I want to first start off my thanking Seth for writing me about posting some blog entries on this new Twins Daily site. I enjoy writing and think I can offer up some cool stories throughout the year. I think I’m a pretty positive guy so if your looking for any kind of dirt on any of my teammates, you wont find it in this section! I’ll try and write about once a week or so, and keep things interesting for you all.
In my first post, I wanted to start off with a little background info about myself. I was born in Maryland, and lived there until I was 14, when my father and I moved down to South Florida in a motor home. We had one thing in mind when we left my entire family and everything we knew; that was baseball. There is really no baseball background in my family besides my late grandfather and hero who attended an open tryout at Fenway Park many years ago. He did not get to sign any contracts after that day, but I will never forget him saying to me that it was one of the best days of his life. My dad also used to joke with me and say that he hit a triple once when he was younger. That was about the extent of his baseball highlights.
After attending 2 different high schools, I signed a letter of intent with the University of Florida. I wasn’t a prospect out of high school (or college, or now for that matter), but Florida saw enough in me to give me my shot. I could have gone to some smaller schools and possibly made a bigger impact right off the bat. However, I knew I would have rather gone to a big D-1, wait for my time, and learn how the top of college baseball was played. There are some freshman who go to school and perform right off the bat. I was not one of them! I had some bright spots, but mostly I took some hits and learned from my mistakes. I feel like throughout my career nothing in baseball has ever come with immediate results for me.
However, with anything in life, if you put 100% of your passion and effort into something, your going to get better. I’ve always thought that if I make the conscious effort to improve on something every week, month, and year, that eventually I’m going to be a pretty dang good pitcher. After starting my college career putting up a 7 ERA as a freshman, I finished as a junior with a 2.25 who was drafted in the 12th round by the Twins.
My time in the Twins organization has been awesome. Spring training, the season, the bus rides, the hotels, guys getting called up, ect.; these are all experiences that make minor league baseball such an incredible journey. I will be writing about most of these things throughout the season. In a huge sense, there is an entire minor league culture that the average fan can’t see or appreciate. I understand the great difference between looking at a stat sheet at the end of the year and watching, first hand, someone play 142 games. There are a number of my teammates who don’t get a lot of spot light, who I believe are going to be big leaguers for a long time. It is my hope that my writing about some of these hidden aspects of the game can bring this culture to life for the fans.
Last year I was limited to less than 30 innings due to my ulnar nerve in my elbow constantly giving me problems. I had times when I’d be throwing, and it would feel like my arm, from my elbow down to my fingers, was asleep. This occurred several times over the course of the year. It ended in a surgical procedure where they went in and moved the nerve up a few inches, and into a muscle groove where it would no longer move and bother me. I spent 3 months rehabbing in Ft. Myers. By the 4th month, I was back on the mound. I can’t wait to take on a full year of being healthy and continue working on the things that are going to hopefully make me into a big leaguer.
That’s all I have for now. But I will write again before Spring training and continue to update it throughout the year. Thanks for reading!