Doug Mientkiewicz Controls The Twins Future
As the Minnesota Twins look to embark on a phase that ultimately turns the tide back towards success at the major league level, the dominoes falling into place may actually take place at a much different stage. Although Paul Molitor will do his best to have the Twins competing for a playoff spot, it will be in Chattanooga, Tennessee that Doug Mientkiewicz and the Lookouts set the tone of the franchise for years to come.
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Right now, the 25 man roster for the Twins is in limbo. With veteran leadership like Torii Hunter paving the way for the upcoming youth, much of the talent poised to turn the club around is yet to play in a major league game. Despite Triple-A Rochester employing a good group of ballplayers, it is in Double-A that Doug Mientkiewicz is tasked with the most integral job in the organization.
A year after winning the Florida State League championship with the Fort Myers Miracle, Mientkiewicz and Jeff Smith have switched positions. Dougie Baseball has been promoted to join many of the players he has previously coached, to aid in their development prior to them reaching the next level.
Joining him in Tennessee to start the season, names like Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Nick Burdi, Eddie Rosario,and Max Kepler are all possibilities. Those names are among the reasons why the Twins are regarded as having one of the best farm systems in all of baseball. For Minnesota to get back to its winning ways in the AL Central, it will be on the backs of the young kids coming to the major league level and delivering on the talent and production expected out of them.
Last season, Mientkiewicz proved to be an integral part of both the development and success of his young team. A no-nonsense style approach is something that Doug has become synonymous with, and it is something that his players know all to well. Making sure that despite the high talent ceilings, these young prospects come to the park ready to work each and every day is something that Doug Mientkiewicz will continue to expect.
After the Twins ended their association with Double-A New Britain, it will be fans in Tennessee, and of the Chattanooga Lookouts, that get to experience the special talent ready to make the jump to the major leagues. As Doug Mientkiewicz goes this season, so too will his players.
Describing the year Doug Mientkiewicz has ahead of himself as anything less than monumental to the franchise would be doing it a disservice. So while he may not have been the right man for the major league job, it looks like Doug may have actually landed something just as important, and there’s no reason to believe he isn’t up to it.
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