Minnesota Twins 2020 MLB Draft Recap
Prior to the draft, I looked into a number of different strategies that the Twins could use in this draft, specifically as how they could divvy up their signing bonus pool. One of the strategies outlined was a portfolio approach, where they would try to save money with their first couple of picks, in order to spread that money around into there last two picks, where the slot values are not as high.
With their first-round pick, the Twins went to the college ranks to select UNC first-baseman Aaron Sabato. In his one full season in a Tar Heels uniform, Sabato put his powerful bat on full display, tallying 44 extra-base hits in just 64 games played. This included hitting for the cycle against rival North Carolina State on May 16th. Sabato is more than just raw power though, as he is a career .332 hitter at UNC, with a career .459 OBP in 83 games played.
It is hard not to see how Sabato fits into the Twins overall draft philosophy of drafting big and powerful bats, joining the ranks of Brent Rooker, Trevor Larnach, Ryan Jeffers, Keoni Cavaco and Matt Wallner all taken in the early rounds in recent years. Since Sabato is a draft eligible sophomore, with a lot of potential, he likely will not sign for below the slot value of the 27th pick in the draft.
If you would like to read up more on Sabato, and see what Scouting Director Sean
Johnson had to say about him, you can do so here.
Going into day two of the draft, the Twins had their sights set on Tennessee outfielder Alerick Soularie. He was a player that was circled high on their boards, and they didn’t feel like he would be there when they made their next pick after this one, a whole 69 picks later. Soularie began his college career at San Jacinto JC (the same JUCO that both Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite went to) where he lit up the competition on his way to a .402/.513/.745 slash line with 10 home runs in 59 games and lead his team to a third-place finish. This impressive performance opened the doors to a transfer to Tennessee, where he continued to have great success.
In his only full season for the Volunteers Alerick Soularie hit for an impressive .357/.466/.602 slash line, while going up against SEC pitching for the first time. His numbers were down slightly to start the 2020 season, before it got cut short. It is hard to know for sure from an outside perspective, but it seems like Soularie is a pick that the Twins should be able to sign for below the $1.19 million assigned to that slot. Which would allow the Twins to spend over slot, in order to sign each of their final two picks.
If you would like to read up more on Soularie, and see what Scouting Director Sean Johnson had to say about him, you can do so here.
The only pitcher that the Twins selected in the draft was Marco Raya, a prep arm out of the state of Texas. Raya is a bit undersized, but he is a good athlete and excellent mechanics that helps him pump it up as high as 94 MPH without needing a lot of effort. Raya also throws two above-average breaking balls in a slider and curveball. Both pitches have potential to be plus pitches down the line. Finally, Raya also throws a pretty decent changeup, which gives him a rare four-pitch mix that not a lot of high schoolers have at this point in their development.
It will be a few years until we really know who Raya is as an MLB prospect (he’s still only 17-years old), but he has a bright future ahead of him. Being a high school player, committed to Texas Tech, the Twins will likely need to use some of the money saved on Soularie in order to sing him.
If you would like to read up more on Raya, and see what Scouting Director Sean Johnson had to say about him, you can do so here.
The Twins final selection in the 2020 MLB Draft was a high school bat, with a powerful profile in Kala’I Rosario. Rosario is a player that impressed a lot of scouts in the Area Code games last season. While there is a lot of work to do with his overall approach and swing at the plate, it is evident that Rosario has much raw power as any other prep player in the draft. While many other sites weren’t as high on Rosario, I fell in love with what this guy could potentially be if he is able to maximize his raw power, which is why he came in at number 73 on my final pre-draft rankings.
While Rosario might be far from a finished product, he has plenty of time to develop (he won’t turn 18 until July), and already has some great upside tools. As was the case with Raya, the Twins will probably need to go above slot value to sign Rosario, but they are confident that they will be able to get a deal worked out.
If you would like to read up more on Rosario, and see what Scouting Director Sean Johnson had to say about him, you can do so here.
In total, it was a very good draft for the Minnesota Twins, all things considered. Not only were they limited in the number of picks and time to scout these players, but they also had the 4th smallest signing bonus pool, which hampers a lot of what they could do in the draft. However, they came into this draft with a plan, and executed that to near perfection, and now the minor-league system has four new potential stars of the future. Great work by all of the scouts and other members of the organization that had a hand in this draft.
Let us know below what you thought of the Twins draft, and what letter grade you would give them.
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