Over this past weekend, about 24,000 Twins fans made the trek to the Metrodome for Twins Fest. The annual event is a tremendous fund raiser for the Twins Community Fund, but it is also an opportunity for Twins fans to start getting themselves ready and excited about the upcoming season. Itís been a long offseason for Twins fans, so being able to enter the Dome and see many of their favorite current, former or future Twins can be a great experience for those that collect autographs or for those that just want to be surrounded by baseball.
It is also an opportunity for players in the Twins organization to see their teammates from last year and meet players new to the organization. One of the new guys was hard-throwing Trevor May who came to the Twins organization in December from the Phillies in the Ben Revere trade.
ďItís going to take me awhile to remember some names, but itíll come, I guess.Ē
May made the trip on Friday from Seattle, where he grew up a Mariners fan. When the 2008 fourth-round draft pick, it wasnít an easy decision to sign with the Phillies. He was the valedictorian at his high school (Kelso HS in Kelso, Washington) and had a scholarship to Stanford. But after consulting with his family, he decided to sign. He quickly became one of the best prospects in the Phillies organization. Before the 2012 season, he was the teamís top prospect, according to Baseball America.
In 2012, he struggled some in his first season at AA Reading. He went 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 28 starts that covered 149.2 innings. However, he was inconsistent.
In April, he went 5-0 with a 2.40 ERA. However, over the next three months, he went 3-8 with a 6.19 ERA. He ended the season by posting a 3.53 ERA in six August starts. How does he evaluate his season?
ďI started great. I stumbled a little bit. I look back at it as growing pains, and I thought I was a much better pitcher the end of the year. Even with the numbers at the beginning of the year, much better at the end than the beginning. All in all, it was a success. It might not have seemed that way on paper because the stumbling lasted a little longer than I would have liked. But I feel like Iím definitely closer to my goal than I was going into last year.Ē
How did he feel about being traded?
ďItís a cool thing, but itís always a double-sided coin. Being traded, you have to leave all the guys youíve played with for five years in the organization that drafted you. The game is a business. Itís kind of an honor to be traded for because someone must think highly of you and Iím excited to start in a Twins uniform.Ē
May was added to the 40 man roster of the Phillies an offseason ago. That means that he will be going to Twins spring training in a couple of weeks in Ft. Myers. There, he will join (and be roommates with) Alex Meyer, the hard-throwing righty that the Twins acquired from the Nationals in the Denard Span trade. Regarding spring training, manager Ron Gardenhire will deliver a clear message to the two newcomers:
ďI just donít want them to do too much. I really just want those young men to come in and grab the ball. Thatís the first thing my pitching coach is going to tell them and Iím going to tell them, ĎYou throw 95. Donít try to throw 105. Come out. Relax. Do the work. Watch. Keep your eyes open. Keep your ears open. Keep your mouth shut. Pay attention to the veterans. Let them do their thing and learn.í And then weíll see at the end of spring training when Iím knocking on Terry (Ryanís) door trying to keep both of them.Ē
Clarity will be good as May isnít quite sure what to expect from Twins training camp.
ďI donít really know what to expect. I am kind of going in a bit blind, but I plan on being in the best shape Iíve ever been in and game-ready from day one. (I want to) show where Iím at, and all the progress Iíve made this offseason. I want to compete for a spot because that is what youíre there for. See where it goes from there.Ē
Those of you that follow May on Twitter know that he also keeps himself busy in his free time by producing some of his own music and DJing under the name DJ Hey Beef. So, I had to ask him what turned out to be a simple question. Are you a baseball player who plays music, or are you a music guy who plays baseball?
May left no question with his answer. ďIím a baseball guys that play music, let me make that very clear. People confuse that line a little bit. NO, I play music for pure fun. Iím not going on tour, or releasing an album or anything. Iíd always been into music. I had obnoxious amounts of music on my ipod.Ē
He has been able to turn a passion of his into a little side-job, ďWhen you play ball and youíre not at the field, you have a lot of down time. I started to mess around with some programs and taught myself the last couple of years. Then I bought myself some equipment and then some more equipment. Then I got some gigs. Now I have some stuff I do very regularly in Seattle, just to make a little cash on the side. Itís fun.Ē
He has changed his stage name to MAZR (a combination word combining his name with the word laser and then used some creative spelling).
But make no mistake, May is a baseball player with the stuff to be very good at baseball. He throws a sinking four-seam fastball and a sinker. He also has a sharp 12-6 curveball and has made the circle changeup a strong part of his pitch repertoire. He is now working on a hard slider, as well. Who does he try to emulate as a pitcher?
ďI kind of emulate or think of myself similar to, and if I were as good as this person, Iíd be doing pretty well, Matt Cain. Similar stuff. Similar velocities. Similar movement. I throw a big curveball. He doesnít. But weíre pretty similar in kind of how we approach games. All Iíve got to do is get his command and I think Iíll be OK.Ē
What does he know about the Twins?
ď(The) Twins have always been a great organization with a winning tradition. Maybe down a little the last couple of years, but I know that all the guys in the clubhouse have won, and are going to do it again. Itís definitely a great organization to be a part of.Ē
He changed his stage name to get a fresh start. He also is getting a fresh start with the Twins and this spring he will be looking to make a name for himself.
Twins Dailyís Seth Stohs was reporting from Twins Fest and able to talk to several players as well as the manager. Check back to Twins Daily throughout the week for more reports from Twins Fest.