Live Fort Myers Report from the Twins Spring Training: 3/16/17

This is the latest report of the happenings in the Twins' Spring training, and the first live from Fort Myers.   The previous one is here, and can find all 2017 Twins Spring Training related posts here.  I will be describing events of interesting in the Twins' camp as well as happenings with former Twins.  For two weeks, starting this week, these reports will be live from Fort Myers and daily and will be indicated in the title.

  • Back fields day today, but the news from yesterday is that they timed Glen Perkins' fastball at 78 mph, and he apparently has no goals or timetable for his return.
  • Former Twins' LHP Logan Darnell has signed a contract with the Somerset Patriots of the Independent Atlantic League 
  • The Twins were at Jupiter, hosts of the Cardinals, where Kyle Gibson put together a great performance allowing only one hit (unfortunately a home run and the only run) and a walk and striking out 5 in 5 innings.  The action was in the back fields where the Twins high A, A, and extended Spring Training teams were hosting the equivalent Rays' teams.
  • My focus was at field four, where several of the Twins' top prospects played for the Cedar Rapids team against the Rays' Bowling Green team.  Number 1 prospect SS Wander Javier, who is just eighteen, held up on his own in a league that averages 3-5 years older players.  He had several good to great plays with the glove had good plate appearances.  In his first PA he would have had a sure fire triple, if for some strange reason, Toby Gardenhire, the third base coach did not put the stop sign up when Javier was half way through the third base, yet then waving him in.  Still he was out by half a foot.  Good solid contact and excellent eye for the ball.
  • Other top prospects were Lewin Diaz and Amaurys Minier who split time at first base and were good with the glove.  Minier almost did the splits trying to save an errant throw by second baseman Andre Jernigan, but was not successful.  SS Joe Cronin, namesake of the franchise's Hall of Famer, played at LF today.  It will be hard for any team that has Javier on the roster to play him any place but SS.
  • As far as pitching went, I was not very impressed with the starter Tyrel Breadsley, or his first reliever Hector Lujan, even though they both had nice change ups.  The third reliever, LHP Alex Robinson, was impressive.  The Twins' 5th round pick from 2015 from University of Maryland showed excellent control of a 93-95 mph fastball and a good slider and change up and struck out the side for the 5th inning.  Someone definitely to keep an eye on.  Garrett Kelly who followed flashed  a very good 89-91 two seamer and 91-94 four seamer, and a high 80s cutter, getting ground outs, but at some point his control fell off and was all over the place.
  • On the other field LHP Lachlan Wells, looks like he has grown a few inches (up to 6'1" or 6'2" now) and got rid of his trademark glasses.  Pitching for high A Fort Myers, his FB was ranging from 91-92 and his supplementary stuff was working well.  There were 3 scouts there for him.  Travis Blackenhorn in the same team played second base and had a couple of tentative swings.  I noticed that his bat is very buzy in his batting stance, something that the Twins might want to look at some point.
  • At the EST field Taylor Clemencia was filthy.  He was throwing a low 70s devastating curve that he supplemented with a well commanded 84-85 mph pitch that I thought was a change, but it was his fastball.  Not sure whether he is coming back from an injury, that velocity has to be monitored.  On the other hand that curve was a plus plus pitch.
  • Tomorrow with drive to Port Charlotte to watch the Twins visit the Rays.

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