Gardenhire impressed by young arms in camp
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire got a glimpse of the future today, as he saw Vance Worley and prospects Alex Meyer and Kyle Gibson throw live batting practice to Twins hitters.
Of that group, Worley, who came over in the trade that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia, is the only lock to make the rotation this spring while Gibson is competing for a spot.
Meyer and Gibson, however, are regarded as two of the better pitching prospects in baseball, as Meyer was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 40 overall prospect while Gibson was ranked No. 49.
“I saw some pretty good arms on my field,” Gardenhire said. “Kids throwing the ball, winging it. Pretty good angles with some pretty good arms. Always fun to watch, get a chance to see them versus hitters. But it’s still just versus our hitters. First time out there, throwing live BP in awhile for these guys, so you have to calm them down a little here and there. Most of them handle themselves pretty well. The younger ones want to show the world.”
Gardenhire said his goal this spring is to try and see as much as he can of the prospects and new additions in camp instead of just relying on scouting reports.
“I’m making my own decisions,” Gardenhire said. “I haven’t seen these guys enough to sit there and read reports and have somebody tell me this or that. I want to see them. I need to see these guys. I want to make my own decisions.”
Here are a few other notes from camp:
— Samuel Deduno was a late addition to the Dominican Republic’s preliminary roster for the World Baseball Classic. The roster is still only tentative but if he remains on the roster, he’ll leave camp in early March.
— Gibson said his live bullpen session went well. He was able to get several swings and misses even though he was telling hitters what was coming.
— I didn’t get a chance to see it but heard great things about the way pitching prospect Jose Berrios looked in his live bullpen session. He’s only in camp because he’s set to participate in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico.
— Trevor Plouffe is still limited by a sore right calf but it didn’t stop him from putting on a show in batting practice. I was told that one long homer to left field hit a car in the parking lot.
— I had a nice conversation with Worley, who explained how crazy it was for him when he was traded to the Twins. He was set to pick up his engagement ring the same day he was traded. You can read the story here.
— I also taped an interview with MLB.com’s video crew today so that should go up at Twinsbaseball.com at some point this week.
And here a few photos from camp: