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"Maybe this year, maybe next year," he said. "But that's the dream."

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#1 jokin

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:11 AM

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The New Britain Rock Cats played a game last night that can make Twins fans ever more anxious for not one, but two, more pieces to the Big League puzzle to quickly finish their minor league matriculation.

Without much fanfare, Eddie Rosario finally returned to AA after his lost spring on suspension and a brief tune-up in Ft Myers. The only real buzz around Rosario was that he has come back and is playing mostly in CF, as he did in his New Britain debut. Batting in the #2 hole, Eddie banged out 2 hits, including a double.

Evidently, Kennys Vargas was the one most grateful to have his fellow Puerto Rican countryman and frequent minor league teammate back in the fold, as he plated Rosario after both of Eddie's hits, and ended up becoming the biggest story on Friday night- putting up video game batting numbers before all was said and done. Vargas was 3-4, falling a triple short of the cycle, and driving in all of the Rock Cats' six runs, including a go-ahead Grand Slam HR in the 6th inning. The easy-going and always-quotable Vargas didn't let the reporters down:

[QUOTE][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]Vargas laughed at the notion of collecting a fourth career triple with an additional at-bat. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]"It's pretty good for the numbers," Vargas said with a chuckle. "Six RBIs in one night, that's like a week."[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial][COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana]

Easy-going Kennys may be, but he appears to be taking a serious approach at the plate, and young guys like his buddy Rosario, and even Oswaldo Arcia might want to take notice of what Vargas has to say about patience at the plate, getting more Base on Balls and situational hitting:

[/FONT][/COLOR][QUOTE]The switch-hitter's latest roundtripper came on a 3-2 curveball with the bases full, nobody out and the Rock Cats trailing by two runs in the sixth inning. It was his first home run since May 18.[/QUOTE][/FONT][/COLOR][QUOTE]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]"I was looking for that pitch," Vargas said, "because they always throw me, in a 3-2 count, something like a changeup or a breaking ball."[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]In 61 at-bats with runners in scoring position, he's hitting .393/.458/.623 with 34 RBIs.
[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]"I do the same approach with every at-bat, like with two strikes," Vargas said. "When I have two strikes, I try to get short with my swing and go straight to the ball. Don't do any movement, just put it in play, because I don't like the strikeouts."[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]While he's hoping to launch more homers, he's less concerned with grabbing a triple this season. His next one will be his first in 2014.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]The 6-foot-5, 275-pound slugger said a three-bagger was nowhere near his focus Friday.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]"I never think about triples," Vargas said. "I just get the doubles, get the RBIs. That's it, I do my job."[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]."It was pretty good," said Vargas, who signed with Minnesota as a non-drafted free agent on Feb. 25, 2009. "It's always fun when you win. Everybody's happy."[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial][COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana]

It looks like he's taken yet another step closer to realizing the dream...and making everybody on the big league club happy, too. And the best may be yet to come for Eddie Rosario, as well.

[/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR]http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140607&content_id=78596108&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb&sid=milb

Edited by jokin, 07 June 2014 - 09:16 AM.


#2 big dog

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:20 AM

Thanks, sounds like a guy who's really got a plan (and apparently is listening to his batting coach). I look forward to seeing him, hopefully SOON.

#3 Monkeypaws

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:35 AM

In the words of a former Twins owner, "I really like this kid."

#4 jokin

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:06 AM

In the words of a former Twins owner, "I really like this kid."


Well-stated. And I freely admit to riding the hype wave. But I think articles like this and the documented dramatic improvements in his K/BB rates show why the hype has some justification. And as much grief as I give the Twins scouting department, the Bill Smith Era may very well have produced another potential cornerstone player in addition to Sano.

#5 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:55 AM

A few weeks back, Klaw said that he was a AAAA player - too big.

#6 jokin

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 10:22 AM

A few weeks back, Klaw said that he was a AAAA player - too big.


Fortunately, Klaw has been wrong before, and there are 2 "too big" examples out there who have defied the stereotype, one of whom is likely headed to the HOF. And Vargas is beginning to display identically good plate discipline techniques that have made Ortiz and Fielder such difficult outs and superstar material. Obviously, I'm not saying Vargas has arrived yet to the Pantheon Hall of Big Boppers, but this year's impressive AA numbers, Vargas' serious approach, yet easy-going ways, have to count for more than a casual Klaw dismissal. I'll wait for more data to come in before I throw him by the curb.

#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 11:22 AM

I've always been higher on Vargas than most, at least the last two or three years, but I think he's taken a big step forward this year. Maybe it was the big league spring opportunity. He seems a lot more focused (something he's never been accused of in the past!). He takes better at bats from both sides of the plate, and he has real power. Law may still be right, but I think we know now that he will get that chance.

#8 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:37 PM

The size thing is interesting. Yes, Vargas is essentially limited to DH or occasional 1B duties because he is huge and slow. But, it's not as if he can't run the bases, or trips over himself getting out of the box.

The Twins will need Vargas to hit for a good average, reach base often, and exhibit doubles and HR power. To me, none of those have all that much to do with his size.
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#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:53 PM

Wow. I didn't expect to see Rosario back in NB until closer to the end of June. I thought they'd take it easy with him after not playing for so long.

Good on the Twins. Lately, they've been aggressive with prospects, maybe even to a fault (eg. Hicks, Aaron).

#10 jokin

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 04:53 PM

Wow. I didn't expect to see Rosario back in NB until closer to the end of June. I thought they'd take it easy with him after not playing for so long.

Good on the Twins. Lately, they've been aggressive with prospects, maybe even to a fault (eg. Hicks, Aaron).


I think the move with Rosario ties in with the aggressive move to bring in Morales. The Twins are going for it, and Rosario is being given an opportunity to prove that he might just be the option that can solidify CF sometime in the 2nd half of the season.

Hicks appears to be playing better with the every-day starting pressure off in CF (still not going to cut it against RH pitching). Sending him down to Rochester for a spell might set him up to be, at worst, a decent 4th OF for the second half run.

And for Vargas, bringing in Morales lets Gardy practice his lineup scenarios with a fairly identical cut-out for the role that Kennys might fill next year.

Terry Ryan must be more back on the job than has been made public, I highly doubt any of these moves happen without him having conceptualized this to some degree.

#11 TKGuy

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 05:05 PM

Wow. I didn't expect to see Rosario back in NB until closer to the end of June. I thought they'd take it easy with him after not playing for so long.

Good on the Twins. Lately, they've been aggressive with prospects, maybe even to a fault (eg. Hicks, Aaron).


Just depends, see Meyer, Alex

#12 John Bonnes

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 06:33 PM

Fantastic write-up jokin. Awesome.

#13 jokin

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:48 PM

Fantastic write-up jokin. Awesome.



Thank you, John.

#14 DocBauer

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 10:55 PM

Love the write up Jokin.

Also very high on Vargas. Kid has talent and really seems to be growing as a hitter.

I wonder, how is his physical stature? If he slimmed down a bit, would he be a better option as at least an occasional ML 1B?

Dont want to stand in his way, but still like the Morales signing and potential re-sign

#15 Halsey Hall

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 09:24 AM

I really like Vargas. He's got a Kirby Puckett mentality and has great power from both sides of the plate. He doesn't get cheated in his at bats. He'll be a great DH and I believe he can play 1st base on occasion also. I hope he continues in has learning and we see him next year.

#16 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 09:49 AM

I really like Vargas. He's got a Kirby Puckett mentality and has great power from both sides of the plate. He doesn't get cheated in his at bats. He'll be a great DH and I believe he can play 1st base on occasion also. I hope he continues in has learning and we see him next year.


Thanks for the extra insights, Halsey. I know you were living the dream in Ft Myers for many of us snowbound types in March. I'm wondering if you had any opportunities to gauge the power of his charismatic personality and athleticism relative to someone like Keith Law labeling him a future AAAA dud. I like your analogy to Kirby, there were many that also scoffed that Puck was for real when he first arrived on the scene back in the mid-80s.

#17 Jim H

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 01:08 PM

A few weeks back, Klaw said that he was a AAAA player - too big.


I don't think Vargas' size is the problem. His lack of position is a bit of a problem. The real problem maybe- is his bat quick enough? The Twins for years had a lot of guys who had power in the minors but sometimes they couldn't catch up to major league fastballs. Buchanon and LeCroy were 2 examples. If they cheated on the fastball, they would have problems with good breaking balls. To some degree, Parmelee has that problem.

The real question for me with Vargas is-is his bat quick enough? He will be plenty good enough if he can catch up to good major league fastballs.

#18 raindog

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 03:12 PM

"Too big" seems like a silly criticism for a DH-type that has proven he can rake at the AA level. I like Law, but I don't get that at all.

I'm so excited to see him tearing it up. Rosario as well.

#19 jokin

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:11 PM

"Too big" seems like a silly criticism for a DH-type that has proven he can rake at the AA level. I like Law, but I don't get that at all.

I'm so excited to see him tearing it up. Rosario as well.


Bingo. It's pretty universally accepted that the move to AA is the toughest- what's not to like so far, Mr Law? I'm wondering when exactly Klaw stated his negative dismissal about Vargas' chances and his future AAAA-ness, during this season, or previously? Pretty callous if it was before one PA at New Britain. His consistently strong performance since April 20 convinces me that he has a decent shot at pretty good major league success.

And Rosario has come out of the chute far better than I think anyone could have expected- and playing mostly in CF. I'm wondering if he got a pep talk from Ryan during the down time wherein TR laid it out to Eddie what a big opportunity he had in front of him. (FWIW, Ryan sounded none too optimistic about Buxton taking the field any time soon).

#20 Halsey Hall

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:46 AM

Thanks for the extra insights, Halsey. I know you were living the dream in Ft Myers for many of us snowbound types in March. I'm wondering if you had any opportunities to gauge the power of his charismatic personality and athleticism relative to someone like Keith Law labeling him a future AAAA dud. I like your analogy to Kirby, there were many that also scoffed that Puck was for real when he first arrived on the scene back in the mid-80s.


Jokin, I don't follow Keith Law or any of those other guys but it seems he's well respected by many here at TD where I get most of my info. I often wonder just how much on the scene time those guys spend. Anyway, spending time at spring training since it opened in Ft Myers, and having worked there for a number of years, and being there daily, one can't help but get a good insight into a lot of personalities. There are a number of individuals who's names jump out, but Kirby and David Ortiz are high on the list. Vargas reminds me of them. He's the "jump on my back" type of guy. And he's shown the athletic ability to do so at every level so far. He really could have a good ML career.

Just a little story from this spring: I started collecting bats, most all autographed some years back, and have about 40. One that isn't signed is a David Ortiz bat he game me after he cracked it. I've spent hours trying to get him to sign it with no luck. He and Kennys are fairly tight and I heard late in the spring he was going over to David's place, so I asked if he'd take the bat and get it signed for me. No problem, he took it, happily. About 4 days later he brought me the bat and had no luck, as they didn't get together. Camp was about to break and things do get hectic in those days. But, he tried, and I was appreciative for that. That's the kind of kid he is. LOL, I don't have one of his and would really like one.

#21 birdwatcher

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:02 AM

Just a terrific write-up, jokin, thanks. And thanks, Halsey. Love the stories from you, so keep 'em coming.

#22 Pitz

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:57 AM

Regarding Laws comment. It came from his May 30th chat:

Paul (Dallas, TX)

Thoughts on Kennys Vargas (New Britain - Twins) making it to The Show this year and projection as a pro hitter?
Klaw (3:09 PM)


AAAA guy for me. Certainly not a 1b. Only one 1b in the majors clocking in at three hundred bills right now and he's on the DL.


I've been a little skeptical of Vargas up until this year. He seems to definitely be showing something at AA this year. I wonder how much Law has really paid attention to Vargas this year, especially with all the draft work. Vargas' season has definitely been solid and encouraging for Twins' prospect followers, but maybe not so loud for national analysts such as Law to really take notice.

#23 LimestoneBaggy

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:00 PM

Perhaps a comparison study with Randy Ruiz would change KLaw's mind? But seriously, it would be fantastic if Vargas could develop into a everyday major league-caliber player. Would go a long way to developing a contender.
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#24 jokin

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:36 PM

Regarding Laws comment. It came from his May 30th chat:

Paul (Dallas, TX)

Thoughts on Kennys Vargas (New Britain - Twins) making it to The Show this year and projection as a pro hitter?
Klaw (3:09 PM)


AAAA guy for me. Certainly not a 1b. Only one 1b in the majors clocking in at three hundred bills right now and he's on the DL.


I've been a little skeptical of Vargas up until this year. He seems to definitely be showing something at AA this year. I wonder how much Law has really paid attention to Vargas this year, especially with all the draft work. Vargas' season has definitely been solid and encouraging for Twins' prospect followers, but maybe not so loud for national analysts such as Law to really take notice.


Can Twins Fan From Afar be certain to have this above tacked onto Kennys' locker, if it hasn't been already? (translated into Spanish, of course, with a dart board face of Klaw):

Posted Image


[h=3]Memo to Keith Law: Know Your Role and Shut Your D*** Mouth.[/h]


https://roadto90.wor...ss.com/2011/04/

Edited by jokin, 09 June 2014 - 01:39 PM.


#25 JB_Iowa

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 03:34 PM

Can Twins Fan From Afar be certain to have this above tacked onto Kennys' locker, if it hasn't been already? (translated into Spanish, of course, with a dart board face of Klaw)


They should just put that dartboard face in the centerfield stands and give him something to aim for.

#26 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 04:56 PM

They should just put that dartboard face in the centerfield stands and give him something to aim for.


I'm heading there this weekend to do an interview. I'll see if I can put it up there :)
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#27 Thrylos

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:20 PM

Only one 1b in the majors clocking in at three hundred bills right now and he's on the DL..


I think that

Adam Dunn
Ryan Howard
Miguel Cabrera
(to mention a few not named Ortiz)

would beg to differ. The issue with Fielder is that he is 5'10" and 300 lbs. Vargas is a better first baseman (with the glove) that the 4 aforementioned and with Mauer on the team, Kennys will likely replace Kendrys at DH.

I don't know when Law saw Vargas play last
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#28 twinsfan34

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 08:07 PM

I actually asked Klaw that question...glad to see everyone else here had the same thoughts.

As the thought bubble was more than just Prince, granted, I'd take Prince's first 8 years of production for Vargas without shedding a tear!

But Frank Thomas, and of course, Vargas' own personal mentor, David Ortiz.

But even so, was hoping for a more specific analysis. "doesn't generate enough bat speed" or "poor pitch recognition" versus comparing him to a perennial all-star who's over 300 lbs, but currently injured.

Thrylos says he can hit now...I hope Thrylos is right, not Klaw.

Edited by twinsfan34, 09 June 2014 - 08:10 PM.


#29 jokin

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:58 AM

I'm heading there this weekend to do an interview. I'll see if I can put it up there :)


Anxiously looking forward to your article, Andrew. How's your Spanish? Hope you can get a face-to-face with Kennys and Eddie for starters, for sure. New Britain (or wherever the AA affiliate lands) is going to be the Twins minor league place to be for the next few years. Better order some more dart boards!