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Jason James Kubel

Jason Kubel; Right Field

Name: Jason James Kubel
Birth date: 05/25/1982
Birthplace: Belle Fourche, SD
Height: 5-11
Weight: 200
School: n/a
Draft: 2000 12th Round - Twins
Nickname: Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Position: Right Field
Experience: 1 year
2005 Salary: 316,000
Contract Status: deal for 2005 season worth 316K was renewed on 3/4/05
Service Time: 0.034 – Protected Player

Twins prospect, Jason Kubel, was born on May 25, 1982 in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. He grew up in Palmdale, California where he attended Highland High School. He loved the Dodgers, Angels and Padres while idolizing stars such as Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Thome. He played football as a high school freshman, but his devotion to baseball quickly made him a one-sport athlete. He was offered a baseball scholarship to Division I Long Beach but decided to turn pro after the Twins made him their 12th-round pick in the 2000 draft.

Jason is a promising outfielder for the Minnesota Twins organization. His ability to hit for average while maintaining plate discipline could make him a middle of the order type of hitter. He is also well known for his strong arm, typically from right field.

In 2004, Jason started with AA New Britain. The battle plan was to take him on a boat ride through the minors, giving him adequate seasoning along the way. "We like our players to experience success at one level before we jump to another," says Jim Rantz, the Twins' longtime farm director.

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Jason’s strong numbers could not be ignored. He was leading the Eastern League, batting .377 in 37 games when he was promoted to Rochester. Through August 2004, he was hitting a combined .358 with 35 doubles, 4 triples, 15 home runs and 77 RBI in 100 games. No speed demon, Jason still managed to steal 10 bases in his first 73 games with Rochester. He led the league in batting and was named League Rookie of the Year.

He is fundamentally sound and has a great work ethic. He is also regarded as a calm modest guy by his teammates. "He really doesn't get too excited about anything," says Justin Morneau, (See Justin in FAB50 "Ones To Watch") a teammate in Rochester and now the Twins' first baseman. Jason speaks softly but carries a big stick. A .310 career hitter entering this year, he has been an All-Star in each of his first four seasons.

With Rochester AAA, he went on a 10-game hitting streak and was hitting .337 with 29 RBI in his first 35 games. During one stretch, he went 53 at-bats between strikeouts. "I know the pitchers here [AAA] are better and they throw harder. When they throw strikes, I swing." And he rarely misses. He entered the season with 125 strikeouts in 1,046 at-bats.

Jason is well aware of the Twins' crowded outfield, "It's a very crowded situation," he says. "I just want to do my job, and hopefully I'll get a shot someday." Things can change fast when a super prospect hits the scene. Ask Doug Mientkiewicz. He was the entrenched Twins first baseman, until Morneau sent him packing to the Boston Red Sox.

Although not flashy, he has a very strong arm and he's got great eye-hand quickness and tremendous strength in his hands. What he can do is technically impressive, made more so by his maturity and his authority on the field. Unfortunately, he missed the entire 2005 season recovering from surgery to repair torn anterior and posterior ligaments in his left knee.

Jason is an outstanding prospect as a run-producing outfielder. He should have every opportunity to win a starting spot as the Twins' right fielder in spring. Minnesota really needs his extra-base pop. If he can stay healthy, expect him to compete for the right field or DH spot for the Twins in 2006.


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