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Front Page: Get to Know: Osiris Germán, Steve Cruz and Frandy Torres

osiris guzman steven cruz frandy torres fred guerrero jeff smith
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 05:02 PM

Burlington, North Carolina - Each of the last three years, I drove two hours, from Fayetteville, NC, to Burlington, NC, to watch the Minnesota Twins Rookie League team play against the Burlington Royals. I could not miss the opportunity to talk to Osiris German, Frandy Torres and Steven Cruz, three of four Latin pitchers that are part of the Elizabethton Twins’ roster.Osiris German is in his third year as a professional. When I asked him about his career and pitch repertoire, he replied: “I think I'm on the right track. I think I have a pretty good change up. I think it is my best pitch. I have to work more on my slider because I want to be able to feel more confidence when I use it”.

For German, last year was his first year playing here in the States. He started 17 games with GCL, and he ended the season with 2-2 and 2.57 ERA.

For him, being a Dominican and playing in the States has been a beautiful challenge, “For me, it has been key do not feel ashamed (about the fact that I am not a native English speaker). I always practice and speak English because that’s the only way to survive.”

Elizabethton Twins has a total of eight Latin players between Dominicans and Venezuelans, and if you are a baseball fan you know that those baseball players spend more time with their “baseball brothers” than with their families. German told me that there is a nice environment in the clubhouse, especially with the Latin players. “All the Latin players have a good relationship, for me Prelander Berroa (now with San Francisco) is the one that is always making jokes, and Frandy Torres is the opposite. He is super quiet”.

After the daily pitcher’s workout, I sat with Steven Cruz, the young RHP from Tanares, D.R, to talk a little bit about his beginning. “I’m from a really small town in the Dominican Republic. I started to play baseball because my brother used to play baseball. Unfortunately, he was not able to become a pro player, but I always said that I will do it, and Thank God, here I am.”

With Elizabethton, Cruz has the second best ERA among pitchers with 20 or more innings (2.49 ERA). With three years as a professional, Cruz has been able to develop his pitches and recognize which one works better for him, “If I’m in trouble, then I use my sinker.”

Cruz agrees with Germán about the good relationship they have with their teammates. “We have a good relationship. We are like brothers.”

Baseball life also represents the opportunity to adapt to multiple changes, not just as a player but as a person. “Now everything is different because we do not live at the Twins complex (Fort Myers). We live in a house. We have to cook, to do everything by ourselves.”

That’s something he says has been a good experience for him.

Minnesota Twins Latin American Scout, Fred Guerrero was responsible for the signing of Frandy Torres. Unlike most baseball players, Torres wasn’t part of a regular tryout with the Twins, but he had the opportunity to go directly to the Twins complex in Boca Chica where he was evaluated by Guerrero. For Torres, baseball is a continuous learning process, “I try to be focused every day. For me, concentration is key. Sometimes it is hard to be away from your family, but I always try to be positive, and I always remember that I’m also doing this for them”.

Frandy is 23 years old but mature enough to know how important it is to have a man like Jeff Smith as a Manager. “He is a good person. He treats everyone in the same way and that’s very important.”

Torres also talked about the importance of having Richard Salazar as a Pitching Coach. “It is very positive to have a pitching coach that can speak Spanish. He is a good person, and he is always helping us”.

I asked Frandy how he sees himself in couple of years, and he said “I see myself as a better player but also as a better person. I want to keep working hard and I always want God to help me be humble.”

Thank you to Mariana Guzman for this article, but also to Osiris German, Steven Cruz and Frandy Torres for their insights.

Click here to view the article
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#2 Twinsoholic

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 06:09 AM

I also want to thank Mariana Guzman for interviewing the players and writing the article. Minor league ball is challenging in so many ways if your first language is English. Think about the off the field challenges for the Latinos. It is great that they are becoming bi-lingual. I wish them all the best and hope to see them playing in the majors for the Twins.
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#3 operation mindcrime

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:20 AM

Thanks for the article! \m/

#4 Han Joelo

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 09:04 AM

Always great to be reminded of the human side.  It's got to be tough for guys like Berroa and Teng to switch organizations at this point in his career.


#5 highlander

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 05:41 PM

Nice article. Is Maria the Super Mom that adopts a lot of the minor leaguers? Makes sure that they are doing the correct things away from the ballpark. If so, love you Maria! If not still sending love your way.

#6 jamisea

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 07:51 AM

Keep going guys and we'll see you in Pensacola soon. Our family has hosted quite a few of the Latin players this season and they are really great guys.

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