FORT MYERS, Fla.—Pat Dean weighed 175 pounds when the Twins drafted the lean lefthander out of Boston College last June. His body type reminded scouts of . . . well, Tim Lincecum.
Just forget you read that. The Twins don't like to put that kind of pressure on a 21-year-old pitcher.
"The comp I prefer is Brian Duensing," vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff said. "He's a slightly built guy. It's something he'll have to handle his whole career, something we'll have to be cognizant of."
After drafting Dean in the third round, the Twins were eager to get him on the mound to see how quickly he would adapt to pro competition.
But the plans changed when Dean reported for his signing-bonus physical. "They found his arm just wasn't right," Radcliff said. "Nothing serious, just some problems with his arm flexibility. But we decided we'd better take our time with him until his arm was completely healthy."
In uniform less than two weeks after the draft, Dean pitched just 29 innings the rest of the summer, mostly for Rookie-level Elizabethton. He went 2-2, 2.59 in five starts with an incredible 32-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
"I think he was disappointed. He pitched all (during the college) season and didn't want to stop," Radcliff said. "It's the difference between being in college and pro ball. He's a small guy, and we have to be aware of it. We sure liked what we saw, though."
No wonder. Dean has three well-developed pitches, including a fastball that reaches 92 mph, a curve and a changeup, all of them rated around average.
"We knew he was a control guy, but everyone was surprised at how good his command really is," Radcliff said. "The plan is to send him to (low Class A) Beloit this year and just let him go. He could be in the mix pretty quickly."
• Outfielder Rene Tosoni, MVP of the 2009 Futures Game, arrived at camp with a healthy shoulder after having season-ending surgery last June. The Twins added him to the 40-man roster in November, but he figures to get plenty of Triple-A time this season.
• Among the Twins' recent international amateur signs were 6-foot-5 German righthander Marcus Solbach and 19-year-old Dominican shortstop Darfi Ortiz, an all-star in the Dominican Prospect League.