As most MLB teams do, the Twins have given quite a few prospects game time in Spring Training this year. Among those prospects are minor-league players Ryan LaMarre and Stephen Gonsalves.
Ryan LaMarre’s Impressive Spring Training
The majority of his playing career has been at the minor-league level. Last November, the Twins signed him on a minor-league deal.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rocky professional career, now playing with his fourth major league team in four years. Over that four-year stretch, with a total of 40 plate appearance, LaMarre’s put up a .054 batting average; it’s fair to say he’s struggled when given the chance.
However, LaMarre has shown improvement during the Twins’ Spring Training. In 15 at-bats, LaMarre has seven hits, including a triple and home run, seven RBIs, and five runs.
His hard work this offseason has been paying off. LaMarre also gives credit to the Twins’ hitting coach and assistant hitting coach, James “J-Row” Rowson and Rudy Hernandez, and other Twins players, including Joe Mauer.
While 23-year-old Stephen Gonsalves hasn’t gotten as many opportunities as LaMarre this spring, he’s still a player to keep an eye on for the upcoming season.
The lefty out of San Diego hasn’t broken into the majors yet, but has put up respectable numbers in the minors with a 41-17 record and a 2.39 ERA dating back to 2013.
In Spring Training this year, Gonsalves has pitched 3 1/3 innings, giving up six hits, walking two and allowing one earned run.
His goal this year: to stay healthy. Additionally, he’d like to add consistency to his curveball and pitch 180 to 200 innings.
Zach Duke, a 34-year-old left-handed veteran, has begun to work with Gonsalves on his curveball.
Kyle Gibson is another Twins pitcher that has served as a mentor for Gonsalves.
While Ryan LaMarre is expected to start in the minors, if he can continue his success at the plate, the Twins will have no choice but to give him a call. Stephen Gonsalves will look to continue improving his game to earn his first minutes as a major-league player.
*A special shout-out to Post Malone’s “Candy Paint,” which played for about 30 minutes on repeat.