The Twins have invited 14 players to Spring Training, including eight position players, and six pitchers. Some of these players have some Major League experience, while some are getting the invite due to their fantastic 2006 season. Anyone of these players could see action with the Minnesota Twins during the 2007 season, so they deserve some mentioning.
Three catchers will be invited to Major League camp, as the Twins try to bolster one of their weaker Minor League positions. Korey Feiner, Jose Morales, and Jose Leger will be at camp, with Morales being the only player taken by the Twins via the draft. Feiner and Morales were both signed by the Twins as non-drafted free agents, while Morales was drafted in the third round of the 2001 draft.
Former Twins third baseman Glenn Williams highlights a group of four infielders who were invited to camp this Spring. Williams is joined by Tommy Watkins, Gil Velazquez, and Ken Harvey, who missed all of last season with a ruptured Achilles Tendon. Watkins had a surprisingly good season with the Rochester Red Wings last season, and could see his first Major League action in 2007.
Josh Rabe is the only outfielder invited to camp, as he is coming off a strong showing in the Big Leagues in 2006. Rabe will begin the season with the Rochester Red Wings, but he showed he could hit Major League pitching last season, and will be called upon if some of the veterans on the team do not produce. He batted .286 in 24 appearances for the Twins last season.
Of the six pitchers who were invited to camp, Kevin Slowey may be the one who most Twins fans would like to get a look at. Slowey blazed his way through the Twins farm system in 2006, and is on the brink of making his Major League debut sometime in the 2007 season. He is one of the better pitching prospects in all of the Minor Leagues, and should have a solid 2007 season.
Newcomers Jeremy Cummings, Carmen Cali, and Mike Venafro also got the invite to camp, and will be joined by Twins farmhands Jason Miller and Tristan Crawford. Cummings will also be one to look at during camp, as he could seriously help out the Twins rotation during the 2007 season. Venafro saw some time in the big leagues with Colorado this past season, but he will most likely be in Rochester to start the season.
In addition, Tom Kelly, Terry Steinbach, Paul Molitor, Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, Phil Roof, and Rod Carew will join the coaching staff for Spring Training. The Twins have a 32-game Grapefruit League season, and pitchers and catchers report as soon as February 18.