|Rock Cats players, including MN's own Nate Hanson (red),|
and Daniel Rohlfing (blue), awaiting introductions.
The player seated at our table this year was a gentleman I had never heard of: Jason Christian. I bet you probably haven't heard of him either. Originally a 5th round draft pick of the Athletics in 2008, Christian has bounced around the A's, Reds and Braves organizations, peaking at the AA level, before signing as a minor league free agent with the Twins in 2013. The lanky infielder, who will be 26 in June, prefers shortstop. He got in a couple of the major league games toward the end of Spring Training.
A top prospect Jason Christian is not. In fact, he's probably happy to be playing professional baseball for at least one more season. Speaking with Jason, a true class act, was a great reminder that, for every Miguel Sano or Aaron Hicks, there are HUNDREDS of Jason Christians trying to live out their dream against the odds. But hey, if there's one position of need in the Twins' organization, aside from starting pitching, it's quality infielders. Stranger things have happened. Recently.
I'll write more about the 2013 Rock Cats soon, but I think this could be a very interesting team. What they lost in terms of offense (Aaron Hicks, Chris Herrmann, Oswaldo Arcia, Chris Colabello) might be mitigated by the presence of excellent pitching prospects Trevor May and Alex Meyer. Additionally, I'm excited to watch Danny Santana, and firmly believe that there are going to be more than a couple pleasant surprises this season in terms of player development.
|Jason Christian with the Kane County Cougars in 2010. Credit: Paul R. Gierhart|