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New Target field policy...no bags of any kind

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:27 PM
Thankfully we went before gates opened and were warned by a friendly security guy in advance that this year there are no bags of any kind...
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Morneau

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:52 PM
I thought he was was really good last year. Maybe I'm on an opening day high (Not high) but he is so good.Who would have thought he would...
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The 5 Rule Draft

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:58 PM
This year's Rule 5 draft we lost Akil Baddo and Tyler Wells. So I thought I'd check to see how they were doing. 1st I checked on Baddo, h...
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Ex Twins in 2021: Where Are They Now?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:48 AM
One of my favorite annual threads on the site. Let’s stay updated on ex-Twins in the news... This is a start of a list, and feel free to...
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Why isn't Buxton on MLB OPS leaders list?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 04:36 PM
Buxton is listed only on the MLB HR leaders list. Not on OPS or AVG or SLG or OBP. He should be the leader in several of these. He has as...
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2021 Sire of Fort Myers Preview

Hear ye, hear ye ... 'tis time to size up this year's candidates for Sire of Fort Myers.
Image courtesy of Tom Froemming, Twins Daily
What is this?
The whole idea behind Sire of Fort Myers is to inject some more fun into Spring Training by manufacturing another storyline to follow. That’s it, really. Have fun and don’t overthink it.

This honor is bestowed upon the player who performs the best, not necessarily the one most likely to break camp with the big club. It just so happens that the previous two winners — Ryne Harper and Ryan LaMarre — did end up making the Opening Day roster.

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Who is eligible?
1. Anybody who’s not on the 40-man roster, regardless of prior MLB experience.
OR
2. Anyone who hasn’t made their MLB debut.

These rules are dictated by ancient scrolls discovered during the founding of Fort Myers back in 1885. Sorry if you have any complaints, it’s outta my hands.

Edwar Colina, Travis Blankenhorn and Alex Kirilloff are all ineligible because they appeared in one game with the Twins last year. Kirilloff’s performance this spring might be the biggest spring storyline as is, so even though there was a possibility to use his postseason debut as a loophole, the committee (myself and five very agreeable Twins bobbleheads) has ruled him to be ineligible.

Who are this year’s top contenders?
A lot of guys who were mentioned in Nash Walker’s projected St. Paul Saints roster. So, if you’re excited about the Triple-A club being in St. Paul this year, that’s all the more reason to keep an eye on these guys.

The player who sticks out to me as the top candidate is outfielder Keon Broxton, who has more than 1,000 MLB plate appearances to his credit. He put together one great season, it just happened to be between two actual seasons. From the second half of 2016 through the first half of 2017, Broxton hit .250/.338/.481 (113 wRC+) with 22 homers and 33 steals in 132 games for the Brewers.

I could see Broxton stringing together a hot month in Florida, but it’s worth pointing out frontrunners have not impressed in years past. Last spring it was Jhoulys Chacin, who gave up six earned runs in eight innings pitched before camp was shut down. Utility man Tzu-Wei Lin and catcher Tomás Telis stick out to me as other minor league veteran hitters who could impress. They should both see plenty of playing time.

With Royce Lewis out due to a torn ACL, Trevor Larnach is the highest-profile prospect eligible this year. He was building a strong case for the crown last spring, hitting .333/.467/.708 in 30 Grapefruit League plate appearances. I think there’s a lot of incentive to give Gilberto Celestino a lot of looks this spring, so he too could emerge as a candidate. If you’re looking for prospect info, check out our 2021 list.

One of the most difficult things to project is who is going to get enough playing time to impress. I don’t suspect any of these guys will log enough innings to build a strong enough resume: Jordan Balazovic, Jhoan Duran, Bailey Ober, Charlie Barnes, Griffin Jax, Matt Canterino, Josh Winder. It’s quite possible I’m way off-base here, we’ll see, I just expect teams to be very careful with their starting pitching prospects this year.

I'd love to see Nick Gordon build a strong case. After dealing with injuries and illness the past couple years it would be nice to see him gaining momentum again. MLB.com's Do-Hyoung Park reported the team will be easing Gordon back in, however, so it seems unlikely he'll be a top contender.

Dakota Chalmers is another prospect who’s been through a lot. I could see the Twins converting him to the bullpen and giving him a lot of looks this spring. I guess another way to put it is I could see him being this year’s Jorge Alcala.

Speaking of which, the bullpen probably represents the biggest area of opportunity for a player to build a Sire of Fort Myers resume. The Twins snuck Ian Hamilton, Ian Gibaut and Brandon Waddell all through waivers this winter. Fellow former major leaguers Glenn Sparkman, Derek Law, Danny Coulombe, Juan Minaya, Andrew Albers and Luke Farrell will also be in the mix (those names are ordered by the MLB innings they have to their credit, by the way).

I’m going with Hamilton and Law as the two guys I find most intriguing in that bullpen group, but I wouldn’t bet against any one of them breaking out. This Twins regime has had a lot of success with these types.

Chances are pretty good the eventual winner comes out of nowhere. Nobody saw LaMarre or Harper coming. Last year, Caleb Thielbar was shaping up to be a finalist prior to the shut down.

For more info on all the non-roster invitees, check out Seth’s article on the Spring Training non-roster invitees.

SEE ALSO
Timeline for Top Prospects: 2021 Edition
A Good Comp for Jhoan Duran and His Splinker
Predicting Minnesota’s 4 Potential Breakout Players in 2021
Service Time: Fixing What Is Clearly Broken

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12 Comments

Yeah Hamilton is the guy that sticks out to me as well.He seems to have decent control and a decent K9.He's been set back with injuries and has a chance to prove himself now that he is healthy.  

 

Gibaut is the other dark horse for me.He has elite spin rates but can't seem to keep things under control.If Wes can help him then he could end up elite as well IMO.  

 

I am hoping but not banking on Broxton finding a way to get consistent contact with the ball.If he can do that he would be a better option for the fourth outfield spot than Cave because he can play center field pretty well.Not Buxton level but likely better than anyone else on the team.The odds seem slim that he will find it but if he can then he could surprise as well.

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Andrew Bryzgornia
Feb 27 2021 09:48 PM

Out of the guys you named, I'm going to predict Celestino. I think with his CF defense, he'll get plenty of reps just so the coaching staff can see what he can do and who knows, he might get hot with the stick during spring training. 

 

Also, minor quibble: His name is Tzu-Wei Lin, not Tsu-Wei. 

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Tom Froemming
Feb 27 2021 09:57 PM

 

Out of the guys you named, I'm going to predict Celestino. I think with his CF defense, he'll get plenty of reps just so the coaching staff can see what he can do and who knows, he might get hot with the stick during spring training. 

 

Also, minor quibble: His name is Tzu-Wei Lin, not Tsu-Wei. 

Thank you, fixed.

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Doctor Gast
Feb 28 2021 06:58 AM
The one I'm banking on is Broxton. I believe Buxton and the coaches will help him figure it out and become a break out hitter. He's already shown he has a elite glove and speed
    • Tom Froemming likes this

So...who do we have in camp whose name is a version of Ryan? That's where my money goes.

Should have been Royce. What about Gryfan Jax?

    • Tom Froemming likes this

I think Ryan LaMarreis a dashing Prince in waiting.Looking forward to watching Twins baseball today.

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Tom Froemming
Feb 28 2021 09:56 AM

 

So...who do we have in camp whose name is a version of Ryan? That's where my money goes.

Should have been Royce. What about Gryfan Jax?

Oh man, how could I have missed this!?!?!? It's all so clear now ...

 

You know, both Jax and Charlie Barnes may get more looks than I'm expecting. They're sorta in that Devin Smeltzer zone where they may actually get opportunities over the prospects higher up on lists because they're a bit older (Jax is 26 and Barnes is 25) and the team is a little less concerned about innings limits/development/etc. 

 

If Jax wins "Gryfan" is definitely going to be my new nickname for him :)

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My money is on Known Agenda, once he retires.

 

Known-Agenda-credit-Ryan-Thompson-2048x1

Great article in today's Strib about Broxton. Had me thinking he could force a trade of Cave and give the Twins improved defense at all three outfield spots together with speed from their fourth outfielder. Expect they may also get something meaningful back for Cave.

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Doctor Gast
Feb 28 2021 11:16 AM

 

Great article in today's Strib about Broxton. Had me thinking he could force a trade of Cave and give the Twins improved defense at all three outfield spots together with speed from their fourth outfielder. Expect they may also get something meaningful back for Cave.

Thanks rdehring, for that heads up on that strib article. I`ve been looking for an article like that about Broxton. I loved it, it gave encouragement that Broxton is on the right path.

 

Here's the article if anyone would like to read

 

 

 

https://www.startrib...xton/600028332/

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Nash Walker
Feb 28 2021 11:13 PM
HERE YEEEE!
    • Tom Froemming likes this
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Nash Walker
Feb 28 2021 11:13 PM
HERE YEEEE!