One is the past & present, the other appears to be the future. Denard Span is a centerfielder in waiting.
The Twins top draft choice in 2002 turned 23 last week and he's in camp watching & learning from one of the best, Torii Hunter
"Every day my eyes are open, my mouth is closedm obviously. My ears are open." says Span. "You could say I'm around some of the best guys that came off a good year last year. Torii wins the Gold Glove for the 6, 7 or 8 years. I'm just thankful that I'm here for the second year in a year to be able to learn."
"He's a lefthanded thrower, he's a lefthanded hitter. He's a different type of hitter.. different player than I am." Torii Hunter explains. "But for what he does, he does it with the best of them. I mean, this guy.. the mental attitude.. I mean, he goes out and works hard."
Span says he's a doubles hitter with some power and he's working on his base stealing skills.
But it's his glove that he's most proud of although it's not Hunter-esk just yet.
"My glove's pretty good." Span says. "It's not gold yet, but I say it's copper. But it's all right, man. I think hopefully after a couple of years, I'll be able to.. I don't want to say I want to live up to (Torii). I want to start my own legacy. I'm trying to start my own name. Torii Hunter, he's a hall famer already."
"He's really maturing, he's growing into a nice player. He's got things to learn still, but you know what, he's a quiet kid." Ron Gardenhire explains. "He comes in and he really does his work. We've seen it over the years.. getting better and better and more understanding of what he needs to do to get ready. He's gonna be a good one"
Span knows his time will come eventually. He's hoping for a call up sometime during the 2007 season. But in order for that to happen he needs to do something in camp this month to be remembered by.
"Opening Gardenhire's eyes and Jerry White's just so when somebody goes down during the year, they'll remember this kid Span." hopes Denard. "During spring training, he worked hard and he showed us something good. I just want to leave one impression so during the year, they're thinking about me"