Thursday, March 8, 2007
Spring Training Q&A
with David Winfree
I know some of you came here today to read my thoughts on the final eight females on American Idol. I wish I had it, but I don't have any. Last night was poker night, so I went to that. I taped American Idol, but when I got home to watch it, the tape was terrible. I couldn't understand anything. I mean, I could tell that Sabrina Sloan looked really nice, but that's about it. So, please feel free to give your American Idol Thoughts for the readers in the Comments below. Thank you!
Today, I have another Spring Training Q&A. So, let's get started right away.
Today's Spring Training Q&As is with right-handed hitting 3B David Winfree. The Twins 3B/1B prospect is a hitting and run producing machine! Despite missing some time early in the 2006 season, Winfree claims a top spot in the Twins prospect system. When I did my Top 50 Twins prospects list last week, I ranked Winfree #8. He had a successful showing in the touted Arizona Fall League. He appeared at Twins Fest in Minneapolis in January. Last April, he was kind enough to do a Q&A for this site. By week's end, Winfree will be in Ft. Myers as minor league camp is about to begin.
The following are his thoughts as the 2007 training camp is about to begin:
SethSpeaks: 2006 was a season of ups and downs for you. Overall, how do you > feel about your 2006 season?
David Winfree: The 2006 season was a season of ups and downs for me, but all and all I think it turned out to be a pretty meaningful one, and plus what season doesn't have its ups and downs. Four hits one night then zero the next. haha. I learned more than I ever have this past year, not physically, but mentally. It was tough coming right back into action in the second half of the season, but I knew that's what I needed to do and I made the best of it as I could. Then I was fortunate to get the opportunity to go to the AFL and that was a great experience getting to play with the best prospects in the minor leagues and some big league guys. I definitely feel it will help me be a step ahead this year.
SethSpeaks: You played in the Arizona Fall League. What was that experience like?
David Winfree: Just as I said before, it was a great opportunity, and I would love to go again this year. Getting to play with guys from other organizations and other managers is a lot different than just play during season. Kind of feels like you are in an all-star game for a month and a half. If I have the year I am capable of having, I know the AFL is place I could be heading again, and that would definitely fine with me.
SethSpeaks: How was the rest of your offseason? Did you jump right into an offseason workout routine, or were you able to get completely away from baseball for a little while.
David Winfree: The off-season was different this year. It was a little tough deciding a time to begin my workouts. I was used to instructs which doesnt last quite as long as the fall league. When I got back from the fall league I took a little break, but then got right back in to my lifting schedule. I got a little jump start out in Arizona. Most of the guys out there did, you didn't play everyday so your weren't as tired and were able to get a lift in at the end of the game. Just after the new year I started hitting and taking ground balls. I hit six days a week, and take ground balls in the in the morning before hitting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday's. All that along with lifting five times a week, I managed to stay pretty busy.
SethSpeaks: How was Twins Fest 2006 for you? Don't you just love coming up to Minnesota in January?
David Winfree: This year was my second Twinsfest and it was great as always. Its always nice to see some of the guys and meet the fans that follow you throughout the year. It seems Minnesota has some die hard fans, the turn out there everyday I think was record breaking. On the other hand the weather was a different story. When we were there I think it was zero degrees, and I wasn't quite used to that. The fans didn't seem to mind it they were waiting in line at nine in the morning to get into the Metrodome, so as I said....die hard.
SethSpeaks: Do you feel physically and mentally ready for the upcoming season?
David Winfree: I feel I'm as ready as I'll every be, I've trained harder and harder each year, and has seemed to pay off each year so hopefully things will continue to progress. I think as the season goes on and as each day passes you become mentally stronger, as we all know its a very tough game, and will knock you off your feet at anytime, but it is the greatest game out there, that's why we get right back up
SethSpeaks: Heading into camp, what are your hopes and expectations for it and where you will start the '07 campaign?
David Winfree: Heading in to spring training is always exciting, getting to see all the guys, and getting to suit up and get out on the field and get to work. I look at spring training I think how most guys look at it, just trying to get tuned up and sharpen your skills for the season. I would like to start in New Britain, and I know I'm capable of doing that, but that one is up to the big guys, I know they have a plan for me and its in my best interest so I just follow along with it.
SethSpeaks: Have you set any goals for yourself for the 2007 season?
David Winfree: Everyone has goals for themselves, but I look at the big picture, I thing everybody's ultimate goal is to play in the big leagues someday. My goals are a little different, I just want to continue to progress everyday no matter what it is mentally or physically, as long as I know im getting better im more than comfortable with that, because I look at my season as I'm trying to get myself ready for the big leagues. I look at the minor leagues as a huge or a very long spring training, its just me trying to tune up and sharpen my tools and get them prepared for my ultimate goal.
SethSpeaks: One other question. We talked a little about one of your youth coaches down in the Virginia Beach area, specifically Towny Townsend. Can you talk a little about what he means to baseball in that area and to you and guys like Michael Cuddyer and BJ and Justin Upton?
David Winfree: The youth coached in this area are second to none. I've been fortunate in my life to play for some great coaches and they all have played a part in where im at today. If you ask any of the guys from this area that are playing pro ball I know they would all say the same thing. I had the opportunity to play for Towny Townsend, not only is he a great coach and has done more for this area in baseball than anyone I can think of, but he is a great man of God. He taught me not only baseball, but how to carry myself on and off the field, and many other important life lessons. He's fighting cancer again now and my prays are with him every night and I know if anyone can beat it he can.
Thank you very much to David for taking some of his time before the start of Spring Training. We certainly wish him the best of luck in 2007!
The Twins managed just four hits against the Pirates in a 5-2 loss yesterday. The big hit was a home by Tommy Watkins. Jason Bartlett hit a double. So did former Twin Michael Ryan who is now with the Pirates. On the mound, Boof Bonser rebounded from his rough first outing to strikeout three in three shutout innings. Joe Nathan struck out two in his inning. Jesse Crain struck out two in hit two shutout innings, and Juan Rincon had a strikeout in his shutout frame. JD Durbin then took a mound for the first time since his biceps injury last June. It wasn't too good, but it was a start. In one inning, he gave up three runs (2 earned) on four hits and a walk. He also hit a batter.
To the daily Former Twins Update:
Terry Tiffee got a couple of innings in at 3B for the Orioles. He went 0-1. Chris Gomez started at 2B and went 0-2.
Luis Rivas was 3-4 as the Indians second baseman. He had two doubles and an RBI. Casey Blake played 1B and went 0-4.
Dustan Mohr went 1-2 as the backup LF for the Devil Rays.
Ruben Sierra was the Mets DH and went 1-4.
David Ortiz was 1-3 as the Red Sox DH.
Michael Restovich was 0-1 as the backup RF for the Nationals.
Todd Walker was 0-4 DHing for the Padres. Rod Bowen went 0-3 for them.
Augie Ojeda was 1-1 as the Diamondbacks' backup SS. He was also hit by a pitch. Alex Romero was the backup RF and went 0-2.
Shannon Stewart was 1-4 with an RBI, batting 2nd and playing LF for the A's.
Jacque Jones went 3-4 with three RBI for the Cubs.
Doug Mientkiewicz went 0-2 as the Yankees starting 1B. I think that he will be fine, but it would be nice for him to get a hit or two here at some point!
Sammy Sosa hit his second home run of the spring!
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