FORT MYERS- In this edition of Live From Florida, Joe Benson surprisingly was with the Rochester Red Wings group on Monday. Some of the Twins top prospects were spraying the ball all over the field on Monday, and some prospects even surprised with their power strokes.
The Twins Minor Leaguers were back at it on Monday, as the team broke into their groups and swung some lumber. Some prospects looked locked in at the plate, and some have even added the long ball to their repertoire. It is still very early in the spring, but here are some of the key sights from the ballpark on Monday.Over at New Britain field, Caleb Moore, Javier Sanchez, and Korey Feiner were working behind the dish. Moore also looked great hitting the ball, especially for someone who was working out in catching equipment all morning.Jonathan Martinez looks like he put on some muscle, and Aaron Craig and Robert Delaney looked flawless doing pitching drills.It looked as if Erik Lis, Trevor Plouffe, Steven Tolleson, and David Winfree will be the starting infield in New Britain.Over at the Rochester side, Matthew Moses and Brian Buscher took turns taking ground balls at third base.Jose Morales had a great day behind the plate, and at the dish, earning praise from former Twins Manager Tom Kelly. He showed a cannon behind the plate, and the coaches really appear to praise him for anything he does. He also stroked a few balls to the gaps during batting practice.Towards the end of pitching drills, Danny Powers made a spectacular play, getting back to first base on a double play exchange from Matt Tolbert. The team, and coaches went crazy.Two players who looked great hitting the ball were Kyle Geiger and Brock Peterson, who each parked a few out of the yard.One player who surprised me with his power was Matt Allegra, who worked in a great group of hitters in the morning. Allegra hit the ball hard to all fields, and his group, which include Douglas Deeds and Trent Oeltjen, put on quite a show.For Beloit, Garrett Olson appeared to be in mid-season form, spraying the ball to all fields. Mark Dolenc looks like he hit the gym hard this off-season, and could be a middle of the order hitter.Some other Beloit hitters who looked sharp were Mark Robinson, who absolutely crushed the ball, and catcher Wilson Ramos, who had several "man swings" according to Beloit manager Jeff Smith.Chris Parmelee looks like he put on a few pounds, and the ball took a hurting when he stepped in for batting practice. Danny Santiesteban worked the gaps, and Deibinson Romero showed power from his lanky frame.
One noticeable sighting was Joe Benson, who was working out with the Rochester group. Benson was the Twins second round selection in 2006, and only made it as far as Beloit last season. He did not look out of his element with the rest of the Rochester outfielders, and even appeared to be stronger than some of them.
It is still very early to tell where he will play in 2007, but he hit the ball just as good as any other Rochester outfielder. He may have just been working in that group, but he did seem to be a favorite of Rochester manager Stan Cliburn. This is something I will keep my eye on.
Tomorrow I head back to the Lee County Sports Complex, as the Twins prospects get ready for their opening slate of games on Thursday.