The young (prospects) and the ageless (Hunter) highlight Twins spring training


Next week's forecast is calling for temperatures in the 70s... in Fort Myers, Florida. It'll still be super cold in Minnesota. Sorry.

But the good news is that baseball season is almost here. The Minnesota Twins begin Spring Training next week, with pitchers and catchers reporting on Sunday and the rest of the position players five days later on Feb. 27.

FOX Sports North's Tyler Mason previewed five things he'll be watching at camp.

  • Battle for the No. 5 starter job
  • Torii Hunter's return
  • New manager Paul Molitor
  • Who will be the starting center fielder?
  • Will any prospects make the team?

Right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer, 25, will be competing for a spot in the starting rotation. Phil Hughes, Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco and Kyle Gibson are virtually locks to start. Mason notes that Meyer will be competing for the final spot with Mike Pelfrey, Tommy Millone and fellow prospect Trevor May, among others.

MLB.com, however, expects Meyer to begin the season at Triple-A Rochester.

Minnesota had six players ranked in MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects. Joining Meyer were outfielder Byron Buxton, third baseman Miguel Sano, starting pitcher Jose Berrios, infielder Jorge Polanco and outfielder/first baseman Max Kepler. All of them are expected to start this season at Double-A or Triple-A.

Berrios, 20, should be a draw for fans. The right-hander was the Twins' 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He's active on social media and last week posted a video of his final live batting practice session of the offseason.

Torii Hunter demands respect

Hunter, 40, will bring an edge to the clubhouse. La Velle Neal III of the Star Tribune profiled Hunter's past in which he took a swing at former Twins teammate Justin Morneau and nearly got into a scuffle with Albert Pujols when he played for the Angels. Hunter demands respect.

“But that happens with my brothers," Hunter explained to Neal. "I love my brothers ― don’t touch any of them ― but we do argue and we do fight. To this day, as grown men. And I love Morneau and I love Albert and they love me. It’s not about a power struggle or if I’m the leader of the clubhouse. I try to respect everybody. I hear people say, ’Torii will do this and Torii will do that.’ I did it twice in 19 years.”

Vegas expects Twins to lose big

Atlantis doesn't have much faith in the Twins breaking a four-year slump of 90-plus losses. The Las Vegas casino put the over/under for Minnesota's win total at 68.5 – only the Phillies are predicted to win fewer games.

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