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Article: Get to Know Twins New Catcher Ryan Jeffers

ryan jeffers minnesota twins mlb draft
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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 05:30 PM

The Minnesota Twins didn’t hold the first overall pick in the 2018 draft, but they made two very nice selections in the early going this year. After taking a college outfielder in the first round, they went back behind the plate in round two. After taking Ben Rortvedt in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft, Ryan Jeffers became the 2nd catcher Minnesota drafted that high in the past three years.Since Joe Mauer moved out from behind the plate for the Twins, the position has been in flux. From guys like Wilson Ramos to Kurt Suzuki, and Jason Castro to Mitch Garver, stability behind the plate hasn’t been something the Twins could hang their hat on. Recently named an honorable mention All American by Perfect Game, Jeffers hopes to offer some help in that category.
The UNC-Wilmington product batted .315/.460/.635 last season, and Twins Scouting Director Deron Johnson thinks he’ll stick behind the dish. I recently had the opportunity to interview Jeffers, and it’s apparent he’s excited to get going with his pro career.
Twins Daily: Catchers being taken early in the draft generally signifies a high ability to stick behind the plate. You were fourth off the board and the second college catcher taken. How would you describe your game? Did you call the action in college? What’s a separating ability of yours?

Ryan Jeffers: I would describe my game and myself as a plus defender with the ability to learn and work hard to constantly improve every aspect of my game. I am looking forward to learning and growing and becoming an All-Star caliber backstop. I did call most of my game in college and I think that is something that really helped me maximize my ability. It helped me learn how to read hitters and swings and taught me different ways I can make my pitchers better. I think my receiving, mindset, and intelligence will separate me from others.

TD: When the pick came in, MLB Network talked about your offensive ability and production at the plate. What is your approach like in the batters box? Your numbers suggest there’s lots of pop there, is that something you key in on?

RJ: I have a patient approach in the box. I like to wait on a pitch I can really hit hard. Whether that pitch comes in the first two pitches or later in the at-bat, I will be ready to put my best swing on it. I always try to hit the ball as hard as I can. Solid contact and good exit velo leads to lots of extra base hits and home runs. So, I just try and key on hard contact and the rest will work itself out.

TD: Both at the plate and behind it, development will obviously take place at the next level. What areas are you most looking forward to refining and advancing your game?

RJ: For me I really am looking forward to refining every aspect of my game. There always is a need to get better. No matter how good you are you can always improve some aspect of your game. As I work through the minors and learn more and more about the game, I will continue to look to constantly improve.

TD: Being from North Carolina and staying home for college, have you been to Minnesota before? What is your knowledge of Target Field and the Twins organization?

RJ: I have never been to Minnesota before however I knew a little bit about the organization just from following baseball for so long. My trip to Minnesota and Target Field right after the draft really helped me get a better feel of the Twins and the area. What an awesome facility/field.

TD: What was the draft process like for you? Did you have a feeling the Twins were keyed in on taking you in the 2nd round? Were you watching live with family or how did you take it all in?

RJ: It was a pretty amazing feeling getting drafted by such a well-run organization. I was honored to have my name called by the twins. I knew the Twins liked me, but a lot of different things can happen on draft night, so you never know what will happen. I had just gotten back to Wilmington after playing in the regionals that Monday. I was unpacking and hanging with my girlfriend when I got the call.

TD: You’ve got the floor here, what’s the message you want Twins Territory to know about Ryan Jeffers and how you’ll attack your pro career?

RJ: I just want the Twins nation to know that I am ready to work and get after it. I am looking forward to playing in front of the amazing Twins fans and winning many games and championships in a Twins uniform. GO TWINS!!

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- Ted Schwerzler
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#2 Monkeypaws

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 05:41 PM

Well, at least he's gonna get after it. Should fit right in. 

 

I do wish he'd work his tail off too though.

 

 

 

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#3 ashburyjohn

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 06:31 PM

Well, at least he's gonna get after it. Should fit right in. 

 

I do wish he'd work his tail off too though.

Does he answer to Jeffersie?

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Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.-- Robert Louis Stevenson


#4 Mike Sixel

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 07:58 PM

Great of him to do this! Good luck to him

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#5 goulik

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 08:08 PM

Does he answer to Jeffersie?


Especially if he's in Cedar Rapids with Toby Gardenhire

Edited by goulik, 14 June 2018 - 08:39 PM.

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#6 Dman

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 08:37 PM

I guess good defense is in the eye of the beholder.I believe he only threw out 25 percent stealers.I guess I don't consider that great defense.

 

I like him as a hitter.Hoping defense is better than what most evaluaters believe they saw.

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#7 IndyTwinsFan

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 05:21 AM

 

I guess good defense is in the eye of the beholder.I believe he only threw out 25 percent stealers.I guess I don't consider that great defense.

 

I like him as a hitter.Hoping defense is better than what most evaluaters believe they saw.

The only thing I can say to that is that we just don't know how many of those stolen bases were basically off the pitcher instead of the catcher. No way that I know of to really know for sure.

 

I'm willing to give him benefit of the doubt until we get a better read.

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#8 Doctor Wu

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 06:24 AM

Great interview, Ted. Thanks for posting that. Very helpful to know more about these new players.


#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 08:50 AM

 

The only thing I can say to that is that we just don't know how many of those stolen bases were basically off the pitcher instead of the catcher. No way that I know of to really know for sure.

 

I'm willing to give him benefit of the doubt until we get a better read.

 

Also steel percentage is one of many, many ways of evaluating catcher defense... some analytical, some just viewing the mechanics (arm strength, footwork, athleticism, blocking, etc.)

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#10 Dman

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 09:44 AM

Nice write up here on Jeffers .Sounds like Twins see a Garver comp for him. He has a borderline plus arm and they have heard good things about his defense.They are not as worried as other evaluaters about his numbers being down when using wood bats.Hopefully they are right.


#11 DocBauer

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 10:50 AM

Falvine, I believe it was, during a game broadcast shortly after the draft also commented they definitely believe he stays behind the plate.

His approach to hitting not only sounds good, but that power and OB are mighty impressive for anyone, much less a catcher.

I find it very interesting he mostly called his own game. It's been my understanding that fewer and fewer college catchers are doing that, deferring to the bench.

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

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