Prospect Granite called up; Jorge optioned

Prospect Granite called up; Jorge optioned

MINNEAPOLIS -- After an incredible June that saw him hit .470/.527/.667, while recording 20 multi-hit games, the Twins recalled outfield prospect Zack Granite from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday. Right-hander Felix Jorge was optioned to Double-A Chattanooga after Friday's 9-6 win over the Orioles.

Granite, ranked as Minnesota's No. 21 prospect by, is batting .360/.412/.494 with three homers, 14 doubles, three triples and 15 stolen bases with Rochester this season. He was told he was coming up before Friday's game against Syracuse, as manager Mike Quade announced there was going to be a lineup change, only to reveal that Granite was getting called up for the first time in his career.

"It was kinda crazy," Granite said. "I'm just trying to enjoy every moment right now. I'm taking it second by second. It's just cool to be here. It's an exciting time right now."

Granite made his Major League debut in the Twins' 5-1 loss as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, flying out to left against reliever Mychal Givens in an 11-pitch at-bat after falling behind 0-2.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said before the game that it's still undetermined how long he'll stick, but he's likely to be sent down once Joe Mauer returns from the 10-disabled list on July 15. But Molitor was impressed by Granite's speech at last year's Diamond Awards at Target Field, when he was named the organization's Minor League Player of the Year, and his performance in Spring Training.

"You could see right away that he was a confident kid that had a little moxie to him," Molitor said of the Staten Island, N.Y., native. "We got a look at him in spring, and I had my eye on him all through camp, just because he kept doing things that made me understand why we had him on the roster. He just kind of knows how to play the game. He can contribute in a lot of ways."

Granite, a speedy center fielder, can impact the game with his defense and baserunning, but it's his offense that has really turned heads this year. He said he was helped by a pregame speech from former Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer in early June, as he visited the club in Norfolk, Va., and told him advice that he took to heart. Granite said he was overthinking at the plate, but Cuddyer encouraged him to just let his talent flow and have fun.

"Honestly, I wasn't thinking [at the plate] and that was the main thing," Granite said. "Early on, I was getting in my own head. I was just trying to see the baseball and that's all I was worried about it. It was about keeping it simple."

Granite was named an International League All-Star for his stellar play, but he'll have to miss the game after getting called up. But Granite said he's more than fine with that.

"This is a little bit better," Granite said with a laugh. "This is something I've dreamed about. I'm OK missing Tacoma. It'll be a good experience here and whatever they need me to do, I'll do it."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.