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Article: Twins Promote Eight for September

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:40 AM
The Minnesota Twins announced that they will promote eight players from AAA Rochester for September. In recent days, we have seen the Twi...
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Article: A Closer Look at the 2015 Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:38 AM
Last week, when I wrote that the Twins have only one major need to address during the coming offseason, I expected the piece of generate...
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What would Phil Hughes get?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:31 AM
Right before Thanksgiving, the Minnesota Twins signed Phil Hughes to a 3 year, $21 million contract.    At the time, risk was t...
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Article: That's the Ticket: September Sox

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:18 AM
I think I speak for most of Twins Territory when I double-negatively say that I will never NOT want to beat the White Sox. It’s sure nice...
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Jack Barrie - 2014

Adopt A Prospect 2014 Today, 08:38 AM
Name: Jack BarriePosition: 1BHeight/Weight: 6'4", 250 lbsBats: RThrows: RSummary:Barrie, an 18-year-old power hitter from Queensland,...
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A Look Back: Twins 2013 Draft

As we spend so much time looking forward to the 2014 draft, which is now just over a week away, it’s also important to take a look back. Today, I want to take a look at what the Twins did just one year ago, in the 2013 MLB Draft. For the second straight year, the Twins had a top four pick. In 2012, the Twins went with a prep outfielder from rural Georgia with the #2 pick. In 2013, the Twins went the high school route again, selecting a right-handed pitcher from Texas.

Today, we’ll take a look at what the Texas fire baller and the rest of the forty Minnesota Twins 2013 draft picks have been up to this season.

Attached Image: Tanner Vavra.jpg

[SIZE=2]Tanner Vavra photo by Rinaldi Photos[/SIZE]


Round 1 – Kohl Stewart – Right-Handed Pitcher – High School

The Twins used the fourth overall pick on Stewart knowing he had a full-ride football scholarship to be the potential heir-apparent to Johnny Manziel. However, the sides came together quickly on a signing bonus and Stewart reported. In total, he worked 20 innings of rookie league ball in 2013, allowing just 13 hits, walking four and striking out 24.

The 19-year-old started the 2014 season with Cedar Rapids and despite being more than two years younger than the average Midwest League hitter, he has posted a 2.93 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 43 innings. His innings are wisely being monitored but to this point he has been very successful. Some worry that he is striking out just over six batters per nine innings, but he is not even using his most dominant pitch, a slider that Baseball America called the best in the organization.

Round 2 – Ryan Eades – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

With the 43rd pick the Twins selected Eades out of Louisiana State. A polished college pitcher at a perennial powerhouse, he was ranked higher than 43 in most experts’ draft rankings. To say he has been disappointing to this point might be an understatement. After posting a 4.60 ERA and 12 walks and 13 strikeouts in 15.2 relief innings last year in Elizabethton, he has struggled in Cedar Rapids this year. To this point, he is 3-6 with a 6.12 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. In 42.2 innings, he has given up 55 hits and walked 20 batters. He does have 40 strikeouts.

Round 3 – Stuart Turner – Catcher – College

Turner won the Johnny Bench Award as the top college catcher and he was the first college catcher drafted. He went to Elizabethton but ended the season with a 2-4 performance in one game at AA New Britain. He impressed the Twins brass and received an invitation to big league spring training this year. He is catching about half the time in Ft. Myers this year and doing well behind the plate. His bat is not yet doing much. In 31 games, he is hitting .188/.248/.277 (.525) with six extra base hits.

Round 4 – Stephen Gonsalves – Left-Handed Pitcher – High School

The southpaw fell in the draft as many believed he did not want to sign and the Twins were able to take him in the fourth round. They went over-slot to sign him and he impressed in his debut. He started with the GCL Twins and in 14.1 innings gave up just one earned run. He moved up to Elizabethton and gave up two runs in 14 innings. In all, he threw 28.1 innings. He walked 11 and struck out 39. He is currently at Extended Spring Training awaiting the Elizabethton season… or a call to pitch in Cedar Rapids.

Round 5 – Aaron Slegers – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

The 6-10 tall righty was the Big 10 Pitcher of the Year last year. He posted a 0.47 ERA in Elizabethton last year, with two walks and 18 strikeouts in 19 innings. He is in Cedar Rapids this year where he is currently 4-2 with a 5.36 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Through his first six start, his ERA was just 2.52. In fact, until his most recent start, his ERA was still just 3.80. However, he has given up 20 earned runs in 14.2 innings over his past three starts. Could just be that “dead-arm phase” that many pitchers go through.

Round 6 – Brian Navarreto – Catcher – High School

The Twins selected the large catcher out of Arlington Country Dade High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He played in 42 games last summer with the GCL Twins and hit .226/.318/.365 with 10 doubles and three homers. He was incredibly impressive offensively and showed a power bat and arm when I saw him this spring. He will likely go to Elizabethton when their season starts.

Round 7 – Brian Gilbert – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

The Twins selected Gilbert out of Seton Hall where he was an established closer. He made just five appearances in Elizabethton before moving up to Cedar Rapids last year where he pitched in 13 more games. He began this season with Ft. Myers where he has pitched in 13 games and has four saves. He was on the DL for a week with an illness. He has a 1.77 ERA, but in 20.1 innings, he has 13 walks and 12 strikeouts.

Round 8 – Dustin DeMuth – Third Base – College – Did Not Sign

The Twins were certain that the third baseman would sign, but in the end, he turned down a $150,000 signing bonus to return to Indiana. He was the top player on the Hoosiers Big 10 Championship team this year. He hit .381/.455/.541 (.956) with 14 doubles and five home runs.

Round 9 – Mitch Garver – Catcher – College

Garver was the runner up to Turner for the 2013 Johnny Bench Award after his senior season at New Mexico. Although he has slowed in May, he has been one of the better hitters in the organization to this point this season for the Kernels. He is hitting .286/.370/.476 (.846) with 12 doubles, a triple, six homers and 29 RBI.

Round 10 – CK Irby – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

Irby was drafted out of Samford. He pitched in ten games for Elizabethton though he was limited by soreness. He is still in Extended Spring Training awaiting an opportunity with Cedar Rapids.

Round 11 – Nelson Molina – Shortstop – High School

Drafted out of Puerto Rico, he struggled in the GCL in his debut season. He hit .110/.178/.119 (.297) in 120 plate appearance. However, at 6-3 and 175 pounds, he has room to grow and is a very good up the middle glove with a very strong arm. He will likely go back to the GCL.

Round 12 – Ethan Mildren – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

Mildren signed and posted a 1.65 ERA in 16.1 innings at Elizabethton. He began this year at Extended Spring Training but when the Twins dealt Miguel Sulburan for Eduardo Nunez, the Kernels needed a starter. Mildren is 0-3 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in 39.1 innings. He has seven walks and 28 strikeouts.

Round 13 – Brandon Peterson – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

After pitching at Des Moines Area Community College, the Burnsville native went to Wichita State University for a year. After signing he posted a 2.96 ERA with five saves for E-Town. He began this season with Cedar Rapids and pitched in nine games before being promoted to Ft. Myers where he has pitched in five games. Combined, he has posted a 0.92 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP in 19.2 innings. He has 27 strikeouts to just five walks.

Round 14 – Zack Granite – Outfielder – College

Like Gilbert, Granite was drafted out of Seton Hall. He was Elizabethton’s lone member on the post-season Appalachian League All Star team. He began this season with the Kernels. His speed and on-base skills make him an ideal centerfielder and leadoff hitter. Unfortunately, he played in just four games before suffering an injury and is yet to return.

Round 15 – Derrick Penilla – Left-Handed Pitcher – College

Penilla signed out of Mount San Antonio College (California) and pitched in 14 games for the GCL Twins. Early this season, Penilla was summoned to Cedar Rapids from EST and has pitched in five games for the Kernels (one start). In 13.1 innings, he has a 5.40 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP and six walks to 18 strikeouts.

Round 16 – Brandon Bixler – Left-Handed Pitcher – College

After signing with the Twins out of Florida Gulf Coast, Bixler pitched in six games for Elizabethton before being promoted to Cedar Rapids. That’s where he began his 2014 season. In 14 games and 27.1 innings, he has a 1.32 WHIP. He has walked too many (18) and struck out just over a batter per inning (28).

Round 17 – Tanner Mendonca – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

Mendonca signed out of Cal State – Sacramento last year and reported to Elizabethton where his control problems continued. He posted an 8.49 ERA. In 23.1 innings, he gave up 24 hits and walked an incredible 37 batters. He also struck out 23. He is a hard-thrower who they hope can harness it better. He is still in Extended Spring Training.

Round 18 – Ryan Walker – Shortstop – College

Walker signed out of the University of Texas, in Arlington. The wiry shortstop has good hands and a strong arm. Unfortunately late in spring training, he broke a finger and missed about the first six weeks. He has returned and has played ten games for the Kernels.

Round 19 – Jared Wilson – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

Wilson signed with the Twins last summer out of UC-Santa Barbara. The Twins had drafted him in the 35th round a year earlier, but he returned to school. He pitched in ten games for the GCL Twins a year ago, and was promoted from EST to Cedar Rapids two weeks ago. He has pitched seven innings in four contests so far. He has allowed no earned runs on two hits, three walks and has ten punch outs.

Round 20 – Jason Kanzler – Outfielder – College

Kanzler began the season at Extended Spring, but when Granite was hurt, he was called up. In 34 games (136 AB), he has hit .301/.338/.485 (.823) with four doubles, three triples and five home runs. He is also 7-8 in stolen base attempts. He’s best known for his defense, having won a couple gold gloves in college.

Round 21 – Tyler Stirewalt – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

Stirewalt was drafted out of Fresno State where he went to play football. He decided to give baseball a try and the Twins took a chance on the hard-thrower. He posted a 0.57 ERA in 15.2 GCL innings last year with 20 strikeouts. He impressed at the Instructional League, clocking a few fastballs at 95 mph. He’s still learning to pitch and the Twins have kept him in Extended Spring Training.

Round 22 – Alex Swim – Catcher – College

Swim was a nominee for the Johnny Bench Award for his catching prowess at Elon University. He had been drafted after his junior season by the Cardinals but chose to go back for his senior campaign. He played for the GCL Twins last year. This year, he’s in Extended Spring Training waiting for an opportunity. He did spend a game or two with the Ft. Myers Miracle in case they needed a catcher but was quickly returned.

Round 23 – Zach Hayden – Right-Handed Pitcher – College

Hayden went to the University of South Carolina in Aiken. He pitched in ten games for the GCL Twins last year without giving up a run. In nine innings, he gave up seven hits, walked five, hit two and struck out six. He came to spring training this year out of shape, so the Twins held him back from baseball activities until he was ready to go. He is in Extended Spring Training.

Round 24 – Brandon Easton – Left-Handed Pitcher – Junior College

He played a lot of first base at Lakeland Community College but the Twins liked him as a left-handed, hard-throwing pitcher. He gave up 25 hits, walked 13 and struck out 11 in 19.1 innings with the GCL Twins last year. He hasn’t pitched much, so he is at Extended Spring Training.

Round 25 – Chad Christensen – Outfielder – College

The Cedar Rapids native went to the University of Nebraska and this year he gets to play for his hometown Kernels. He played most every position for the Cornhuskers. This year, he has played first base and all three outfield positions for the Kernels. He is hitting .290/.342/.408 (.751) with seven doubles, two triples and three homers. He also is 13-16 in stolen base attempts.

Round 26 – Ryan Halstead – Right-Handed Pitcher – College – Did Not Sign

Like DeMuth, Halstead returned to Indiana where he was the best closer in school history. Unfortunately for him, after just four games, his season came to an end with a torn ACL.

Round 27 – Taylor Blatch – Right-Handed Pitcher – High School – Did Not Sign

Just 5-11 and 165 pounds, Blatch throws in the low 90s. He enrolled at Florida State where he pitched in 14 games, making two starts. It’s fair to say that the statistics didn’t look great. In 17.1 innings, he gave up 13 hits, walked 19 and struck out 11.

Round 28 – Chris Erwin – Left-Handed Pitcher – High School – Did Not Sign

The left-hander went to Kennesaw State where he not only pitched, but he had the opportunity to hit as well. On the mound, he pitched in 15 games and made eight starts. His team is in the NCAA tournament, and to this point he is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA. In 42.2 innings, he has given up 44 hits, walked 24 and struck out 33. With the bat, he went 7-21. He hit .333/.391/.476 (.867).

Round 29 – Logan Shore – Right-Handed Pitcher – High School – Did Not Sign

Shore was Mr. Baseball and the Gatorade Player of the Year in Minnesota in 2013 at Coon Rapids High School. As a senior, he went 9-0 with a 0.27 ERA. He was a first or second round talent, but he made it clear he wanted to go to the University of Florida. This year with the Gators, he pitched in 15 games and made 14 starts. He went 7-3 with a 1.99 ERA. In 90.2 innings, he gave up 76 hits, walked 18 and struck out 62.

Round 30 – Tanner Vavra – Second Base – College

Blind in one eye, Vavra continues to beat the odds. He was a great hitter in his years at Valparaiso. He spent last season at Elizabethton where he hit .246/.358/.284. When he went on the disabled list on May 2, he was hitting .338/.384/.441. Since his return on May 10, he is 4-38 and three of those hits came in one game.

Round 31 – AJ Bogucki – Right-Handed Pitcher – High School – Did Not Sign

Bogucki was a high-ceiling prep from Pennsylvania. The hard thrower went to the University of North Carolina. He pitched in 12 games and made three starts. He went 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA. In 22.2 innings, he gave up 16 hits, walked 13 and struck out 27 batters. Opponents have hit just .193 against him.

Round 32 – Carlos Avila – Shortstop – College

Avila was drafted out of Cal State – Dominguez Hills. He hit .206 last year with Elizabethton. He began this season at Extended Spring Training. Earlier this month, he was promoted to Cedar Rapids. He went 3-9 with two walks in three games. However, last week when Engelb Vielma came back from the DL, Avila was released by the organization.

Round 33 – Steven Sensley – Outfielder – High School – Did Not Sign

Round 34 – Ivory Thomas – Outfielder – College

Thomas was also drafted out of Dominguez Hills. He began this season in EST, but was promoted to Cedar Rapids in the first month. In 26 games, he has hit .183/.462/.250 (.712) with a double and a home run. He also stole two bases.

Round 35 – Nick Lemoncelli – Left-Handed Pitcher – Junior College – Did Not Sign

In 2014, he went to Lewis-Clark State College. He pitched in 11 games and made six starts. He was 2-0 with a 3.68 ERA. In 29.1 innings, he gave up 27 hits, walked 19 and struck out 39.

Round 36 – Joseph Greenfield – Right-Handed Pitcher – College – Did Not Sign

Greenfield went back to Eastern Illinois. He pitched in 23 games and made nine starts. He went 6-6 with a 5.40 ERA. In 73.1 innings, he gave up 99 hits, walked 36 and struck out 49.

Round 37 – Julien Service – Outfielder – Junior College – Did Not Sign

Round 38 – Javier Salas – Right-Handed Pitcher – College – Did Not Sign

Salas went back for his senior season. He pitched in 13 games, with six starts. He went 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA. In 47.1 innings, he gave up 44 hits, walked 12 and struck out 38. In early March, he made a start against Villanova and threw a perfect game.

Round 39 – Seth Wagner – Left-Handed Pitcher – High School

The 6-7, 19-year-old signed late and pitched in six games for the GCL Twins last year. He is at Extended Spring Training awaiting the short-seasons.

Round 40 – Kelly Starnes – Outfielder – High School – Junior College

He went to Cal State – East Bay where he hit .352 with 12 doubles and four home runs.

Obviously these players' professional statistics to this point fall into the category of "Small Sample Size," but it is interesting nevertheless to see how their careers have started.


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