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Scott Povolny

Territory Train: The Future of Baseball Roadtripping

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After a 99-loss season, it's nearly impossible to be a fanatic of the Twins organization and not look at the minor league system, and think "they have help on the way, right? ... Right?!"

Don't worry; they do.

And the ultimate road warrior's guide to Twins baseball on the road, Territory Train, is going to get a great sample of the future of the franchise this summer.

So what is Territory Train? For those familiar with the TwinsTrain operation over the last couple of years, Territory Train has all the same features with all the same smiling faces.

For those who aren't familiar with our work over the last couple of years, I suggest taking a spin around our newly designed website. In a nutshell we follow the Minnesota Twins when they hit the road, putting together trip packages including coach bus transportation, hotel, and game tickets.

This year, we've kept the recipe the same, but are adding one team to the mix: the Beloit Snappers.

Our trip, departing Friday, June 1 will take a premium motorcoach full of Twins fans (you) to follow the Beloit Snappers on a short Midwestern tour, spanning across Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The Snappers -- the low-A minor league affiliate of the Twins -- will play both the Quad Cities River Bandits (in Davenport, IA) and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (at home in Beloit, Wisconsin).

So why should you care about a minor league trip? A lot of reasons. But the players involved surely will be the spotlight of this weekend adventure. Let's spotlight three players expected to be on the Snapper roster, come June 1.

Miguel Sano:

This guy is built to be a game-changer, through and through. The Twins signed this Dominican at the youthful age of 16 in 2009. But you wouldn't know he's that young seeing his 6'-3", 240-lb frame in person.

[Editors note: When you're at a minor league ballpark, there are so many more opportunities to see just how impressive and athletic these phenoms are. First of all, the seats at these modest ballparks are stationed much closer to the field of play. But more importantly, you have far fewer fans to compete with for autographs, pictures, good seating etc.]

Ranked at #28 on the top-100 list of prospects at ESPN.com, the Sano has power. Serious power. The kind of power that even Target Field won't be able to contain.

His arm strength cannot be contained by most ball parks, either. He's got a million dollar smile. The guy is simply slated for greatness once he steps up to the plate in Minneapolis. You won't want to miss seeing this phenom before he explodes into stardom.

Eddie Rosario:

Eddie's start-up is a little bit different from Miguel's, but the numbers so far are fairly identical for these powerhouses. Rosario, currently a center-fielder, is a left-handed source of serious home-run power. His swing is unique; almost as though his legs are trying to lunge toward the baseball. Orthodox or not, this swing gets results, leading the Appalachian League in HRs (with Sano just one HR behind).

Rosario is rumored to see some action at second base, as the Twins are doing their best to help strengthen their middle infield throughout the farm. At just 20 years old, he, like Sano, has a very bright future ahead of him, coming in at #50 on the ESPN top prospects list.

AJ Pettersen:

AJ's a great player to keep an eye on for a lot of reasons. As a Minnetonka-born and raised athlete and University of Minnesota graduate, he has a special place in our hearts. His stature isn't exactly what you would call comparative to a guy like Sano -- Pettersen comes in around 5'-9", 170 lbs -- but he brings energy and grit to the lineup everyday of the week.

His strengths on the field project somewhat unclearly for the future, as the organization is looking to get him familiar with more than just a shortstop's mitt (as he was drafted).

A sincerely nice guy, Pettersen's exactly the kind of player you want to pull for. It's an overused phrase for this organization over the last several years, but the kid plays the game the right way. I think a lot of Twins Daily readers will get a great sampling of the kind of player and person he is with his posts on this site throughout the year.

Territory Train plans to get you involved and entertained every other moment these guys aren't center-stage of this mission. And food/refreshments are a big part of the weekend package. On Saturday evening in Beloit, we will have admission to Pohlman Field's Hog Heaven, an all-you-can-eat/drink area on a porch just beyond the right field fence. The deck provides brats, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and peanuts. Beverages include: canned Pepsi products, Miller Lite, and Miller High Life.

The company you meet along the way are the exact kind of fans you want to surround yourself with, as well, making each out-of-state experience a true slice of Twins territory.

So join the team, and support the organization this summer from top to bottom -- Target Field to Pohlman Field. Territory Train makes it easy and enjoyable.

We also offer trips to Milwaukee (May) and Kansas City (July). Take a look through the trip itineraries for seating photos and detailed accounts for the plans each weekend.


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