Q&A with Twins IF Jose Miranda

Jose Miranda had been doing OK in the Twins minor league system prior to 2021.  A 2nd round pick in 2016, Miranda had been steadily, but unspectacularly, climbing the organization’s ladder. After missing 2020 like all minor leaguers, he opened last season in Triple A St. Paul. Then it happened.

The Puerto Rican exploded, hitting .344/.401/.572 with 30 homeruns and 94 RBI in 127 games for the Saints.  He was named the Twins Minor Player of the Year and became a top prospect.

While the 24-year-old didn’t make the spring training cut in 2022, he was called up in early May.  After a slow start, Miranda has been quietly improving; picking up key, RBI hits in recent days. I caught up with infielder during the Twins’ last homestand.

DZ: You want to talk a little bit about your first season in the big leagues? Been here about a month and a half. How’s it been for you?

MIRANDA: It’s been pretty good. It reached my expectations up here. I think it’s pretty awesome being up here. Especially a great group of guys. Nice team. A really cool environment, but yeah, it’s been pretty fun so far.

DZ: Last year, being the Minor League Player of the Year for the organization; did that give you a little confidence coming into spring training?

MIRANDA: Yeah, sure. Coming from a year like last year, it gives you some type of confidence. Yeah, it was good. It was a good year last year, and I’m trying to have a year like last year up here.

DZ: Cool. Going back to spring training, you didn’t come north with the team on opening day. How’d you deal with that?

MIRANDA: Yeah, you just got to stay focused. Don’t think a lot about things you can’t control, control the things you can control. When they sent me to (St. Paul) I just said, “Go there, work hard, do your job. And then whenever they need me, they are going to call.” And that’s what happened. They needed me, something happened up here. I was doing my job down there and finally I got the call. So now, I’m obviously here.

DZ: With the bat, you probably didn’t get out to the start that you wanted to, but you are kind of picking things up a little bit now. How do you deal with being in a new place and the pressure and stuff? How do you stay positive during that?

MIRANDA: You just got to trust the process, trust yourself, trust your game. First couple weeks, it was a little rough for me. Just maybe trying to do too much. Maybe putting more pressure on myself than what I normally do. And then this past week has been better, just playing the game the way that I know, and just trusting myself.

DZ: You’ve got a superstar from Puerto Rico on the team, Carlos Correa. How have you interacted with him so far?

MIRANDA: Oh, him being from Puerto Rico and him being the type of guy, type of player that he is; he’s great. Having a guy like him around, he gives me advice, he’s a veteran, and just very great guy to have around.

DZ: You missed 2020, like a lot of guys in the minor leagues, how’d you overcome missing the entire season? What’d you do to kind of stay ready?

MIRANDA: Well, I was back in Puerto Rico. I kept working out and working on my body, on my game. Hitting, building, kept doing everything, and keeping my mind positive for whenever they call me…Be ready, be in good shape to play ball. And that’s what I did. Just keep working.

DZ: I imagine the mental part of that would probably be the hardest, you’re so used to playing, that’s what you do every year.

MIRANDA: Right. So yeah. It was a tough one, not having baseball for the whole year is kind of tough. But at the end of the year, we had an instructional league. So, we went for a month, to Fort Myers. We could practice and play a couple of inter-squad games. So, it was good, but it was at the same time, it was tough not playing the whole year.

DZ: One last thing, I have to ask you about your famous cousin, (actor) Lin-Manuel Miranda, what’s your relationship like with him?

MIRANDA: I got a good relationship with him. We talked a little bit. Great guy. I met him a couple years before, but especially this past off-season, we talked for a bit. He went back to Puerto Rico…I think he wants to come here. So, let’s see if he comes here soon.

DZ: Oh, that’d be cool. Fans here would love that.

-David Zingler

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