FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Breaking through the relative quiet surrounding the Lee County Sports Complex on Friday morning was the familiar sound of wood meeting ball.
And shortly after the crack of the bat a cacophony of laughs and jeers rippled across the No. 2 ballfield at the Minnesota Twins' minor-league training complex.
With seven days remaining before the first scheduled full-squad workout of spring training, Twins youngsters Torii Hunter, A.J. Pierzynski and Doug Mientkiewicz were among those waiting their turn in the batting cage and whooping it up in the Florida sun.
Pitchers and catchers are slated to report on Sunday, but a number of the Twins decided to get an early jump on things and work out with some of the minor leaguers.
Veteran pitcher Bob Wells and coaches Ron Gardenhire and Scott Ullger monitored a friendly hitting game between some of the players.
"We were just having fun," said Hunter. "Your teammates are like your brothers, like a family, so that's the best part of coming down here, getting to see these guys again. We crack jokes, burn each other's shoelaces and just soak in the sun."
If the Twins are going to have any kind of success, contributions from youngsters like Hunter will be crucial. The expected starter in left field, Hunter said he's not getting complacent.
"There's always somebody out there to take your job," he said. "I'm ready to get back to it."
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