Reusse: Twins invest in Fort Myers

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 7, 2013 - 6:48 AM

The spring training town produced a hard-throwing righthander who got his first taste of pro ball last season.


Hudson Boyd

FORT MYERS, FLA. - The Twins brought a 19-year-old righthander named Rich Garces to the big leagues in September 1990. They saw the hard-throwing Venezuelan for a mere five games and were extra-impressed.

It was a possibility that Garces would be the reliever to replace veteran Juan Berenguer in front of closer Rick Aguilera to start the 1991 season. Then Garces showed up in the Twins' first spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., and looked as if he had eaten Caracas.

Garces would pitch only four more innings for the Twins (in 1993), and it took him until 1999 in Boston to have any impact in the big leagues.

Two decades later, the Twins were getting quietly nervous that a similar fate could befall Hudson Boyd, another hard-throwing righthander who was a recipient of a $1 million signing bonus as the 55th overall choice in the 2011 draft.

For now, it appears that everyone involved in that selection can relax. Boyd has spent this offseason making a healthy reduction from his weight that was advertised at 275 pounds on his 6-2 frame last season.

"I'm 245 right now," Boyd said. "I think the Twins would be happy if I report to camp at that in a month. I have to admit ... I feel much better."

Boyd was a much-scouted pitcher at South Fort Myers High School, located directly across Plantation Road from the minor league fields at the Twins' spring training complex.

He transferred to Bishop Verot, an area baseball powerhouse, for his senior season in 2011. Boyd pitched a shutout in the state semifinals. He singled home Dan Vogelbach with the winning run in the Class 3A championship game.

Boyd and Vogelbach, a lefty-hitting first baseman, were headed to the Florida Gators basically as a package deal. Then Boyd was drafted as a compensation pick between the first and second rounds, and Vogelbach went to the Cubs in the second round, and both signed.

"I love the Gators," Boyd said. "I go to some of their football games. I did tell the Florida coaches that seven figures was my cutline; if the offer got there, I'd probably sign."

The recommended slot for the 55th pick was $653,000, but the Twins went to Boyd's number -- $1 million -- to get him signed at the Aug. 15 deadline.

The Twins didn't put him with a club for the last two weeks of the 2011 minor league schedule. He didn't pitch formally in pro ball until reporting to the Elizabethton, Tenn., rookie team last summer.

Boyd was OK there -- a 2.95 ERA in 13 starts -- but there were more reports on his heft than his pitching.

"I didn't see it that way, but the Twins thought my weight hurt my endurance as a starter," Boyd said. "They kept talking about getting in better shape."

This week, Boyd was talking outside Hammond Stadium, the Twins' spring ballpark. Hudson said it was more than the message from the team that caused the resolve he has shown this winter.

"I'm going to be 21 in October," Boyd said. "I want to look good on my 21st birthday. That's the last big one to celebrate, right?"

Boyd hired Wes Parker as a trainer this winter. They have been meeting in a local park five days a week. Parker sets up cones and puts Boyd through running and agility drills. Boyd lifts weights independently, in accordance with a program given him by the Twins.

He was clocked consistently from 91 to 94 miles per hour with his fastball in high school. "I topped out at 97 a few times," he said.

The fastball was 91 to 93 last summer at Elizabethton and his strikeouts were low -- 36 in 58 innings.

"I'd like to get a little more velo [velocity] this spring," he said. "I have to work on my changeup, too. Ras showed me a few ways to throw one in instructional league this fall, and I got one that might work."

"Ras" is Eric Rasmussen, the Twins' minor league pitching instructor. Assuming Boyd stays on his current regimen of working out and healthful meals, most of the discussions will be about pitching, not conditioning, when Boyd reports with the minor leaguers on March 5.

"Reporting to camp won't be too tough for me," Boyd said. "My condo is 10 minutes away and I don't have to make a turn until I get to the ballpark."

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500-AM.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Utah 6:00 PM
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Brooklyn 6:30 PM
Washington 6:30 PM
Minnesota 6:30 PM
Toronto 6:30 PM
Chicago 7:00 PM
Portland 7:00 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Tampa Bay 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Anaheim 6:30 PM
NY Islanders 6:30 PM
Boston 7:00 PM
Dallas 8:00 PM
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 29 2nd Half
Radford 38
Stillman 6:00 PM
Case Western Reserve 6:00 PM
Niagara 6:00 PM
SD Christian 3 1st Half 17:39
UC Santa Barbara 6
Concordia (MI) 6:00 PM
Central Mich
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
North Florida 6:00 PM
Florida A&M
Hiwassee 6:00 PM
Tennessee St 6:00 PM
NC A&T 6:00 PM
Kent State
Central Penn College 6:00 PM
Bethune-Cookman 6:00 PM
Eastern Ky 6:00 PM
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Morehead State
Northern Ariz 6:00 PM
Norfolk State
MD-Eastern Shore 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
St Marys-CA 0 1st Half 18:55
St Johns 3
Clemson 0 1st Half 20:00
South Carolina 0
Tenn Tech 6:00 PM
Washington-MD 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Furman 6:30 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
South Dakota St 6:30 PM
Milligan 7:00 PM
LSU-Alexandria 7:00 PM
Southern Utah 7:00 PM
Chattanooga 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Seattle 7:00 PM
Lipscomb 7:00 PM
Winthrop 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Dickinson State 7:00 PM
North Dakota
New Orleans 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Alabama A&M 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Texas Tech
Eastern Wash 9:00 PM
Idaho State 9:05 PM
Utah State
Arizona 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 10:59 PM
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 64 2nd Half 1:01
Winthrop 54
Portland State 32 2nd Half 4:19
Princeton 100
UCLA 33 2nd Half 20:00
Samford 30
Mobile 9 2nd Half 20:00
Alabama State 39
Nicholls 20 1st Half 4:15
Texas Tech 32
Toledo 20 1st Half 3:30
Nevada 22
UMass Lowell 12 1st Half 6:43
(13) Duke 37
St Marys-CA 6:00 PM
McNeese State 6:00 PM
NJIT 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
(6) North Carolina 6:00 PM
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
Siena 6:00 PM
Longwood 6:00 PM
Savannah State 6:00 PM
Florida State
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Ohio U 6:00 PM
La Salle
Canisius 6:00 PM
Davidson 6:00 PM
NC State
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
McMurry 4 1st Half 18:18
Houston Baptist 4
(19) Syracuse 3 1st Half 17:28
(9) Baylor 3
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
Austin Peay
(25) DePaul 6:30 PM
(2) Connecticut
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
Long Beach St
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff 7:00 PM
Bowling Green 7:05 PM
Illinois State
Arkansas State 7:05 PM
Missouri State
ULM 7:05 PM
Wichita State
(16) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Southern Ill
Utah Valley U 8:30 PM
Pacific 9:00 PM
New Mexico St
No Dakota State 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Utah State 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Bethesda (CA) 9:00 PM
Fresno State
LSU 9:30 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Ervin Santana signing by the Twins?

Weekly Question