Twins draft Northwoods League pitcher
WILLMAR, Minn. — Onas Farfan’s journey in baseball has taken him from his roots in Venezuela to the Twin Cities suburb of Robbinsdale to Ridgewater College in Willmar and to two different stops in the Northwoods League.
Next up, the Minnesota Twins farm system.
The Twins drafted the Ridgewater left-hander with their 21st-round pick, 620th overall, in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft on Saturday.
Farfan said he still can’t believe he was drafted, especially by his hometown team.
“Nothing was guaranteed, I was just hoping,” he said. I’ve been working so hard for it. I’m so happy to represent Ridgewater and Willmar.”
Playing summer ball for the Alexandria Blue Anchors, Farfan pitched six strong innings Friday night to beat the Willmar Stingers at Bill Taunton Stadium. The Twins drafted him the next morning.
“Our (Saturday) game got canceled,” he said. “I got back to my host family and had a couple hours to chill. I turned on my phone and, literally, after two picks, I heard my name. I was jumping up and down and crying, it was something I can’t even explain.”
Farfan will fly to Florida on Thursday to take a physical and fill out paperwork.
“I believe Thursday will be the signing day, and I’m going to sign,” Farfan said. “It’s my home state. I’m a Twins fan, I grew up watching Kirby Puckett, Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Torii Hunter. I would love to be a part of them and make the big leagues.”
Farfan, who pitched 36.1 innings with a 2.97 earned run average for the Ridgewater Warriors, had two workouts for the Twins this spring.
The first came at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall last month, which the Twins attended along with the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins.
Two weeks ago, the Twins invited him back for a private workout at Target Field.
“I did my bullpen session there, but you never know,” he said. “They just tell you good luck. I knew I was good enough and I did my best in front of the scouts, but it was a surprise. I had no clue I was going to get drafted.”
Farfan was born in St. Paul, moved to Venezuela when he was 8 years old to live with his parents, and moved back to Minnesota at age 16 to attend Cooper High School in Robbinsdale and play in the Twins’ Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program.
It was there that he caught the eye of Ridgewater head coach Dennis Boe, who is also an associate scout for the Twins.
Boe said his fastball velocity climbed to 90-91 mph and his changeup improved while with the La Crosse Loggers.