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Twins Select Trevor Larnach in the First Round of the 2018 Draft

Bob Jones (1966), Johnny Ard (1988), Torii Hunter (1993), Denard Span (2002), Trevor Plouffe (2004) and Chris Parmelee (2006) were all selected by the Minnesota Twins with the 20th overall pick in the MLB Draft. The Twins had the No. 20 pick once again this year, and selected outfielder Trevor Larnach of Oregon State.
There were a lot of rumors that the Twins were going to take a college pitcher in this draft, and when they had their selection at pick 20 they had plenty of college pitchers to choose from in guys like Shane McClanahan, Jackson Kowar and Ryan Rolison.

However, the Twins ended up going with a college bat in Oregon State right-fielder Trevor Larnach (pronounced LAR-nick). How much of this pick was centered around the Twins limited bonus pool will remain to be seen, but it can be assumed that Larnach won’t be as expensive of a player as some of the other names that were available for the Twins to choose from.

Entering the draft, I had Larnach ranked as my 23rd best prospect available, so it is not like the Twins are settling by any stretch of the imagination. Here is what I had to say about Larnach as part of my pre-draft scouting report.

“Oregon State has had one of the most successful baseball programs over the last couple of years, and a big part of that has been on the bat of outfielder Trevor Larnach. Much like Virginia outfielder Adam Haseley did in last year’s draft, Larnach has shot up the draft boards upon seeing big improvements in his production in each of his three years in college.

Larnach’s best tool going away is his bat. He has shown the ability to hit for average and get on base in the past, but this spring Larnach has finally shown the ability to hit for power that his body has suggested he has. So far this season, Larnach has belted 17 home runs after hitting just three combined in his first two seasons at Oregon State.

In the outfield, Larnach projects as a right fielder. He isn’t the greatest athlete in the world and will most likely never best a plus defensive outfielder, but he does have a big arm that should allow him to make it as a right fielder.”

As I mentioned Larnach is a player who has developed nicely during his three-year career at Oregon State. Here are his stat lines from each of his three college seasons.

Freshman: 59 PA; .157 AVG; .271 OBP; .176 SLG; 15 K; 7 BB; 1 2B; 0 HR
Sophomore: 248 PA; .303 AVG; .421 OBP; .429 SLG; 53 K; 39 BB; 16 2B; 3 HR
Junior: 268 PA; .327 AVG; .455 OBP; .626 SLG; 53 K; 45 BB; 13 2B; 17 HR
Here's some video of Larnach via the Pac-12 Networks YouTube account:

As I mentioned previously, the Twins limitations with their bonus pool probably hand a big had in this pick. From the sounds of it the Twins already have a deal in place with Trevor Larnach and his agent. To me this suggests that the money was a driving factor in this pick.

Another thing this pick does is it adds depth to the top of the Twins farm system that is currently loaded. Right now, Larnach would slide in nicely alongside Alex Krilloff and Brent Rooker as one of the best outfield prospects in the organization.

Larnach reminds me a lot of the Rooker pick from last season. Like Rooker, Larnach is a college hitter whose value is mostly tied up in his bat and not as much so in his fielding ability. Of the two, I believe that Larnach has a much better chance to stick as a corner outfielder.

Here's some more video via Prospect Pipeline:

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64 Comments

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Carole Keller
Jun 04 2018 07:13 PM
Lol, you posted that really fast.
    • Blake likes this

I like the pick! Larnach is a really really good hitter who can swing the stick for both average and power. Let's just hope he doesn't have success this weekend and that this is his last weekend playing college baseball.

    • Pius Jefferson likes this

I'm not at all surprised it is a college player. Hope he's good!

    • glunn, Dman, d-mac and 1 other like this
I wanted a pitcher and there were several good ones there. I guess they feel they can find quality guys later on in the draft. I kind of hate the one dimensional power guys who can't run or play defense in the first round. Hope they make me eat my words
    • glunn, Blake, diehardtwinsfan and 3 others like this
The 4 and 5 tool guys aren’t available at 20. The single most valueable tool is a good bat with power. That’s the bet here. Is that this guy will flat rake, and justify average corner defense or even a 1B role. Like all the others, time will tell.
    • glunn, birdwatcher, Kelly Vance and 2 others like this
I got all worked up about Lewis last year, and I ate my words a bit as the seemed to have a pretty nice draft.... so far.

So while I think this is unspectacular, I thought the same of Lewis and he has proved me wrong and allowed them to get some good guys later.

Long and short of it, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt
    • glunn, birdwatcher, beckmt and 4 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Jun 04 2018 07:45 PM

 

The 4 and 5 tool guys aren’t available at 20. The single most valueable tool is a good bat with power. That’s the bet here. Is that this guy will flat rake, and justify average corner defense or even a 1B role. Like all the others, time will tell.

Fair way to look at it. I'd always prefer what I'd consider a "skill position" player -- a SS, CF or a C -- but the thing that's most likely to carry any player to the major leagues is their bat. Hit enough and they'll find a place for you.

    • glunn, beckmt, markos and 5 others like this
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AlwaysinModeration
Jun 04 2018 07:46 PM
Considering I’ve never heard of him, or any of the other picks....I’m a huge fan of this move.
    • glunn, birdwatcher, wavedog and 10 others like this
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KirbyDome89
Jun 04 2018 07:53 PM

People were antsy last year after signing Lewis under slot. I'm not concerned at the moment, we have to see what they do with the next few picks. 

 

That said, if losing that bonus money forces the Twins into reaching across the early rounds then color me even more disappointed with the Hughes move. 

    • caninatl04 likes this
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Winston Smith
Jun 04 2018 07:54 PM

So what are we hoping for Adam Dunn like player. Play a little OF early then switch to 1B/DH?

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launchingthrees
Jun 04 2018 07:59 PM

 

So what are we hoping for Adam Dunn like player. Play a little OF early then switch to 1B/DH?

 

Yeah that's the hope but then again Dunn would be a huge coup even if he were taken #1 overall.

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Tom Froemming
Jun 04 2018 07:59 PM

My knee-jerk perception is the Twins went with a safe bet, a player who may lack the upside of some of the other guys who were still available, but who they feel confident will develop into a nice piece.

 

I'm not so sure that's the route I'd have taken, but it's probably the smart play considering the Twins only have two picks in the first three rounds. It would really hurt to swing and miss on either of these picks tonight. 

    • glunn, Blake, Mike Sixel and 7 others like this

I like it. 

Just reading the profiles, he looks a bit similar to Brent Rooker. He's a college corner OF who could end up at 1B who's got some power in his bat. 

 

I mean, I would have preferred a pitcher, but it really doesn't matter that much. Hopefully we'll have another great bat developing in the minors, and with Lewis, Gordon, Kiriloff, and Rooker as other 1st round hitters, they should not lack top-end hitting talent for the foreseeable future.

    • glunn, gagu, Tom Froemming and 1 other like this

My knee-jerk perception is the Twins went with a safe bet, a player who may lack the upside of some of the other guys who were still available, but who they feel confident will develop into a nice piece.
 
I'm not so sure that's the route I'd have taken, but it's probably the smart play considering the Twins only have two picks in the first three rounds. It would really hurt to swing and miss on either of these picks tonight.


That's my take also. Given the minor league depth I would have been more willing to roll the dice than this appears to be.
    • 70charger, big dog, DocBauer and 1 other like this

 

So what are we hoping for Adam Dunn like player. Play a little OF early then switch to 1B/DH?

 

How about a poor man's (taller) Kyle Schwarber?

    • d-mac likes this

 

 

My knee-jerk perception is the Twins went with a safe bet, a player who may lack the upside of some of the other guys who were still available, but who they feel confident will develop into a nice piece.

 

 

 

It is nice to see consistent, solid improvement both in NCAA and Cape Cod production.

    • d-mac and caninatl04 like this

My knee-jerk perception is the Twins went with a safe bet, a player who may lack the upside of some of the other guys who were still available, but who they feel confident will develop into a nice piece.
 
I'm not so sure that's the route I'd have taken, but it's probably the smart play considering the Twins only have two picks in the first three rounds. It would really hurt to swing and miss on either of these picks tonight.

Yep...this is the way I look at this pick as well. If you’re in the back half of the 1st round and you go toolsy, you’re going to have a questionable bat. Hunter actually a good example...in his case the bat came around, but it didn’t look like it would for a long time. Instead, they went will a bat that they feel is significantly less questionable. In terms of an outfielder I don’t hate it because the Twins have their share of toolsy OF in the system. Not sure I wouldn’t have gone with one of the college arms...but we’ll see.
    • glunn, beckmt and Danchat like this

 

 

That's my take also. Given the minor league depth I would have been more willing to roll the dice than this appears to be.

 

Yep. That's my problem. This pick seems clearly not to be BPA. On the surface, this pick seems like Daniel Palka regret redux.

 

Perhaps the braintrust is contemplating changing the configuration in RF @ Target Field in the years ahead... with a bevy of thumping LH bats and a couple RH bats like Sano with the power to poke the outside pitch just enough over an extended overhang in RF?

As I've mentioned in posts on other threads, I am guessing that he agreed to be signed under slot so the Twins can make a statement with their second round pick. 

 

Were do you think we'll see him first?GCL? Elizabethton?Maybe Cedar Rapids?

    • glunn and KirbyDome89 like this
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Winston Smith
Jun 04 2018 08:30 PM

 

As I've mentioned in posts on other threads, I am guessing that he agreed to be signed under slot so the Twins can make a statement with their second round pick. 

 

Were do you think we'll see him first?GCL? Elizabethton?Maybe Cedar Rapids?

Playing the Gophers next weekend.

    • Thrylos, jokin, NapoleonComplex and 1 other like this
I don't know much about the guy. But, all you hear these days are that guys with limited defensive ability/flexibilty, limited athletic ability, and decent bats/power are pretty replaceable. It doesn't seem to difficult to find a RF/1B/DH type that can hit a little bit for cheap (Logan Morrison darn near had to pay his way onto a roster after nearly hitting 40 HRs).

So, that being the case, I hope the kid can flat-out rake. It seems like Rooker was a more established hitter who was closer to majors and was taken later in the draft. Kind of head scratching. So, maybe more upside is there?

I would've preferred one of the pitchers, but who am I to say. If they use this to pick up a guy a little later that falls due to signability issues (Enlow type), I'll feel pretty good about it.
    • markos and DocBauer like this
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drivlikejehu
Jun 04 2018 08:49 PM

True middle-of-the-order bats are not easily replaceable. Having one big year like Morrison doesn't qualify (as we are seeing this season).

 

No one knows for sure if Larnach will reach a high offensive ceiling, but it's fairly obvious why a team would be interested in a guy like that at #20. 

    • birdwatcher, twinssouth and d-mac like this

Trevor Larnach looks athletic and strong, but a couple small flaws jumped out at me.

 

First, that recoil on his outfield throws must go away. Coaches have to tell him to continue moving towards his target after the throw. Throw the ball, then go pick a fight with the guy that catches the ball. 

 

Second, the follow through on his swing is too stiff at the end. He needs to relax his hands and let the bat finish without him stopping it, like Joe Mauer does. That will add a few mph to his hits, and maybe spare him some pulled muscles. 

 

Trevor Larnach has the body of a serious young power hitter. Big thighs, rangy build. He'll be a masher for sure. 

    • birdwatcher, TNTwinsFan, gagu and 1 other like this

 

Yep. That's my problem. This pick seems clearly not to be BPA. On the surface, this pick seems like Daniel Palka regret redux.

 

Perhaps the braintrust is contemplating changing the configuration in RF @ Target Field in the years ahead... with a bevy of thumping LH bats and a couple RH bats like Sano with the power to poke the outside pitch just enough over an extended overhang in RF?

Palka has been pretty good in his first month or so of his MLB for the White Sox... 

 

Plus even if the pick isn't BPA, they can spend more money on the next draft pick. That worked out really well last year.

    • d-mac likes this

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