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2020 Twins Transactions

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'Everyone Is Going To Know My Name' Twins Newest Pitcher Excited to Make His Mark

“It’s really starting to kick in.”

Marco Raya is only 17, but his repertoire and potential enticed the Twins to select him in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft. He signed Thursday for $410,000, just below the No.128 slot value of $442,900.
Image courtesy of PHOTO FROM THE MINNESOTA TWINS
The righty hails from Laredo, Texas and just finished up his senior year at United South High School, albeit with no baseball. “I was really disappointed I didn’t get to have a senior season," said Raya, who officially graduates Monday.


Raya was committed to play college baseball at Texas Tech University, and while de-committing isn’t easy, playing professional baseball has always been the dream. “When I visited [Texas Tech], it really felt like home.”

His mix on the hill includes a fastball that runs up to 94 MPH, two distinct breaking balls, and a changeup. “I’m pretty comfortable with all my pitches,” Raya said, “but I would say my slider is my most effective pitch.”



High school pitchers from Texas are usually long, large and fire-breathing. Raya does not fit the bill. He’s listed at 6-feet tall and 165 pounds, taller but more slender than his favorite pitcher Marcus Stroman of the New York Mets.

“For years, I’ve loved the way he [Stroman] pitches,” Raya said, “I’ve studied his game and the intensity he brings to the mound.” Stroman, an All-Star in 2019, is known for his high energy and raw competitiveness. Raya feels like he possesses that mindset. “That mentality is definitely a big part of it,” he said, “I’m a great competitor and I’m ready for anything that comes my way.”

Raya will work with a newer infrastructure in Minnesota. Derek Falvey has an aptitude for developing pitchers, a quality he displayed regularly in Cleveland. “I’ve heard so many great things [about the Twins],” Raya said, “over the last few years, the Twins have really been evolving into a great team.

Raya says he has an elite ability to add new pitches, make tweaks, and generally improve on the mound. “I can adjust to be any type of pitcher I want to be,” he said, “any pitch I’m taught I can pick up quickly.”

He also has a sense of trust in his stuff and knew that a MLB club was going to recognize his skill set on draft night. “I had a feeling [I was going to get drafted],” he said, “I didn’t know by who, but I knew whoever was getting me, that in three to five years, everyone is going to know my name.”

High character individuals flood the Twins top-seven farm system. Raya is no different. “I love to work so now knowing that it’s my job and I get to do what I love everyday is a blessing,” he said, “I’m just excited to get to work.”

Ted Schwerzler contributed to this article.

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11 Comments

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VivaBomboRivera!
Jun 19 2020 09:18 PM

Hope springs eternal

    • adorduan, PDX Twin, wabene and 1 other like this
In a recent thread, there was a big debate about the Twins FO not drafting a college pitcher in the first round. As if the Twins don't care enough about pitching and only want to draft corner offensive players.

Of course, me being me, I rambled a bit, lol, but found the arguement a bit silly. The FO has drafted a stud OF, 2 athletic SS and a 1B in their 4 drafts. And they HAVE selected numerous pitchers, both HS and college, some quite high. Just not in round 1. Not exactly cornering the market on corner players or ignoring pitching.

I'm with Seth on being excited for Raya. He is my favorite selection in this past draft. I keep reading references to Stoman, which is fine. But to me, he reminds me a lot of Berrios. Especially reading this interview and what seems to be a competitive fire within. I believe he turns 18 in July, which makes him very young. Kids his age often grow an inch or two as they mature. (Many college pitchers who end up top prospects do this). And maybe he ends up "stuck" at 6 foot. But only 165-170lbs? What happens when he muscles up and hits 190+ over the next 2-3yrs?

Reports say smooth mechanics and low 90's and can hit 94 with a pair of quality breaking balls above average with a decent change. How good is he 2-3yrs from now at AA with coaching and maturation hitting mid 90's consistently with even better command of his secondary stuff?

It's ONE interview. But I appreciate the desire and work ethic...and confidence...he speaks of. I really appreciated his comment about whoever selected him, in 3-5yrs, everyone was going to know his name. Confident but not cocky. He recognizes he has a road to travel before he arrives.

Reminds me a lot of Berrios.
    • mikelink45, PDX Twin, nclahammer and 4 others like this

I'll take the Berrios comp. Looks like a nice compact delivery but with a little more explosion at the end compared to Berrios. More controlled finish than Stroman. Facing Raya in high school must have been fun.

    • denarded, mikelink45, DocBauer and 1 other like this
I wasn’t big on the pick at first. The more I read about him, the more I’m coming around. You have to like that confidence
    • Sconnie likes this

Wasn't overly excited on draft day as I knew nothing about any of the four picks. The more I read since that day, however, has me liking what the Twins did. Like others above, am most excited about this kid.

 

Can Raya be another Berrios? Or even better? In time we will find out, but I like what he is saying.

We will see. Like all prospects the odds are stacked against him. Would be happy if he came close to being Berrios.

Everyone signed will believe they will succeed or why bother.I love the confidance, but like all the draft picks I am in the wait and see mode. A few years back I was confident that we would see Thorpe, Kiriloff, Lewis by now and a few others like Rooker seemed destined to be in MLB by now, but the road to the bigs is really long - no wonder players seek quicker paydays in the other four major sports where they do not have underpaid minor league years ahead.

 

I went back to Ted Schwerzler's 2016 top prospects to see who I would have been excited about then http://offthebaggy.b...-prospects.htmlThis was a fun exercise - the name Tyler Jay was number 3!And then there was Stephen Gonsalves number 6.And Nick Burdi who could throw 100, and Kohl Stewart and the hard throwing Alex Meyer.J.T. Chagois, Lewis Thorpe, and Jake Reed.Wow did we have pitching prospects.  

 

Good Luck Marco  

When I see a report about a pitcher that throws high 90's or even 100 but have to work on secondary pitchesI just go "meh". I assume in the several years it takes to advance they will need surgery or the other pitches just never appear or command is an issue. When I see a pitcher that throws 93 but with quality "stuff" I get a little excited. 17 years old.His frame could change significantly. 

    • birdwatcher, Danchat, adorduan and 2 others like this
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puckstopper1
Jun 20 2020 12:41 PM

 

When I see a report about a pitcher that throws high 90's or even 100 but have to work on secondary pitchesI just go "meh". I assume in the several years it takes to advance they will need surgery or the other pitches just never appear or command is an issue. When I see a pitcher that throws 93 but with quality "stuff" I get a little excited. 17 years old.His frame could change significantly. 

 

I totally agree Dantes. 

 

And just looking at the movement on his pitches in the clips provided look really good - especially given he is just 17!

 

What a wonderful H.S. graduation present the Twins just provided him...

    • birdwatcher and Melissa like this
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twinstalker
Jun 20 2020 05:36 PM

He's lucky enough to get paid, but I pretty much lump him in with the mass of pitchers in a system that is going to produce a lot of pitchers. Falvey's infrastructure and hires will no doubt be responsible for this. And unless I had Strasburg or Cole or Bauer in front of me at my draft pick, I wouldn't be picking a pitcher when I'm of the opinion that getting out amateurs has very little to do with getting out MLB bats.

I really like this pick.He has room to grow a bit and add some velocity but the high spin rate on multiple pitches is what they targeted.