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Findings from the Fort

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 14 March 2019 · 967 views

minnesota twins spring training
I landed in sunny Fort Myers on Tuesday morning, and have now got in three full days of Twins action. I’ll be here for a couple more days, but rather than pile everything into one offering, I figured I’d break up the notes a bit. With minor league action having kicked off this week, there’ literally something going on from 9am until about 3:45 each day. I need to do a better job of sunscreen application, but here’s what I’ve gathered while taking it all in.

Most of the tech is now in application phase, as opposed to being regularly implemented. Twins Daily’s Parker Hageman did a killer job breaking down all the ways Minnesota is looking to close the gap between the top innovator organizations. There’s no denying they’ve made extensive strides, but most of the evidence is gone with game action now taking place. This isn’t surprising as guys are working through at bats and bullpens. There’s still plenty of recording taking place from video monitoring and radar work, but Rapsodo devices, Edgertronic cameras, and Blast Motion sensors aren’t making their way into pre-game routines.

Each spring I find myself noting one or two players that truly have transformed their bodies. Maybe I’m being lazy in my analysis, but there hasn’t been anyone that has stood out dramatically to me. If I had to tab someone, it would be first base prospect Lewin Diaz. He’s dropped more weight and looks to be going the route of cut as opposed to bulk. No longer a top Twins prospect, he has previously been a darling of the system. If the power bat breaks out though, he’ll find plenty of opportunity to rise through the system.

Plenty has been made about the depth Minnesota has up the middle on the farm. Royce Lewis is a superstar but sleeping on Wander Javier or Yunior Severino isn’t a good practice. Javier started a big-league spring training game today against the Nationals and was beyond impressive in the field. He has great hands, a smooth feel to his defense, and a stellar arm. He wasn’t overmatched at the plate and drew two walks. It’s great to see him back healthy and in action. Severino has impressive size for his age and was a great get thanks to the Atlanta Braves transgressions. He’s played more second base but is still just settling into being such a good athlete.

Miguel Sano was seen working out this morning near the batting cages. It doesn’t appear the boot on his foot is going to limit what the Twins expect from him conditioning wise, and that’s a great thing. He was focused on lower body exercises and will undoubtedly be itching for game action once given the green light.

I’m not sure what happens to Addison Reed at this point. He’s got a couple of weeks left to get right, but the red flags are popping up everywhere. His velocity against the Nationals today was topping out at 92, and more regularly he sat 89-90. Across 18 pitches he generated just two swings and misses (with one being a check swing), and he served up an oppo taco to Juan Soto. Right now, he’s not one of the Twins seven best relief options, and a stint on the Injured List to start the year should certainly be under consideration. His two-year deal was signed under reasonable expectations, but things simply have not gone right for the veteran hurler.



Yes, it’s just Spring Training, but Byron Buxton’s production has continued to be for real. His homer against the Red Sox at Jet Blue yesterday was a mammoth shot over the green monster, and he hit the ball hard this afternoon against Eric Fedde. It was nice to see him run on the Nationals some, and even his outs have been well struck. There’s no one in the organization with a higher ceiling than Buck and putting it together at some percentile of this level makes him a bonafide star.

There’s been a handful of reserves that have played themselves into noteworthy situations for Minnesota. Ryne Harper has flipped straight filth across the plate, and Tim Collins looks revitalized in his post Tommy John career. Neither are going to make the roster, but as depth on the farm, Rocco Baldelli must be impressed. Infielder Adam Rosales has also been apart of this group, and his exploits may even lead them. Given the necessity for utility types in baseball, the 35-year-old journeyman may end up being trade bait in a couple of weeks.

Putting a bow on all of this is 2018 first round pick Trevor Larnach. Getting into his first MLB Spring Training game as a reserve against the Nationals, he walloped a home run to left center in his first at bat. Opposite field power was a calling card for the former Oregon State star, and he wasted no time in showing that off. Taking a strong round of batting practice on the back fields this morning, it had to be fun seeing that translate to the big-league dish.



The Twins are home against the Orioles on Friday, with the Double and Triple-A squads playing host for their minor league games for each of the next two days. Plenty more action to come.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

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