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Buxton: "Pissed" at Twins for No Call-Up Decision...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:36 AM
According to the Star Tribune, Byron Buxton is displeased with the Twins after not being called up in September of 2018. According to Byr...
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So I did back of the napkin math only here but looked at three recent WS teams to see how they constructed their teams. I only added up t...
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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:03 AM
According to the Star Tribune, Miguel Sano's workouts this off-season are being viewed by the Twins' front office, in an effort to more c...
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Jonathan Schoop or Ian Kinsler?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:01 AM
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Article: Official Rule 5 Draft Day Thread

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 08:52 AM
The Winter Meetings in Las Vegas have been fairly quiet against in 2018. Certainly there are meetings, but there haven't been a lot of si...
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HAYES: Twins to Hire Wes Johnson as Pitching Coach

Dan Hayes of The Athletic is reporting that the Twins will hire Wes Johnson to fill their pitching coach opening. Johnson has been the pitching coach for the University of Arkansas for the past two seasons.
Prior to joining the Razorbacks, Johnson was the pitching coach at Mississippi State for a season and before that he filled the same role at Dallas Baptist for four seasons. His profile at Arkansas' official site has a wealth of additional information. Additionally, Hayes' report over at The Athletic also has some interesting details on Johnson's skills with modern technology, specifically TrackMan.

Arkansas advanced all the way to the College World Series championship this season before losing to Trevor Larnach and the Oregon State Beavers. That should make for a fun reunion at spring training.

UPDATE: John Shipley of the Pioneer Press is reporting that Jeremy Hefner will be transferred from being a member of the team's analytics group to bullpen coach.

Stephen Sullivan of KATV Little Rock detailed some of Johnson's climb up to the college ranks, which included a decade coaching high school teams. A quick search of Johnson's name on YouTube brings up a wealth of interviews as well as instructional segments. Here's a good profile on him that goes into his use of TrackMan at around the 2:00 mark.



Here's an interesting video that shows Johnson addressing his players on his first day of work at Mississippi State back in 2015.



To say this is an under the radar hire might be an understatement, as you don't see coaches make the jump from college ball to the majors all too often. This is a move that further establishes the Twins as a forward-thinking organization that's open to going outside the box.

Johnson takes over a role Garvin Alston held for just one season. The Twins ranked 22nd in ERA in 2018.

  • Mike Frasier Law, mikelink45, dgwills and 1 other like this

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50 Comments

OK, well that is stepping out of the box. Seems like an interesting gambit that the braintrust is gambling on. Hope it works.

    • Danchat, mikelink45 and d-mac like this

It will be interesting to see how the veteran pitchers on the roster respond to someone with no pro coaching experience.

    • Jerr, Mike Sixel, mikelink45 and 2 others like this

Interesting he was selected for pitching coach. With his background, I could see the FO hiring him to be minor league pitching coordinator. He has some new challenges ahead - an MLB season is a lot different than college. Congratulations to Wes Johnson and hope it all works out for the best!

    • Jerr, Mike Sixel, dgwills and 1 other like this
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Parker Hageman
Nov 15 2018 01:58 PM
With his background, I could see the FO hiring him to be minor league pitching coordinator.

 

 

They already did that when they hired Pete Maki away from Duke.

    • dgwills and dbminn like this

Wow. I have no idea if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it's pretty clear they're not taking the easy way out, I'll give them that.

 

 

 

 

    • Carole Keller, Jerr, Mike Sixel and 13 others like this

Agree with chief....they aren't hiding behind retreads, at manager or pitching coach......

    • USAFChief, Han Joelo, birdwatcher and 9 others like this

He may undoubtedly have some challenges at the pro level, but I fully believe that you can either coach or you cannot (much like leadership, you either have the ability or you do not). There is little in between.  

 

 

Good luck Coach Johnson, I bid you welcome to our little pond.

    • Carole Keller, Jerr, brvama and 6 others like this
Also, per the Pioneer Press, Jermey Hefner will be the next bullpen coach.

I don't care if they hire Dr. Seuss if he can help pitchers get better and reach their potential.

    • Carole Keller, Mike Sixel, Twins33 and 5 others like this

 

It will be interesting to see how the veteran pitchers on the roster respond to someone with no pro coaching experience.

I don't see this being an issue. Players, at any level, realize very quickly if their coaches know what they are talking about or not. 

    • luckylager and Platoon like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Nov 15 2018 02:53 PM

*blank stare*

Well, ****. Didn't see that one coming.

    • Carole Keller, USAFChief, dgwills and 4 others like this
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Carole Keller
Nov 15 2018 03:03 PM

 

*blank stare*

Well, ****. Didn't see that one coming.

That was my response, but was so dumbfounded couldn't even articulate it, so thanks for that.

    • Brock Beauchamp, DocBauer, d-mac and 3 others like this

If nothing else, its a interesting hire

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operation mindcrime
Nov 15 2018 03:16 PM
Didn't our Timberwolves draft him over DeMarcus Cousins? :)
    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel, Puckett34 and 6 others like this

 

Didn't our Timberwolves draft him over DeMarcus Cousins? :)

Well, your not wrong

 

Great video on Wes. Looks like a smart, talented baseball mind.

    • Halsey Hall and MN_ExPat like this

 

That was my response, but was so dumbfounded couldn't even articulate it, 

Situation normal.

    • tarheeltwinsfan and MN_ExPat like this

Similar pedigree to Brewers (now Reds) pitching coach Derek Johnson. Johnson did a pretty good job with a Brewers staff that lacked a true ace.  

    • MN_ExPat likes this

Fair to say that Brent Rooker is a fan of Wes Johnson:

 

 

    • Carole Keller, dgwills, d-mac and 2 others like this

Fun fact - he coached DJ Baxendale in high school.

    • d-mac and MN_ExPat like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Nov 15 2018 04:22 PM

The videos are impressive. Wes Johnson + Jose Berrios = Cy Young Award. You heard it here first.

    • MN_ExPat and Moosa105 like this
Given recent history, he might want to rent instead of buy.

Terry Ryan and myself are shocked right now. In a good way though.

    • Platoon, d-mac and Original Whizzinator like this

 

Fun fact - he coached DJ Baxendale in high school.

 

When Baxendale was in high school, not Johnson. HA!!

 

Baxendale said that he played for him in the summer of 2005 and really learned a ton from him.