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Vargas' pop helps him carve out a spot

Impressive rookie has won over Gardenhire with his power potential

Vargas' pop helps him carve out a spot

MINNEAPOLIS -- He was just called up Thursday, but Kennys Vargas appears to have solidified his spot on the Twins' Major League roster.

"If he goes, I'm going on the plane with him," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I like watching him play so far. We're going to try and keep him. I don't think that'll be a problem."

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The 24-year-old rookie notched five hits in a weekend series against the White Sox, and then smacked a game-winning three-run homer against the Padres in Tuesday night's 3-1 victory.

Vargas' sixth-inning shot came on a curveball from San Diego's Jesse Hahn that drifted a bit outside.

"You throw a ball inside or outside, and it doesn't matter," Gardenhire said. "When he gets his arms through right, the ball just takes off like you can't believe."

Vargas skipped Triple-A ball as a result of his callup last week. Gardenhire said while the missed experience at that level means Vargas will have a tougher time getting acclimated to breaking balls at the Major League level, the rookie could have enough power to make up for it.

"He's really strong," Gardenhire said. "[His swing] is not a big long thing. It's pretty quick to the ball. He's just so doggone strong."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Alex Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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