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Updated: July 13th, 2014 4:38pm
Kennys Vargas discovered David Ortiz's swing mannerisms via YouTube

Kennys Vargas discovered David Ortiz's swing mannerisms via YouTube

by Phil Mackey
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Audio Clip
Sports Over Beers, episode 23. Dave St. Peter on the All-Star Game
Twins President Dave St. Peter joins the Sports Over Beers podcast to talk about this year's All-Star Game at Target Field. The best events of All-Star week, the concert at TCF Bank Stadium, the color run, the parade down Nicollet Mall, the Futures Game, the Home Run Derby and the rest of the party. Are there tickets available for any of the events for the week? Where can fans go to find tickets or seating for any of the All-Star events? How will the Twins and the city of Minneapolis benefit from hosting All-Star week at Target Field? Glen Perkins and Kurt Suzuki will be in the game, but several others with Twins ties will be involved, too. What upgrades have the Twins made to Target Field to make the All-Star Game as good as it can be? -- How were season ticket sales affected by the All-Star Game, and how will that change once the game is a thing of the past? What is St. Peter most looking forward to? ( -- Also, from Mason's Barre in downtown Minneapolis, Phil Mackey and Derek Wetmore have a couple Shock Tops and chat about their expectations for the All-Star Game. What do you want to see in this year’s game and surrounding events (read: party)? Does Justin Morneau stand a chance to make it in the Final Vote? #VoteMorneau. Did Brian Dozier get robbed? How cool is it that Pat Neshek made it? Special thanks to Mason's Barre and Shock Top.
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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... 

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd