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  1. As we are just days away from the 2018 MLB Draft, there are a few Minnesota natives that could find themselves drafted in the first ten rounds of the draft. And that Gophers baseball team that faced the Twins in an exhibition game in February could have as many as eight players drafted this year. We’ll get to those Gophers, but let’s start with the guy who just might be the highest player from Minnesota to be drafted. SEAN HJELLE Hjelle graduated from Mahtomedi High School three years ago. Despite being 6-10 and working with an upper-80s fastball, he went undrafted. He decided to go to the University of Kentucky. He worked out of their bullpen as a freshman. Last year as a sophomore, he moved into their rotation and was the SEC Pitcher of the Year. Now 6-11, Hjelle sits in the 92-94 range with his fastball and touches 95 and 96 at times. He also has a good changeup and curveball, both pitches in the low 80s. Unlike many tall pitchers, Hjelle is very coordinated and has a very repeatable delivery. He is expected to be taken anywhere from the late first round to the early second round. JAKE IRVIN The Minnesota Twins drafted the Bloomington Jefferson grad in the 37th round of the 2015 draft. He chose to attend Oklahoma where he has become a Friday night starter and an All American. He has gone 18-7 during his three years. In 2018, he is 6-2 with a 2.84 ERA. He struck out 109 batters in 91 2/3 innings (just 24 walks). At 6-6 and 225 pounds, he’s got a great build for a pitcher. He’s got good mechanics and a fastball that reaches to 93-94 mph. He also throws a slider and a changeup as well. He could be drafted as high as the second round and should be selected before the fifth round ends. SETH HALVORSEN There are a lot of good high school starting pitchers in the draft this year, and Seth Halversen from Heritage Christian Academy is the tops from Minnesota. He has a commitment to the University of Missouri where he would pitch and play shortstop. In terms of the draft, it is clear that he would be seen as a pitcher. He considers himself a shortstop first, but he obviously understands that he’s got a big arm. He has a very strong arm and has hit 95 and even 96 on some radar guns this spring. He also has a hard slider in the upper 70s that could be a real good pitch. In comparison to Carlson, Halvorsen is much more raw. But he’s got good size and big potential. He could be taken as early as the late second round. He should be taken in the third or fourth rounds. But as always, money will factor into it and if he doesn’t get his number, he could fall and happily head to Missouri. AIDAN MALDONADO Maldonado attends Rosemount High School and has a commitment to play at Illinois next year. However, he is an intriguing draft possibility. While he stands just 6-0 tall and weighs in at just 175 pounds, he has already been clocked up to 95 mph. He’s got a real smooth delivery with efficient arm action along with a three-pitch mix. Right now, he primarily works anywhere from 88-92 mph but he’s got room to add more velocity. He fits in as a potential fifth to seventh round pick though signability may push him back a few rounds, or potentially down to the later rounds for a team willing to take a flyer. GUS VARLAND Varland has a lot of steam. The right-hander from Concordia-St. Paul has reached 97 mph with his fastball this spring. He went 7-1 with a 1.04 ERA his junior season. In 60 1/3 innings, he struck out 79 and walked 14. He’s high energy and kind of a max effort guy. He’s got a decent slider too. Probably profiles as a reliever eventually, especially as he’s just 6-1 and 190 pounds. The North St. Paul graduate could be a Day 2 draft pick. His brother (Louie) has a very similar profile and could be drafted next year. THE GOPHERS The Gophers are having a remarkable season. When we talked to some of their seniors on the podcast before the season, there was definitely an excitement. The theme then was that they had a veteran lineup and some very talented, but very young pitchers. Today, they host their first regional tournament in over a decade as they take on Canisius. There could be anywhere from five to eight Gophers drafted, and here is a little bit about each. TERRIN VAVRA Vavra is the son of long-time Twins coach Joe Vavra (now with the Tigers) and the brother of former Twins minor leaguers Tanner Vavra and Trey Vavra. As good as those two were, there was an acceptance that Terrin had the most talent. The Menomonie, Wisconsin, native received a late offer from the Gophers and accepted. Just this week, he was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America. In 53 games, he’s hit .385/.458/.620 (1.078) with 11 doubles, three triples and ten home runs. He could got as high as the fourth or fifth round of the draft. Listen to Terrin’s appearance on my podcast. BEN MEZZENGA The Shoreview native attended Totino-Grace High School. Now a junior, he got a bigger opportunity to play and took advantage. In 54 games played, Mezzenga hit .381/.470/.440 (.910) with eight doubles and a triple. He’s stolen 11 bases. He’s a real good athlete who can play all around the outfield. He could be a late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick. ALEX BOXWELL The outfielder is a senior from Coon Rapids. He was injured during his junior season which likely cost him from being drafted and also caused him to miss the Cape Cod League opportunity. This season, he's hitting .264/.315/.393 (.708) with seven doubles, a triple and four homers. He also has a team-leading 19 stolen bases. Boxwell is intriguing because he is a such a good athlete. He's got power potential and great speed. REGGIE MEYER In 15 starts this year for the Gophers, Meyer is 7-3 with a 2.75 ERA. In 95 innings, he’s walked 13 and struck out 65. Meyer is a redshirt junior who also went to Totino-Grace in high school. He went 5-1 in 2017. He stands 6-4 and 210 pounds. He’s pitched real well for the Gophers late in the year and threw a complete game shutout in the Big 10 tournament. He tops out right around 90, but he’s got a good feel for pitching and command of three pitches. He’s got a year of eligibility remaining, so he may come back even when he gets selected sometime on Day 3. NICK LACKNEY The 6-4, 205 pound left-hander is from Wisconsin Bay, but he chose to attend Minnesota. After working in relief his first two Gophers seasons, he made 10 starts for them in 2018. He went 4-2 despite an ERA over five. He struck out 43 batters in 45 2/3 innings. The numbers may not jump off the charts, but he’s left-handed and throws into the 90s. Could be a Day 3 pick, though he likely would come back for his senior season. JACKSON ROSE Rose is a senior from Omaha who would love to finish his college career playing at the College World Series in Omaha. The 6-2 right-hander has really become a reliable bullpen option for John Anderson. This year, he worked 27 innings over 20 appearances. He posted a 2.00 ERA. He struck out 26 batters and walked 13. Probably a late-round flyer. JAKE STEVENSON Jake Stevenson is a hard-throwing right-hander. At 6-4 and 225 pounds, he’s strong and his velocity is now reaching into the low and mid-90s. He made seven starts and worked out of the bullpen five times. The junior from Waconia posted a 5.52 ERA, and in 29 1/3 innings, he walked 16 and struck out 15. So, based on the numbers, you can see why it is the scouting stuff that could make him a late-round pick. MICAH COFFEY Coffey came to Minnesota from Batavia, Illinois. The 6-1, 200 pound corner infielder has had a really strong career with the Gophers. He got off to a slow start this year, but he’s now hitting .281/.370/.414 (.784) with nine doubles, two triples and five home runs. He is a good athlete with a strong arm and a good approach at the plate and potential to hit for some power. Listen to Micah’s appearance on my podcast which also included Clark Beeker, Hector Lujan and Cory Provus.. TOBY HANSON Hanson was off to a fast start in his senior season. He had a strong junior season in which he played all 57 games and returned for his senior year. Unfortunately, a wrist injury cost him nearly a month and slowed down his numbers. Overall, he’s’ still hit .306/.382/.439 (.821) with 14 doubles, two triples and a homer. At 6-2 and 220 pounds,, he does have potential to hit for power (when his wrists are right). The Delano grad has played a lot of first base but early this year he was playing in right field as well. Listen to Toby’s appearance on my podcast which also includes Aaron Slegers, Royce Lewis, Brent Rooker and Alex Kirilloff. LUKE PETTERSEN Pettersen has played all four seasons for the Gophers since joining the school from Minnetonka High School. The 6-0, 185 pound, second baseman has been the team’s leadoff hitter throughout his senior season. He is hitting .333/.415/.414 (.829) with 13 doubles, one triple and his first college home run. His 13 stolen bases led the team. Luke’s brother AJ played for the Gophers and was the Twins 25th round pick in 2011 and spent four years in the organization. Luke Pettersen appeared on the first episode of my podcast (with Jonathan Mayo, Stephen Gonsalves, LaMonte Wade and Tyler Wells) and then Episode 7 of the podcast (with Dick Bremer, Jake Reed, Jordan Gore and Pat Mahomes). While Vavra could be drafted in the first five rounds or so, it’s really hard to predict where the seniors will be drafted. As you know, senior-signs can help a team stay under its draft allotment because they sign for way below slot value. Most of them will be selected sometime on Day 3. OTHER POSSIBLE DRAFT PICKS Here are a few more Minnesota-related names to remember as you watch and listen to the draft next week. DALTON ROACH As a junior, Roach went 10-1 with a 1.56 ERA for Mankato. He struck out 128 and walked just 12 batters in 86 2/3 innings. He went undrafted despite the big numbers. He returned for his senior season and went 8-2 with a 3.30 ERA. In 71 innings, he walked 15 and struck out 86. He has an upper-80s fastball that reaches into the low-90s. He’s got four pitches and could be a mid-Day 3 pick by the right team. HENRY DeCASTER DeCaster is a junior at St. Thomas. The right-handed pitcher went 8-3 with a 2.42 ERA for the Tommies in 2018. The Mounds View graduate stands 6-3 and 190 pounds, so he’s got room to grow. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and reaches into the 90s. Possible late-round pick. NICOLAS JUIAIRE Juiaire goes to Lakeville North High School. The catcher has committed to Texas Christian University. He doesn’t have the size typically seen in a higher draft pick, but he’s worth watching. He’s just 5-8 and 175 pounds. He’s good behind the plate. He’s got a strong and accurate arm. He’s got quick feet. He frequently has “pop times” below 2.0. He is a switch hitter with gap-to-gap power. He’s had a solid spring offensively. He’s a real good athlete and could be a later-round draft pick for someone. DYLAN TEBRAKE The right-hander from Rocori High School has had several scouts at most of his starts this year. Over a year ago, he committed to play at Creighton University in Omaha. He has had a strong season this year In fact, he threw seven innings of a no hitter against a Parker Hageman led Holy Angels team this year. In another game about two weeks ago, he was taken out at 75 pitches on a Tuesday. Why? To appease pro scouts who wanted to see him on that Saturday. NATHANIEL PETERSON Peterson is another player from Lakeville North. He has committed to Oklahoma State. The lefty from Lakeville North generally got pretty good control of a fastball that reaches 90 or just a tick above,, and he’s got a good feel for his secondary pitches. He stands 5-11, or maybe 6-0, so if he grows, he’s got room for improvement. Likely a late-round pick, if selected at all this year. He may be one to remember for the 2021 draft though. DAVID RODERICK Roderick is a right-hander who reaches back and throws over 90 mph with his fastball already. He has really come a long way in the last couple of years. He was a very skinny kid with an awkward motion and delivery as recently as two years ago. But he’s filled out and the Minnetonka grad is now throwing harder with a much more fluid delivery. He is committed to Oklahoma. If the right scout saw him on the right day, he could be drafted in the teens, but with a strong commitment, he’s likely headed to college. There should be several Minnesotans drafted next week in the 2018 MLB Draft. There are even three or four of these guys who will be drafted in the top five rounds. If you want to get excited about the 2019 MLB Draft, names like Matt Wallner and Michael Busch could be first-round picks. Feel free to discuss the names mentioned above, and let me know if I missed anyone. UPDATED The draft is complete. Here is a list of Minnesotans drafted: Sean Hjelle - RHP - 2nd round - (Kentucky, Mahtomedi HS) Terrin Vavra - SS - 3rd round - Colorado Rockies (Gophers) Luke Becker - 2B - 9th round - San Diego Padres (Kentucky, ,Fairmont, MN) Gus Varland - RHP - 14th round - Oakland A's (North St. Paul, Concordia St. Paul) Jacob Rhinesmith - OF - 18th round - Washington Nationals (Western Kentucky, Shakopee HS) Ryan Tapani - RHP - 21st round - Washington Nationals (Creighton, Providence Academy) Dalton Roach - RHP - 21st round - Houston Astros (Minn State - Mankato) Kellin Rholl - LHP - 25th round - Cleveland (Angelo St., Mound View) Zach Seipel - RHP - 27th round - Atlanta (UM-Crookston, Eagan)) Micah Coffey - SS - 30th round - Chicago White Sox (Gophers) Seth Halvorsen - RHP - 30th round - Minnesota Twins (Heritage Christian Academy) Jackson Rose - RHP - 35th round - Miami Marlins (Gophers) Tyler Reichenborn - OF - 35th round - LA Dodgers (Iowa Western CC, Blaine HS) Brandon Williamson - LHP - 36th round - Milwaukee Brewers (North Iowa Area CC, Welcome, MN) Reggie Meyer - RHP - 38th round - Texas Rangers (Gophers, Totino-Grace) Aidan Maldonado - RHP - 38th round - Milwaukee Brewers (Rosemount HS)
  2. In recent years, it has been fun to follow the Twins draft, especially during the really bad years when the Twins received some very high draft picks. For me, it’s also fun to hear the names of Minnesota natives get selected and get the opportunity to live out a dream. Today, we take a quick glimpse to see which Minnesotans could be drafted. It is unusual to have Minnesota natives in the first round. Guys like Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins are rare. But last year, Burnsville’s Sam Carlson was a second-round pick of the Mariners. Michael Baumann, a Mahtomedi graduate who went to Jacksonville University, was a third-round pick. The Twins drafted Woodbury’s Max Meyer late in the draft a year ago. He didn’t sign and he’s currently the closer for the NCAA regional-hosting Gophers. UPDATED - See bottom of article for results of draft. Where were Minnesotans selected?As we are just days away from the 2018 MLB Draft, there are a few Minnesota natives that could find themselves drafted in the first ten rounds of the draft. And that Gophers baseball team that faced the Twins in an exhibition game in February could have as many as eight players drafted this year. We’ll get to those Gophers, but let’s start with the guy who just might be the highest player from Minnesota to be drafted. SEAN HJELLE Hjelle graduated from Mahtomedi High School three years ago. Despite being 6-10 and working with an upper-80s fastball, he went undrafted. He decided to go to the University of Kentucky. He worked out of their bullpen as a freshman. Last year as a sophomore, he moved into their rotation and was the SEC Pitcher of the Year. Now 6-11, Hjelle sits in the 92-94 range with his fastball and touches 95 and 96 at times. He also has a good changeup and curveball, both pitches in the low 80s. Unlike many tall pitchers, Hjelle is very coordinated and has a very repeatable delivery. He is expected to be taken anywhere from the late first round to the early second round. JAKE IRVIN The Minnesota Twins drafted the Bloomington Jefferson grad in the 37th round of the 2015 draft. He chose to attend Oklahoma where he has become a Friday night starter and an All American. He has gone 18-7 during his three years. In 2018, he is 6-2 with a 2.84 ERA. He struck out 109 batters in 91 2/3 innings (just 24 walks). At 6-6 and 225 pounds, he’s got a great build for a pitcher. He’s got good mechanics and a fastball that reaches to 93-94 mph. He also throws a slider and a changeup as well. He could be drafted as high as the second round and should be selected before the fifth round ends. SETH HALVORSEN There are a lot of good high school starting pitchers in the draft this year, and Seth Halversen from Heritage Christian Academy is the tops from Minnesota. He has a commitment to the University of Missouri where he would pitch and play shortstop. In terms of the draft, it is clear that he would be seen as a pitcher. He considers himself a shortstop first, but he obviously understands that he’s got a big arm. He has a very strong arm and has hit 95 and even 96 on some radar guns this spring. He also has a hard slider in the upper 70s that could be a real good pitch. In comparison to Carlson, Halvorsen is much more raw. But he’s got good size and big potential. He could be taken as early as the late second round. He should be taken in the third or fourth rounds. But as always, money will factor into it and if he doesn’t get his number, he could fall and happily head to Missouri. AIDAN MALDONADO Maldonado attends Rosemount High School and has a commitment to play at Illinois next year. However, he is an intriguing draft possibility. While he stands just 6-0 tall and weighs in at just 175 pounds, he has already been clocked up to 95 mph. He’s got a real smooth delivery with efficient arm action along with a three-pitch mix. Right now, he primarily works anywhere from 88-92 mph but he’s got room to add more velocity. He fits in as a potential fifth to seventh round pick though signability may push him back a few rounds, or potentially down to the later rounds for a team willing to take a flyer. GUS VARLAND Varland has a lot of steam. The right-hander from Concordia-St. Paul has reached 97 mph with his fastball this spring. He went 7-1 with a 1.04 ERA his junior season. In 60 1/3 innings, he struck out 79 and walked 14. He’s high energy and kind of a max effort guy. He’s got a decent slider too. Probably profiles as a reliever eventually, especially as he’s just 6-1 and 190 pounds. The North St. Paul graduate could be a Day 2 draft pick. His brother (Louie) has a very similar profile and could be drafted next year. THE GOPHERS The Gophers are having a remarkable season. When we talked to some of their seniors on the podcast before the season, there was definitely an excitement. The theme then was that they had a veteran lineup and some very talented, but very young pitchers. Today, they host their first regional tournament in over a decade as they take on Canisius. There could be anywhere from five to eight Gophers drafted, and here is a little bit about each. TERRIN VAVRA Vavra is the son of long-time Twins coach Joe Vavra (now with the Tigers) and the brother of former Twins minor leaguers Tanner Vavra and Trey Vavra. As good as those two were, there was an acceptance that Terrin had the most talent. The Menomonie, Wisconsin, native received a late offer from the Gophers and accepted. Just this week, he was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America. In 53 games, he’s hit .385/.458/.620 (1.078) with 11 doubles, three triples and ten home runs. He could got as high as the fourth or fifth round of the draft. Listen to Terrin’s appearance on my podcast. BEN MEZZENGA The Shoreview native attended Totino-Grace High School. Now a junior, he got a bigger opportunity to play and took advantage. In 54 games played, Mezzenga hit .381/.470/.440 (.910) with eight doubles and a triple. He’s stolen 11 bases. He’s a real good athlete who can play all around the outfield. He could be a late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick. ALEX BOXWELL The outfielder is a senior from Coon Rapids. He was injured during his junior season which likely cost him from being drafted and also caused him to miss the Cape Cod League opportunity. This season, he's hitting .264/.315/.393 (.708) with seven doubles, a triple and four homers. He also has a team-leading 19 stolen bases. Boxwell is intriguing because he is a such a good athlete. He's got power potential and great speed. REGGIE MEYER In 15 starts this year for the Gophers, Meyer is 7-3 with a 2.75 ERA. In 95 innings, he’s walked 13 and struck out 65. Meyer is a redshirt junior who also went to Totino-Grace in high school. He went 5-1 in 2017. He stands 6-4 and 210 pounds. He’s pitched real well for the Gophers late in the year and threw a complete game shutout in the Big 10 tournament. He tops out right around 90, but he’s got a good feel for pitching and command of three pitches. He’s got a year of eligibility remaining, so he may come back even when he gets selected sometime on Day 3. NICK LACKNEY The 6-4, 205 pound left-hander is from Wisconsin Bay, but he chose to attend Minnesota. After working in relief his first two Gophers seasons, he made 10 starts for them in 2018. He went 4-2 despite an ERA over five. He struck out 43 batters in 45 2/3 innings. The numbers may not jump off the charts, but he’s left-handed and throws into the 90s. Could be a Day 3 pick, though he likely would come back for his senior season. JACKSON ROSE Rose is a senior from Omaha who would love to finish his college career playing at the College World Series in Omaha. The 6-2 right-hander has really become a reliable bullpen option for John Anderson. This year, he worked 27 innings over 20 appearances. He posted a 2.00 ERA. He struck out 26 batters and walked 13. Probably a late-round flyer. JAKE STEVENSON Jake Stevenson is a hard-throwing right-hander. At 6-4 and 225 pounds, he’s strong and his velocity is now reaching into the low and mid-90s. He made seven starts and worked out of the bullpen five times. The junior from Waconia posted a 5.52 ERA, and in 29 1/3 innings, he walked 16 and struck out 15. So, based on the numbers, you can see why it is the scouting stuff that could make him a late-round pick. MICAH COFFEY Coffey came to Minnesota from Batavia, Illinois. The 6-1, 200 pound corner infielder has had a really strong career with the Gophers. He got off to a slow start this year, but he’s now hitting .281/.370/.414 (.784) with nine doubles, two triples and five home runs. He is a good athlete with a strong arm and a good approach at the plate and potential to hit for some power. Listen to Micah’s appearance on my podcast which also included Clark Beeker, Hector Lujan and Cory Provus.. TOBY HANSON Hanson was off to a fast start in his senior season. He had a strong junior season in which he played all 57 games and returned for his senior year. Unfortunately, a wrist injury cost him nearly a month and slowed down his numbers. Overall, he’s’ still hit .306/.382/.439 (.821) with 14 doubles, two triples and a homer. At 6-2 and 220 pounds,, he does have potential to hit for power (when his wrists are right). The Delano grad has played a lot of first base but early this year he was playing in right field as well. Listen to Toby’s appearanceon my podcast which also includes Aaron Slegers, Royce Lewis, Brent Rooker and Alex Kirilloff. LUKE PETTERSEN Pettersen has played all four seasons for the Gophers since joining the school from Minnetonka High School. The 6-0, 185 pound, second baseman has been the team’s leadoff hitter throughout his senior season. He is hitting .333/.415/.414 (.829) with 13 doubles, one triple and his first college home run. His 13 stolen bases led the team. Luke’s brother AJ played for the Gophers and was the Twins 25th round pick in 2011 and spent four years in the organization. Luke Pettersen appeared on the first episode of my podcast (with Jonathan Mayo, Stephen Gonsalves, LaMonte Wade and Tyler Wells) and then Episode 7 of the podcast (with Dick Bremer, Jake Reed, Jordan Gore and Pat Mahomes). While Vavra could be drafted in the first five rounds or so, it’s really hard to predict where the seniors will be drafted. As you know, senior-signs can help a team stay under its draft allotment because they sign for way below slot value. Most of them will be selected sometime on Day 3. OTHER POSSIBLE DRAFT PICKS Here are a few more Minnesota-related names to remember as you watch and listen to the draft next week. DALTON ROACH As a junior, Roach went 10-1 with a 1.56 ERA for Mankato. He struck out 128 and walked just 12 batters in 86 2/3 innings. He went undrafted despite the big numbers. He returned for his senior season and went 8-2 with a 3.30 ERA. In 71 innings, he walked 15 and struck out 86. He has an upper-80s fastball that reaches into the low-90s. He’s got four pitches and could be a mid-Day 3 pick by the right team. HENRY DeCASTER DeCaster is a junior at St. Thomas. The right-handed pitcher went 8-3 with a 2.42 ERA for the Tommies in 2018. The Mounds View graduate stands 6-3 and 190 pounds, so he’s got room to grow. His fastball sits in the upper 80s and reaches into the 90s. Possible late-round pick. NICOLAS JUIAIRE Juiaire goes to Lakeville North High School. The catcher has committed to Texas Christian University. He doesn’t have the size typically seen in a higher draft pick, but he’s worth watching. He’s just 5-8 and 175 pounds. He’s good behind the plate. He’s got a strong and accurate arm. He’s got quick feet. He frequently has “pop times” below 2.0. He is a switch hitter with gap-to-gap power. He’s had a solid spring offensively. He’s a real good athlete and could be a later-round draft pick for someone. DYLAN TEBRAKE The right-hander from Rocori High School has had several scouts at most of his starts this year. Over a year ago, he committed to play at Creighton University in Omaha. He has had a strong season this year In fact, he threw seven innings of a no hitter against a Parker Hageman led Holy Angels team this year. In another game about two weeks ago, he was taken out at 75 pitches on a Tuesday. Why? To appease pro scouts who wanted to see him on that Saturday. NATHANIEL PETERSON Peterson is another player from Lakeville North. He has committed to Oklahoma State. The lefty from Lakeville North generally got pretty good control of a fastball that reaches 90 or just a tick above,, and he’s got a good feel for his secondary pitches. He stands 5-11, or maybe 6-0, so if he grows, he’s got room for improvement. Likely a late-round pick, if selected at all this year. He may be one to remember for the 2021 draft though. DAVID RODERICK Roderick is a right-hander who reaches back and throws over 90 mph with his fastball already. He has really come a long way in the last couple of years. He was a very skinny kid with an awkward motion and delivery as recently as two years ago. But he’s filled out and the Minnetonka grad is now throwing harder with a much more fluid delivery. He is committed to Oklahoma. If the right scout saw him on the right day, he could be drafted in the teens, but with a strong commitment, he’s likely headed to college. There should be several Minnesotans drafted next week in the 2018 MLB Draft. There are even three or four of these guys who will be drafted in the top five rounds. If you want to get excited about the 2019 MLB Draft, names like Matt Wallner and Michael Busch could be first-round picks. Feel free to discuss the names mentioned above, and let me know if I missed anyone. UPDATED The draft is complete. Here is a list of Minnesotans drafted: Sean Hjelle - RHP - 2nd round - (Kentucky, Mahtomedi HS) Terrin Vavra - SS - 3rd round - Colorado Rockies (Gophers) Luke Becker - 2B - 9th round - San Diego Padres (Kentucky, ,Fairmont, MN) Gus Varland - RHP - 14th round - Oakland A's (North St. Paul, Concordia St. Paul) Jacob Rhinesmith - OF - 18th round - Washington Nationals (Western Kentucky, Shakopee HS) Ryan Tapani - RHP - 21st round - Washington Nationals (Creighton, Providence Academy) Dalton Roach - RHP - 21st round - Houston Astros (Minn State - Mankato) Kellin Rholl - LHP - 25th round - Cleveland (Angelo St., Mound View) Zach Seipel - RHP - 27th round - Atlanta (UM-Crookston, Eagan)) Micah Coffey - SS - 30th round - Chicago White Sox (Gophers) Seth Halvorsen - RHP - 30th round - Minnesota Twins (Heritage Christian Academy) Jackson Rose - RHP - 35th round - Miami Marlins (Gophers) Tyler Reichenborn - OF - 35th round - LA Dodgers (Iowa Western CC, Blaine HS) Brandon Williamson - LHP - 36th round - Milwaukee Brewers (North Iowa Area CC, Welcome, MN) Reggie Meyer - RHP - 38th round - Texas Rangers (Gophers, Totino-Grace) Aidan Maldonado - RHP - 38th round - Milwaukee Brewers (Rosemount HS) Click here to view the article
  3. Tonight, we have a baseball game to watch on our televisions. At 5:05 central time, the Minnesota Twins will take on the Minnesota Gophers. Sure, it’s “Just” an exhibition game, but it’s a baseball game. As noted earlier, the Twins lineup will be filled with non-roster invites and minor leaguers, but that’s OK. Today, I thought it would be fun to get to know some of the Gophers players so that as you’re watching you know a little about the Twins opponent.Those that have listened to my Twins On Deck podcast know that I try to chat with a Gophers player each episode. Consistently, those guests have said that this Gophers team could have a real strong offense with several veteran players. The pitching has a lot of talent, but they’re quite young. In their first weekend of games, five Gophers pitchers made their college debut. Here are some quick notes on some of the players you’ll likely see tonight. Luke Pettersen - (Episode 1, Episode 7) - It’s a last name that is familiar to Gophers and Twins fans. Pettersen is a college senior from Minnetonka High School. Last year, the second baseman led the Gophers with a .354 batting average. He hit .400 (8-20) in the Gophers season opener with a couple of doubles. You remember Luke’s older brother AJ Pettersen who was a starting infielder for the Gophers and reached AA after being drafted by the Twins. Micah Coffey - (Episode 6) - Coffey has mostly played first base so far this season. The senior from Illinois hit .340 last year for the Gophers and .370 in Big 10 play. He was named second-team All Big Ten. When the Twins and Gophers played in 2015, Coffey pinch hit and went 0-1. He played last summer in the Cape Cod League. Jordan Kozicky - In the Gophers season opener on Friday at Georgia Tech, sophomore Kozicky homered in his first two at-bats. And it was his 21st birthday. He was a freshman All Big 10 a year ago and hit .325 with four homers. The Minneapolis Southwest grad redshirted his first year, so he is draft-eligible this year. Toby Hanson - (Episode 2) - Hanson was a third-team All Big Ten selection a year ago and led the team with 57 RBI. He hit .319 with 23 extra base hits. The Delano grad played a lot of right field in the team’s opening weekend in Georgia. He started the exhibition against the Twins his freshman season and went 0-2. Cole McDevitt - McDevitt was a first-team All Big Ten performer last year when he hit .296 (.314 in Big 10 play). The catcher is a junior who went to high school at Eastview. His brother, Ty, is the Gophers pitching coach. When he hasn’t caught, he’s had time at first base and DH already this year. Terrin Vavra - Twins fans are aware of the Vavra name. Terrin’s father Joe was a long-time coach for the Twins, serving in several roles. His older brothers, Tanner and Trey, were both drafted by the Twins in recent years. Terrin may be the best of the group. He’s been the Gophers starting shortstop since his freshman season. A junior now, Vavra hit .308 in 2017 for the Gophers, but he turned it on in Big 10 play, hitting .395. Last summer, he played in the Cape Cod League. Eduardo Estrada - Estrada was Mr. Baseball his senior season at Litchfield High School. Estrada played in the infield in high school and he’s moved around a bit in college. He’s now in the outfield, though he’s probably best at DH. Alex Boxwell - (Episode 3) Boxwell is a senior from Coon Rapids. He missed a lot of time last year with injury. He returned but wasn’t at 100 percent. In fact, he was supposed to go to the Cape Cod League but didn’t because of the injury. Boxwell led the Gophers in home runs (6) and stolen bases in 2017. Ben Mezzenga - A junior from Totino-Grace, Mezzenga got an opportunity to play 50 games last year and hit .296, but he got on base at a .415 clip. A good outfielder, Mezzenga is a speed guy Eli Wilson - Wilson is back for his sophomore season. A year ago, he hit .319 in 24 games for the Gophers. His father, Dan Wilson, was an All American catcher for the Gophers who had a great career and still works in the Mariners organization. Riley Smith - Riley Smith is in his junior season. He Oklahoma native played in just 23 games last year after playing 36 games as a freshman. As for pitching, it’s hard to know who the Gophers will have pitch against the Twins. They likely won’t have their top pitchers pitch as they’ll pitch in their weekend series in Port Charlotte where they’ll play Boston College, Chicago State and Mount St. Mary. Nick Lackney, a junior left-hander, threw six shutout innings against Kennesaw State in his first start. Brett Schulze threw four innings of shutout ball against Georgia Tech in his season debut. He is a sophomore. As I mentioned, five freshman pitchers debuted over the weekend. Josh Cullver, from Omaha, recorded a three-inning save in the first win. Woodbury’s Max Meyer, who the Twins drafted in 2017, made his debut on the mound and the next day at the plate. He’ll pitch and hit for the Gophers. Ryan Duffy is a lefty from South St. Paul. Patrick Fredrickson is a 6-6 freshman from Washington. Sam Thoresen is a right-hander from Minnetonka. Reggie Meyer was a freshman when these two teams played. He gave up a home run to Jorge Polanco in that game. The Twins and Gophers will play an exhibition game. It’ll be a good opportunity for both teams. It’ll be a memory that will last a lifetime for the Gophers players. Twins Lineup: Zack Granite - CF Gregorio Petit - 2B Nick Gordon - SS Chris Heisey - DH Brock Stassi - 1B Nick Buss - LF Ryan LaMarre - RF Jordan Pacheco - C Taylor Featherston - 3B Stephen Gonsalves - SP Gophers Lineup: Luke Pettersen - 2B Micah Coffey - 1B Jordan Kozicky - 3B Toby Hanson - RF Cole McDevitt - C Terrin Vavra - SS Riley Smith - LF Alex Boxwell - CF Gabe Knowles - DH Jeff Fasching - SP Click here to view the article
  4. Those that have listened to my Twins On Deck podcast know that I try to chat with a Gophers player each episode. Consistently, those guests have said that this Gophers team could have a real strong offense with several veteran players. The pitching has a lot of talent, but they’re quite young. In their first weekend of games, five Gophers pitchers made their college debut. Here are some quick notes on some of the players you’ll likely see tonight. Luke Pettersen - (Episode 1, Episode 7) - It’s a last name that is familiar to Gophers and Twins fans. Pettersen is a college senior from Minnetonka High School. Last year, the second baseman led the Gophers with a .354 batting average. He hit .400 (8-20) in the Gophers season opener with a couple of doubles. You remember Luke’s older brother AJ Pettersen who was a starting infielder for the Gophers and reached AA after being drafted by the Twins. Micah Coffey - (Episode 6) - Coffey has mostly played first base so far this season. The senior from Illinois hit .340 last year for the Gophers and .370 in Big 10 play. He was named second-team All Big Ten. When the Twins and Gophers played in 2015, Coffey pinch hit and went 0-1. He played last summer in the Cape Cod League. Jordan Kozicky - In the Gophers season opener on Friday at Georgia Tech, sophomore Kozicky homered in his first two at-bats. And it was his 21st birthday. He was a freshman All Big 10 a year ago and hit .325 with four homers. The Minneapolis Southwest grad redshirted his first year, so he is draft-eligible this year. Toby Hanson - (Episode 2) - Hanson was a third-team All Big Ten selection a year ago and led the team with 57 RBI. He hit .319 with 23 extra base hits. The Delano grad played a lot of right field in the team’s opening weekend in Georgia. He started the exhibition against the Twins his freshman season and went 0-2. Cole McDevitt - McDevitt was a first-team All Big Ten performer last year when he hit .296 (.314 in Big 10 play). The catcher is a junior who went to high school at Eastview. His brother, Ty, is the Gophers pitching coach. When he hasn’t caught, he’s had time at first base and DH already this year. Terrin Vavra - Twins fans are aware of the Vavra name. Terrin’s father Joe was a long-time coach for the Twins, serving in several roles. His older brothers, Tanner and Trey, were both drafted by the Twins in recent years. Terrin may be the best of the group. He’s been the Gophers starting shortstop since his freshman season. A junior now, Vavra hit .308 in 2017 for the Gophers, but he turned it on in Big 10 play, hitting .395. Last summer, he played in the Cape Cod League. Eduardo Estrada - Estrada was Mr. Baseball his senior season at Litchfield High School. Estrada played in the infield in high school and he’s moved around a bit in college. He’s now in the outfield, though he’s probably best at DH. Alex Boxwell - (Episode 3) Boxwell is a senior from Coon Rapids. He missed a lot of time last year with injury. He returned but wasn’t at 100 percent. In fact, he was supposed to go to the Cape Cod League but didn’t because of the injury. Boxwell led the Gophers in home runs (6) and stolen bases in 2017. Ben Mezzenga - A junior from Totino-Grace, Mezzenga got an opportunity to play 50 games last year and hit .296, but he got on base at a .415 clip. A good outfielder, Mezzenga is a speed guy Eli Wilson - Wilson is back for his sophomore season. A year ago, he hit .319 in 24 games for the Gophers. His father, Dan Wilson, was an All American catcher for the Gophers who had a great career and still works in the Mariners organization. Riley Smith - Riley Smith is in his junior season. He Oklahoma native played in just 23 games last year after playing 36 games as a freshman. As for pitching, it’s hard to know who the Gophers will have pitch against the Twins. They likely won’t have their top pitchers pitch as they’ll pitch in their weekend series in Port Charlotte where they’ll play Boston College, Chicago State and Mount St. Mary. Nick Lackney, a junior left-hander, threw six shutout innings against Kennesaw State in his first start. Brett Schulze threw four innings of shutout ball against Georgia Tech in his season debut. He is a sophomore. As I mentioned, five freshman pitchers debuted over the weekend. Josh Cullver, from Omaha, recorded a three-inning save in the first win. Woodbury’s Max Meyer, who the Twins drafted in 2017, made his debut on the mound and the next day at the plate. He’ll pitch and hit for the Gophers. Ryan Duffy is a lefty from South St. Paul. Patrick Fredrickson is a 6-6 freshman from Washington. Sam Thoresen is a right-hander from Minnetonka. Reggie Meyer was a freshman when these two teams played. He gave up a home run to Jorge Polanco in that game. The Twins and Gophers will play an exhibition game. It’ll be a good opportunity for both teams. It’ll be a memory that will last a lifetime for the Gophers players. Twins Lineup: Zack Granite - CF Gregorio Petit - 2B Nick Gordon - SS Chris Heisey - DH Brock Stassi - 1B Nick Buss - LF Ryan LaMarre - RF Jordan Pacheco - C Taylor Featherston - 3B Stephen Gonsalves - SP Gophers Lineup: Luke Pettersen - 2B Micah Coffey - 1B Jordan Kozicky - 3B Toby Hanson - RF Cole McDevitt - C Terrin Vavra - SS Riley Smith - LF Alex Boxwell - CF Gabe Knowles - DH Jeff Fasching - SP
  5. On Monday night, Episode 6 of Seth's Twins On Deck Podcast went live. It is available here for you to listen to. In this episode, Seth chatted with two right-handed pitchers who had tremendous 2017 seasons in Cedar Rapids. He also spoke with another member of the Minnesota Gophers program as they prepare for their first weekend of ball games. Finally, Twins radio voice Cory Provus was a fantastic guest near the show's completion. While you can listen to the podcast by clicking here, you can also search iTunes and subscribe to it. (search Minnesota Sports Weekly)Seth was joined by four guests on Monday night's podcast. They were: Clark Beeker was the Twins 33rd-round pick out of Davidson in 2016. He began 2017 in Cedar Rapids where he went 11-3 with a 2.03 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. He was the right-handed starting pitcher on the 2017 Twins Daily Minor League All Star team. Get to know more about his youth, going to Davidson for five years and his fantastic 2017. Several of Clark Beeker's Kernels wins were with the assistance of closer Hector Lujan. Lujan was the second guest on this show. We discussed several topics including his fantastic 2017 season for the Kernels. What was the key to him taking a big step last year, and what does he hope to do in 2018. Find out about his community service which was recognized with a Harmon Killebrew Award, about his Eagles' fandom, and about his passion for cooking. We were also joined by another member of the Minnesota Gophers baseball program. Senior third baseman Micah Coffey hit .340/.396/.493 (.889) with 15 doubles, two triples, four homers and 46 RBI for the Gophers. How did the Illinois native get to Minnesota. What adjustments has he made over his first three college seasons? How has his time in the Northwoods League and the Cape Cod League helped him? He discusses the Gophers difficult schedule and how excited he is to get to play an exhibition game against the Twins on February 22nd in Ft. Myers. Also, what kind of statistical/analytical information do Gophers players get? Finally, Seth was joined for 23 minutes by Twins radio voice Cory Provus. They discusses several topics, baseball and other. It was fun talking to him about working college football, college basketball and MLB baseball and how the preparations are different. We talked about the Twins, the quiet offseason, his busy schedule and so much more. It was a very fun discussion that you will enjoy thoroughly. If you have any questions for any of these guests, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I'll ask them during the show. If you are listening during the live show, I will also ask for questions on my Twitter feed, so you can ask questions there as well. To listen to Monday night's show, click here. Either way, you'll want to listen and learn more about some Twins minor leaguers and more. Also, if you subscribe to Minnesota Sports Weekly on iTunes, you'll also be able to listen to these shows. And, from what I'm told, Thursday night's Minnesota Sports Weekly episode will contain interviews with some very quality guests. PREVIOUS EPISODES While you're eagerly anticipating tonight's show, tune in to some of the previous episodes... Episode 1: Twins (LaMonte Wade, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Wells), Gophers (Luke Pettersen), MLB.com's prospect guru Jonathan Mayo. Episode 2: Twins (Aaron Slegers, Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Royce Lewis), Gophers (Toby Hanson) Episode 3: Twins (Bryan Sammons, Ryley Widell, Zack Littell, Travis Blankenhorn), Gophers (Alex Boxwell) Episode 4: Twins (Zack Granite, Nelson Molina, Lewis Thorpe, Josh Rabe), and Baseball HQ prospect guru, Chris Blessing. Episode 5: Twins prospects Charlie Barnes, Alex Robles, Tyler Watson, David Banuelos. Click here to view the article
  6. Seth was joined by four guests on Monday night's podcast. They were: Clark Beeker was the Twins 33rd-round pick out of Davidson in 2016. He began 2017 in Cedar Rapids where he went 11-3 with a 2.03 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. He was the right-handed starting pitcher on the 2017 Twins Daily Minor League All Star team. Get to know more about his youth, going to Davidson for five years and his fantastic 2017. Several of Clark Beeker's Kernels wins were with the assistance of closer Hector Lujan. Lujan was the second guest on this show. We discussed several topics including his fantastic 2017 season for the Kernels. What was the key to him taking a big step last year, and what does he hope to do in 2018. Find out about his community service which was recognized with a Harmon Killebrew Award, about his Eagles' fandom, and about his passion for cooking. We were also joined by another member of the Minnesota Gophers baseball program. Senior third baseman Micah Coffey hit .340/.396/.493 (.889) with 15 doubles, two triples, four homers and 46 RBI for the Gophers. How did the Illinois native get to Minnesota. What adjustments has he made over his first three college seasons? How has his time in the Northwoods League and the Cape Cod League helped him? He discusses the Gophers difficult schedule and how excited he is to get to play an exhibition game against the Twins on February 22nd in Ft. Myers. Also, what kind of statistical/analytical information do Gophers players get? Finally, Seth was joined for 23 minutes by Twins radio voice Cory Provus. They discusses several topics, baseball and other. It was fun talking to him about working college football, college basketball and MLB baseball and how the preparations are different. We talked about the Twins, the quiet offseason, his busy schedule and so much more. It was a very fun discussion that you will enjoy thoroughly. If you have any questions for any of these guests, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I'll ask them during the show. If you are listening during the live show, I will also ask for questions on my Twitter feed, so you can ask questions there as well. To listen to Monday night's show, click here. Either way, you'll want to listen and learn more about some Twins minor leaguers and more. Also, if you subscribe to Minnesota Sports Weekly on iTunes, you'll also be able to listen to these shows. And, from what I'm told, Thursday night's Minnesota Sports Weekly episode will contain interviews with some very quality guests. PREVIOUS EPISODES While you're eagerly anticipating tonight's show, tune in to some of the previous episodes... Episode 1: Twins (LaMonte Wade, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Wells), Gophers (Luke Pettersen), MLB.com's prospect guru Jonathan Mayo. Episode 2: Twins (Aaron Slegers, Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Royce Lewis), Gophers (Toby Hanson) Episode 3: Twins (Bryan Sammons, Ryley Widell, Zack Littell, Travis Blankenhorn), Gophers (Alex Boxwell) Episode 4: Twins (Zack Granite, Nelson Molina, Lewis Thorpe, Josh Rabe), and Baseball HQ prospect guru, Chris Blessing. Episode 5: Twins prospects Charlie Barnes, Alex Robles, Tyler Watson, David Banuelos.
  7. Tune in live at 8:00 central time tonight when Seth will again be joined by five guests. Charlie Barnes was the Twins fourth-round pick out of Clemson. After signing with the Twins, he went to Elizabethton where he went 2-1 with a 1.19 ERA over six games and 22.2 innings. He moved up to Cedar Rapids where he went 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA over 25.2 innings. In 48.1 combined innings, he walked 18 and struck out 46. Another new member of the organization is also a left-handed starter, Tyler Watson. The 6-5 southpaw was the 34th round pick of the Washington Nationals out of high school in 2015. He came to the Twins at the July 31 trade deadline in exchange for closer Brandon Kintzler. He reported to Cedar Rapids where he made five starts to close out the year. David Banuelos was drafted in the fifth round just last June by the Seattle Mariners out of Long Beach State. He came to the Twins this offseason in exchange for some international slot dollars. The catcher is known for his great defense, but he put up some strong numbers in his final collegiate season. Alex Robles was the Twins 30th round pick last summer out of Austin Peay in Tennessee. He was a two-way player all four seasons, and he was really good as a pitcher. However, as a pro, he is likely to play around the infield. So, we’ll get to know four new members of the Twins organization. In addition, we will be joined by another member of the Minnesota Gophers baseball program. Senior third baseman Micah Coffey hit .340/.396/.493 (.889) with 15 doubles, two triples, four homers and 46 RBI for the Gophers. If you have any questions for any of these guests, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I'll ask them during the show. If you are listening during the live show, I will also ask for questions on my Twitter feed, so you can ask questions there as well. You can listen live, or you can listen later. Either way, you'll want to listen and learn more about some Twins minor leaguers and more. PREVIOUS EPISODES While you're eagerly anticipating tonight's show, tune in to some of the previous episodes... Episode 1: Twins (LaMonte Wade, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Wells), Gophers (Luke Pettersen), MLB.com's prospect guru Jonathan Mayo. Episode 2: Twins (Aaron Slegers, Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Royce Lewis), Gophers (Toby Hanson) Episode 3: Twins (Bryan Sammons, Ryley Widell, Zack Littell, Travis Blankenhorn), Gophers (Alex Boxwell) Episode 4: Twins (Zack Granite, Nelson Molina, Lewis Thorpe, Josh Rabe), and Baseball HQ prospect guru, Chris Blessing.
  8. Tonight at 8:00 (central time), Episode 5 of Seth's Twins On Deck Podcast will go live. Tonight, he'll be joined by four Minnesota Twins prospects each of who is relatively new to the organization and another senior on the Minnesota Gophers roster. Tune in at 8:00 tonight to listen live. If you can't listen live, it will be available at the same link shortly following the show's completion. You can also search iTunes and subscribe to it. (search Minnesota Sports Weekly)Tune in live at 8:00 central time tonight when Seth will again be joined by five guests. Charlie Barnes was the Twins fourth-round pick out of Clemson. After signing with the Twins, he went to Elizabethton where he went 2-1 with a 1.19 ERA over six games and 22.2 innings. He moved up to Cedar Rapids where he went 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA over 25.2 innings. In 48.1 combined innings, he walked 18 and struck out 46. Another new member of the organization is also a left-handed starter, Tyler Watson. The 6-5 southpaw was the 34th round pick of the Washington Nationals out of high school in 2015. He came to the Twins at the July 31 trade deadline in exchange for closer Brandon Kintzler. He reported to Cedar Rapids where he made five starts to close out the year. David Banuelos was drafted in the fifth round just last June by the Seattle Mariners out of Long Beach State. He came to the Twins this offseason in exchange for some international slot dollars. The catcher is known for his great defense, but he put up some strong numbers in his final collegiate season. Alex Robles was the Twins 30th round pick last summer out of Austin Peay in Tennessee. He was a two-way player all four seasons, and he was really good as a pitcher. However, as a pro, he is likely to play around the infield. So, we’ll get to know four new members of the Twins organization. In addition, we will be joined by another member of the Minnesota Gophers baseball program. Senior third baseman Micah Coffey hit .340/.396/.493 (.889) with 15 doubles, two triples, four homers and 46 RBI for the Gophers. If you have any questions for any of these guests, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I'll ask them during the show. If you are listening during the live show, I will also ask for questions on my Twitter feed, so you can ask questions there as well. You can listen live, or you can listen later. Either way, you'll want to listen and learn more about some Twins minor leaguers and more. PREVIOUS EPISODES While you're eagerly anticipating tonight's show, tune in to some of the previous episodes... Episode 1: Twins (LaMonte Wade, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Wells), Gophers (Luke Pettersen), MLB.com's prospect guru Jonathan Mayo. Episode 2: Twins (Aaron Slegers, Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Royce Lewis), Gophers (Toby Hanson) Episode 3: Twins (Bryan Sammons, Ryley Widell, Zack Littell, Travis Blankenhorn), Gophers (Alex Boxwell) Episode 4: Twins (Zack Granite, Nelson Molina, Lewis Thorpe, Josh Rabe), and Baseball HQ prospect guru, Chris Blessing. Click here to view the article
  9. This week, the Gophers are making a California swing before getting started with Big Ten play next weekend. They played a single game on Tuesday night at California-Berkeley, and last night they began a three-game series at Sacramento State. Find out more about those games and what’s coming up, but first, here is a Q&A with Gophers senior outfielder Jordan Smith.Smith came to the Gophers after a strong high school career at Eden Prairie. He also was a big Twins fan and is getting the opportunity to live out a dream by playing for the Gophers. Let’s get to know him. Get to know Jordan Smith Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Eden Prairie, were you a big Twins fan? Did you get to many games? Who were some of your favorite ballplayers? Jordan Smith (JS): When I was younger I was a huge Twins fan. I really enjoyed the teams they had in the early 2000s. Guys such as Jacque Jones, Christian Guzman, and Johan Santana were some of my favorite players. SS: What were some of the highlights of your high school career? JS: During my junior year, my legion team won the 2011 American Legion World Series. We had lost our first game I believe 13-1 and ended up winning 6 straight games in 4 days. It was an unbelievable run and something I will never forget. SS: What was it about the University of Minnesota that made you decide to play for the Gophers? JS: I always wanted to play for the Gophers growing up so when I had the opportunity to play here it was an easy choice. I was very comfortable with the coaching staff and I knew a majority of the players coming in with me along with players already on the team. SS: Have you played summer ball through your college years? JS: My true freshman summer I played for the Chaska Cubs. The following summer I played for the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League. The last two summers I have not played summer ball due to an injury and an internship commitment. SS: What have been some of the highlights of your time with the Gophers? JS: A moment that I really enjoyed last year was celebrating our Big Ten championship on the field after beating Ohio State. Along with that, playing in a regional tournament was really sweet too. The atmosphere of postseason baseball is something not every player will get to experience during their career so that was something special. SS: What are your goals for the 2017 season? JS: Continue to get better every single day and to make sure each game we compete at a high level. If we are able to do this, I know we can build upon last years season and advance to not just a super-regional, but a trip to Omaha to win a national championship which is the ultimate goal. SS: What is your major, and what are your career goals going forward? (How does baseball fit into that equation?) JS: My major is sport management, and I am not really sure what I want to do yet. Something involved in the sports industry would be my main goal. Maybe win the lottery… GOPHER NOTES On Tuesday at Berkeley, the Gophers lost a 7-1 decision. They managed just three hits. Luke Pettersen went 1-3 and drove in the lone run. Last night (Thursday), the Gophers fell 3-2 to Sacramento State. Lucas Gilbreath made the start and had his best showing of the season. The left-hander went the first six innings. He gave up no runs on two hits. He walked two and struck out a career-high nine batters. The Gophers lost the lead in the 7th inning on a three-run homer. Micah Coffey and Matt Stemper were each 2-4. Toby Hanson went 1-3 with a walk. The Gophers will play two more games against Sacramento State, one each on Friday and Saturday.Then next weekend, they begin Big Ten play at Ohio State. Alex Wimmers, Twins top pick in 2010 and former Buckeye noted the other day, “It’s crazy how college baseball is starting up conference play in a week here already.” He said that he played the Gophers twice at Ohio State and once in the Metrodome during his three years. “They always had a good team when I was there.” Click here to view the article
  10. Smith came to the Gophers after a strong high school career at Eden Prairie. He also was a big Twins fan and is getting the opportunity to live out a dream by playing for the Gophers. Let’s get to know him. Get to know Jordan Smith Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Eden Prairie, were you a big Twins fan? Did you get to many games? Who were some of your favorite ballplayers? Jordan Smith (JS): When I was younger I was a huge Twins fan. I really enjoyed the teams they had in the early 2000s. Guys such as Jacque Jones, Christian Guzman, and Johan Santana were some of my favorite players. SS: What were some of the highlights of your high school career? JS: During my junior year, my legion team won the 2011 American Legion World Series. We had lost our first game I believe 13-1 and ended up winning 6 straight games in 4 days. It was an unbelievable run and something I will never forget. SS: What was it about the University of Minnesota that made you decide to play for the Gophers? JS: I always wanted to play for the Gophers growing up so when I had the opportunity to play here it was an easy choice. I was very comfortable with the coaching staff and I knew a majority of the players coming in with me along with players already on the team. SS: Have you played summer ball through your college years? JS: My true freshman summer I played for the Chaska Cubs. The following summer I played for the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League. The last two summers I have not played summer ball due to an injury and an internship commitment. SS: What have been some of the highlights of your time with the Gophers? JS: A moment that I really enjoyed last year was celebrating our Big Ten championship on the field after beating Ohio State. Along with that, playing in a regional tournament was really sweet too. The atmosphere of postseason baseball is something not every player will get to experience during their career so that was something special. SS: What are your goals for the 2017 season? JS: Continue to get better every single day and to make sure each game we compete at a high level. If we are able to do this, I know we can build upon last years season and advance to not just a super-regional, but a trip to Omaha to win a national championship which is the ultimate goal. SS: What is your major, and what are your career goals going forward? (How does baseball fit into that equation?) JS: My major is sport management, and I am not really sure what I want to do yet. Something involved in the sports industry would be my main goal. Maybe win the lottery… GOPHER NOTES On Tuesday at Berkeley, the Gophers lost a 7-1 decision. They managed just three hits. Luke Pettersen went 1-3 and drove in the lone run. Last night (Thursday), the Gophers fell 3-2 to Sacramento State. Lucas Gilbreath made the start and had his best showing of the season. The left-hander went the first six innings. He gave up no runs on two hits. He walked two and struck out a career-high nine batters. The Gophers lost the lead in the 7th inning on a three-run homer. Micah Coffey and Matt Stemper were each 2-4. Toby Hanson went 1-3 with a walk. The Gophers will play two more games against Sacramento State, one each on Friday and Saturday.Then next weekend, they begin Big Ten play at Ohio State. Alex Wimmers, Twins top pick in 2010 and former Buckeye noted the other day, “It’s crazy how college baseball is starting up conference play in a week here already.” He said that he played the Gophers twice at Ohio State and once in the Metrodome during his three years. “They always had a good team when I was there.”
  11. At Twins Daily, we take a lot of pride in providing you with quality Twins content. We like to focus on the big leagues and the minor leagues. We focus on the draft as well. We have had articles on the St. Paul Saints the last couple of years too. This year, we are going to be writing a little bit on the Minnesota Gophers as well. The plan is to start out with some interviews of the Gophers seniors. Each article will then contain some notes on the Gophers, information from the previous week’s series and looking forward. We hope you will enjoy this feature and support Minnesota baseball in all forms. In fact, if you would like to take a college baseball team and write about it, feel free to start your own blog here.Last weekend, the 2017 Gophers schedule got started with a series at UC-Irvine. On Friday night, the Minnesota Gophers will begin a three-game series at home, in February, in US Bank Stadium. For the first time since the Metrodome days, the Gophers have been able to play some home games before April. When the weather cooperates, they’ll play their games at the new and improved Siebert Field near the University of MInnesota campus. Our first Q&A is with Gophers senior right-handed pitcher Cody Campbell. He came to the Gophers from Naperville, Illinois, a city in the western suburbs of Chicago. While he has unfortunately missed a lot of time with injuries, he has had a big impact in the Twin Cities, donating his time to a variety of programs. He’s also known to have a little bit of fun in the dugout. Let’s get to know him a little bit more. Remember when the Twins played a spring training game in 2015 against the Gophers? Campbell pitched in that game. Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Naperville, Illinois, who was your favorite team to follow, and who were some of your favorite ballplayers? Cody Campbell (CC): I don't really follow sports, but if I had to pick a favorite team it would be the Detroit Tigers. I lived right outside of Detroit during K-2nd grade and fell in love with the TIgers. Some of my favorite players are Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander. They are some of the greats and I strived to be like them, even at one point switching my windup and leg kick to look like Roy Halladay's. SS: What were some of the highlights of your high school career? CC: Winning a State football championship my sophomore year as a starting offensive linemen, weighing only 180 pounds was my most memorable highlight. Playing four years of varsity baseball and three years of varsity football really helped mold me as a player by watching the older guys and how they prepared day in and day out. SS: What was it about the University of Minnesota that made you decide to leave home and play for the Gophers? CC: Having the opportunity to get coached by a legendary coaching staff was the key reason. Another reason was because I am a psychology major and Minnesota has a great psychology program. SS: Have you played summer ball through your college years? CC: No, I haven't been healthy enough to. I usually take the summers to get surgery on something and recover to get ready for fall. SS: What have been some of the highlights of your time with the Gophers? CC: Year in and year out we have a great group of guys that always find a way to have fun. I also think watching how the team has grown and developed throughout my time has been fun. After missing the Big Ten Tournament my sophomore year, the whole locker room atmosphere had changed and we started getting our priorities straight. SS: What are your goals for the 2017 season? CC: Stay healthy is my main goal, I haven't had a healthy season yet so I figured my last year should be my healthiest year. Other goals are know my role and excel at it, be a presence in the dugout and locker room, keep the atmosphere that we had last year going throughout this year. SS: What is your major, and what are your career goals going forward? (How does baseball fit into that equation?) CC: I'm a psychology major and am looking for a career where I can manage and develop people. Baseball fits into the equation because it has taught me to be adaptable and has motivated me to keep getting better because no matter how good you are at your job there is always going to be someone better. Having that mentality will push me to excel in a career outside of baseball Thank you very much to senior right-handed pitcher Cody Campbell for taking time to respond to our questions. Best wishes on a healthy and successful senior season. GOPHER NOTES The Gophers opened their 2017 season by traveling to play UC-Irvine. There was a three-way split. Weather won on Friday night washhing out the first contest. On Saturday, the Gophers won 9-8. On Sunday afternoon, the Gophers fell 7-5. Luke Pettersen led the offense. In the first game, he was 4-4 with a sacrifice bunt. On Sunday, he went 4-5. Going 8-9 on the first weekend is a good way to start the season. Pettersen is a junior second baseman. You will recall that his brother, AJ Pettersen, played for the Gophers and then spent four seasons in the Twins minor league system. AJ is about to begin his third season as the head coach of the Chanhassen baseball program.Junior third baseman Micah Coffey batted cleanup in both games. He went 5-10 with two doubles and a triple.The lone Gophers home run last weekend came off of the bat of sophomore DH Eduardo Estrada. The 2015 Litchfield graduate was the top prospect in the state of Minnesota following his senior season.Friday night starter (who started Saturday because of the rain out) Lucas Gilbreath is a junior from Colorado. He struggled in his season debut. The left-hander gave up five earned runs in just three innings. Last year, he gave up five earned runs in 33 innings (struck out 46). He is touted as one to watch at draft time despite the fact that last Saturday was just his second career start.Two freshmen made their college debuts in the Sunday afternoon game. Brett Schulze, from Maple Grove, came on in relief and worked four innings. He gave up one run on three hits and three walks, and he struck out three. Later in the game, catcher Eli Wilson entered the game. He walked in his only plate appearance. Wilson is from Seattle and is the son of former Gophers All-American and Mariners great Dan Wilson.On Friday night, the Gophers will play Seattle University. The weekend series marks their first games in US Bank Stadium.Twins catching prospect Brian Olson is a graduate of Seattle University.The teams will play on Friday at 6:30, Saturday at 6:00 and Sunday afternoon at 1:00. Admission to US Bank Stadium is $11 for adults, and $8 for children. Students with a valid student ID can get one free ticket.The Gophers next 13 games will be at US Bank Stadium.Looking ahead, the Gophers will take on North Dakota State University next Tuesday (Feb 28) as well.Also, on Saturday, Concordia College (Moorhead) will play a doubleheader against Jamestown University at US Bank Stadium. You could spend a full day in the new stadium watching some quality college baseball.Feel free to discuss the Q&A and chat about the Gophers in the comments below. Click here to view the article
  12. Last weekend, the 2017 Gophers schedule got started with a series at UC-Irvine. On Friday night, the Minnesota Gophers will begin a three-game series at home, in February, in US Bank Stadium. For the first time since the Metrodome days, the Gophers have been able to play some home games before April. When the weather cooperates, they’ll play their games at the new and improved Siebert Field near the University of MInnesota campus. Our first Q&A is with Gophers senior right-handed pitcher Cody Campbell. He came to the Gophers from Naperville, Illinois, a city in the western suburbs of Chicago. While he has unfortunately missed a lot of time with injuries, he has had a big impact in the Twin Cities, donating his time to a variety of programs. He’s also known to have a little bit of fun in the dugout. Let’s get to know him a little bit more. Remember when the Twins played a spring training game in 2015 against the Gophers? Campbell pitched in that game. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/573286538567536640 Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Naperville, Illinois, who was your favorite team to follow, and who were some of your favorite ballplayers? Cody Campbell (CC): I don't really follow sports, but if I had to pick a favorite team it would be the Detroit Tigers. I lived right outside of Detroit during K-2nd grade and fell in love with the TIgers. Some of my favorite players are Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander. They are some of the greats and I strived to be like them, even at one point switching my windup and leg kick to look like Roy Halladay's. SS: What were some of the highlights of your high school career? CC: Winning a State football championship my sophomore year as a starting offensive linemen, weighing only 180 pounds was my most memorable highlight. Playing four years of varsity baseball and three years of varsity football really helped mold me as a player by watching the older guys and how they prepared day in and day out. SS: What was it about the University of Minnesota that made you decide to leave home and play for the Gophers? CC: Having the opportunity to get coached by a legendary coaching staff was the key reason. Another reason was because I am a psychology major and Minnesota has a great psychology program. SS: Have you played summer ball through your college years? CC: No, I haven't been healthy enough to. I usually take the summers to get surgery on something and recover to get ready for fall. SS: What have been some of the highlights of your time with the Gophers? CC: Year in and year out we have a great group of guys that always find a way to have fun. I also think watching how the team has grown and developed throughout my time has been fun. After missing the Big Ten Tournament my sophomore year, the whole locker room atmosphere had changed and we started getting our priorities straight. SS: What are your goals for the 2017 season? CC: Stay healthy is my main goal, I haven't had a healthy season yet so I figured my last year should be my healthiest year. Other goals are know my role and excel at it, be a presence in the dugout and locker room, keep the atmosphere that we had last year going throughout this year. SS: What is your major, and what are your career goals going forward? (How does baseball fit into that equation?) CC: I'm a psychology major and am looking for a career where I can manage and develop people. Baseball fits into the equation because it has taught me to be adaptable and has motivated me to keep getting better because no matter how good you are at your job there is always going to be someone better. Having that mentality will push me to excel in a career outside of baseball Thank you very much to senior right-handed pitcher Cody Campbell for taking time to respond to our questions. Best wishes on a healthy and successful senior season. GOPHER NOTES The Gophers opened their 2017 season by traveling to play UC-Irvine. There was a three-way split. Weather won on Friday night washhing out the first contest. On Saturday, the Gophers won 9-8. On Sunday afternoon, the Gophers fell 7-5. Luke Pettersen led the offense. In the first game, he was 4-4 with a sacrifice bunt. On Sunday, he went 4-5. Going 8-9 on the first weekend is a good way to start the season. Pettersen is a junior second baseman. You will recall that his brother, AJ Pettersen, played for the Gophers and then spent four seasons in the Twins minor league system. AJ is about to begin his third season as the head coach of the Chanhassen baseball program. Junior third baseman Micah Coffey batted cleanup in both games. He went 5-10 with two doubles and a triple. The lone Gophers home run last weekend came off of the bat of sophomore DH Eduardo Estrada. The 2015 Litchfield graduate was the top prospect in the state of Minnesota following his senior season. Friday night starter (who started Saturday because of the rain out) Lucas Gilbreath is a junior from Colorado. He struggled in his season debut. The left-hander gave up five earned runs in just three innings. Last year, he gave up five earned runs in 33 innings (struck out 46). He is touted as one to watch at draft time despite the fact that last Saturday was just his second career start. Two freshmen made their college debuts in the Sunday afternoon game. Brett Schulze, from Maple Grove, came on in relief and worked four innings. He gave up one run on three hits and three walks, and he struck out three. Later in the game, catcher Eli Wilson entered the game. He walked in his only plate appearance. Wilson is from Seattle and is the son of former Gophers All-American and Mariners great Dan Wilson. On Friday night, the Gophers will play Seattle University. The weekend series marks their first games in US Bank Stadium. Twins catching prospect Brian Olson is a graduate of Seattle University. The teams will play on Friday at 6:30, Saturday at 6:00 and Sunday afternoon at 1:00. Admission to US Bank Stadium is $11 for adults, and $8 for children. Students with a valid student ID can get one free ticket. The Gophers next 13 games will be at US Bank Stadium. Looking ahead, the Gophers will take on North Dakota State University next Tuesday (Feb 28) as well. Also, on Saturday, Concordia College (Moorhead) will play a doubleheader against Jamestown University at US Bank Stadium. You could spend a full day in the new stadium watching some quality college baseball. Feel free to discuss the Q&A and chat about the Gophers in the comments below.
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