02/25/07 4:00 PM ET
Slowey makes early impression at camp
Minor League prospect impresses coaches during first week
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
Names in the game: Rod Carew made a career as one of the best hitters in the league, and now he's translating that hitting advice to success for some of the current Twins.Carew is in camp once again this year as a special instructor. Last year, Carew helped Nick Punto change some of the mechanics in his swing to help utilize Punto's speed on the basepaths. The result was the highest batting average of his Major League career, .290. The Hall of Famer got to work immediately upon his arrival at camp Saturday as he helped deliver instruction to Ken Harvey, a non-roster invitee who is a candidate for the open designated hitter spot. They're No. 1: One of the players who was most well received at camp this year was Matthew LeCroy, who returned to the organization with a Minor League contract after a one-year absence. A sandwich pick in the first round of the 1997 draft, LeCroy will have his work cut out for him to make the club, but he's certainly provided plenty of entertainment already in the clubhouse, from cracking jokes to putting his singing on display. If LeCroy doesn't end up in the Minors for the club either, he already has set a goal for his post-playing days. He wants to become a Major League manager, and many in the Twins organization believe he's got the makeup for that job. "We all know what kind of a guy he is, how respected he is in this organization," Gardenhire said. "He's pretty close to having the body for [a manager] right now. I know he has the speed." Class of '06: Minor League camp hasn't started, so none of last year's draft picks have had a chance to display their stuff as of yet. One prospect that many are looking forward to seeing is the club's first-round pick, Chris Parmelee. The prospect showed his hitting ability by blasting eight home runs and 32 RBIs in 45 games with the Rookie League club in '06. What they're saying: "I think you get into trouble when you go into camp expecting things. Obviously, everybody in here wants to be in the Major Leagues someday. If they say they don't, they're lying. I would love to break with the team, but it's one of those things that you can't control. I'm here to learn a lot and hopefully I'll be here awhile." -- Slowey, on sticking around at Major League camp
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.