Catching up with Lewis Thorpe
One of the most intriguing Twins prospects is pitcher Lewis Thorpe. Both he and Max Kepler are names that Twins fans have come to know after being signed out of international free agency. Thorpe played for Single-A Cedar Rapids last season after being inked out of Australia. There were some injury concerns, mainly to his elbow, at the end of the season that provided quite a scare for Thorpe.
Looking to build on 2014 success, the young lefty will be looking to continue to climb the ladder for the Twins. Mayo asked him three questions as he prepares for the upcoming season.
MLBPipeline.com: You suffered a sprained UCL in your throwing elbow at the end of the season. How scary was that and how are you feeling now?
Thorpe: When I first did it, I was really terrified. I didn’t know what was going on then. Once the scans came back and said it was just a sprain, I was happy. I’m feeling great. I feel back to my normal self, where I was when I first got to Cedar Rapids. I’m feeling healthy, I’m throwing my bullpens now at 100 percent at five minutes. Everything is coming out real nice and I’m progressing real well. I’m going to be ready for Spring Training and hopefully it’s going to be a big year.
MLBPipeline.com: A number of guys have come from Australia to play in the big leagues or in pro ball. Who did you look at growing up that gave you the bug that made you want to do this?
Thorpe: Personally, growing up, I didn’t really follow the big leagues when I was younger. When I first met Graeme Lloyd and he told us his stories, when I went to the Australian Academy, I started looking up to him as my idol. He’s a big inspiration in my life, he’s taught me so much about pitching. He’s just an amazing guy. He was a great pitcher, too, and did a lot of great things in his career.
MLBPipeline.com: In a perfect world, what does 2015 look like for you?
Thorpe: Hopefully, I’ll start off in High-A, but if I start off in Cedar Rapids, it won’t be a problem. I’m 19. I just have to figure out my pitches, throw more strikes and see where it goes from there. Anything can happen. It’s baseball.
The Twins have had success in Australia with players like Luke Hughes and James Beresford contributing throughout the organization. Neither had the pedigree of the young Thorpe, and he will look to continue pushing towards and eventual big league breakthrough.
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