After the draft there are always a few guys who sign straight away and are eager to get their professional careers underway. So far we have had about 10-12 new players sign from the draft, and just like I was when I first arrived here, they are the new guys. Being the new guy isn't a bad thing, because everyone here at the Twins is very welcoming and they make you feel right at home straight away, so you instantly feel comfortable in your new surroundings.
Whenever new guys come to the Twins, we like to give them a little rookie hazing, its nothing too outrageous. All you have to do is sing happy birthday to someone who's birthday is on the day. The difference this time when the draft guys sang happy birthday, they were singing it to someone who's birthday was back in March, so it is all just fun and games, and a bit of a way to break the ice for the new guys. Since I have been here, I have heard happy birthday sung in spanish, german and chinese.
Getting to know the new draft players may be tough, especially when there are so many of them, but it's good to go out of your way to get to know them since they will be your team mates for the next few months. These guys probably have had the same conversation a handful of times since their first day on Monday, with questions like "What position do you play?", "What school did you go to?", "What round did you get drafted in?". I'm pretty bad with remembering names, so when I introduce myself to them, and they tell me their name, I almost forget instantly, but I'll remember them all eventually.
In the last two days we got our first look at the new players in games. All of them looked very eager, but that eagerness may have also turned into nerves as position players were making easy errors and pitchers struggled to find the strike zone straight away. Soon they will realize that this is still just baseball, a game with a bat and a ball, where the base distance hasn't changed in 100 years, and those nerves will settle, and hopefully we will get to see their true talent that saw them get drafted in 2011.