McCallum hits the minors

The former Minnesota second baseman is hitting .319 in July.

Derek McCallumâÄôs hot hitting didnâÄôt stop with the Gophers season ending NCAA Regional loss to eventual champion Louisiana State on May 31. The 4th round Minnesota Twins draft selection is having a big July for the Elizabethton Twins , batting .319 with 14 RBI in 19 games . Overall, McCallum is hitting .277 with one homerun and 17 RBI in 24 games. The Elizabethton Twins is a minor league team in the Twins organization based in Elizabethton, Tenn . The team plays in the Appalachian League , which hosts play for rookie class minor league teams. McCallum only had a couple weeks off before the season began on June 23. His last game with Minnesota was May 31. He was drafted on June 10 and began mini camp in Florida on June 16. He said there hasnâÄôt been much physical fatigue, but he will have to adjust to the mental grind of playing every day. âÄúWhether you feel good or not you have to get up and play and thatâÄôs sort of the toughest part,âÄù McCallum said. âÄúIâÄôm still getting used to it, and itâÄôs been a fun learning experience so far.âÄù Aside from playing every day, McCallum said there are a couple of other big differences between professional and collegiate baseball. One major difference is using a wooden bat, but McCallum said he has some experience using a wooden bat. The past two summers he played in the Northwoods League , which helps players prepare for the professional level by allowing only wood bats. âÄúI donâÄôt know if itâÄôs made it easier to this point, itâÄôs just made it less of a dramatic adjustment,âÄù he said. âÄúItâÄôs not easy by any means, but itâÄôs more familiar.âÄù The other difference McCallum said he noticed is the diversity of the team. He said there is somewhat of a language barrier with some of the international players which is just another adjustment he has to make. While McCallum is adjusting to the differences, he said the coaches are still beginning to learn about the players. He said the coaches have mostly been offering encouragement and are not trying to force any changes. âÄúJust like the players are feeling out the situation, the coaches are feeling out the players and seeing how they play,âÄù McCallum said. âÄúThey have to kind of let us play and let us do our own thing a little bit too before they start getting real hands on and try to change things.âÄù McCallum said he hasnâÄôt heard much talk about how to climb the ranks in the organization. He said moving up this year might be a long shot, but he hopes to keep improving this year and see what happens. McCallum isnâÄôt the only former Gopher on the Elizabethton squad. Pitcher Kyle Carr played for the Gophers from 2006-2008. McCallum said he is sharing a room with Carr and knowing someone on the team has helped him adapt to the team. Carr is in his second season with the team and leads the team in appearances (11). The reliever also has a 1.35 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.