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Breaking Through

MINNEAPOLIS–With the sexiest of tools in his arsenal, Dusty Gomon knew he’d get his break eventually. But two broken bones in as many years wasn’t what the slugger had in mind.

The powerful 20-year-old first baseman broke his arm in 2001 and his hand last year. While healthy, the 2001 ninth-round pick compiled impressive .306-17-54 numbers in 78 games over two seasons.

Gomon opened this season at low Class A Quad City hitting .167-1-10 with three doubles, six walks and 16 strikeouts.

"He just needs to play more games and needs some time to get used to the pitching in that league," farm director Jim Rantz said. "If you look at his numbers, they’re not very good to start with. He is one of the guys who is still trying to adjust to the higher level. He’s got the one thing we all look for, and that’s power."

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound native of Jacksonville, Fla., hit .324-2-10 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and .278-1-3 in a six-game stint at high Class A Fort Myers in 2001. In 2002 he hit .302-14-41 in 199 at-bats at Rookie-level Elizabethton.

The Twins still see in Gomon what they saw when he was in high school. Area scout Brad Weitzel and other staffers watched every game Gomon played as a senior at Terry Parker High, and they knew other organizations were overlooking him as the 2001 draft approached.

The righthanded hitter has great power potential and uses all fields. He was a soccer goalie in high school, and that kind of quickness and athleticism works in his favor at first base.

The organization has asked him to focus on recognizing breaking pitches at the plate. Defensively, footwork around the bag is a prime area of work.

"It’s important that he stays healthy this year," Rantz said. "He couldn’t go to instructional league because the hand was still bothering him. And instructional league would have been a big help.

"He came out of high school as a young man, and he’s probably right on track. He hopefully can get it going. He just needs time."

Twin Killings

• Double-A New Britain outfielder B.J. Garbe was placed on the disabled list after breaking his left forearm diving for a ball.

• Fort Myers catcher Joe Mauer, the No. 1 pick in the 2001 draft, was slowed by pulled hamstring and groin muscles and was hitting .289-0-11 through 76 at-bats.

• Previous organization report: Denard Span

 
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