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2018 Minnesota Twins Extended Spring Training Roster

The full-season minor league affiliates are full go. Weather caused many postponements. Rochester’s opening three-game series was snowed out. The Kernels played again on Friday after not playing for a week due to weather and the Beloit field. The Lookouts and the Miracle have been playing most days. However, there is another group of Twins minor leaguers that remain in Ft. Myers at Extended Spring Training. On Tuesday, the Twins' extended spring training team will take on a team from Baseball Canada.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Top L to R: Wander Javier, Brusdar Graterol, Yunior Severino, Bottom L to R: Landon Leach, Jacob Pearson, Victor Tademo)
Players that didn’t make a full-season team’s Opening Day roster will remain, for an extended time, in spring training in Ft. Myers. They call this, creatively, extended spring training. These players will continue to work out, practice, play games against other teams five or six times a week, and generally just keep ready. Some are getting ready for when there is a need at Cedar Rapids or even Ft. Myers (such as Alex Robles, or Carlos Suniaga who has already moved up to the Miracle and then went to Cedar Rapids). Some are waiting for the short-season leagues to start in late June, and they head to Elizabethton, Tennessee, or remain in Ft. Myers and play in the GCL.

Today we’ll take a quick look at the players who remain in Ft. Myers for extended spring training. Which do you think will surface in Cedar Rapids? Who are the prospects? There is a little bit of everything in this group.

What do the guys do in extended spring training (EST)? It is very similar to regular spring training. Each morning there is a workout/practice. Approximately five days a week, they will play a game in the afternoon against EST teams of the Red Sox, Orioles or Rays. Most weeks, there will be one day where they will just practice and work out. They get Sundays off. You’ll see a lot of these guys go watch the Miracle games at night when they are at home. Players are able to take English and Spanish classes at the player academy.


COACHING STAFFS

Ray Smith will again be the manager of the Elizabethton Twins. It is his 32nd season with the Elizabethton Twins, and the 25th as manager. A few of the years he was a coach so that the Twins could have another manager work with and learn from him. He has a managerial record of 977-648. He has won seven Appalachian League titles, including the 2017 championship. He originally signed with the Twins in 1977, and he played in 83 big league games for the Twins between 1981 and 1983.

His hitting coach for the 17th straight season by Jeff Reed. Reed was the Twins first round pick in 1980 and played in 93 games for the Twins from 1984 through 1986. The catcher went on to play a total of 17 seasons in the big leagues. Smith and Reed are not yet at EST.

Luis Ramirez is back for his fourth season as the E-Twins pitching coach. He had coached in the GCL the two previous years. He also spent eight seasons as the Twins pitching coordinator in their Venezuelan Academy. Takashi Miyoshi was added as the fourth E-Twins coach. After a long playing career, he has been coaching in the independent leagues.

After seven seasons of managing the GCL Twins (and EST), Ramon Borrego moved up to manager of the Ft. Myers Miracle. The Twins brought in Dan Ramsey who had been the coach at Whitworth University in Washington. He had led his team to the national Division III tournament three times.

He is joined by two pitching coaches. Virgil Vasquez is in his fourth season on the job. He spent big league time with the Tigers and Pirates, and he played for the Twins AA and AAA teams in 2013 and 2014. Frank Jagoda joins the organization in 2018 as another pitching coach. He’s had a variety of roles in recent years including coaching at Patrick Henry Community College in Virginia and USA Baseball the last couple of summers.

The Twins also hired a couple of new hitting coaches for the GCL. Luis Rodriguez originally signed as a player with the Twins in 1997. He worked his way up and spent time with the Twins for parts of 2005 through 2007. He spent parts of three more season in the big leagues. This is his first coaching opportunity. Also, Matt Borgschulte comes to the Twins organization after coaching in the Cardinals system in 2017.

ROSTER

Catchers: Kerby Camacho, Andy Cosgrove, Yeremi De La Cruz, Robert Molina, Kidany Salva, Colton Waltner

Infielders: Carson Crites, Ricky De La Torre, Wander Javier, Kolton Kendrick, Ariel Montesino, Emmanuel Morel, Robby Rinn, JJ Robinson, Yunior Severino, Victor Tademo

Outfielders: Jared Akins, Matt Albanese, Jean-Carlos Arias (Called up to Cedar Rapids on Monday), Colton Burns, TJ Dixon, Edgar Herrera, Lean Marrero, Jacob Pearson

Pitchers: Melvi Acosta, Dean Aldridge, Yancarlos Baez, Petru Balan, Jordan Balazovic, Tyler Benninghoff, Christian Broussard, Zack Featherstone, Juan Gamez, Pedro Garcia, David Gerics, Brusdar Graterol, Matt Jones, Tanner Kiest, Blair Lakso, Landon Leach, Andriu Marin, Michael Montero, Bailey Ober, Johan Quezada, Rickey Ramirez, Kai-Wei Teng,Ryley Widell. Adam Bray (Rehab)

TOP PROSPECTS
  • Wander Javier - Immensely talented, Javier will likely soon move up to Cedar Rapids after missing time with a shoulder injury. Javier has five-tool potential and could stick at shortstop. Twins Daily’s #6 Prospect.
  • Brusdar Graterol - High upside right-hander, works into the upper-90s. 2017 was his first season back after Tommy John surgery. He will likely be pitching for Cedar Rapids by the time the short-seasons start. Twins Daily’s #9 Prospect.
  • Yunior Severino - came to the Twins this offseason after MLB declared him-and other Braves prospects-free agents. Played last year in the GCL and should spend this summer playing in Elizabethton. Twins Daily’s #18 Prospect.
  • Landon Leach - second-round pick in 2017 out of high school in Canada, Leach throws really hard, into the mid-90s.. He’s raw as he hasn’t been pitching for long, but he has a ton of potential. .
  • Jacob Pearson - Pearson was the Angels third-round pick last year out of high school in Louisiana. The Angels needed international dollars in their attempt to sign Shohei Ohtani, so the Twins traded a million of international funds for Pearson. He’s an athletic outfielder with speed and some pop in his bat. Get to Know: Jacob Pearson.
  • Victor Tademo - While Tademo hit just .199 last year in the GCL, he was one of its youngest players. He’s got the ability to play shortstop, though he’s already playing mostly third base.
  • Michael Montero - At 17 years old, Montero debuted in 2017 in the DSL. In 58 innings, he walked 12 and struck out 64. A tall, right-hander, he is one to watch this season, likely in the GCL.
  • Ricky De La Torre - A year ago, there was thought that De La Torre could be a first-round draft pick. The Twins drafted him in the sixth round out of school in Puerto Rico. A great athlete, De La Torre is another guy who could stick at shortstop.
  • Tyler Benninghoff - Twins 11th-round pick in 2016 out of high school, he immediately had Tommy John surgery. He’s recently started throwing bullpens off a mound. Could possibly pitch very late in GCL season.
STORIES TO WATCH
  • How quickly will Brusdar Graterol and Wander Javier get to Cedar Rapids. Based on how many games the Kernels have already lost this season, it’s pretty clear that it was best to keep them both in Florida. Javier missed time in spring training with a shoulder injury, otherwise he likely would have started the year with the Kernels. Graterol will likely be on a fairly strict innings (and/or pitch) count in 2018. I would guess they will both be in Iowa by mid-May.
  • It’s always interesting to see which players the team has move up from EST to the Miracle when they have a need. Already this year, RHP Carlos Suniaga has been up twice, and infielder Alex Robles has started the last two days for the Miracle. On Monday, outfielder Jean Carlos Arias moved up to Cedar Rapids.
  • The Twins have always had players from around the globe. The current EST roster includes players from the following countries: Dominican Republic (9), Venezuela (7), Puerto Rico (4), Canada (3), and one each from Australia, Moldova and Taiwan. (Those numbers do not include players on the disabled list of full-season teams.)
  • The oldest players on EST rosters are both first basemen. JJ Robinson, the Twins 33rd-round draft pick last year out of Lewis-Clark State, is 25 until mid-October. Robinson is six days older than Robbie Rinn who was acquired from the Royals during spring training.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Michael Montero is 18 years old, born just after New Years Day in 2000. He is about two months younger than Yunior Severino. Landon Leach, Victor Tademo and Ricky De La Torre were all born within a two-week period in July of 1999.
Feel free to discuss the talent that the Twins have in Extended Spring Training. You can ask as many questions as you’d like and we’ll try to get them answered.

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20 Comments

Will be interesting to see if Lewis moves up to Fort Myers when Javier goes to Cedar Rapids.

 

Question about Benninghoff, Seth.I recall that he made an appearance or two in the GCL at the end of last season.If that is correct, wouldn't he be on a normal schedule this spring...other than maybe a pitch/innings limit?  

 

Will be interesting to see if Lewis moves up to Fort Myers when Javier goes to Cedar Rapids.

 

Question about Benninghoff, Seth.I recall that he made an appearance or two in the GCL at the end of last season.If that is correct, wouldn't he be on a normal schedule this spring...other than maybe a pitch/innings limit?  

 

Yeah, I don't think he was limited in any way this spring.

Ahhh, it's Seth again.

 

Many thanks for these stories from the Minors. It's good to hear about the guys who are toiling in the vineyards.A lot of these coaches will never make it back to the Show in that capacity, but man, it's great to see guys passing on their knowledge and their love of the game.How about Ray Smith and Jeff Reed-decades now in E-town, churning out the prospects. Good on them!

 

 

    • Seth Stohs and caninatl04 like this
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Twinsoholic
Apr 24 2018 08:06 AM

Puerto Rico is not a country--you have it listed as one when you list international players. Puerto Ricans are US citizens and, thus, not internationals.

 

"The current EST roster includes players from the following countries: Dominican Republic (9), Venezuela (7), Puerto Rico (4), Canada (3), and one each from Australia, Moldova and Taiwan."

Where are Marrero, Baez, De Jesus, Cruz, Rimmel, Breek, and Record? Oh and Akins?

 

Puerto Rico is not a country--you have it listed as one when you list international players. Puerto Ricans are US citizens and, thus, not internationals.

 

"The current EST roster includes players from the following countries: Dominican Republic (9), Venezuela (7), Puerto Rico (4), Canada (3), and one each from Australia, Moldova and Taiwan."

 

Yes, I realize this... but I figure they have their own WBC team, so I could note them. 

    • caninatl04 likes this

 

Where are Marrero, Baez, De Jesus, Cruz, Rimmel, Breek, and Record? Oh and Akins?

 

Marrero, Baez, and Akins are mentioned...

 

I missed on Record. He's recovering from Tommy John. Same as De Jesus who had surgery last year about this time. Should have mentioned them.

 

I'll look into Rimmel and Breek and see if I can get any updated on Record and De Jesus.

 

Where are Marrero, Baez, De Jesus, Cruz, Rimmel, Breek, and Record? Oh and Akins?

 

Breek and Cruz will report to EST in another week or so. Rimmel will report to EST in June. 

 

 

 

 

Where are Marrero, Baez, De Jesus, Cruz, Rimmel, Breek, and Record? Oh and Akins?

That Sadaharu guy is going to drive some fans crazy... as he is going to be much, much older than league average no matter what ML team he is placed on! This will be proof that the Twins promote too slowly.

    • birdwatcher and nicksaviking like this
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Twinsoholic
Apr 24 2018 11:20 AM

Hi, Seth,

 

How about revising the sentence to read "The current EST roster includes players from the following countries plus Puerto Rico: Dominican Republic (9), Venezuela (7), Puerto Rico (4), Canada (3), and one each from Australia, Moldova and Taiwan."

 

I am not trying to be picky. Some people will think Puerto Rico is a separate country--it helps if people know Puerto Rico's contested history.

 

 

 

Hi, Seth,

 

How about revising the sentence to read "The current EST roster includes players from the following countries plus Puerto Rico: Dominican Republic (9), Venezuela (7), Puerto Rico (4), Canada (3), and one each from Australia, Moldova and Taiwan."

 

I am not trying to be picky. Some people will think Puerto Rico is a separate country--it helps if people know Puerto Rico's contested history.

It really doesn't matter

    • clutterheart likes this

So, do most of these guys live in housing supplied by the Twins (which would be great if ALL minor league systems did this...i.e. basically own a hotel with 30 or 60 rooms, food service capabilities, meeting rooms and a pool).

 

Plus, they do have better off-field facilities than most minor league parks, right?

 

It is great that the Twins share their High-A space in Ft. Myers, too. Easy to shuffle guys in for some real game experience. Plus great for players on rehab.

 

Are there ANY restrictions on how many players can be in an extended training camp (which also operates in the fall)?

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clutterheart
Apr 24 2018 01:31 PM

I miss Bob Sacamento's updates!His videos, stories and photos were super fun and really informative.  

 

 

I am not trying to be picky. 

 

So it happened by accident?

 

Look, when people like Jose Berrios explicitly call Puerto Rico things like "my country," I think it's okay when Seth does it.

 

And if your stated goal is to make people aware of PR's history, how on earth does it further than goal to conflate it with the rest of the US, when it's so clearly different? 

Much like the Twins themselves, I just want the milb season to be played on a regular, daily basis. I know you will have occasional PPD games, but the start to the season has been ridiculous! Despite hoping for the best for all these kids, and with due respect to all of them, the ones I'm really interested in watching this season are Javier, Graterol, Leach, De La Torre and Benninghoff. Next to Lewis, honestly, there may not be a more talented position player in the system than Javier. Graterol reads like Romero Pt 2. If rumors are correct, part of the reason Leach was drafted so high was because other teams saw him as a fast riser. So let's see what he can do! Really surprised De La Torre slipped so far. And Benninghoff, if I'm not mistaken, has a great breaking ball, (curveball?), and was projected as early as the second round before his arm broke down.
    • caninatl04 likes this

 

So, do most of these guys live in housing supplied by the Twins (which would be great if ALL minor league systems did this...i.e. basically own a hotel with 30 or 60 rooms, food service capabilities, meeting rooms and a pool).

 

Plus, they do have better off-field facilities than most minor league parks, right?

 

It is great that the Twins share their High-A space in Ft. Myers, too. Easy to shuffle guys in for some real game experience. Plus great for players on rehab.

 

Are there ANY restrictions on how many players can be in an extended training camp (which also operates in the fall)?

 

Extended Spring Training and Rehabbing players can stay at the Twins academy on site. It's right next to the GCL field. The academy provides meals. It's basically a hotel or a condo. It's got meeting rooms, video rooms, an area with games (pool tables, etc.). It's like a college dorm with more. 

 

Good question on the restrictions. I don't think there are, but I can't say that with certainty. Remember that their new Dominican academy is also full of players from Dominican, Venezuela, etc. 

    • caninatl04 likes this
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Carole Keller
Apr 24 2018 05:09 PM

 

I miss Bob Sacamento's updates!His videos, stories and photos were super fun and really informative.  

Yeah, me too. Damn him for moving across the country!!!

Photo
The Wise One
Apr 24 2018 05:14 PM

 

So it happened by accident?

 

Look, when people like Jose Berrios explicitly call Puerto Rico things like "my country," I think it's okay when Seth does it.

 

And if your stated goal is to make people aware of PR's history, how on earth does it further than goal to conflate it with the rest of the US, when it's so clearly different? 

While Puerto Rico uses the USD. and are citizens of the USA, how they are treated by the ruling party would indicate that they are worse off than a third world country. 

I don't think there are, but I can't say that with certainty. Remember that their new Dominican academy is also full of players from Dominican, Venezuela, etc.
[/quote]

Perhaps a future article could address this. How are the facilities there?

 

I don't think there are, but I can't say that with certainty. Remember that their new Dominican academy is also full of players from Dominican, Venezuela, etc.
[/quote]

Perhaps a future article could address this. How are the facilities there?

 

They're incredible... just like the facilities in Ft. Myers. They shared the costs of the $17 million facilities with the Pirates. I think there are pictures somewhere in the forums from 14-18 months ago when it opened. 


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