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Crowning the 2018 Sire of Fort Myers

The Twins play their final game in Fort Myers this afternoon, which means it’s time to name the 2018 Sire of Fort Myers. The crown has been shined, the cape dry cleaned and the scepter, uh ... scepted?

Who decides who’s worthy of the title? The people, of course.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Fernando Romero)
So, what the heck is the Sire of Fort Myers? Well, it’s my ripoff of the Mr. Mankato moniker people who covered the Vikings invented to acknowledge the unheralded player who had the most impressive training camp. Good luck coming up with a new name for 2018, by the way. Mr. Eagan just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Anyway, how do we define unheralded? Well, I decided that anyone who was either not on the 40-man roster or hasn’t played in the major leagues yet qualified. And just to be clear, this is all about the player’s performance in spring training. It’s not about who is most likely to break camp with the team or who has the most potential.

Without further adieu, here are the four players on the Sire of Fort Myers ballot:

Ryan LaMarre
This guy has been a beast. He’s hitting .487/.512/.795 (1.306 OPS) in 43 plate appearances and leads the Twins in virtually every offensive category.

The starting outfield is obviously set, plus Robbie Grossman and Zack Granite are also on the 40-man roster. Over the winter, the front office brought in Chris Heisey, a veteran of nearly 700 MLB games, and Nick Buss, who was the Pacific Coast League batting champ last year. As if that wasn’t enough competition, they also recently traded for outfielder Jake Cave, who ranked second in the International League with a .554 slugging percentage (min. 250 PAs) last season.

And yet here LaMarre is, still in camp with the big club. Seth wrote an excellent piece profiling LaMarre and his quest to crack the Opening Day roster.

Fernando Romero
El Toro’s time in big league camp as short, but oh boy was it sweet. Romero threw eight no-hit innings, struck out eight batters and issued just one walk before being optioned to the minors to get stretched out for the season. Romero, Twins Daily’s No. 2 prospect, recorded strikeouts against MLB regulars Caleb Joseph, Tim Beckham and Adam Jones in his first appearance and just kept rolling from there.

LaMonte Wade
Speaking of the crowded outfield situation this spring, Wade was another guy in that mix and he arrived at Fort Myers as advertised. Despite ranking 18th on the team in plate appearances, the notoriously-patient Wade led the Twins with eight walks this spring and hit .304/.469/.391 (.860 OPS) before being sent over to minor league camp.

Nick Gordon
Gordon’s never going to be the biggest guy on the field, but there was nothing skinny about this kid’s slugging percentage while he was in big league camp. He slugged a healthy .636, which was bested by only LaMarre and Miguel Sano among Twins hitters with at least 10 at bats. He had some sketchy moments at shortstop early on, but made some slick plays at second base prior to being reassigned to the minor league side of camp.

Honorable Mentions
D.J. Baxendale was a surprise candidate for the crown who emerged. Baxendale pitched five shutout innings and racked up six strikeouts this spring. Among his punchout victims were MLB regulars Josh Harrison, Gregory Polanco and Trey Mancini. Baxendale, the 2017 Killebrew Award winner for the Rochester Red Wings, gave up just three hits and did not walk a batter. Tyler Kinley showed impressive stuff and struck out 12 batters in 11 innings. Zack Littell gave up just one run over five frames to go with eight strikeouts. Jake Reed also surrendered just one run over six innings and had eight Ks. Brock Stassi hit .375/.464/.417. Willians Astudillo ... did you see that no-look pickoff throw?

What about (this guy)? Remember, the players who are both on the 40-man roster and have already played in the majors (like Gabriel Moya and Ehrie Adrianza) are not eligible.

Now it’s time to vote!


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17 Comments

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Dave The Dastardly
Mar 25 2018 08:06 AM

I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this.

 

Sire - the male parent of an animal, esp. a stallion or bull kept for breeding.

 

Is that what they're doing down there in spring training? Talk about greener pastures...

    • spycake, HitInAPinch and MN_ExPat like this

I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this.

See, my problem is, I find it all too easy.... :)

    • Danchat, HitInAPinch and MN_ExPat like this
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Tom Froemming
Mar 25 2018 08:09 AM

 

I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this.

 

Sire - the male parent of an animal, esp. a stallion or bull kept for breeding.

 

Is that what they're doing down there in spring training? Talk about greener pastures...

Get your head outta the gutter! Sire as in a man of rank or authority. 

 

... dastardly indeed.

    • ashbury, James and MN_ExPat like this

You are using sire in the archaic use.To many archaic uses of words would not be what they think of. You are looking for the unheralded stud player.

    • ashbury, Dave The Dastardly and MN_ExPat like this
How about "Commander of Hammond (Stadium)"?
    • Dave The Dastardly likes this
Ill vote romero. Its a close one though with lamarre. Gordon is just a half step back imo but worthy as well.
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Dave The Dastardly
Mar 25 2018 02:47 PM

 

Ill vote romero. Its a close one though with lamarre. Gordon is just a half step back imo but worthy as well.

Ill vote romero... what's that mean in Latin?

    • ashbury and MN_ExPat like this
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Dave The Dastardly
Mar 25 2018 03:00 PM

 

 

How about "Commander of Hammond (Stadium)"?

As long as we're going archaic, how about Hammond Hammurabi? It's got that alliteration thing going for it. And you know, because we're sort of looking for a guy who can lay down the law.

 

That's an historic pun by the way. What can I say, it's a slow Sunday afternoon.

    • James, spycake and MN_ExPat like this

That's an historic pun by the way.

Unfortunately it's in Code.

    • Kevin, James, spycake and 3 others like this
Romero without question, IMO.

For a team long starved for high-end pitching prospects, it could be argued rather easily that he's the most important player for the Twins organization that has yet to reach the majors, in terms of what it would mean if he fulfills his potential.

For him to come out and throw 8 no hit innings is encouraging. I still dont think we'll see him yet this year, but it's a nice step.
Lamarre hands down the Sire of Fort Myers. What a stud!

Hammond Hombre?

 

Fort Myers Foremost?

 

Fort Myers MVP?

 

 

    • Dave The Dastardly likes this
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Tom Froemming
Mar 26 2018 11:27 AM
The poll is still open, but I'm calling it early. Congrats to Ryan LaMarre!

    • ashbury likes this

Does that mean we can call him Headly?

 

You there!!! Give the Governor a Harrumph!! 

    • James and Dave The Dastardly like this

 

Get your head outta the gutter! Sire as in a man of rank or authority. 

 

... dastardly indeed.

Either way, it's good to be the Sire!

    • MN_ExPat likes this
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Halsey Hall
Mar 26 2018 04:16 PM

My vote would go to Gordon.He's really opened some eyes both in Hammond andin AAA. 

 

My vote would go to Gordon.He's really opened some eyes both in Hammond andin AAA. 

His defense was less than impressive the few games I saw him play.


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