter in 2013 or so, if he has the endurance. But this kid is special.

    Speaking of Special Kids. Sano did not play today for some reason. I overheard that he might be DHing tomorrow, so he might be fighting something or another. But he sat there absorbed in the game, very talkative with TK and his teammates and even brought water to the umpires at some point.

    The remaining post, including photos (16 total) of Miquel Sano, Hudson Boyd, Travis Harrison, Max Kepler and other Twins' prospects because of image limitations here continues at The Tenth Inning Stretch.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Report from Fort Myers: March 27th edition (TK and the Beloit Snappers) started by thrylos98
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Paul's Avatar
      Paul -
      Thank you for the post. I especially like the pictures of Kepler. That's a professional swing. I saw a couple of videos of this kid batting from a couple of years back. I loved his swing for one so young. The current picture shows he has kept on the right track. That's a gap to gap line drive swing. He's also put on quite a bit of weight. I think his mom is a pro dancer and his dad was a pro tennis player. Good genes. If this kid can keep his focus he'll be a beast.

      Also, I can't wait until you spill the tantalizing beans you alluded to in your comment bout the Mackey thing.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Shoot, I didn't notice you there Thrylos, I was standing in the shade of the trees behind the dugout for most of that game. Was standing behind the gun when Hermsen was throwing, and was also disappointed with his control and velocity, but he does get some good movement. TK is an absolute joy to listen to talking with his guys. Tommy Watkins is also great, gave me an assist on getting Sano's autograph the day before, then went out of his way to say hi again during this game. Most impressive guy I watched in camp hitting during games was Max Kepler. I'm no scout, but you notice when every at bat you watch he's lacing a line drive somewhere for a hit. Agree that Gruver looked impressive. Sano didn't play the day before while I was watching either, but earlier in the week got to watch a few at bats and some batting practice. He was the good luck charm coaching 1B this game though, think the fellas put up 3 or 4 runs (with the snowball fight assist from the Orioles) while he was out there.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Thanks so much for the report, thrylos, and for your comments, Steve. I read Bollinger's report which had Kepler reporting to Class A+ Fort Myers. Is that possible? If so, wow!
    1. Neil's Avatar
      Neil -
      Wow, these are some great photos. Thanks for posting!
    1. IowaHawkeyes's Avatar
      IowaHawkeyes -
      Is B.J. Hermsen going to start the year at Beloit?
    1. jtrinaldi's Avatar
      jtrinaldi -
      Quote Originally Posted by IowaHawkeyes View Post
      Is B.J. Hermsen going to start the year at Beloit?
      I doubt it, prolly Fort Myers.
      I think Kepler will start in EX ST....but thats just me...he is 17 right now, turns 18 in May I think he end up in Beloit halfway through the year.
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