Kennys Vargas discovered David Ortiz's swing mannerisms via YouTube
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MINNEAPOLIS -- While standing behind a cluster of media, cameras, and other baseball types near the batting cage prior to Sunday's All-Star Futures Game, I had to do a double take.
That left-handed swing taking batting practice looked so familiar...
No, that's not actually David Ortiz. It's 23-year-old Kennys Vargas, one of the Twins' top hitting prospects, who the Twins hope might be the next David Ortiz.
The Ortiz mannerisms are not a coincidence. Yes, Vargas and Ortiz are friends after Ortiz paid him a visit in Fort Myers, and they also look alike size-wise, but that's not why Vargas' left-handed swing looks exactly like Big Papi's.
"I've seen a lot of his videos on YouTube," said Vargas, a switch-hitter who the Twins signed out of Puerto Rico six years ago, "and I like how I feel with that swing."
YouTube scouting. Of course. There are plenty of Ortiz batting stance "tutorials" on YouTube.
Vargas said his stance originally resembled Ryan Howard's a few years ago, but "I didn't like it."
The Ortiz YouTube videos seem to be working for Vargas, who is batting .291/.364/.480 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs for Double-A New Britain this season, and he'll likely make his major league debut sometime in the next calendar year - if not before this season is over.
Vargas said he and Ortiz speak "Almost every Sunday, but we talk like friends. Not too much about baseball. ...
"He told me to keep working hard, and they're going to give you your opportunity. I listen to him."
Now if only the Twins can keep Vargas in the organization if he starts to hit like Ortiz...