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Get To Know: OF/2B Aaron Whitefield

Within the next few days, we will be sharing a bunch of information on the 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. This will be the 8th annual Twins Prospect Handbook that I have been part of, and Cody Christie and Jeremy Nygaard, and – I might be biased – this feels like the best one yet.

As I write about the various prospects, I always learn a few really interesting tidbits on some Twins minor leaguers. One of the more interesting stories or backgrounds in the 2016 book is that of Australian Aaron Whitefield. Recently, he answered some questions to help us get to know a little more about him and his story.

Aaron Whitefield signed with the Twins in 2015. He had visa issues so by the time he got to the States, he played in just seven games for the GCL Twins. He only began playing baseball one year ago. Previously, he had been a softball player, competing for the Australian national team in some international competitions.
Image courtesy of William Parmeter (photo of Aaron Whitefield)
He is currently playing for the Brisbane Bandits in the Australian Baseball League. He played for the Australian team in the ABL’s All Star game. He is currently hitting .294/.308/.333 (.641) with a couple of doubles.

Without further ado, here is our interview with Twins minor leaguer Aaron Whitefield. Thank you to Aaron for taking time to respond. Please feel free to ask questions or discuss below.

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Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Australia, were you able to follow Major League Baseball? Did you have a favorite team or players?


Aaron Whitefield (AW): It's not that big over here, and I was not much of a team follower but more a player follower! My favorite player is Robinson Cano, but I also like the likes of Derek Jeter and Bryce Harper!



SS: You played a lot of softball growing up including representing Australia in some international tournaments. What was it like to represent your country?


AW: I love softball and loved getting to represent my country at a young age. It really helped me develop into a better player playing against/with older world players.



SS: Had you played much baseball early in your life? What was your transition like moving from softball to baseball? At what point did you realize that you were good enough to sign and make baseball a career?


AW: I have only been playing baseball for a year and a half and found it hard to transition especially when I was still playing both at a grade level. So I gave up softball and pursued my career in baseball! I always just played the game hard, and a team looked at me and liked it. So that's when I really pursued that path!



SS: For you, what was it about the Twins that made them the team that you signed with?


AW: The Twins gave me shot, and I took it especially with the pathway that they have. And I had heard a lot of good things about the Twins. So made it an easier decision!



SS: What was the transition last year coming to the States from Australia? What were some of the biggest adjustments on and off the field?


AW: Was not too bad was there for three weeks, the on-field was great, loved a competition and challenge that was there every day! But not too many off- field, a few Aussie slang words people didn't understand but that's all.



SS: At this time, what would you say your biggest strengths are on the baseball field?


AW: My speed. It is my number one tool, and I work on it a lot to try get faster and faster!



SS: What are the areas you would like to improve upon in your game?


AW: Power off the bat which will come. I am seeing more and more, but producing the back spin from the barrel is a real focus point for me at the moment!



SS: What has your Australian Baseball League experience been like with Brisbane? I understand that originally you were only going to be on the home roster.


AW: I love it in the Bandits culture. Great staff and players to share the season with! It makes it a lot easier to play, and great players to learn from!



SS: Who are a few of the people who have helped you most getting to this point in your career?


AW: There are a lot of people that have helped me a lot from the softball culture, and all those people know who they are and I'm very grateful! But John Deeble has helped me with skills and mental part of the game. I could not thank him enough for everything he has done especially when I first came over from softball!



SS: What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not playing baseball?


AW: I like to hang out with my family and friends, gym and beach!



SS: Favorite Baseball Movie?


AW: The Sandlot



SS: One more question... you have played second base and around the outfield for Brisbane. Where do you like to play and where are you most comfortable playing?


AW: I have played shortstop my whole life and have made the transition to the outfield and second base. I feel a lot more comfortable in the infield but love learning and playing the outfield!


-----

Again, a huge Thank You to Aaron Whitefield for taking time to respond to our questions.


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7 Comments

Nice one.  A lot of exclamation points though.

    • scottz likes this
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nicksaviking
Dec 29 2015 02:19 PM

I hadn't heard of that transition from softball to baseball before. I want to ask if that's been done before by an Australian prospect but considering the Twins basically have had 90% of all Australian players in their system at one time or another, I'd think we would have heard of that by now if it was common.

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ashburyjohn
Dec 29 2015 03:19 PM

I hadn't heard of that transition from softball to baseball before.

If it had been Beer League ball I'd have been especially impressed.

    • nicksaviking likes this
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Bob Sacamento
Dec 30 2015 10:58 AM

 

Nice one.  A lot of exclamation points though.

 

Are you accusing him of using his exclamation points haphazardly?  Do you just not happen to like exclamation points? You should learn to use them.  Like the way I'm talking right now, I would put an exclamation points at the end of all these sentences! On this one! And on that one!

 

** Old Seinfeld skit

 

    • Todd_L likes this

I'm usually the one who used excessive exclamation points, but I used them only where Aaron used them. 

    • Todd_L likes this
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Intramural Legend
Dec 31 2015 11:53 AM

 

If it had been Beer League ball I'd have been especially impressed.

 

Wait, they have softball leagues that are not Beer League?? 

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ashburyjohn
Dec 31 2015 04:17 PM

Wait, they have softball leagues that are not Beer League?? 

Fair point, but there do exist leagues where the game is not totally incidental to the beer. Full disclosure: I can not guess from personal experience what that would be like.


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