Minnesota Twins 2019 MLB Draft Recap
While other teams around the Twins, like the Mets, Marlins and White Sox, all had an aggressive strategy of taking a few high profile over slot players early, then drafting a bunch of college seniors in the rest of the first ten rounds to make the money work, the Twins decided to go with a quantity of potential quality approach. Often times in the draft the players that end up being the best guys weren’t the ones taken in the first couple of rounds, so by using this approach, the Twins acquired as many guys as they could who could potentially breakout.
The California high school third baseman was gaining a lot of steam in the week leading up to the draft, and it was rumored that the Twins were all in on him. As it turns out, that was exactly the case, as the Twins selected Cavaco with the 13th pick in the draft. Cavaco is a high upside player with plus power, run, fielding and throwing tools. The real question with Cavaco is around his ability to hit elite pitching. You can read more about Cavaco here.
After the Twins took Cavaco in the first round, they developed a strategy around drafting college hitters during the early stages of the draft. From Competitive Balance Round A through round seven, the Twins had seven more picks, and used five of them on college hitters.
The first college hitter they took was Southern Miss standout right fielder, and Forest Lake, MN native Matt Wallner. In 2016, Wallner was named Minnesota Mr. Baseball, and was taken by the Twins in the 32nd round of the draft, but went unsigned. Wallner has been quite the imposing presence in the Southern Miss lineup hitting .337 with 58 home runs in 189 career games. You can read more about Wallner here.
After Wallner the Twins took Oregon shortstop Spencer Steer with their first pick on day two. In the fourth round they targeted Wright State third baseman Seth Gray. Gray was teammates at Wright State with Twins 2018 pick, and 2019 Midwest League All-Star, Gabe Snyder. In the 5th round they grabbed Auburn shortstop Will Holland. Before the 2019 season, Holland was considered to be a likely first round pick, but slid in the draft after having a poor spring. If he can regain his 2018 form, Holland could be a potential steal of this draft. In the seventh round the Twins took another college shortstop, this time it was UConn’s Anthony Prato. While it won’t be possible for all these guys to play short at the next level, I am a big fan of the Twins just bringing in some of the best athletes that they can, and then figure out where to put them all later.
With their second round pick, the Twins took their first pitcher of the draft in Rice right-hander Matt Canterino. Canterino was a three year starter at Rice, and already has quite a bit of experience pitching, as he threw nearly 300 innings in his three years at Rice, and also played for both Team USA and in the Cape Cod League. You can read more about Canterino here.
Once the Twins run on college hitters had ended, the Twins shifted their focus onto adding a stable of college pitchers to their farm system. In the 6th round they took Sawyer Gipson, a right-handed pitcher from Mercer. Then starting in the 8th round the Twins took nine consecutive college pitchers, with only one of them, Brent Headrick, being a lefty. One of the last pitchers the Twins took in this run was Concordia St. Paul’s own Louie Varland, who is a native of Maplewood, MN.
In the 18th round, the Twins added part two of Auburn’s double play duo, as they took Will Holland’s teammate Edouard Julien. The Twins also drafted another pair of college teammates in UCLA’s Nate Hadley and Jake Hirabayashi , who were selected in the 25th and 39th rounds respectively. UCLA is the top ranked team in the NCAA tournament, and are facing off against Michigan this weekend for a spot in the College World Series.
Keeping the teammates trend alive, the Twins took a pair of high school pitchers from Stillwater Area High School in the 35th and 36th rounds. The two pitchers, Drew Gilbert and Will Frisch are both committed to play college ball at Oregon State, the same school that Twins 2018 first round pick Trevor Larnach attended, and won a championship for last summer.
One of the later round picks that I am particularly excited about is Austin Peay’s first baseman Parker Phillips. In three seasons of college ball, Phillips had a .319/.434/.673 slash line with 56 home runs, including 25 in 2019, which is the second most hit by any player in Division 1 college baseball this year.
You can read scouting reports on all 41 Twins draft picks here:
Twins Select Keoni Cavaco with 13th Overall Pick
Twins Select Minnesotan Matt Wallner with 39th Overall Pick
Twins Select Matt Canterino with 54th Overall Pick
MLB Draft Day 1 Thread
MLB Draft Day 2 Thread
MLB Draft Day 3 Thread
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