Draft Day Memories
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyContinue on to read what current Twins players like Brian Dozier and Tyler Duffey remember from their draft day. How about former players like Jacque Jones or Jeff Reboulet? And for many Twins minor leaguers, the memories are clear as they happened recently. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the stories shared below. Thank you very much to the players for participating and sharing their stories with us.
Brian Dozier, 2B, Minnesota Twins (2009, 8th round):
As you may remember, I was hurt (broken collarbone and had a plate and 8 screws put in) during the draft in 2009. Leading up to the draft, I knew I would get drafted but did not know exactly how high and who would take a chance on someone that was hurt. I remember being in a Firehouse sub shop eating lunch with a few of the guys on the Southern Miss team. I honestly forgot the draft was even going on. We had just beat Florida to advance to Omaha for the World Series. While eating, I got a call from Earl Winn with the Twins, and I can vividly remember how excited he was to tell me that the Twins had taken me in the 8th round. I was surprised that the Twins took me because when they flew the cross checker in to watch me earlier that year, I had the worst game of my career. 0-5, 3 k's and 3 errors at shortstop. Somehow, they still wanted to take me. Ha! There was really no negotiating since I was in my senior year. I do remember Earl Winn calling a few days later and said they had $30,000 to give me for signing. He said he would also take me out to dinner to celebrate. I said meet me at Outback at 7, and you have a deal!
Ryan O’Rourke, LHP, Minnesota Twins (2008, 13th round):
For me, the draft was a surreal experience. Invited a lot of friends and family over to watch day two. Looking back, that's a pretty confident move and something I probably would have done differently. The pick came and went, it's not the most vivid memory. Taking a picture with my mother, father, and brother while I put on a Twins hat will be something I treasure for the rest of my life.
Mitch Garver, C, Rochester Red Wings (2013, 9th round):
I think the main emotions were excitement and relief. I had always wanted to play professional baseball and when I heard my name called, I remember just rejoicing with my family around the computer. This huge sigh of relief came over us because the long and unpredictable process of getting drafted was done, and I was very proud to call myself a pro. My family then spontaneously threw a party together and all of my closest friends and family members came over to the house and we celebrated. It was an amazing feeling.
Tom Hackimer, RHP, Ft. Myers Miracle (2016, 4th round):
For me, the draft was a bit clearer than the previous year when it had surprised me a little bit. I had a good idea that the Twins were going to take me on the pick they had in the fourth round, but when they did it was still a huge relief, and an incredibly satisfying feeling
Casey Scoggins, OF, Extended Spring Training (2016, 39th round):
My memories from draft day was a roller coaster of emotions. It's an exciting experience for everyone in your life that helped you get to that point, and the anticipation can get overwhelming the farther you drop in the draft. That's what made it a roller coaster. But when you hear your name get called, no matter where it is, it becomes a sense of accomplishment and that's the most exciting part!
Zack Granite, OF, Rochester Red Wings (2013, 14th round):
I remember just seeing all these names being called. It felt like the time was never going to come. But when it did, I was the happiest kid in the world.
Daniel Kihle, OF, Ft. Myers Miracle (2015, 18th round):
I was at a lake in SW Missouri during the draft. When I got the phone call, I was on the boat hanging out with my dad, my girlfriend, and my dad's friend and his family. Once I got the call, there were lots of hugs and smiles all around! We celebrated the rest of that day, and then I headed home to start packing!
Keaton Steele, RHP, Ft. Myers Miracle (2014, 18th round):
Basically just pure excitement on the outside to everyone that knows you, but inside you are being torn apart. In my experience and maybe to others as well is that there's always a chance that you don't get picked or get an opportunity. When you finally do get to hear or see your name come up, it's a relief and the waiting is over. Then you get the feeling of, now what? What do I need besides baseball gear? What clothes do I need, car, housing, and what to really expect. The reaction from people around me was always positive and your phone blows up.
You hear stories, but who knows if they are true. At the end the day, only X amount of kids get a chance, and I was excited I got the opportunity.
Dereck Rodriguez, RHP, Chattanooga Lookouts (2011, 6th round):
I was asleep when I got drafted!! I didn't even know I got drafted until my mom started to scream. Then everyone started to call me. It was a fun day.
Alex Kirilloff, OF, Extended Spring Training (2016, 1st round):
Big memory that sticks out to me was just watching the draft on TV when my name was called. We were at a local restaurant with all my teammates, family, and close friends. Just a pretty awesome moment filled with excitement.
Lean Marrero, OF, Extended Spring Training (2015, 16th round):
My draft experience was unforgettable because it changed my life. It was a big step for me, not only career wise but personally. The first thing I did was thank God for the opportunity that the Minnesota Twins gave me. At the time I was not with my family, I received the news by myself. In that moment I thought about all the sacrifices I would have to make, I started screaming and thanked my parents for all the values they taught me.
Tyler Wells, RHP, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2016, 15th round)
The draft itself felt like forever. Three long days that felt like 3 weeks. When my name was finally called, it was a house full of excitement! It was a dream come true. We were all very happy that I was able to begin living out my dream to get to the big leagues!
Patrick McGuff, RHP, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2016, 36th Round)
It was great! Being given the opportunity to play professional baseball is a blessing. I had a lot of support from family and friends during the draft and continue to have it now. Although it was a little long and unsure at times, definitely worth it in the end and wouldn't change a thing.
Trevor Hildenberger, RHP, Rochester Red Wings (2014, 22nd round):
I was drafted while I was at my mom’s birthday BBQ in a public park. I was manning the grill when the phone rang and my area scout told me I was drafted. Didn't miss a beat, kept turning the sausages. After I hung up, everyone was excited.
Jake Reed, RHP, Chattanooga Lookouts (2014, 5th round):
I was lucky enough to have my family up with me in Eugene and have them there for the draft. I was extremely nervous, but it was definitely a relief when my name got called and one of the best days of my life, for sure.
Travis Blankenhorn, 3B, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2015, 3rd round)
My experience was great. I did not have a big party while the draft was going on because I was not sure when I was going to get picked, my family and agent gathered around my computer once the Twins called and told me they were going to pick me. That night, I did have a party with all my family and friends. Then I went to Minnesota to sign and saw a couple games and had a great first experience with the organization.
Sean Miller, IF, Ft. Myers Miracle (2015, 10th round)
I constantly try and describe the moment I was drafted. And I don't think I can. It's one of those things you play out in your head every night a couple weeks before it actually happens but nothing will live up to it.
Tyler Duffey, RHP, Minnesota Twins (2012, 5th Round)
It's a great time. Being selected at all is a privilege. So many with talent don't get opportunities. Guys have to realize that and fight to make the most of their chances. Really exciting and a dream come true and wouldn't trade what I get the opportunity to do for anything else.
Trey Cabbage, 3B, Extended Spring Training (2015, 4th Round)
My draft experience was stressful because I didn't know where I'd go. I really hoped it would be first day, but I'm very blessed and happy to be taken where I was and be here.
Travis Harrison, OF, Chattanooga Lookouts (2011, supp. 1st Round)
What I remember on draft day is that it was a school day for me. Starting at 8am I was constantly leaving class to take calls from different teams. Calls ranged from asking if I would take a certain money amount or teams just calling me to tell me if I'm available, they're taking me (Mostly lies). When school was over, I went home and just tried to relax. A lot of my friends and family came over to the house shortly before the draft started. I remember playing wiffle ball in the front yard up until about the 25th pick or so. My family and I were being told that I could be picked any moment at this point. Picks came and went and I wasn't being taken, then Jon Leavitt, my area scout for the Twins, called my dad and had a brief conversation. A few picks later, Rod Carew announced my name on TV. It's a moment I will always remember. My best advice for guys going through the draft is don't look at mock drafts and nowadays don't look at what people on Twitter are saying. They're only guessing like you. Try and have fun and make sure to record the draft on TV!
Tyler Beardsley, RHP, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2016, 16th round):
It truly was the best day of my life. Super thankful for the Twins giving me this incredible opportunity to fulfill my dream of playing professional baseball. I was with my parents at my house when I got the call. I had family members, former teammates, coaches, and friends reach out to me and congratulate me. Truly a day I'll never forget.
Dan Rohlfing, C, Chattanooga Lookouts (2007, 14th round):
Draft day was definitely an exciting day. You hear all these rumors about potential rounds and what teams will take you. So it's hard to sit there and wait to find your destiny. For myself, it was a little different though. I was on an airplane flying back from Cancun, Mexico. It was a trip a few other baseball players and myself took as a graduation gift because we weren't allowed to go on spring break with our fellow classmates because of a baseball tournament. Not realizing the dates of the trip fell on draft day, I was sitting in the airport in Mexico racking up an international phone bill talking to scouts from various teams. While boarding the flight, I had still not been taken and after multiple warnings from the stewardess, I finally shut my phone off and squirmed through the 3 hour flight. Turning my phone on once we hit the ground I had congrats texts flying in from friends and family, but I still had no idea who drafted me (this was 2007, aka pre iPhone days). My phone began to ring and it was my father saying, Congrats you're a Minnesota Twin! Shortly after, I was contacted by the Twins and the rest is history.
Michael Quesada, C, (2010, 24th round):
Quesada played in the Twins minor league system from 2010 through 2015. 2017 has been his first year as an area scout for the Twins.
My draft experience was enjoyable. As a JC player with no representation, I asked for a number that was over my value knowing I would probably get less. I had received a few calls after Day 1 from scouts hoping to take me on Day 2, but I was never called. On Day 3, the Twins called multiple times but the spot didn't happen until the 24th round. At the time, my family and I were sitting in front of the computer waiting to see my name pop up on the screen, and it was a great moment. The reaction was pure joy after all the hard work and sacrifices everyone in my life made for that moment to happen. It was 7 years ago and feels like it was yesterday.
Hank Morrison, OF, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2016, 22nd round):
I will always remember the day I got drafted! It was the third day of the draft, and I was very nervous because I hadn't been picked yet. My dad had listened to every pick, and I wanted him to put his headphones on cause I couldn't listen anymore! One of my buddies got picked in the 18th round, and I asked him how it happened, and he said they called him 3 rounds ahead of time. So every round that went by I was adding 3 more rounds to that and the 22nd round came around and my dad screamed my name! Then I went to the computer and saw my name pop up for the Twins and me and my parents cried out with joy! It was a dream come true!
Max Cordy, RHP, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2015, 40th round)
The draft was a hectic couple days, but a huge weight was lifted off my chest, and I was super excited once I found out I had been drafted/given an opportunity to pursue my dream. My family and friends were all super happy for me and supportive throughout the process.
Jeff Reboulet, IF, Minnesota Twins (1986, 10th round):
Reboulet played for the Twins from 1992-1996. He stayed in the big leagues through the 2003 season.
Drafted by the Twins in the 10th round, my senior year, while at Omaha. Didn't know I was drafted until I got back to Dayton, Ohio, after the College World Series and had a plane ticket to Visalia, California (Cal League - High A) that left the next day.
Henry Bonilla, RHP, (2000, 8th round)
Bonilla is the Miracle pitching coach. He played in the Twins farm system from 2000-2006, spending a couple of seasons in AAA.
Actually, i was home alone. Parents were working. Got a phone call. Then went to lunch with some buddies one, of which got drafted. Pretty boring actually.
Jamie Ogden, 1B/OF (1990, 3rd round)
Ogden is from White Bear Lake, so he was drafted by his hometown team. He played in the system through the 1998 season, a teammate of many very popular former Twins. His final three seasons were spent in AAA.
It was a looooong time ago. I remember not having any clue on when I would get drafted. Got a call on day one of the draft from my scout Terry Ryan that I was taken by the Twins with the 77th pick/3rd round. I also remember the negotiations between my dad and Terry being entertaining. They both are very kind men but very direct. Terry would come in with a number. Dad would reiterate what it would take ($100k + college). I was planning to go to Oklahoma to play hoops and baseball (Clem wouldn't let me play both at the U). So June 30th the Twins agreed to our conditions and on July 4th I was on a beach in Sarasota (Twins rookie ball he year before Ft. Myers)
JP Martinez, RHP, Minnesota Twins (2004, 9th round):
Martinez spent four seasons in the Twins system, making a couple of appearances in AAA. He is now the pitching coach for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
On the day of the draft in 2004, we hung out in my college coach's office at Univ of New Orleans (Randy Bush, won two World Series with the Twins), where we listened to the broadcast. Our Friday starter went 10th overall. My brother-in-law (who was my just my best friend at the time), was getting calls as early as the 2nd round. First call I got was from Mark Quimoyog telling me the Twins had taken me in the 9th round (2 picks before my bro in law). Drafted the day before my 22nd birthday, signed my contract on my kitchen table on my birthday. Good times!
Sam Clay, LHP, Chattanooga Lookouts (2014, 4th round):
Well, I remember being at home with my family on the second day of the draft. My parents were very excited the whole day, and they had the draft pulled up on their computer. I was trying to keep myself distracted and calm until I got a call from my advisor. It was late during the 3rd round when I got a call and was told that the Twins were interested. The Twins pick came up in the 4th round and my name came on the screen and my parents were ecstatic. I got a lot of phone calls and texts from friends and family members congratulating me. It's a special and life changing moment.
Dane Hutcheon, IF, Extended Spring Training (2016, 29th round):
The draft for me was definitely a roller coaster of emotions. But through those emotions it all dawned on me how fortunate I was for the opportunity to play at the next level. I remember getting the call from my Area Scout (Jack Powell) and I didn't even hesitate to say yes. I just wanted an opportunity to be something special. It was something I dreamed of from when I was just a little kid. It was pretty sweet to see all the love and the support you got. I remember getting tons of texts messages and my phone was just blowing up, but I wanted to call and text the people closest to me first. I was actually alone up in the Cape Cod League so I really never got a chance to celebrate with my family and friends, but I made sure to call my Mom and Dad first thing and just cherish what had happened. I later went on to call my coach and other family members and some of my best friends and to see the love and support was pretty neat. It will definitely be a day that I will always remember.
Cody Stashak, RHP, Ft. Myers Miracle (2015, 13th round):
I had no clue my name was called. I was outside grilling some food and my phone just started going crazy.
Jacque Jones, OF, Minnesota Twins (1996, 2nd round):
Jones was a popular player in the Twins organization through the 2005 season. He is currently a hitting coach with the Washington Nationals.
Didn't really have an experience was in the middle of preparing for the Olympics. Was a quick phone call and then went to practice.
Steve Singleton, 2B, Minnesota Twins (2006, 11th Round)
“Sing” played in the Twins organization until the 2011 season. He reached AAA Rochester. He is now the hitting coach of the Ft. Myers Miracle.
Draft day was whirlwind. I was just with my immediate family. Mom, Dad and brother. I had heard a lot of different noise about what rounds and what teams. I thought I had a chance to go in the top five rounds and really expected top ten. I ended up going in the 11th with the Twins and was surprised. I had never filled out a questionnaire or had a sit down with the scout who ended up taking me, John Leavitt. I got calls in the 10th and 11th from the Yankees saying they were taking me with their picks right then and neither time they pulled the trigger, so I was pretty anxious after that. Once my name was called, it was a very happy moment for my family. While there was some anxiety and disappointment while we were waiting, it all disappeared once I was selected. I went to dinner with a few close friends right after and prepared for the next chapter of my life. It was a wild day.
Clark Beeker, RHP, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2016, 33rd round):
I remember sitting at my house and watching TV with the audio of the draft picks going on in the background. I knew there was a chance of being selected, but it definitely wasn't a given that I would be drafted in one of the final rounds. Then I heard it announced that the Twins had selected me and the next couple hours or so were extremely hectic. I received a call from my area scout about five minutes after the pick and then texts and phone calls from friends, family, and former teammates started pouring in. It was a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
How fun was that, getting to read so many draft day memories!? I’m guessing a small percentage of those of us reading this have had the great opportunity to experience being drafted. What a moment, not only for the player but clearly for their families, coaches and friends.
The Twins have made that dream happen for 11 players already in the 2017 draft, and on Wednesday, they’ll do the same for 30 more players. Hopefully we can hear more of those stories too. Feel free to discuss and tell us which are your favorite stories.
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