Before they were postseason bound: Twins

Before they were postseason bound: Twins

The Twins are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2010, which means a host of their players are making their October debuts. Here's a head start for fans who might not be completely familiar with these Twins with the origins of every player on the postseason roster.

Ehire Adrianza, IF
Born: Guarenas, Venezuela
DOB: 8/21/1989
Minors: ARIZ Giants (R), Augusta (A), San Jose (A+), Richmond (AA), Fresno (AAA), Sacramento (AAA), Rochester (AAA)
• Adrianza was in the Minor Leagues for seven seasons before debuting in 2013 for the San Francisco Giants. When he did appear in that game on Sept. 8, he became the 300th native of Venezuela to appear in a Major League Baseball game. Adrianza hit one home run in 2013 but didn't go deep again in the big leagues until April 9, 2016, when he did it in dramatic fashion, homering off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

Matt Belisle, RHP
Born: Austin, Texas
DOB: 6/6/1980
HS: McCallum (Texas) High School
Minors: Danville (R), Macon (A), Myrtle Beach (A+), Greenville (AA), Richmond (AAA), Louisville (AAA), Colorado Springs (AAA)
• A late bloomer, Belisle first made a name for himself in 2010 as an indispensable bullpen piece with the Rockies at the age of 30, when he led all Major League relievers with 92 innings pitched and worked to a 2.93 ERA with 91 strikeouts. He has weathered injuries to lead the Nationals' bullpen in ERA (1.76) in 2016 and work his way into the closer role for Minnesota this year.

Jose Berrios, RHP
Born: Bayamon, Puerto Rico
DOB: 5/27/1994
HS: Papa Juan (P.R.) High School
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Chattanooga (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• Berrios was the Twins' first-round Comp A Draft pick in 2012 (32nd overall) and got significant international experience the following year, when he played for the Puerto Rican national team in the World Baseball Classic. Berrios made his Major League debut on April 27, 2016.

Buddy Boshers, LHP
Born: Huntsville, Ala.
DOB: 5/9/1988
HS: Lee (Ala.) High School
College: Calhoun Community College (Decatur, Ala.)
Minors: Orem (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Inland Empire (A+), Arkansas (AA), Salt Lake (AAA), Rochester (AAA)
• Boshers debuted in the Majors in 2013 for the Angels before heading back to the Minor Leagues and spending 2015 with the Independent League Somerset Patriots. Boshers didn't give up and resurfaced in the big leagues on May 25, 2016, with the Twins.

Alan Busenitz, RHP
Born: Watkinsville, Ga.
DOB: 8/22/1990
HS: Athens Christian (Ga.) High School
College: Kennesaw State University
Minors: Orem (R), Burlington (A), Inland Empire (A+), Arkansas (AA), Salt Lake (AAA), Rochester (AAA)
• Busenitz came to the Twins with Hector Santiago in the August 2016 trade that sent Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer to the Angels. While a high schooler in Athens, Ga., Busenitz said he would eat a bean burrito after every baseball game. He also would help his father work on cars, including a 1967 Mustang.

Byron Buxton, OF
Born: Baxley, Ga.
DOB: 12/18/1993
HS: Appling County (Ga.) High School
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA), Chattanooga (AAA)
• Buxton, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 Draft, played baseball, basketball and football in high school and went 10-1 on the mound his senior year with a fastball that was clocked at 99 mph. Buxton made it to the Majors on June 14, 2015, and scored the game's winning run. Buxton's cousin, Dexter Carter, was a running back in the NFL.

Jason Castro, C
Born: Castro Valley, Calif.
DOB: 6/18/1987
HS: Castro Valley (Calif.) High School
College: Stanford University
Minors: Tri-City (A-), Lancaster (A+), Corpus Christi (AA), Round Rock (AAA), Oklahoma City (AAA)
• Castro was the first-round pick of the Houston Astros in the 2008 Draft, debuted in the Majors in 2010 and was an All-Star in 2013. Following the '13 season, Castro went back to Stanford and finished his degree. He had been almost a school year shy of graduating when he was drafted.

Bartolo Colon, RHP
Born: Altamira, Dominican Republic
DOB: 5/24/1973
HS: Puerto Plata (D.R.)
Minors: Burlington (R), Kinston (A+), Canton-Akron (AA), Buffalo (AAA)
• A four-time All-Star (1998, 2005, 2013 and 2016) and a Cy Young Award winner with the Angels in 2005, Colon is perhaps lately more known for becoming the oldest Major Leaguer to hit the first home run of his career, accomplishing that feat in San Diego in 2016 at the age of 42. Colon enters this October as the oldest active player in the Major Leagues at 44.

Brian Dozier, 2B
Born: Tupelo, Miss.
DOB: 5/15/1987
HS: Itawamba Agricultural (Miss.) High School
College: University of Southern Mississippi
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Beloit (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA)
•  Dozier grew up in a town with only 4,000 people and played baseball, football, basketball and golf in high school. In college, he helped Southern Miss to the College World Series in 2009. Dozier broke the Twins record for runs scored in April when he scored 25 times in that month in 2014, eclipsing the mark set by his now-manager, Paul Molitor, in 1996. He became the first AL second baseman to hit 40 homers in a season when he blasted 42 in 2016.

Tyler Duffey, RHP
Born: Houston 
DOB: 12/27/1990
HS: Bellaire (Texas) High School
College: Rice University
Minors: Elizabethton (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Chattanooga (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• Duffey, a fifth-round Draft pick in 2012, made his Major League debut on Aug. 5, 2015, and made his presence known quickly that season, going 5-1 in 10 starts. Duffey ended up leading the Twins in wins in 2016 with nine.

Eduardo Escobar, 3B
Born: Villa de Cura, Venezuela
DOB: 1/5/1989
Minors: Great Falls (R), Kannapolis (A), Winston-Salem (A+), Birmingham (AA), Charlotte (AAA), Rochester (AAA)
Escobar and Pedro Hernandez were traded to the Twins from the White Sox in the Francisco Liriano late-July Deadline deal in 2012. Escobar got 2013 off to a rousing start, hitting a walk-off double against the Tigers for Minnesota's first victory of that season on April 3. He and his wife have five children and live in Miami in the offseason.

Mitch Garver, C
Born: Albuquerque, N.M.
DOB: 1/15/1991
HS: La Cueva (N.M.) High School
College: University of New Mexico
Minors: Elizabethton (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Fort Myers (A+), Chattanooga (AA), Rochester (AAA)

Dillon Gee, RHP
Born: Cleburne, Texas
DOB: 4/28/1986
HS: Cleburne (Texas) High School
College: University of Texas-Arlington
Minors: Brooklyn (A-), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Buffalo (AAA), Las Vegas (AAA), Omaha (AAA), Round Rock (AAA), Rochester (AAA)
• Gee, the son of a firefighter father, pitched a no-hitter in the first start of his senior season in high school, then threw another one later in that season. Gee took part in MLB's All-Star Series in Taiwan after the completion of the 2011 season.

Kyle Gibson, RHP
Born: Greenfield, Ind.
DOB: 10/23/1987
HS: Greenfield Central (Ind.) High School
College: University of Missouri-Columbia
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• A communications major, Gibson tied Missouri's record for strikeouts in a season (131) in 2009. Gibson was the 22nd overall pick in the that year's Draft and made it to the Major Leagues on June 29, 2013, beating the Royals with six quality innings.  

Chris Gimenez, C
Born: Gilroy, Calif.
DOB: 12/27/1982
HS: Gilroy (Calif.) High School 
College: University of Nevada-Reno
Minors: Mahoning Valley (A-), Lake County (A), Kinston (A+), Akron (AA), Frisco (AA), Buffalo (AAA), Columbus (AAA), Tacoma (AAA), Durham (AAA), Round Rock (AAA)
• Gimenez was a 19th-round Draft choice of the Indians in 2004 and waited five years before making his big league debut on June 3, 2009. Gimenez has become somewhat of a go-to arm when teams need position players to pitch. He debuted on the mound with the Rangers in 2014.

Zack Granite, OF
Born: Staten Island, N.Y.
DOB: 9/17/1992
HS: Tottenville (N.Y.) High School
College: Seton Hall University
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Fort Myers (A+), Chattanooga (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• Granite, selected by the Twins in the 14th round of the 2013 Draft, was named the franchise's Minor League Player of the Year in 2016. He made his Major League debut on July 8, 2017, vs. the Orioles. He has said one of the best tips he ever received about hitting came from former Twins great Torii Hunter in Spring Training.

Robbie Grossman, OF
Born: San Diego, Calif.
DOB: 9/16/1989
HS: Cy-Fair (Texas) High School 
Minors: GCL Pirates (R), West Virginia (A), Bradenton (A+), Altoona (AA), Corpus Christi (AA), Oklahoma City (AAA), Fresno (AAA), Columbus (AAA), Rochester (AAA)
• Grossman was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixth round of the 2008 Draft and showed his plate discipline in the Minors, scoring 100 runs and drawing 100 walks in the 2011 season to win Pittsburgh's Minor League Player of the Year honor. He debuted in the Majors for the Astros in April 2013 and hit leadoff.

Trevor Hildenberger, RHP
Born: San Jose, Calif.
DOB: 12/15/1990
HS: Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) High School
College: University of California-Berkeley
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Fort Myers (A+), Chattanooga (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• Hildenberger was taken by the Twins in the 22nd round of the 2014 Draft and played in the Arizona Fall League in 2015. He did not make his Major League debut until June 23 of this year, pitching against the Indians on the same day Minnesota purchased his contract from Triple-A Rochester.

Max Kepler, OF
Born: Berlin
DOB: 2/10/1993
HS: John F. Kennedy School (Berlin)
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Fort Myers (A+), Chattanooga (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• Kepler, who grew up in Germany, is the son of professional ballet dancers and grew up playing tennis and soccer in addition to baseball, which he began at the age of 6. Kepler's signing bonus of $800,000 in 2009 was at the time the largest given by a Major League team to a player born in Europe.

Joe Mauer, 1B
Born: St. Paul, Minn.
DOB: 4/19/1983
HS: Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.) High School
Minors: Elizabethton (R), Quad Cities (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• Mauer, a graduate of the same high school as his manager, Paul Molitor, struck out only once in four years of prep baseball while also starring in football and basketball. He committed to playing quarterback for Florida State University before deciding on baseball and being taken by his hometown team with the first overall pick of the 2001 Draft. Mauer began his career as a catcher and won AL MVP honors in 2009 after batting .365.

Jorge Polanco, SS
Born: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
DOB: 7/5/1993
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Chattanooga (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• Polanco made his Major League debut on June 26, 2014, but only played nine games at the big league level during that season and in 2015. He enjoyed more playing time in 2016, when he appeared in 69 games for the Twins and batted .282.

Ryan Pressly, RHP
Born: Dallas
DOB: 12/15/1988
HS: American Heritage Academy (Texas); Marcus (Texas) High School
Minors: GCL Red Sox (R), Lowell (A-), Greenville (A), Salem (A+), Portland (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• Pressly, who played football in high school until tearing the ACL in his left knee, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 11th round in 2007, which changed the pitcher's plans of playing at Texas Tech. He was a starter in Boston's system until 2012, then came to the Twins via the Rule 5 Draft in December 2012.

Taylor Rogers, LHP
Born: Littleton, Colo.
DOB: 12/17/1990
HS: Chatfield (Colo.) High School
College: University of Kentucky
Minors: Elizabethton (R), Beloit (A), Cedar Rapids (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA)
Rogers, who has a twin brother, Tyler, in the Giants' system, was taken by the Twins in the 11th round of the 2012 Draft. He made his Major League debut on April 14, 2016.

Eddie Rosario, OF
Born: Guayama, Puerto Rico
DOB: 9/28/1991
HS: Rafael Lopez Landron (P.R.) High School
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Beloit (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA)
Rosario has been on the Puerto Rican team in the last two World Baseball Classics (2013 and 2017), finishing second in the tournament both times. Rosario is also known for hitting the first pitch he ever saw in the Major Leagues (May 6, 2015, against A's lefty Scott Kazmir) for a home run, becoming the 114th player to homer in his first big league at-bat.

Miguel Sano, 3B
Born: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
DOB: 5/11/1993
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Beloit (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Chattanooga (AA), Rochester (AAA)
Sano made his Major League debut on July 2, 2015, and won the American League Rookie of the Month Award for his work that August. He would go on to finish third in AL Rookie of the Year voting. In 2017, he competed in his first All-Star Home Run Derby, placing second behind winner Aaron Judge.

Ervin Santana, RHP
Born: La Romana, Dominican Republic
DOB: 12/12/1982
HS: Colegio Cristiano El Alfarero
Minors: ARIZ Angels (R), Provo (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Arkansas (AA), Salt Lake (AAA)
The two-time All-Star was born Johan Santana but changed his first name to Ervin in 2003 while rising in the Angels' system because he didn't want to be confused with star Twins pitcher Johan Santana. While with the Angels, Santana threw a no-hitter against the Indians on July 27, 2011. He pitched for his native Dominican Republic in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Kennys Vargas, 1B
Born: Canovanas, Puerto Rico
DOB: 8/1/1990
HS: Luis Hernaiz Verone (P.R.) High School
Minors: GCL Twins (R), Elizabethton (R), Beloit (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Chattanooga (AA), Rochester (AAA)
Vargas made his Major League debut on Aug. 1, 2014, and ended up hitting nine home runs and driving in 38 runs in a 53-game stint with the Twins that year. He has trained in the winter with former big league greats Manny Ramirez and Carlos Delgado.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.