The Twins had Kubel to get some at-bats on the minor league side of the Lee County Sports Complex, and he wound up facing Kyle Gibson (07-09), the Twins' first-round draft pick last year.■ Greg Folgia - Catcher (Indians Prospect Insider)
"Kubel got chewed up down there," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Kubel has been swinging very good, but Gibson was cutting it, he was sinking it. After three at-bats, Kubel says, 'OK, Gardy, I'm ready to go back. I got carved up.'"
Greg Folgia (07-09) could be one of the real sleepers from the 2009 Draft for the Indians. He is a good all around player who has a short, compact swing with great gap power. He piled up a lot of doubles his first year of pro ball which a lot of times turn into home runs. He is under-sized, but has the body, strength, and toughness you would expect from a former high school wrestler.
. . .
The Indians experimented with him at catcher during Instructional League in the fall and liked what they saw and will continue with the transition to catcher in 2010. With the move to catcher the Indians appear to be playing off the versatility he has shown in being able to play any position on the field, but they also appear to be maximizing what is probably his best asset: his arm. As a former pitcher in college he topped out at 95 MPH, and that arm strength was on display during Instructional League when he fired the ball all over the field with exceptional velocity and good accuracy.
■ Non-roster spotlight: Evan Frey (azcentral.com)
“You’re obviously not happy to have a year when you struggle,” he said. “But I was talking with our hitting coach Turner (Ward) and (Dave) Hansen (minor league hitting coordinator) about it all the time. ‘This is good for me.’
“Once you’re down you can only learn things from it. It’s not something that you want, but it’s almost like kind of a blessing in disguise in that you learn from it and know how to deal with failure. I feel more prepared for that and hopefully I can shorten the slumps, so instead of a week or a week and a half maybe I can just have a couple of games where I’m slumping and I can get out of it a little quicker.”
Evan Frey (05-07), whose most likely ceiling is as a fourth outfielder, will compete for a job in Triple-A Reno.
■ His roommate was Collie Flower Smith (Bus Leagues Baseball)
I recently learned two things about Brock Bond (06-07) that made my jaw drop. The first comes from Jeff Perro, the second from Baseball America’s 2010 Prospect Handbook:
1) His full name is Brock Lee Bond. Say the first and middle names quickly, out loud. Somebody’s parents had a sense of humor.
2) He was drafted by the Giants in the 24th round of the 2007 draft. I know, I know – there’s nothing shocking about that. The Handbook, however, notes that he was drafted accidentally – the Giants were actually targeting Casey Bond, an outfielder out of Lipscomb. I wonder how many people got fired for that little mixup.
■ Hunter Mense (04-06) is back to blogging about his Spring Training experiences at The Life and Times of Aitch
To start spring training I've been assigned to the triple A group. Within the position players I'm the second youngest guy, which is a lot different than in years past. It's been great for me so far, we've got so many guys that have been around the game for so long and when you see those guys you want to try and emulate what they do because to be around the game that long you know that they're doing something right. The manager of the triple group is Edwin Rodriguez who was my manager in '08 in Greensboro. We have a lot of familiarity with each other so it's been pretty comforting. Our hitting coach is Greg Norton. This is his first year in coaching after a career that jay ended last year after spending parts of 13 seasons in the big leagues. I love to pick his brain and try and be a sponge with him as much as possible.
■ The Colorado Rockies assigned Andrew Johnston (05) to the Minor League camp. He had been a non-roster invitee to the Major League camp.