That my choice for Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year, Andrew Albers, paid his own way to Ft. Myers for a tryout with the Twins. He was later reimbursed, but he went to Ft. Myers knowing that if the Twins didn't sign him, he was ready to drive back home to Canada and begin life after baseball.
Instead, the Twins signed the 25 year old left-hander. After spending a couple of weeks at Extended Spring Training, he was promoted 'across the parking lot' to the Ft. Myers Miracle. He pitched great for the Miracle and was eventually promoted to AA New Britain where he continued to pitch well.
Following the season, he was named to Team Canada for the World Cup tournament in Panama. Tom Stuifbergen (Netherlands) was the tournament's top pitcher, but with over 15 scoreless innings, Albers pitched great as well. He then pitched for Canada in the Pan Am games and was the winning pitcher in the championship game.
Not a bad year for Albers. And I'm sure the Twins are happy to have reimbursed his trip to Ft. Myers.