Paul Bargas developed brain cancer and never got to pitch in a single game after the Twins acquired him from the Rockies in a December 2010 trade for catcher Jose Morales, but Bargas won't soon be forgotten by the Twins.
He died Tuesday at age 23.
"It was incredibly inspirational to get to know him," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said Wednesday.
Antony and Twins scout John Leavitt went to visit Bargas at the UCLA Medical Center on April 30, when the team was in Southern California to play the Angels.
"We went into his hospital room, and this kid was struggling," Antony said. "He hadn't eaten in days. You could tell he was weak. You just don't know how they're going to respond. But he kept saying, 'I'm all right, I'm all right.' He just wanted to talk baseball."
Bargas, who posted a 3.59 ERA in 58 relief appearances for the Rockies' Class A Asheville affiliate in 2010, started feeling severe headaches the winter after the trade. The Twins quickly got him to the hospital after he reported to spring training in 2011. He tried making a comeback last winter before the cancer returned.
"He and his family kept telling us how much they appreciated everything the Twins had done for them," Antony said. "I walked out of there and probably got more out of it than anybody else, seeing what a positive outlook he had."