Minoring in Twitter: All-Stars show off their selfies

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com

This week featured All-Star games from around the Minors, including the Southern, South Atlantic, Midwest and Calfornia/Carolina Leagues. You can actually read about those games on MiLB.com, but really, you just want iPhone selfies of players on the field, right?

All-Star Game dugout selfie:

And another from an All-Star game:

New Britain’s Ryan Arrowood:

Moving on, here’s a look at Johnson City’s Jurassic World-themed uniforms, which have a 1991 pajamas vibe to them:

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Minoring in Twitter: Indians’ Dace Kime sees Jurassic World, wants his own dinosaur

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com

Jurassic

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know my passion for the Jurassic Park series is shared only by Indians prospect Dace Kime, who triumphantly tweeted his viewing experience from start to finish on June 12, the day the movie premiered — the movie came out the day after Kime, a right-hander and 2013 third-round pick, held Salem to a run on three hits over six innings for his second win:

Using the same breakthrough science used in Jurassic World, we were able to create a rendering of what that might look like:

image1

Moving along, what’s a spider doctor?
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The real cost of being a Minor Leaguer: A look inside Todd Van Steensel’s bank account

By Ashley Marshall/MiLB.com

tvs

The 2015 season is quickly becoming the year of the ransom note, but don’t expect to hold Todd Van Steensel hostage.

The Cleveland Indians made headlines earlier this month when its bullpen kept Brandon Moss’ 100th home run ball hostage. Later, the Indians’ starters presented a list of expensive demands to Francisco Lindor to recover the ball from his first big league hit.

Something similar is unlikely to ever happen in the Florida State League, where Australian right-hander Van Steensel is plying his trade.

It’s been well documented that Minor Leaguers don’t make too much money, and Van Steensel is a perfect example of just how paycheck-to-paycheck some Minor Leaguers live.

I reached out to Van Steensel, the closer for Class A Advanced Fort Myers, in Spring Training to see if he would be willing to itemize his expenses throughout the 2015 season. With the first half nearing a close, here are the findings.
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Minoring in Twitter: Ben Verlander and Kate Upton ride a horse

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com

Kate Upton turned 23 this week, and that, thankfully, was a good excuse for Lakeland Flying Tigers outfielder Ben Verlander to dig through his phone and find this awesome photo of him proudly riding a horse with Kate:

Kate Upton, of course, is the girlfriend of Ben’s brother, Cy Young Award-winner Justin Verlander, who incidentally is also back in the Minors as he rehabs with Triple-A Toledo. (Happy Birthday Kate!)

And this scenario (in which Ben went with the #stud hashtag) should not be confused with Derek Jeter’s girlfriend, Hannah Davis, who also apparently really likes horses:

Ben also weighed in on the current AL All-Star voting, which is comically one-sided thanks to Royals fans who apparently think the world revolves around Kansas City:

And then Ben let us all in on those conversations players have at second base:

And he fought back against the growing storm of rumors that he snores:

As I predicted earlier, Minor Leaguers went out and saw the new Entourage movie, and the reviews are in!

So Chris Heston threw a no-hitter for the Giants this week, and zero Minor Leaguers (as far as I can tell) tweeted about it:

Behold the power of Midwestern stormy weather:

Is this bad?

Jurassic World: The Park is Open!

Today, June 12, has finally arrived! Jurassic World is here, and Indians No. 25 prospect Dace Kime, like me, won’t be able to see it at midnight due to baseball obligations:

BTW, nice job by Dace, six strong innings for his second Carolina League win Thursday.

Todd Van Steensel is stuck here in Florida while his friends back in Australia get to see Jurassic World early thanks to time-zone magic:

And the Johnson City Cardinals come out of nowhere with the announcement of a Jurassic World-themed promotional jersey:

Speaking of dinosaurs, we found video of a T-rex (“You said you have a T-rex? Say again?”) delivering a ball to Justin Verlander for his rehab outing with Triple-A Toledo:

Anyway, tune in next week for the reactions!

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Schwarber the Gateman

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com

Now that summer is in full swing and the Cape Cod Baseball League and other elite collegiate wood-bat circuits have begun, we at MiLB.com are going to take an occasional look back at how current prospects performed during their final amateur showcases.

Cliff Welch/MiLB.com

Cliff Welch/MiLB.com

What better place to start than with catcher Kyle Schwarber, who’s batting .322 with a .440 on-base percentage for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies and is currently ranked by MLB.com as the Cubs’ No 2 prospect?

Before Schwarber was selected out of Indiana University with the fourth pick of the 2014 Draft, the Midwesterner had made quite a name for himself in Massachusetts.

He first made a splash with the Wareham Gatemen in 2012, which was the summer between his freshman and sophomore years. Schwarber split his time behind the plate and left field, but it was the way he stung the ball that left a mark.

With a .343 average, eight homers and 38 RBIs over 44 games that year, Schwarber’s bat was a key component in helping the Gatemen reach the playoffs. But the best — and worst — was yet to come.

Wareham was down, 5-2, to Yarmouth-Dennis in the ninth inning of the championship game, thanks in part to a fielding error by Schwarber in left. He’d also struck out in each of his first three at-bats, once with a runner on, and twice to start an inning.

“I still remember that game like it’s the back of my hand,” Schwarber said after a four-hit performance for the Smokies in late April. “It was probably the worst game of my life for the first eight innings, and then in extra innings I was able to turn it around. I’d just made the error and dropped a ball in the outfield to let a run score, and my coach [Cooper Farris] came over and said, ‘Is it going to get any worse than that?’

“I said, ‘No,’ and he said, ‘OK, good. I don’t want to kick you out of the game.'”

Schwarber homered to start the bottom of the ninth. Three batters later, Mott Hyde (now an Astros prospect) tied the game with another dinger. With two outs in the top of the 10th, a runner on first and the game deadlocked at five, Schwarber stepped to the dish and played the hero again, hammering a 1-2 pitch out of the yard.

“We were heading into the 10th and a teammate came over and said, ‘Hey, keep your head in it,’ and I did and eventually I hit the home run that just happened to be pretty important.”

In addition to assuring a Gatemen championship, the Middletown, Ohio native earned the Cape League’s Playoff MVP Award.

After a summer like that, what could keep Schwarber from returning to the Cape after his sophomore year? Well, he certainly had a lot going on. His Hoosiers reached the College World Series, and directly after that Schwarber joined Team USA.

Still, he came back to Wareham in time to suit up in nine Gatemen games. What did he do in his first game that year? Same old, same old –- he hit a two-run homer to tie it in the ninth, capping a 4-for-4 performance.

“I was really happy about [returning],” Schwarber said. “I had a good relationship with my coach, and I told him, ‘Hey, even if I do go to Team USA, I’m going to come back if we’re not in playoff contention.’ We weren’t at all, so I was really happy to be able to go back and spend time there with my coach and that team.

“There was another Indiana player [Will Coursen-Carr] out there, and I was able to help him out a little bit. It was a good summer overall, being able to play with Team USA and on the Cape again.”

Through his stay that abbreviated season, he batted .432 (16-for-37).

Minoring in Twitter: The ugly side of Tommy John; Decker debuts new film

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com

What does Tommy John surgery look like? Last we saw Indians right-hander Dylan Baker, he was resting comfortably in bed, taking selfies with his good arm:

But after seeing this, you’ll wish you never wondered what the aftermath looks like. Viewer discretion is advised:

So apparently they just slice open your arm and then Scotch-tape it back together. Here’s another from Astros lefty Kent Emanuel:

Moving along to something less gruesome but perhaps equally painful for a certain video intern in El Paso, we present Cody Decker‘s latest short film, Wear It, a six-minute feature that chronicles the Padres Triple-A slugger dressing up a team intern who apparently had failed to adhere to the Chihuahuas’ dress code earlier in the season (viewer discretion advised specifically for MiLB.com’s Kelsie Heneghan, who is terrified of clowns):

I thought the credits with the clips of the intern in the dugout were some of the funniest parts. Was hoping for a little more Jason Lane screen time, though:

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Minoring in Twitter: ‘Going deep’ with Cubs’ Giansanti, Pirates’ Taillon

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com

This week, we carefully wade into the entertaining though sometimes bizarre Twitter timeline of Cubs prospect Anthony Giansanti, currently in his third season with Double-A Tennessee. With that kind of experience, the outfielder appears to have developed a certain comfort level, leading us to this: the Tennessee Smokies as you’ve (probably) never seen them:

Giansanti channels his inner Tom Hanks:

And then he has this deep conversation with teammate Bijan Rademacher:

How many times do you think he tried to record this?

And, over at Cracker Barrell, he captures Smokies ace Carl Edwards Jr. turning to his iPhone during a checkers match:

The always quotable Jameson Taillon gives advice on insomnia:

Taillon, who previously bragged about his expert PB&J skills, reveals another winning combo:

And when the big Pirates right-hander tells you to avoid a certain map on Call of Duty, you best believe him:

Padres first baseman Cody Decker, who has five homers and 12 RBIs in his last eight games, got some encouragement from WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan:

First-world problems:

Red Sox prospect Mauricio Dubon isn’t afraid to embrace pink:

Indians prospect Dace Kime, again, is connecting with me. I’ve been planning to try the new “Jurassic Smash Blizzard” (peanut butter cookies smashed together with chocolate chip cookie dough) at Dairy Queen this week (“An adventure in every bite!”). The question here is, what’s the struggle? Just get it:

Also, congrats to Dace, who was promoted to Class A Advanced Lynchburg earlier this month. I downloaded this game a couple weeks ago, too (13 days until Jurassic World in IMAX 3D):

Nationals farmhand Bryan Harper announced he has finally begun watching Game of Thrones:

Another huge announcement:

What do baseball players do without Netflix?

Chipotle Tweets of the Week

Minoring in Twitter: Beach days, selfies, magic candy and purple shoes

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com

Phillies top prospect JP Crawford misses his dog, a frequently seen pet of Minoring in Twitter:

In case Indians lefty Sean Brady has ever checked out your hair, now we all know why:

Brewers catcher Matt Clark, who is only the third player in Minor League history with the name “Matt Clark,” reports the weather in Colorado isn’t currently ideal:

What do Minor Leaguers think of the NFL’s decision to lengthen extra point kicks?

We all know many Minor Leaguers feel they are underpaid, but Twins reliever Todd Van Steensel thinks he’s found a loophole for the future (if the Dodgers and Angels somehow allowed a MInor League team into LA, I guess):

Todd also revealed he’s not picky when it comes to how he likes his eggs:

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Minoring in Twitter: Players are really excited about… Pitch Perfect 2?

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By Danny Wild / MiLB.com

If you came here expecting some heartwarming tweets from players on Mothers’ Day, you’re in the wrong place, because Braves lefty Max Fried has finally gotten back to us about something much more important: which Pitch Perfect film was the best?

Thanks, that’s settled. Wait, what? Phillies prospect Venn Biter is also tweeting about Pitch Perfect?

What the hell is going on? I’ve never even heard of Pitch Perfect, nevermind a second one:

I’ve really never heard of these movies, and I don’t even want to look it up (for a second I assumed, maybe it’s about baseball?) But, evidently this is a big deal:

Oh wait, sorry, this tweet is actually about, you know … baseball:

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Minoring in Twitter: Players react to Mayweather-Pacquiao

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, stops Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, with a left during their welterweight title fight on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

It’s been almost a week now since the let-down that was Mayweather-Pacquaio, a gigantic, multi-million dollar waste of time that saw Floyd Mayweather outlast an injured Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas (home of the 51s). While the fight’s telecast showed a huge celebrity audience, from Michael Jordan and Tom Brady to Ser Jamie Lannister (of Casterly Rock HBO’s Game of Thrones) and even the creepy Burger King guy, it appeared to lack baseball players.

Enter Angels prospect Trevor Gretzky.

Gretzky was, as far as I can tell, the only Minor Leaguer and baseball player to actually be at the fight in-person, and, as you can imagine,  with great seats. He posted this video on Instagram:

TREVOR

So, if you’re in the Minors and weren’t named “Gretzky,” you probably watched the “Fight of the Century” from your couch or squeezed into a local bar to see the action. Here’s how players reacted to Mayweather’s unanimous 12-round decision:

Some think Pacquiao, who revealed afterward he was limited with a torn rotator cuff, actually may have won:

Non-boxing Tweets of the Week

We’ll move on to stuff that doesn’t involve boxing:

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