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Award Winners on Award Winners (Prospect Handbook Excerpts)

In coming days, you will see much more information about the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Tom Froemming, Cody Christie and I have been putting far too many hours in over the last couple of months to put together a quality product that can recognize the efforts of so many talented young Twins prospects. Below, you will see some excerpts from the soon-to-be-released Twins Prospect Handbook.

Each year, we write feature articles on the three Twins Daily minor league full-season award winners. I had the chance to have phone interviews with the three winners recently. One question that I asked each of them was their thoughts on each other.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photos of Andrew Vasquez, Alex Kirlloff, Tyler Wells)
As you recall, following the minor league season, Twins Daily announced the minor league awards:In a minor league system, the players get to know each other and develop relationships and many friendships. Even in this small group of three, there are some interesting connections. So, I thought it would be fun to see what each had to say about the others’ seasons.

Tyler Wells on Andrew Vasquez

In the offseason, Vasquez works out with fellow Twins Daily 2018 award winner Tyler Wells at Performance Fitness for Athletes. Wells was really happy for Vasquez. “He’s improved every year. I was extremely happy for him. I was really proud. He’s one of my best friends. It’s good to see someone get rewarded for all the hard work and adversity. Seeing him in The Show made me want to work my butt off even more.”


Tyler Wells on Alex Kirilloff


The Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year, Tyler Wells, is also close with Kirilloff. The two were drafted in 2016, played together in Elizabethton and have remained close. Of Kirilloff, Wells said, “Alex and I are really really close. We have gone through quite a bit as far as just being friends. Seeing what he did was unbelievable. Truly was unbelievable. Being around him, he always makes you want to be a better baseball player, in general. It makes you want to work harder. He’s always finding a way to get better, always thinking about it. From rooming with him in E-Town, that’s something I inherited from him that summer. Now it’s like, don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Stay consistent. What can you do to refine this little thing? We all know, Alex is one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen. He never stops trying to get better and that rubs off on his teammates.”


Andrew Vasquez on Alex Kirilloff


Vasquez said of Kirilloff, "I played with him for a brief time in Elizabethton when he first got drafted. I just remembered that he was a very good hitter. It was very noticeable. You could tell he had an approach and knew what he was doing. A high school guy, he was really impressive. He was always putting good swings on the ball."


Andrew Vasquez on Tyler Wells


Vasquez spoke of Wells. “He had a great year. He took what he needed to improve on and focus on and it really showed this year. He lost a little weight. I was kind of worried because sometimes when guys lose weight, they can lose velo, but he kept his velo and his stamina increased. I distinctly remember in 2017 that he would have trouble going late into games, pitch count would get high and he’d get tired. This year, he made these changes and was able to sustain it. He threw really well.”


Alex Kirilloff on Tyler Wells


Fellow 2018 Twins Daily award winner Alex Kirilloff is a close friend of Wells since they were drafted in 2016 and played together in Elizabethton. “I think he had a great season. He did a great job last offseason. He started a new diet. He really stuck with his workout regimen and his offseason goal and plan. He lost all that weight. I’m impressed with that. He pitched well in spring training and backed it up on the field all year. I think that he has a lot of potential and hope he will have another big year.” Kirilloff continued, “Off the field, fun guy to be around, a lot of energy. Just a good guy to get behind every five days and know he’s going to battle out there on the mound. That’s always nice to have. I hope he puts together another good season next year and we’ll see what happens.”


Alex Kirilloff on Andrew Vasquez


Hitter of the Year, Alex Kirilloff saw Vasquez’s 2018 progression from the Florida State League to the big leagues. “It definitely is motivational for everyone, really. You don’t see that too often, but when we do see it, you keep yourself in check and realize that you are not too far away from it. Sometimes you feel like you are a million years away, but when you see a guy like Andrew do it all in one year, you push yourself to work harder and work toward that goal as well. So it was definitely pretty cool to see. I was extremely happy for him.”


Later this week, we will announce more about the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Be sure to stop back and order your copies when it becomes available. For now, you can order discounted copies of the previous Twins Prospect Handbooks here.

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2 Comments

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tarheeltwinsfan
Dec 11 2018 07:46 AM

Nice article. Thanks.

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108Stitches
Dec 11 2018 09:52 AM
Great group of guys and all are friends. Goes to show you are as good as the company you keep.

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