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Rookie Jose Miranda confident hits will come amid slow start

Miranda, who has been playing first and third, came into Friday’s game with no hits in his last 20 at-bats, a skid he snapped with a second-inning single

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins first baseman Jose Miranda (64) in action against the Baltimore Orioles May 5, 2022, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Scott Taetsch / USA Today Sports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Royce Lewis got demoted to Triple-A earlier this week, veteran Carlos Correa was there with some words of encouragement, letting the top prospect know that he belonged and he would be back soon enough.

So it comes as no surprise to hear that Correa has taken on a mentorship role with another one of the organization’s top prospects.

“Pretty much every night I’m with him this road trip,” rookie Jose Miranda said. “When we got here, I went to his room. … We were talking for two or three hours in his room, just talking about baseball, hitting, just talking about everything.”

Among the helpful advice Miranda has gotten from the shortstop, also a native of Puerto Rico, he said Correa has been preaching staying relaxed and letting him know that everyone goes through something similar as Miranda encounters a rough patch.

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Miranda, who has been playing first and third, came into Friday’s game with no hits in his last 20 at-bats, a skid he snapped with a second-inning single. He entered the day hitting .094 with a .332 OPS since his promotion to the big leagues on May 2.

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But he said before the game he felt confident that the hits are coming soon.

“I’m going to keep working, and I know there’s a good stretch coming my way because I can feel it,” he said. “I feel good in the cage, on the field before the game. It’s just a matter of time.”

They have, after all, come throughout his entire career.

Miranda hit .344 with a .973 OPS and 30 home runs last season between Double- and Triple-A, a breakout year that cemented his status as one of the organization’s top prospects.

“He’s a good, natural hitter,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He has good skills with the bat in his hand. I have a lot of confidence this guy’s going to at this level. What comes first the confidence or the hits? You just don’t know. But I’m sure after a few knocks, a few well-struck balls that the confidence will be back where it needs to be and we’ll be hoping that he’s coming to the plate in big spots.”

As he’s ascended to the majors, Miranda has run into pitchers who execute better than he’s used to.

Miranda said he’s been missing on pitches that he believes he would normally hit, but he’s continuously working on making adjustments as he encounters better pitching.

“Obviously the production that he’s looking for and that we’re all looking for hasn’t been there to this point, but that happens sometimes,” Baldelli said. “I’ve seen a lot of excellent major league players that have started their career out a little tough and had to work through some things, and truthfully it’s going to make him stronger, and he’s going to end up a better player having gone through all of this.”

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Briefly

Trevor Larnach (groin) began a rehab assignment on Thursday with Double-A Wichita and played again for the Wind Surge on Friday. Baldelli said if everything goes smoothly, he anticipates Larnach being back within the next day or two. … Lewis, whom Baldelli said would start to see some reps at other positions besides just shortstop, played third base in the Saints’ game on Friday. … The Twins’ game on June 25 against the Colorado Rockies will now be broadcast on FOX National, and the game time has been moved from 1:10 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. … The Twins have launched a “Lead Off Your Summer” ticket deal in which fans can purchase tickets starting at $9 for all home games from Memorial Day weekend through the end of June.

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