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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Ft. Myers

    Through the Fence: Sluggers' Gala 2/12/16

    It's that time of year again, where the players start to slowly shuffle in for the beginning of spring training and where all the offseason workouts start to show fruition. Even though I didn't arrive to the backfields til 9:30 am, the action was just getting started with my main concentration on the hitters. As I pulled up, Byung Ho Park was walking back from Hammond Stadium to the backfields, unlike last weekend he had his Korean translator with him. Despite the language gap, Park speaks enough English to get by with small talk himself and even with Venezuelan Arcia. Byung Ho said his wrist felt better from last week where he irritated it from swinging the bat and he said NO bat flips of any kind this year. After Park came over to the backfields, he joined the group of infielders who were covering first base from throws from the mound.

    While this was going on, the adjacent field had the outfielders undergoing fielding drills with the likes of Adam Brett Walker in LF, Joe Benson and Lamonte Wade in CF, and Travis Harrison and Oswaldo Arcia in RF. The drills seemed more centered around first step and catching on the run. After the defensive drills, the hitters took their turn in the cage with the first group of Oswaldo Arcia, Byung Ho Park and Travis Harrison; the second group of Adam Brett Walker, Lamonte Wade, and Joe Benson; the third group Trey Cabbage and Buck Britton (3B w/ Dodgers MiLB in 2015).

    In BP, Arcia showed off his light tower power especially to the pull side. He hit one that went over the two protective fences the Twins and bounced into the road and landed in the High School (South Fort Myers) where Twins uberprospect Max Kepler attended once moving to the states at 16yo. Oswaldo looked loose in the cage and was obviously having fun. After his BP session, Ozzy went to RF to shag flyballs and was treating BP as game situation: running down balls, taking routes, proper catching technique, etcetra. Ozzy was extremely talkative and gracious to the 20-30 fans in attendance, I caught up with Arcia later and talked about how he's more prepared then he has been for any season. He's put in a ton of work this offseason not only conditioning but also working on his outfield play and it showed. Arcia stated that he WANTS to play RF this year and is going to try and force the Twin s hand come Opening Day roster. Which is different then another Twins' prospect who has been MIA for nearly two weeks which isn't really convenient when he's trying to learn a brand new position.

    After Arcia's turn, it was the newly acquired Korean slugger Byung Ho Park, who did not disappoint either. Park parked only one over the fence but he's got a nice fluid stroke but after watching the video one can see his mechanics that leads to extrabase hits yet also strikeouts. It's easy to envision 25-30 homeruns with ease.

    If you have never seen Adam Brett Walker take batting practice then you are missing a show! Walker pounds the ball, hard, very hard. The sound the ball makes off his bat when he hits one square is one of beauty. When Walker is able to extend his arms, he's able to punish balls to all fields. Adam Brett hit the furtherest homer of the day a pulled ball down the left alley way which landed ~420 ft. You can hear Coach Tommy Watkins screaming like a hyena at one point because AB just destroyed the pitch.

    The last player to hit was 2015 4th Rounder Trey Cabbage, who looks like he's added 10-15 pounds of muscle over the offseason and it looks to pay dividends. The left handed hitting Cabbage has a beautiful stroke to go with his strong work ethic and athleticism. He'll be interesting to watch this year in his first full professional season; his placement in the organizational ladder should also be of note. As the Twins also drafted a 3B in Travis Blankenhorn who made it to Short A E-town last year

    I'll be back next Friday when even more of the players will be in town. You can follow me on twitter @tturbo420, flickr, and YouTube
    Last edited by Lomez; 02-14-2016 at 02:05 PM.
    What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
    Line Drive: .356
    HBP: .342
    Non-Intentional Walk: .315
    Intentional Walk: .176
    Outfield Fly: .035
    Groundball: -.101
    Bunts: -.103
    Infield Fly: -.243
    Strikeout: -.287

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Dakota
    It just makes me wonder how the Twins plan to approach this. How many potential starting outfielders are in the system....and now we're pushing Sano out there, too?

    I mean I get that they'd like to keep Plouffe at this point. I also get that Arcia hopefully shows well enough to become trade bait (does Milwaukee have anything we want so he can go play with his brother?). But still, there's Sano, Buxton, and Rosario as the presumed starting OF, plus Kepler, Walker, Benson, Arcia, and a couple I'm not thinking of that are all either ready or close to it.
    gotta love 'referential' treatment

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    I said it in another thread. The Twins should give Buxton more time in the minors. He is not ready and if he starts out slow like he did last year it could hurt his confidence . No need to rush him. The Twins aren't competing this year. He'll be lucky to hit .220/8 hrs /50 rbi . But he is going to strikeout at least 160-170 times. Take the slow aprroach and have Arcia or even Santana play the outfield. Buxton has a bright future but this could set him back. Alex Gordon was the #1 prospect in baseball and he flopped. He has become a good not great player. I can name several that were rushed. Hopefully the Twins don't make the same mistake.
    "Just because the path is well beaten. That doesn't mean it's the right way to go"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Central Iowa
    There is a bullpen arm in Milwaukee that the Twins would like to pick up. Maybe Arcia could go there for him?

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