Saints experiment with Twins prospect Bechtold as two-way player
Twins prospect Andrew Bechtold has to be ready for anything when he arrives at the ballpark. He still takes ground balls to play the infield, and he also gets his arm loose enough to pitch. Lately he has done both for the St. Paul Saints.
“I’m trying to create as much value as possible, said Bechtold. “I’m seeing where it takes me. Obviously, I’m still playing the infield, still moving around a lot, and trying to be a legitimate arm out of the bullpen that can help out.”
A minor league player has to find a way to standout. For Bechtold, that is his arm strength. The Twins are experimenting with him as a two-way player.
Bechtold has only made a handful of appearances on the mound for the Saints, but his fastball has hit above 95 miles per hour.
“The way the game is going, transitioning and stuff like that, two-way guys could be a thing that starts to become more prevalent across the league,” Bechtold told KSTP’s Alec Ausmus. “I gave it a shot. We are going to roll with it and see how it goes.”
Prior to this season, Bechtold hasn’t pitched since Single-A ball in the Twins organization. Saints manager Toby Gardenhire was Bechtold’s manager at the time in lower A ball.
Bechtold isn’t too shabby of a hitter either, and with some pop. He’s homered over 50 times in the minors and this summer has a .260 average with 14 doubles. His versality is his best shot at the big leagues and being able to hit and pitch could be his biggest payoff.
“I tell people all of the time, it’s not always a cookie cutter, I’m a shortstop, I get to the big leagues and I play shortstop,” said Bechtold. “For me it’s trying everything possible, moving around and becoming as valuable as possible. Not only can you get to the big leagues but you can stay there. That’s really all I’m trying to do.”
The Saints return from their All Star break on Friday, July 14, against Durham at 7 p.m. at CHS Field in St. Paul.
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