Slegers learning to fit in with Twins

Nearly 7-foot-tall pitcher uses spring to work on consistency

Slegers learning to fit in with Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In his first Major League Spring Training camp, Minnesota Twins pitcher Aaron Slegers is just trying to blend in.

That's easier said than done when you are nearly 7 feet tall.

"The tall jokes, the basketball jokes, they all kind of come with the territory," Slegers said. "The first day of stretching lines were relentless."

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Although he will likely start the regular season in the minors, the 6-foot-10 right-hander is excited for the learning experience of working out with the big league club this spring.

"I've been trying to keep my eyes open and absorb as much as I can from the older guys and some of the younger guys that have been here before," Slegers said. "I'm just trying to get more comfortable in the clubhouse and learn as much as possible and hopefully make some noise along the way."

Slegers, 24, was a fifth-round selection by the Twins in the 2013 Draft out of Indiana University, where he was named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year in his junior season. In 82 appearances, Slegers is 28-25 with a 3.54 ERA over four Minor League stops, including last year at Double-A Chattanooga where he went 10-7 with a 3.41 ERA in 25 starts. One of the big things he is working on this spring is finding consistency with a delivery that has a lot of moving parts, something he has been focusing on since joining the Fort Myers Miracle, the club's High-A affiliate in late 2014.

Aaron Slegers at Twins camp.Scott Butherus

"I'm a much different pitcher than I was just a few years ago," Slegers said. "I think I'm much more mature as well. That's something I'll continue working on."

Being that tall can cause also problems outside of maintaining proper mechanics on the pitching mound. Earlier this week, during the team's golf outing, he experienced a unique problem on the links.

"I was swinging on a drivable par-4 with my hybrid, and I broke the extension that makes my clubs longer," Slegers said. "It snapped off mid-swing, and [the club head] went flying down the fairway."

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.