Twins Daily Minor League Draft: Rounds 5-8
Image courtesy of Will Holland makes a play in the College World Series as Edouard Julien gets out of the way (© Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports)If you missed the first round rounds, you can view them here. A brief primer: We're taking 16 players with "prospect" or "rookie" status.
Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher.
(Please note that comments under the picks were made by the person making the selection.)
Seth Stohs - Luis Rijo RH SP
When the Twins acquired Rijo in July 2018, he had put up solid numbers and was known for his pitch ability. Then last summer in Cedar Rapids, he was pumping 96! I like that upside.
Steve Lein - Akil Baddoo OF
Though an injury cut short his 2019 season, Baddoo is an outfielder who can play center, gets on base, and was starting to show some pop.
Ted Schwerzler - Griffin Jax RHP
Jax isn’t going to be an ace, but he’s more than capable of being a safe and trustworthy arm. He’s performed at every level, and despite some hurdles in getting his baseball career to remain consistent, he’s been as reliable as it gets.
Cody Christie - Wander Javier, SS
Might as well complete my up-the-middle trifecta. Javier is coming off a rough transition to a full-season league, but he has too many tools not to be able to find success. Injuries have limited his time on the field, but more time and experience will showcase his full potential.
Jeremy Nygaard - Will Holland, SS
Holland struck out way too much in his pro debut, which came on the heels of a not-so-great junior season at Auburn. But his first two years there, plus a really good Cape performance in 2018, has me believing in both the power and the speed (16 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 2019 between Auburn and Elizabethton). If he can stick at shortstop, that’s just icing on the cake if he realizes his potential with the bat.
Matt Braun - Gabriel Maciel, OF
Outfielders kind of flew off the board quicker than I anticipated so I’m glad that I was able to snap Maciel. He could be the stereotypical leadoff hitter in the mold of Denard Span who sets the table for guys in the middle of the lineup.
Matt Braun - Yunior Severino, 2B
Severino is a very interesting prospect in his own right. He was snatched up by the Twins after the Braves were busted for shady international practices and he has held his own in the lower level of the minors so far. He brings good upside in raw power that isn’t seen often in middle infielders and is one of the only switch-hitters in the entire system.
Jeremy Nygaard - Zander Wiel, 1B/OF
I’m not positive that Holland bats higher than sixth… but I know Wiel will bat third or fourth. I finally have my run-producing masher, who I assume will be my primary first baseman, though he does have some experience in the outfield.
Cody Christie - Spencer Steer, 3B
College experience, check. Power bat, check. Steer can help solidify the left side of the infield with Wander Javier playing up the middle. He will be a leader in the clubhouse and on the field. (Get to Know Spencer Steer here.)
Ted Schwerzler - Trey Cabbage 1B
The FSL wasn’t all that kind in Cabbage’s debut season there, but the 2015 4th round pick game into his power. He’s now 23 and will need to step up quickly, but he’s got the chops to play an athletic first base and drive the ball out of the yard.
Steve Lein - Seth Gray 3B
After being drafted in the 4th round last year Gray had a tale of two halves in his first season as a professional. In the months of June and July he hit a combined .201/.314/.373 in 134 at-bats with Elizabethton. Then he turned it on in August and September with a .270/.368/.520 line in his last 100 at-bats, including a promotion to Cedar Rapids for his final four games. Gray possesses a good amount of raw power, so I’m looking for that out of him in my lineup.
Seth Stohs - Bailey Ober, RH SP
I mean, just look at the numbers. The lanky right-hander pitched in 14 games last year and went 8-0 with a 0.69 ERA. In 78 2/3 innings, he struck out 100 batters and walked nine. He may not throw hard, but he’s doing something right. He knows himself as a pitcher and continued to learn throughout the 2019 season.
Seth Stohs - Sean Poppen, RH RP
He’s mostly been a starter since the Twins drafted him out of Harvard. He’s had a little bit of big league time now out of the bullpen. As noted this offseason, I am a big believer in his upside as a reliever. He throws 97 and gets a ton of movement on his fastball and slider.
Steve Lein - Josh Winder SP
I’ll finish my rotation with Winder. He threw a ton of innings with the Kernels in 2019 and led the Midwest League with a 2.65 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. He can hit mid-90’s with his fastball and has a full repertoire of secondary offerings, with a few breaking balls showing promise.
Ted Schwerzler - Cody Stashak RH RP
The MLB debut in 2019 was about as good as it gets. In 25 innings Stashak mowed down opposing hitters and did so while limiting walks in an extremely impressive way. Relievers only have so much value, but I’m stoked to get him here.
Cody Christie - Jorge Alcala RH SP
I’m going with my best available player here and he happens to fill a need on my roster. Alcala struggled through parts of 2019, but his high ERA might not tell the full story. He has a fastball that can hit in the high 90s and a slider that helps him strikeout batters. If he doesn’t work in the rotation, he could be a tremendous bullpen option with his top two pitch options.
Jeremy Nygaard - Chris Vallimont RHSP
I thought hard about taking a pitcher instead of Wiel, but there were quite a few I liked and thought I’d get two of them (here and my next picks). I didn’t anticipate Seth kicking off a five-straight-pitchers run. All the pitchers that I considered here are gone, but I’m going to take the next pitcher on my list. Vallimont throws gas, is a little under the radar, and completes my rotation nicely.
Matt Braun - Bryan Sammons, LHSP
Jeremy taking Vallimont threw me into a fit of words that will not be repeated but I eventually got my bearings back and took Sammons. The walks were a bit high for him at AA this year but he brings great strikeout potential from the left side and rounds out my rotation quite nicely.
Matt Braun - Willie Joe Garry Jr., OF
Garry Jr. and Maciel might make one of the most athletic outfields you can field using Twins minor leaguers. Garry Jr. is very young with a lot of development left but has as much upside as anyone else in the system. Hopefully people stop taking my guys as this continues.
Jeremy Nygaard - Emmanuel Rodriguez OF
The top “prospect” left on my list and also, having just turned 17, the youngest. Rodriguez will fit into a defensively-strong outfield, playing right field. He’ll also fit into the bottom third of the lineup where he can put his strong hitting skills on display, without pressure.
Cody Christie - Tyler Wells, RH SP
Wells was due back from Tommy John surgery in 2020 but his last action in 2018 saw him put up some strong numbers at High- and Double-A. He rounds out my rotation nicely and could wind up being one of my best pitchers if he can get back to where he was before surgery.
Ted Schwerzler - Edouard Julien 3B
Minnesota went with a pair of Auburn Tigers infielders in the 2019 draft. Julien initially decided to go back to school until the Twins convinced him otherwise. He had a bit of a down Sophomore year, but there’s plenty of pop in his bat and he’s got a chance to be a solid contributor on the diamond.
Steve Lein - Mark Contreras OF
Contreras had a rough season at the plate in 2019 overall, but I'm adding him for a different reason here: his elite defense. He won an MiLB gold glove award for his work in the outfield at all three spots.
Seth Stohs - Derek Molina, RH RP
Molina is a great athlete, and now that he is a full-time pitcher, he’s taking off. The right-hander split 2019 between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers and had 61 strikeouts and just 11 walks over 41 innings of work.
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