The fan-friendly AJ Pettersen has been blogging at Twins Daily since the onset of the site. The Minnetonka native had an impressive career at the University of Minnesota. Following his collegiate career, the Twins made him their 25th round draft pick in 2011. He signed quickly and spent the summer at Elizabethton. He spent the 2012 season playing all around the infield, left field, caught bullpens and even pitched in a game. He begins the 2013 season with the 10-0 Ft. Myers Miracle. He had a game-winning double on Thursday night. He's started mostly at shortstop, but also in left field. The ultimate team player, Pettersen continues to blog for Twins Daily, along with writing at BaseballAmerica.com. Here is his new installment:
With the end of Spring Training and the beginning of a new season, things have gotten back into a routine. Here in Fort Myers the weather is steaming, so if you are looking to escape the extended winter and can find a cheap flight, we welcome all fans. I am always up for a free dinner as well.
I wanted to give some highlights up to this point in the year. A lot has happened in the first few months of 2013. Here are some of the things I remember well:
*Winter Turns to Spring
I know this somehow hasnít quite happened for everyone in Minnesota, but my wife and I got to experience a quick transition when we moved to Florida in January. Baseball has always brought light into my life, with the joy it brings and the sunshine that comes along with it. The sun may not be shining in Minneapolis, but I hope that the return of baseball has brought some metaphorical light to the Twins Daily community.
*Meeting New Guys, Seeing Old Friends
It is always fun to see familiar faces the first day of Spring Training. When everyone starts to arrive it feels a lot like returning to school from summer break. There are a bunch of friends you need to catch up with and a lot of new people to meet. I got the chance to meet a couple of older guys (Doug Bernier and Virgil Vasquez) and also met some of the guys taken in last yearís draft.
*Playing with the Big Leaguers
In Spring Training the big leaguers sometimes need to play on the minor league side to pitch a few innings or get a couple of at bats. This can be a great learning moment for the guys who are striving to make it to the show.
One day I walked into the locker room and saw I was playing 2B in the game that afternoon and the SS was Jamey Carroll. I really look up to him as a player-he plays the game hard, does things the right way and does as much as he can do to help his team win. I was able to pick his brain throughout the game and learned a lot just from watching him. I also got the chance to hit in front of Justin Morneau and face the Orioles closer Jim Johnson.
*The Start of the Regular Season
Starting with the Miracle has been great so far. We have a great team and coaching staff and have experienced some success early. It is always fun seeing the parks around a new league. The nice thing about the Florida State League is that a number of the parks are big league Spring Training fields. This means pristine fields and fully equipped stadiums.
I hope this gives everyone a good look at what has happened around here in the past few months. If you want to interact with me you can tweet me at @APettersen1
or you can email me at [email protected]