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Dorsey: Twins Minor league academy in Ft. Myers

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:50 AM


David Dorsey of the News Press got a tour of the new Minnesota Twins minor league academy in Ft. Myers. What an incredible facility which will be great for the Minnesota Twins minor leaguers!! Very impressive!

#2 SD Buhr

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 10:56 AM

Very impressive. We've written about how tough minor leaguers have it and this academy itself doesn't change that, but it should make it a lot easier for the newest of their young talent to focus on baseball without having to worry about the day to day living issues outside the lines.

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#3 Thrylos


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Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:38 AM

This is fantastic. I bet that will help the EST, Rookie and Instruct kids a big time.
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#4 John Bonnes

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 04:09 PM

It's an interesting philosophy:

[FONT=arial]The Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton and the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland each have on-site player dormitories. The Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs each have auditoriums at their spring facilities. But until now, no major league franchise has had both.

[FONT=arial]"We want to prepare our players not just for baseball but for the rest of their lives, on and off the field," Smith said. "We want to teach them about the history of their franchise."[/FONT]

To be honest, I don't know how valuable the auditorium would really be, but I love the dorm (plus food) aspect of this, especially for younger foreign-born players who had enough adjustment challenges.

#5 Carole Keller

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 07:47 PM

Looks awesome ... will have to take a closer look at the finished structure when next I'm down there.

#6 DocBauer


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Posted 31 May 2014 - 08:50 PM

I am so very impressed by this new facility, and what it means to the younger Twins prospects!

In the past, people referred to the Twins doing thing "the Twins way." This was in reference, obviously, to playing ball hard and smart, and fielding well rounded teams who didnt beat themselves, and were often assembled without much in the way of high priced contracts. Injuries, FA losses, players who couldn't make a successful next step, some questionable trades, and other factors have deterioted the on the field product the past three seasons. Some smart moves this offseason, (yes and a few not so smart moves made and not made withstanding), development and maturity of a handful of potential core players, and one of the best minor leagues in baseball has us more competitive and headed back toward winning ways. Also of note is a few really smart coaching additions the past couple of seasons.

But I feel "the Twins way" goes beyond the product on the field at the major league level. For years now, the Twins have concentrated on finding and developing FO, scouting, instructors, coaches and managers who are tied to the family tree that is the Twins. And while I know there is debate amongst fans and followers as to this approach in some cases, it has largely proved successful. (Think overall and not just the past 3 seasons). Virtually the entire coaching staff has ties to past performance with the big league club. The roving instructors, coaches and managers, as stated, also have times playing either with the parent club or in the minor league system. And these men have found real success as the records and player development of one of the best minor league systems in ball proves. I think they've even uncovered a few potential big league managers for the future. The only one they've let slip away is Redmond, I'm sorry to say, but he's fast tracked himself pretty well.

But the Twins also went all out to create one of baseball's most amazing cathedrals in Target field, providing not only a beautiful, fan-friendly experience, but one that pays homage to their history. They've worked hard to be at the forefront for international scouting, especially with their early academies in central and South America. If memory serves, they were first or amongst the first in Venezuala, for instance.

The Fort Meyer's facility has long been amongst the best and most beautiful for ST, and offers an incredible high-A ballpark experience during the season. This new addition further proves the Twins way of doing things. I wouldn't dare to suggest young Twins prospects, or any team's prospects for that matter, have been or are treated poorly, but this facility offers a real quality home away from home for 16-21 year old kids and young men starting out their careers. Some are leaving home, even home countries, for the very first time. This offers them quality comfort and care, some great amenities, even closer supervision by coaches on a daily basis. And I love the classrooms to help Latin players further their transition. Unspoken in the article, but I assume there will be at least some Latino influence in regard to coaches and supervisors. And you have to love the immersion of Twins history to these young players.

It might sound kind of corny, but it's things like this that make me proud to call the Twins my life long team, and further develops what it means to do things "the Twins way."

#7 Tibs


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Posted 02 June 2014 - 09:25 AM

This is cool and seems like a great idea to me. Any reason it is off limits to guests?
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#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 09:32 AM

This is cool and seems like a great idea to me. Any reason it is off limits to guests?

I would assume it would be off-limits without some sort of invite/tour. But I don't know.

#9 nicksaviking


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Posted 02 June 2014 - 10:16 AM

It's an interesting philosophy:

To be honest, I don't know how valuable the auditorium would really be, but I love the dorm (plus food) aspect of this, especially for younger foreign-born players who had enough adjustment challenges.

I think putting them in a "college" like atmosphere could be beneficial. These guys are missing out on a pretty key developmental stage, both socially and educationally, in most peoples lives.

Of course I found that dark auditoriums were best used for sleeping, but I heard others got a lot out of those classes.

#10 cmathewson


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Posted 02 June 2014 - 11:29 AM

I saw it under construction when I was down there. I was thinking it would be just the ticket for kids coming out of the Dominican and Venezuelan academies, plus any recent high school draft picks in the GCL.
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