Twins Select Kala'i Rosario with the 158th Overall Pick
If you're just catching up, the Twins took Aaron Sabato in the first round. Sabato is a first baseman from North Carolina. You can learn about him here.
In the second round, the Twins took an outfielder, Alerick Soularie, from Tennessee. There's a ton of information on Soularie on this site.
After forfeiting their third round pick, the Twins took a prep pitcher, Marco Raya, in the fourth round.
The last pick the Twins made of the 2020 Draft is who this article is about: Kala'i Rosario, a prep outfielder from Hawaii.
The Twins popped the best prospect from Hawaii in outfielder Kala'i Rosario, a slugger who has impressed with raw power and impressive exit velocities.
Twins Scouting Director Sean Johnson said, "This guy can do real damage to the baseball. He’s strong. He’s got a good swing. Much in line with the three hitters we took."
You can view some video of Rosario hitting here.
Johnson said that the team met with about 50 of the top 60 players on their draft board via Zoom meetings. They didn't meet with ten or so at the top that they just knew wouldn't be there at 27.
"We were able to connect with him. Technology really helped us here too, getting to know the player. John had a great relationship with the kid. We were lucky to connect with him on Zoom, like we did every guy we considered in the first 60 picks."
Along with area scout John Leavitt, who was the only Twins guy to see Rosario play this spring before the seasons were cut short, they also received rave reviews from Kolton Wong's father. "We drafted Kolton. His brother is a phenomenal player as well. (Rosario) trains with that group. Kolton’s dad had rave reviews about the player. Comes from a great family. Tremendous kid. Really wired the right way."
Baseball America has Rosario ranked as the draft's 88th best prospect and says this about the California Baptist commit:
"Hawaii’s top 2020 draft prospect, Rosario separated himself last summer when he tied for the second-highest exit velocity at PG National and won the home run derby at the Area Code Games, sending one shot 440 feet. A strong, physical right-handed hitter, Rosario already posts exit velocities upward of 100 mph and elevates the ball to get the most from his brute strength. He draws consistent plus-plus power grades from evaluators and even an occasional 80. More than just a slugger, Rosario is a mature hitter who makes adjustments, can shoot the ball the other way and limits his strikeouts, although he is prone to swinging and missing at times. He is a good athlete for his size who currently plays center field but projects to move to a corner, likely left field unless his arm improves. Rosario has the bat to profile at any position and the strong makeup components to get the most from his talent. Many scouts consider him Hawaii's best high school draft prospect since 2014 first-rounder Kodi Medeiros."
MLB.com viewed Rosario a little lower, plugging him in at 188.
"All talk around Rosario centers around his bat, more specifically his plus-plus raw power. Rosario beat fellow Draft prospect Blaze Jordan in the Area Code Games home run derby last summer. He can get a little pull-happy and out front on his swing at times, and there are some concerns about his ability to hit enough to get to that raw pop consistently in games at the next level."
"Rosario is a decent athlete, and he does play center field in high school, but as a tick-below-average runner who is already fairly physically mature, he is likely going to be limited to a corner, with left field his likely destination. He does have the power potential to profile well in an outfield corner, and that could be enough for the California Baptist recruit to get drafted."
After five round (four picks), with three being offensive players, it was clear that the Twins continue to view the draft as an avenue to add players that they believe will be very good in the batter's box. It's less clear where these players will play defensively and, honestly, where the fit in the hierarchy of the existing depth chart - in many cases, we figure behind many others. But when you have a surplus, or potentially have a surplus, it makes it much easier to make moves to supplement your current major league team. And that's a position that we hope the Twins are at - adding to a potential world series team.
The Twins added four assets in the last two days. Let's see what else they have up their sleeves.
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