Twins, Blue Wahoos ready to begin Spring Training

Sports Overtime

The Blue Wahoos will have a new look this season. They have the same logo, same jerseys and same stadium. But their entire roster will be different.

“One thing that we now have such a heightened awareness of is how these relationships can enhance your chances of getting the most out of your players,” said Twins general manager Thad Levine.

The Wahoos are now an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. 

“Whether it’s the amazing stadium and facilities the Blue Wahoos have, not just the playing sur
face and the field but also the clubhouse, obviously the waterfront view is amazing,” said Director of Minor League Operations Jeremy Zoll.

“I have a buddy who’s a pilot here, he’s training here. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things so I can’t wait to get started,” said pitcher Devin Smeltzer.

The players on the field will be entirely different from years past, but this could become one of the best Blue Wahoos teams ever.

“In scouting parlance you could say some of these guys are delicious,” said the Twins general manager. “We’re very excited about our young core in the Majors, and we’re equally excited about these guys on the horizon.”

“We have three Top-100 prospects according to most of the publications,” said Zoll.

And the plan is for those top prospects to spend time here in Pensacola next season. The Twins top prospects will be lead by new manager Ramon Borrego, who just won the Florida State League in Single-A last season.

“For us it’s very important, for Minnesota it’s important and for me it’s important. I could see the development everyday,” said Borrego.

Now the Twins trip to the Gulf Coast wasn’t just about baseball, it also included a quick trip to Pensacola Beach.

“I love it, it reminds me of California beaches except the sand is a lot better,” said Wells. “The sand is beautiful I love the sand. And the waves are nice.”

“It’s definitely not bad,” joked Wells. “It’s awesome. To play in a place like this would be sweet.”

But throughout all the excitement of the Twins visit, one thing stood out.

The Twins aren’t just sending their up-and-coming talent here to play baseball.

“We get a chance to look under the hood and meet people in the community and see the community and feel for ourselves the growth and development and how much it’s thriving down here. I think we see this as a really healthy place for our players to not only grow as baseball players but as contributing members of the community,” said Levine.

“If I’m here and I can only help one kid, that’s one life I changed,” said Smeltzer. “I can’t wait for this experience. I’ve heard how much Bubba Watson has done at the hospital and I’ve heard it’s an awesome place so I look forward to getting in there.” 


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