The Twins drafted infielder Spencer Steer in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft. He is currently a member of the High-A Cedar Rapids Kernals, hitting .273/.405/.527. He’s mostly been a second baseman this season, but has also played shortstop, third base, and designated hitter for Brian Dinkelman’s club. I was able to have a conversation with Spencer over the weekend. I’ve lightly edited the transcript for clarity/readability, and any errors are entirely on me.
Twinkie Town: Who was your favorite team or player growing up, who did you look up to?
Spencer Steer: My favorite team was the Angels, because I grew up probably 20 minutes from their stadium, something like that, so I’d go to a lot of their games growing up. My favorite player growing up was probably Garret Anderson, an outfielder. I just loved his sweet lefty swing, and he was really good with the Angels for a lot of years.
TT: As we all know, last year was kind of a lost year for minor leaguers, but what did you do last season to stay in shape, train, get better, that kind of thing?
SS: Yeah, I had to be pretty creative. When I got sent home from Spring Training, I actually went back to Eugene [Oregon] to finish up school, and I was hitting in a makeshift batting cage in my buddy’s uncle’s backyard in Eugene, and then we were working out in his garage at school. That was how I stayed ready from Spring Training until around June, and then I went home to Long Beach [California] and lived at my parents house, and continued to work out in the garage and hit baseballs in the backyard or whereever I could. It was awhile until things opened up and I was able to actually work out in a gym, so I had to get creative there for awhile.
TT: Speaking of working out and training, what was it like working with the Major Leaguers in camp? Were there any particular guys that you really felt like you learned from, or anybody that kind of took you under their wing, showed some leadership, that kind of thing?
SS: Yeah, it was a great experience being around those guys everyday and seeing how they went about themselves, how they prepared for games everyday, it was really cool to see that up close. Hitting in the cage with those guys, talking baseball in the dugout, taking ground balls with [Luis] Arraez, [Andrelton] Simmons, I mean they were all really nice, really welcoming. It was a great experience and I hope I get to do it again next year.
TT: Overall what is your impression of the Twins’ organization so far, anything that really stands out or is like “wow, I never knew that baseball teams even did that,” anything like that?
SS: The amount of data that they use to evaluate you and to help you improve areas of your game. With all the analytics these days, they have all your strengths and weaknesses on a piece of paper pretty much, and they can help you see where you need to improve, and also what you’re doing well and what you need to keep building on. I think they do a really good job of creating a plan for you and helping you execute that plan, not just during the offseason, but continuing to get better everyday during the season. I think they’ve done a really good job of helping me find my weaknesses and get better at them.
TT: That’s a really good lead-in to my next question. What has the Twins’ development program taught you, or what adjustments have you had to make from amateur ball, college ball in to the pros?
SS: Its obviously a pretty big adjustment going from college to professional because you’re playing everyday and the competition level is only getting better. The one big adjustment for me, ever since I’ve gotten drafted, the Twins have wanted me to try to hit for more power and see if I can incorporate my legs more in my swing, just to get more of that power. I’ve been working pretty hard with the hitting coaches, the hitting coordinators, on finding the best way for me to get the most out of my legs and my swing. The power’s starting to show up, which is good, still a long way to go, but made some good progress, so that’s a plus.
TT: We all know as Twins fans, the injuries have been pretty rough this year at the big league level. But how does that impact you guys down the line? You know, as players get called up from the Saints to the Twins, and then all the way down, is it hard to get guys out there and have a full team? Is there anything that is really noticable on your level?
SS: I mean, injuries have been pretty brutal throughout the whole organization this year. We’ve had a lot of guys go down already, and just tough to see your teammates go down like that, you know how tough injuries can be. Its tough on everybody, but its just part of the game. Injuries are part of the game, and you just gotta keep going forward
TT: You think they’re going to call you up to St Paul any time soon, so we can see you in person?
SS: (Laughs) I mean, that’s out my control, so all I’m focused on doing is trying to play well.
TT: Who would you say is the best player you’ve ever played with, or played against, been on a diamond with?
SS: I’d say the best hitter I’ve probably played against, that’s tough. Gotta be either Adlay Rutschman or Andrew Vaughn. We played them in college, and those guys can swing it.
TT: What’s a day in the life of Spencer Steer look like during the season?
SS: Usually just wake up, have some coffee. I love my coffee. Breakfast at the house, and then head to the field. Get some early work in, maybe get a workout in depending on the day, play the game, come back home and either play some Call of Duty with my friends or just watch some movies. Pretty standard day.
TT: What do you consider the best sandwich?
SS: Best sandwich... ohhh... (long pause) I would say the best sandwich to me is just a burger. I love a classic just cheeseburger.
TT: and then the follow up question to that, and you know this is coming, is a hotdog a sandwich.
SS: Yes (no hesitation on his part.)
Thanks again to Spencer for taking the time to answer some questions for us.