Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Gimenez vs Garver

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:25 AM
Personally, IMHO, part of the overall success and quality play of our beloved Twins this season has been the addition of Castro and Gimin...
Full topic ›

Benching Sano two days in a row

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:55 AM
Seriously? Good lord, every time Molitor takes a step forward he takes 3 steps back. Benching your best player back to back games bc of a...
Full topic ›

Molitor, does he actually "get it"?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:49 AM
This game was as poorly managed as I have ever seen, guy hasn't improved at all. Baring a playoff berth he better be gone at seasons end.
Full topic ›

Game Thread: Twins v Rays, 5/28 @ 1:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:03 PM
My ten years as a stringer – a freelance sportswriter for The Associated Press – spanned two distinct baseball eras. During the first, 19...
Full topic ›

Slegers Solidifies Status With Strong Spring Showing

Aaron Slegers found out on Monday morning that his spring training time with the big league Twins had come to an end, but he didn’t sulk. He enjoyed the experience and is looking forward to what could be and exciting 2017 season for him.

Slegers was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2013 out of Indiana after a season in which he was named the Big Ten’s Pitcher of the Year. He has moved up the organizational ladder exactly in the way you would expect. He finished 2013 in Elizabethton. He spent most of 2014 in Low Class-A Cedar Rapids. He spent most of 2015 in High Class-A Ft. Myers, ending the year with a handful of starts in Chattanooga.

That’s where he spent his 2016 season. In 25 starts, he went 10-7 with a 3.41 ERA. In 145.1 innings, he walked 2.8 per nine and struck out 6.4 batters per nine innings. At one point in the middle of the season, he had a stretch of nine straight Quality Starts.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs (photo of Aaron Slegers)
Slegers called 2016 a “successful year, minus the three weeks in July.”

He prides himself in his ability to take the ball and provide innings. “I was able to take the ball every fifth day and be as consistent as possible.” He continued, pointing out that he wants to be reliable. “That’s what I see from myself in the big leagues, taking the ball every fifth day and be an innings eater. The manager knows what he’s going to get on an every fifth day bases, a spot of consistency in a big league pitching rotation.”

Unfortunately, he wasn’t added to the Twins 40-man roster in November. I know there was a lot of concern that he might be selected in the Rule 5 draft. Slegers himself was not opposed to the idea of being selected, as his 2016 Lookouts teammate and battery mate Stuart Turner was. However, the draft came and went, and Slegers remained in the organization. Several in the organization took a deep breath in relief.

Shortly after the calendar turned to 2017, Slegers received a call from Twins Minor League Director Brad Steil informing him he was invited to Twins big league spring training as a non-roster player. As you would expect, Slegers was very excited and appreciative, and quickly accepted.

When asked about his experience, he summarized briefly by saying “It was fun.”

But, Slegers actually broke up his experience in big league camp into two parts.

“The first week, I was kind of staying to myself and observing and seeing how things were done and how the various veterans and the guys who have been there before go about their business. Which was a great experience and I’m glad I did that.”

That makes sense, the Be Seen But Not Heard approach. However, he continued, “Then I transitioned into being more proactive and asking questions. A few of those guys, like Matt Belisle and Ryan Vogelsong and Brandon Kintzler, were extremely helpful. When I would show myself to guys like Belisle, that I wanted to learn and I’d ask things he was working on, he was more than receptive to show me what he was working on and expand on things he’d learned in the past. He really made himself available and approachable on a daily basis.”

Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine often talked about bringing in veteran leadership. Following the signing of Belisle, it was reiterated, that he was a quality person and a nice leader for younger players. While those things aren’t necessarily visible to the public, this is a good example of what a veteran can do to assist a younger player on the roster.

When the Twins sent Slegers back to minor league camp, manager and Hall of Famer Paul Molitor was very complimentary of the right-hander. Molitor said, "Slegers came even better than advertised for me. I'd heard a lot of very positive things about makeup. But the way that he threw the ball was good."

Reports on Slegers will say that he throws a fastball that sits 90-92 mph. However, he has the ability to hit 94 and even 95 at times. He’s got a good sinker and slider, and a still-developing changeup.

It is the changeup that likely will determine how good Slegers can be at the next level. He knows he can rely on his “two-seam sinkers to righties and lefties,” but “when I have the changeup working, throwing it 15-20 times per start, it really seems to pay off for me.”

Earlier in his career, he was mostly a fastball/slider pitcher, but last year in Chattanooga, his pitching coach and manager really encouraged him to utilize and develop the changeup.

Slegers points out, “From my A ball outings in Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, it was mostly fastballs and sliders, and the changeup was mostly on the backburner. When I worked with (Lookouts pitching coach) Ivan (Arteaga) and (Lookouts manager) Doug (Mientkeiwicz), getting the changeup around twenty times a game. I don’t put quotas on myself. Obviously, there are different mixes of righties and lefties in a lineup, but when the hitter has a different look after seeing the sinker, and then I throw the changeup behind it, it seems to be effective.”

He’s coming off of a very nice season in AA Chattanooga. He’s been able to spend nearly a month in Twins big league spring training. He has a couple of goals in mind.

First, Slegers said, “(I want to) refine my craft as a starter, pitch calling and going deep into games and continue taking the ball every fifth day.”

On another tier, Slegers has a lofty, but achievable goal. “I see myself getting in the conversation to get to the big leagues at some point this year. There are certain things out of spring training, where I break, that I can’t control. Wherever I might be at a certain point in the season, but just force the hand and get myself into that conversation.”

There is no reason for him to return to AA Chattanooga in 2017, so he should start for the Red Wings every fifth day.

Aaron Slegers has been very consistent since the Twins drafted him. For the most part, he has remained healthy. He didn’t sulk when he wasn’t added to the 40-man roster in November and earned an invitation to big league spring training. He took advantage of his time in camp, and looks to put the things he’s learned into action in 2017.


  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

13 Comments

Nice article, thanks.  Hopefully he doesn't start to get battered at AAA, and keeps those walk numbers down.  Sounds like he has better control of mechanics than most guys his size.

Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Mar 18 2017 05:55 AM

I'm personally more concerned about the K rate. That's not a bad guy to plug in on occasion, but the ceiling seems a bit low if he cannot get more misses.Hopefully that change works magic for him.Results wise, he's gotten the job done thus far.

    • gil4, 70charger and HitInAPinch like this
Photo
HitInAPinch
Mar 18 2017 06:14 AM

Do I have this right:Slegers is 24 yrs old and in High A-ball? 

 

The other thing is his fastball, and I kinda have this beef with anyone that is as big as Slegers:6'10" 245lbs and his fastball sits around only 90-92?Someone, somewhere should be teaching these guys how to take advantage of what they've got physically.

Watched a couple videos of Slegers:motion looks pretty good and safe.Time for him to bump it up and make 94 the norm.

Photo
stringer bell
Mar 18 2017 06:49 AM

Slegers is a personal favorite of mine. I met his mother at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and got a Mom's report about his progress at that point. She also mentioned Minnesota roots--his grandparents lived in Minnesota and his mom was raised in the state. Good luck to him at Rochester. If he has a good year, it wouldn't surprise me to see him get a chance with the Twins.

 

Do I have this right:Slegers is 24 yrs old and in High A-ball? 

 

The other thing is his fastball, and I kinda have this beef with anyone that is as big as Slegers:6'10" 245lbs and his fastball sits around only 90-92?Someone, somewhere should be teaching these guys how to take advantage of what they've got physically.

Watched a couple videos of Slegers:motion looks pretty good and safe.Time for him to bump it up and make 94 the norm.

 

He spent all of last year in AA Chattanooga. 

 

 

 

 

Slegers Solidifies Status With Strong Spring Showing

 

2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 6.75 ERA

 

"strong spring showing" should be replaced with "unfortunate, but thankfully small sample size showing" :)

 

Nothing strong about his showing.I still feel that his future is in the pen.He can pick a couple mph in the fastball might make a lot of difference.Otherwise, a Wheeler or Hurlbut type starter from the other side

 

The other thing is his fastball, and I kinda have this beef with anyone that is as big as Slegers:6'10" 245lbs and his fastball sits around only 90-92?Someone, somewhere should be teaching these guys how to take advantage of what they've got physically.

 

Have you met Tyler Robertson and his 88 mph Fastball? Size does not equal velocity

Photo
ashburyjohn
Mar 18 2017 09:45 AM

Have you met Tyler Robertson and his 88 mph Fastball? Size does not equal velocity

Moreover, most humans can't throw the ball 90 MPH. I am Jose Berrios's height but I can't fling it like he does. Perhaps Tyler Robertson and Aaron Slegers already are leveraging the maximum that their height (and the presumably proportionately sized limbs) gives them.

    • Seth Stohs likes this
Just another guy in AAA showing why they don't need five veteran starters in Minnesota.....i hope he gets to pitch in Minnesota some late this year.
    • Dave The Dastardly likes this
Photo
clutterheart
Mar 18 2017 11:22 AM
Posts like this are why I love spring training. Thanks for sharing this.

And hey with all of the injured pitchers, and the possibility of the FO having a mid season fire sale, Slegers could get a few starts in MN this year
    • Seth Stohs likes this

 

2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 6.75 ERA

 

"strong spring showing" should be replaced with "unfortunate, but thankfully small sample size showing" :)

 

Nothing strong about his showing.I still feel that his future is in the pen.He can pick a couple mph in the fastball might make a lot of difference.Otherwise, a Wheeler or Hurlbut type starter from the other side

I'm sure the coaching staff saw a lot more of him during spring training than the 2.2 IP he had in the games.They sounded happy with his performance and he sounded happy with his performance.I'm not ready to shuffle him off to the pen yet, but he is still a longshot to be more than a guy who hangs around at the fringes of a MLB roster in case someone gets hurt and a team needs a warm body to fill in for a few weeks.Of course, we could say that about 75% of the guys pitching at AA, and some of them come up with that one more pitch or the FB command and/or the couple of MPH boost needed to be more than that.

    • Mike Sixel and 70charger like this
Photo
ashburyjohn
Mar 18 2017 11:50 AM

but he is still a longshot to be more than a guy who hangs around at the fringes of a MLB roster in case someone gets hurt and a team needs a warm body to fill in for a few weeks.

When the phone call comes, I hope he can do a good Lurch impression.

 

 

 

 

2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 6.75 ERA

 

"strong spring showing" should be replaced with "unfortunate, but thankfully small sample size showing" :)

 

Nothing strong about his showing.I still feel that his future is in the pen.He can pick a couple mph in the fastball might make a lot of difference.Otherwise, a Wheeler or Hurlbut type starter from the other side

 

Spring Training has very little to do with the stats in 2.2 innings. It's as much about bullpens and such and working on stuff... 

    • birdwatcher and Mike Sixel like this

Similar Articles