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Perkins Activated

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Joe Mauer 2019 odds?

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Article: Feeling The Draft: Analyzing Minnesota's Ste...

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When Derek Falvey and Thad Levine took over the Minnesota Twins front office, they inherited a tremendous gift: the first overall pick, a...
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Sam Carlson: A MLB Draft Prospect From Minnesota

Sam Carlson, a right-handed pitcher out of Burnsville High School in Minnesota, has risen swiftly up draft boards this spring. After scouting him, this comes as no surprise.

Committed to the Florida Gators, Carlson is listed at 6’4” and 195 pounds, with a projectable body that will add a lot of strength as he gets older. Because his season started later than most, scouts have gotten a later look at him than some of the other top prep pitchers. Nevertheless, they have come away impressed with his calm presence on the mound and advanced feel for pitching.
Carlson’s pitching repertoire consists of three above average pitches that he can throw for strikes. He throws his fastball in the 92-94 mph range, which he commands down in the zone very well. His slider is good enough to be an out pitch, sitting in the low 80s with some bite to it. His changeup has good deception, and is one of the best among this year’s draft class. His understanding of pitching elevates him over most high school pitchers across the country, and there are no concerns about him being just a thrower.

Carlson has above average control, which can be attributed to clean pitching mechanics. There is not a whole lot of effort in his delivery, and he has nice arm action. The team that drafts him will likely have him use his lower half more, but that is a natural part of the development process and is not something he needs to worry about in high school. As he matures, his velocity will get better, which paired with his secondary offerings makes him a likely middle of the rotation pitcher down the road with a ceiling of a number two starter. Pitching in a cold-weather state has caused him to fly under the radar, but when he reaches the professional level he could surprise many.

The Florida commit is also a good hitter, so if he chooses college, he will be a two-way player. Since he will be chosen in the first round, his chance to hit at a higher level will likely be in a National League ballpark, but that is a ways down the road.

Overall, Carlson should be in the conversation as the best prep pitcher in the class. Hunter Greene and Shane Baz receive more hype, but Carlson has better pitchability than either of them. Many teams have Carlson near the top of their board, including the Mariners, Giants, and Blue Jays. Teams that pick in the top ten that have interest are the Braves and Brewers, who both have histories of taking high school players. The Pirates have been keeping a close eye on him, and since people are having a tough time pegging their potential pick we could see a surprise there.

As the draft approaches, more information will come out about which teams like him the most. You could speculate all day on who will draft Carlson, but I think that he will go higher than what most publications are predicting. When Carlson hears his name called on June 12th, he will be one of the top picks from Minnesota in draft history.

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20 Comments

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John Bonnes
May 18 2017 08:56 AM

It feels like we're not talking enough about how one of the local kids could be one of the top pitching prospects in this draft. Any other year, we would be wondering if the Twins wouldn't be focusing on him. 

 

In fact, I'll do a little speculation here: Could Carlson be the kind of player the Twins target to spend leftover #1 overall bonus money on? He seems like he would be in the right range for that. 

    • Cory Engelhardt and d-mac like this
Too bad his late start, pitching up north and his college of choice couldn't have him slide down to the Twins second selection.
    • d-mac likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
May 18 2017 08:59 AM

 

It feels like we're not talking enough about how one of the local kids could be one of the top pitching prospects in this draft. Any other year, we would be wondering if the Twins wouldn't be focusing on him. 

 

In fact, I'll do a little speculation here: Could Carlson be the kind of player the Twins target to spend leftover #1 overall bonus money on? He seems like he would be in the right range for that. 

 

That would be a nice way to spend it.He's mid-1st talent that could have "high bonus demands" causing him to fall to us at 35. 

    • Cory Engelhardt and d-mac like this

Do you remember Tom Windle and Mitch Brown? The last 2 MN pitchers with a lot of helium before the draft.Windle from the U and Brown from Rochester HS.Both drafted in the second round, and the local media were disappointed because "they should have been drafted higher.".

 

Where are they now today?Windle just started the season at AA Reading (down the road from me), after making the transition to the pen his third season as a pro, in 2015. Second organization. Has difficulties throwing strikes and his numbers are pretty horrible (9some ERA, 1.600ish WHIP).Likely will get demoted to A+ as a 25 year old.

 

Mitch Brown, who is 23, after a career ERA close to 5 as a starter, made the transition to the pen this season in AA and has been ok so far (2.50 ish ERA, 1.200 ish WHIP), but nothing special.

 

Other than Brown the only MN Prep pitcher who was drafted in the second round was Brad Hand (also hyped by the local media as a first round talent) in 2008.2.8 Career WAR, 2.6 of it coming the last 2 seasons as a reliever.He seems like a good set-up guy at 27.After 10 years pro career.

 

The level of player competition is incredible huge in judging draftees, and especially pitchers (that's part of the reason I have huge issues with the Twins drafting Greene 1st overall btw,).The fact is that the level of competition in MN High School (and College) is low.  

 

I don't know how Carlson compares to Winkle and Brown (and Hand 10 years ago.) But I think that the Twins should be cautious looking at their own back yard for talent in the top rounds, because it has not proven fertile enough, because of the level of competition.

    • DocBauer likes this

 

It feels like we're not talking enough about how one of the local kids could be one of the top pitching prospects in this draft. Any other year, we would be wondering if the Twins wouldn't be focusing on him. 

 

In fact, I'll do a little speculation here: Could Carlson be the kind of player the Twins target to spend leftover #1 overall bonus money on? He seems like he would be in the right range for that. 

 

That would be the dream, though he'll likely be long gone, regardless of his asking price, but the time the Twins pick again. We can hope though!

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Parker Hageman
May 18 2017 10:08 AM

Here's a little insider look at what Sam Carlson is going through right now. In a recent start against Rosemount, Carlson had an entire entourage of scouts looking over his every more -- including his bullpen session. 

 

Attached Image: Sam Carlson.PNG

 

Another coach in that conference told me that when his team faced Carlson, he was throwing 95 with an unhittable slider. His report was "repeats his mechanics well, good feel and presence." He felt that Carlson was "very comparable" to Nick Hanson, his pitcher who was drafted in the 3rd round by the Reds in 2016, but that Carlson has a better feel for the offspeed pitches than Hanson did at this point in their careers. 

    • Seth Stohs likes this

 

It feels like we're not talking enough about how one of the local kids could be one of the top pitching prospects in this draft. Any other year, we would be wondering if the Twins wouldn't be focusing on him. 

 

In fact, I'll do a little speculation here: Could Carlson be the kind of player the Twins target to spend leftover #1 overall bonus money on? He seems like he would be in the right range for that. 

 

No chance he makes it that far. None. Of course, I could be wrong, but no chance. With the bonus pools shrinking, they can't save enough money to entice him. Indeed, there are 2 teams that pick a 2nd time before the Twins do, so if anyone can do it, they maybe can.

 

Do you remember Tom Windle and Mitch Brown? The last 2 MN pitchers with a lot of helium before the draft.Windle from the U and Brown from Rochester HS.Both drafted in the second round, and the local media were disappointed because "they should have been drafted higher.".

 

Where are they now today?Windle just started the season at AA Reading (down the road from me), after making the transition to the pen his third season as a pro, in 2015. Second organization. Has difficulties throwing strikes and his numbers are pretty horrible (9some ERA, 1.600ish WHIP).Likely will get demoted to A+ as a 25 year old.

 

Mitch Brown, who is 23, after a career ERA close to 5 as a starter, made the transition to the pen this season in AA and has been ok so far (2.50 ish ERA, 1.200 ish WHIP), but nothing special.

 

Other than Brown the only MN Prep pitcher who was drafted in the second round was Brad Hand (also hyped by the local media as a first round talent) in 2008.2.8 Career WAR, 2.6 of it coming the last 2 seasons as a reliever.He seems like a good set-up guy at 27.After 10 years pro career.

 

The level of player competition is incredible huge in judging draftees, and especially pitchers (that's part of the reason I have huge issues with the Twins drafting Greene 1st overall btw,).The fact is that the level of competition in MN High School (and College) is low.  

 

I don't know how Carlson compares to Winkle and Brown (and Hand 10 years ago.) But I think that the Twins should be cautious looking at their own back yard for talent in the top rounds, because it has not proven fertile enough, because of the level of competition.

 

 

Carlson is in Top 15 (maybe 20 in some) rankings of draft-eligible players. Hand, Brown and Windle weren't in that neighborhood. 

 

Level of competition is important, but all these guys play each other in those summer showcases. So yes, Carlson's playing in MN and now California or Georgia, but he's proven himself against those guys, like Mauer did then.

 

Listen, the draft is always a crap shoot. I'm not going to say he's going to be an MLB All Star, but based on his rankings by the national people/sites, he's worth of a mid-first round pick. And, since he's from here, we're really excited to profile him and will probably do more as the draft approaches. 

    • Mike Sixel, gunnarthor, 70charger and 1 other like this

 

Here's a little insider look at what Sam Carlson is going through right now. In a recent start against Rosemount, Carlson had an entire entourage of scouts looking over his every more -- including his bullpen session. 

 

attachicon.gifSam Carlson.PNG

 

Another coach in that conference told me that when his team faced Carlson, he was throwing 95 with an unhittable slider. His report was "repeats his mechanics well, good feel and presence." He felt that Carlson was "very comparable" to Nick Hanson, his pitcher who was drafted in the 3rd round by the Reds in 2016, but that Carlson has a better feel for the offspeed pitches than Hanson did at this point in their careers. 

 

Parker, I hope you didn't write that text at the top of those pictures you shared. Some of the worst grammar I've ever seen. 20 on the on the scouting scale. 

    • Intramural Legend and Oldgoat_MN like this
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Parker Hageman
May 18 2017 11:21 AM

 

Parker, I hope you didn't write that text at the top of those pictures you shared. Some of the worst grammar I've ever seen. 20 on the on the scouting scale. 

 

Ha, no. Not my Facebook post.

    • gunnarthor and d-mac like this
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Parker Hageman
May 18 2017 11:35 AM
Level of competition is important, but all these guys play each other in those summer showcases. So yes, Carlson's playing in MN and now California or Georgia, but he's proven himself against those guys, like Mauer did then.

 

 

You gotta keep in mind, too, that the level of competition throughout Minnesota -- particularly for the elite baseball prospects -- has increased rapidly over the last 5-10 years. With the proliferation of club teams, MN players are facing a lot of strong competition from around the country on a regular basis in the summer, fall and winter. Carlson was a Blizzard guy. The Blizzard Elite team was ranked 33rd in the national by Perfect Game. So scouts have seen him, and others, matched up against the country's top-end talent. 

 

Not to mention, there are at least three new baseball development centers in operation around the Twin Cities that have opened in the last four years, allowing for more developmental time for baseball players that simply wasn't available ten years ago. There is the ability to at least maintain a level with southern states that can play throughout the year. 

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Bob Sacamento
May 18 2017 12:35 PM

Video I took of Carlson at WWBA in October:

 

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ashburyjohn
May 18 2017 05:57 PM

Parker, I hope you didn't write that text at the top of those pictures you shared. Some of the worst grammar I've ever seen. 20 on the on the scouting scale. 

There are other gifted proofreaders at this site too, you know. :)

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

 

He felt that Carlson was "very comparable" to Nick Hanson, his pitcher who was drafted in the 3rd round by the Reds in 2016

 

The same Nick Hanson who had a 9.18 ERA and 2.400 WHIP his first season as a Pro?

 

There are other gifted proofreaders at this site too, you know. :)

Given the quote, I am pretty sure that was intentional.

d-mac?

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Parker Hageman
May 18 2017 11:02 PM

 

The same Nick Hanson who had a 9.18 ERA and 2.400 WHIP his first season as a Pro?

 

The same Nick Hanson who required Tommy John surgery, yes. 

 

There are other gifted proofreaders at this site too, you know. :)

 

eggonface.gif glasshouse.gif

    • Mike Sixel likes this

 

Given the quote, I am pretty sure that was intentional.

d-mac?

Sadly, no. 

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

Carlson was profiled by Baseball America's Hudson Belinsky and that article appears today: 

 

http://www.baseballa...2IqtzjMhufDr.97

 

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Bob Sacamento
May 22 2017 01:54 PM

 

Carlson was profiled by Baseball America's Hudson Belinsky and that article appears today: 

 

http://www.baseballa...2IqtzjMhufDr.97

For those that are not subscribers to BA the short of the article:

 

Carlson has a close relationship to fellow Minnesota pitcher Logan Shore

Carlson changeup is advanced as he started throwing that before a breaking ball

Carlson slider got help from Shore

Carlson started doing Yoga to help with his poor flexibility this offseason

Carlson is big fan of long toss and Driveline pulldowns (throwing with weighed balls)

Carlson FB was mid 90's this spring, 

Carlson SL was low 80's this spring, graded a future 50-55 on the 80 scale (last year was 35-40)

Carlson CH graded a future plus pitch

 

 

    • Seth Stohs likes this