NEW BRITAIN, CT - The Minnesota
Twins have long
for recruiting baseball talent from Australia. As a result, the New
Rock Cats often have at least one Aussie on its roster. This season,
Beresford is that man.
The middle infielder is
making his Eastern League debut this
season, following in the footsteps of numerous Australian natives such
Balfour, Liam Hendriks, Luke Hughes, Trent Oeltjen and Tristan
has grown close to many of his fellow Australians who have spent time
"I'm good buddies with all of
them actually," said
Beresford. "I talk to Luke Hughes regularly who is now with Oakland. I
regularly with Liam Hendriks, who is in the big leagues right now. I
contact with Allan de San Miguel (who was suited up for Bowie in the
clubhouse) and there are a couple other Australians in the league, too."
Beresford's time spent with
his fellow countrymen as a
member of the Australian National Team has helped in his development as
professional player. Beresford - who was on the Australian roster for
2009 World Baseball Classic and Baseball World Cup - also learned of
importance of teamwork while playing against international competition.
"I think it helps a lot.
Sometimes we really dwell on statistics
and personal success," said Beresford, "but when you go to tournaments
play for your country, it really doesn't matter if you get a hit or
strike out four times as long as your team wins. If you can do
whether it's stealing a base or making a play to help the team win then
really feels good."
Between his experience at the
international level and
signing at such a young age - he originally signed with Minnesota as a
free agent in 2005 - Beresford has been able to turn in a solid
career thus far. He began his minor league career with the Gulf Coast
Twins, where he batted an impressive .288 with 14 RBI in 45 games.
he has steadily climbed the organizational ladder.
that the Twins' history of
consistently developing players in the farm system and producing Major
talent has kept him motivated along the way.
"You feel like you have a
chance. I know in some
organizations you can feel like you're getting stuck and you're not
anywhere because there are a lot of prospects in front of you. With the
they give everyone an opportunity to do well," said Beresford.
things work out the right way and I'll be moving up soon."
The lanky 6'1" middle
infielder has yet to show much power
throughout his career, but he has swung a consistent bat - hitting a
respectable career .280 to date - in his six minor league seasons. His
has also improved. This season, he has committed just four errors in 66
Beresford has even shown
flashes of defensive flair. In a
recent play at shortstop, he charged the ball running across the grass
threw across his body while slightly airborne in Derek Jeter-like
complete with the number two on his back.
Despite the fact that Jeter
is his favorite player,
Beresford knows well enough not to put himself on the same level as the
Beresford flashed a smile
before he replied: "I wouldn't
compare myself in any way to Derek Jeter but he makes some plays that
else can make so when I can do something like it, it's kind of fun."
As much as Beresford enjoys
emulating his favorite player at
shortstop, he knows the importance of learning an additional position.
Rock Cats, he has put in a lot of time at second base as well.
always grew up
playing shortstop," explained Beresford. "This is probably the first
played a lot more second base. It's good to kind of work
at both positions
if you get called up you want to be comfortable at both positions. It's
fun trying to learn second base and getting more game time over there."
The Australian native has
made himself into a middle infield
prospect due to his reliable fielding ability at two positions as well
consistent bat. He currently leads the team in batting with a .271
mark. He has
also scored 22 runs and knocked in 17 RBI in his first season of
"It's been good," said
Beresford of his season so far. "The
season's always a long ride. You can't get too caught up in stuff that
early on. You just have to ride it out. Things have been going my way.
late, a little bit slow. That's why I said it's a long season.
Hopefully, I can
keep it going."
Beresford pointed out the
with the Rock Cats back on track
in its winning ways and fighting for first place in the Eastern
Division, it is
easier to focus on improving personally as well.
"You always want to win.
Personal success is always good but
if the team is not winning, it becomes pretty miserable. We've been
have a good season so far," said Beresford. "Doing well and the team
is an extra bonus."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.