Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

Find him on Twitter

Spring training observations

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Twins fans, Twins management, Twins offense, Twins transactions Updated: February 26, 2014 - 1:34 PM

Fort Myers, Fla.

First impressions of some key people in the Twins' spring training camp:

-Byron Buxton: It might be the strangest thing I've ever seen in early spring training, when pitchers throw live batting practice to hitters. Buxton takes every pitch. He told me he wants to improve his pitch selection, and he's working on that by tracking pitches and not swinging.

Most young hitters want to show off, to hit tape-measure home runs. And that's what Miguel Sano and Kennys Vargas do every day. Buxton is so supremely confident in his swing and ability to hit that he would rather spend live BP getting used to the movement of pitches. Remarkable.

-Miguel Sano: Yes, he's about 260 pounds. (Last I heard he weighed in at 255, and that was before dinner.) But he's not fat. He has massive legs and shoulders. He is a powerhouse. I think he'll be a better defensive third baseman than Trevor Plouffe and has a chance to hit 40 home runs in the big leagues whenever he settles in as an everyday player.

-Kennys Vargas: Excellent power from both sides of the plate. Needs to work on pitch selection, taking good at-bats, fielding, but he's come a long way. He, Buxton and Sano could play together at Class AA New Britain this season. They could put on a show.

-MIke Pelfrey: Looks to me like he's throwing easier and with more zip than last spring.

-Alex Meyer: Eddie Guardado pulled me aside and mimicked Meyer's motion. He said when Meyer leads toward home plate with a firm left (non-throwing) arm, his mechanics fall into place and he pitches with a downward angle that makes his fastball sizzle and his breaking pitches dive. When he gets lazy with his front arm, he tends to sling the ball three-quarters, losing velocity and downward movement.

Guardado, who is not always easy to please, says he ``loves'' Meyer, meaning Meyer can listen and implement advice. Meyer has by far the best arm in camp.

-Vance Worley: When he succeeded as a rookie in Philadelphia, he threw 93-94. Last year, he sometimes began games throwing in the high-80s, and sometimes it didn't get much better than that. He doesn't have the kind of pitch command to be able to throw 89. He tends to pitch up in the strike zone. He needs to recapture velocity to have a chance to make it back to the big leagues.

-Trevor May: Needs to work on control, but the Twins hope/believe he can develop into a member of their future rotation, which could look like this: Meyer, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey, Kyle Gibson, May. (I listed six because someone always gets hurt.) Then the Twins have good young arms like Jose Berrios and Kohl Stewart on the way.

-Trevor Plouffe: Came into camp looking stronger, but he already had good power. If he wants to have a big-league career, he needs to become quicker and more alert at third base. He doesn't anticipate well and he lacks initial quickness, which is why so many seemingly catchable balls fly by him.

-Aaron Hicks: Let's face it. He's a mystery. I still believe he'll be a good everyday outfielder, with a high on-base percentage and excellent fielding range. But who knows when he'll figure it out? And if he succeeds this spring, that won't prove anything, because he succeeded last spring.

-Michael Tonkin: Excellent stuff, good attitude, could be a big part of the bullpen for years to come.

-Caleb Thielbar: Even in live batting practice, impresses with his stuff and aggression.

I'm not saying any positive developments in camp could make the Twins contenders. But I don't think they'll embarrass themselves this year the way they have the last three years.

--------------------------------

I"ll be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:15 every weekday ,and on 1500ESPN in the Twin Cities (that's 1500 AM) at 12:15 or so with Mackey & Judd every weekday. I'll be back in studio with Scott Korzenowski 10-noon on Sunday on 1500ESPN.

You can follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.

ADVERTISEMENT

more twins blogs

Post By Category

Professional baseball (155) Vikings (207)
Gopher coaches (48) Gopher quarterbacks (13)
Gopher recruiting (2) Gopher road games (3)
Gophers disciplinary action (2) Gophers recruiting (2)
Gophers spring football (4) TCF Bank Stadium (22)
The Big 10 (25) NCAA: football (14)
Gophers coaches (61) Gophers players (40)
Tubby Smith (38) Williams Arena (16)
Gophers post season (6) Gophers roster moves (4)
Golf (38) Soccer (4)
Twins news (39) WNBA (8)
Wild news (51) AFC (9)
Bears (24) Ex-Vikings (16)
Football on TV (79) Lions (18)
NFC (70) NFL draft (29)
NFL post-season (31) Packers (52)
Super Bowl (47) Vikings coaches (105)
Vikings defense (51) Vikings fans (34)
Vikings injury report (15) Vikings management (78)
Vikings off the field (28) Vikings offense (67)
Vikings quarterbacks (41) Vikings road games (14)
Vikings rookies (4) Vikings roster moves (3)
Vikings special teams (2) Vikings training camp (5)
Off the field (5) On the road (23)
Quarterbacks (35) Rookies (3)
Roster moves (1) Vikings draft (41)
Ron Gardenhire (120) Target Field (151)
Twins fans (159) Twins management (208)
Twins offense (115) Twins transactions (96)
NBA playoffs (40) Wolves coaches (72)
Wolves draft news (28) Wolves guards (37)
Wolves injury report (7) Wolves management (77)
Wolves players (59) Wolves trade talk (14)
Wolves training camp (11) All-Stars and honors (89)
Fighting (2) Wild coaching (42)
Wild management (53) Wild off-season news (9)
Wild player moves (8) Adrian Peterson (65)
Anthony Herrera (2) Antoine Winfield (16)
Ben Leber (1) Bernard Berrian (7)
Brad Childress (30) Brett Favre (56)
Brian Robison (3) Bryant McKinnie (3)
Cedric Griffin (5) Chad Greenway (11)
Chester Taylor (5) Chris Kluwe (2)
Darrell Bevell (6) E.J. Henderson (4)
Jared Allen (29) John Sullivan (6)
Kevin Williams (5) Leslie Frazier (55)
Madieu Williams (2) Pat Williams (3)
Percy Harvin (26) Phil Loadholt (3)
Ray Edwards (1) Ryan Longwell (9)
Sage Rosenfels (1) Sidney Rice (10)
Steve Hutchinson (7) Tarvaris Jackson (12)
Tyrell Johnson (2) Visanthe Shiancoe (5)
Brad Childress (30) Darrell Bevell (6)
Leslie Frazier (55) NHL news (9)
2010 Winter Games (13) Olympic curling (1)
Olympic hockey (8) Olympic skiing (4)
Olympic village (11)

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT