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Recent Blogs


Twins Select Kala'i Rosario with the 158th Overall Pick

It's weird talking about the Twins making their last pick on the second day of the draft. It's even weirder talking about their fourth pick being their last pick. But here we are...
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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27 Comments

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Patrick Wozniak
Jun 11 2020 08:45 PM

Eddie Rosario 2.0

    • rdehring likes this

Are the two HS players they selected signable?

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Andrew Thares
Jun 11 2020 08:53 PM

Kala'i Rosario was my 73rd ranked prospect in my pre-draft rankings. I gave him the following scouting grades - Hit: 50 Power: 70 Run: 40 Throw 50 Field: 45. The 70 grade raw power was tied with Spencer Torkelson and Austin Hendrick for the highest raw power grades in this entire draft class, just above Aaron Sabato who I gave a 65 raw power grade. The Twins clearly had an objective in this draft.  

    • Seth Stohs, nicksaviking, Danchat and 8 others like this
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Andrew Thares
Jun 11 2020 08:55 PM

 

Are the two HS players they selected signable?

Presumably yes, the Twins are in constant contact with each of these players agents throughout the process, so they know what number it would take to sign them before they even select the player. So, if the Twins wouldn't be able to sign both of these high schoolers, they probably would have passed on them.

    • DocBauer and rdehring like this
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howieramone2
Jun 11 2020 09:02 PM
If I hadn't read somewhere that Falvey was considered to be a pitching guru, I would think our favorite team is looking to play Beer Ball.
    • milldam and DocBauer like this

If I were a HS baseball player and could score a nice bonus today, I would do it. 

 

There is so much uncertainty as to the future of the minors, the draft, etc.

    • Dman and DocBauer like this

Looks like this was a quality value pick, for whatever that's worth at this point in the draft. I will be interested to see where Sabato & the others land in the Twins top prospects lists.

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nicksaviking
Jun 11 2020 09:13 PM

Now we're talking. I've always loved the athletic HS hitters.

 

 

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Tom Froemming
Jun 11 2020 09:21 PM

Mentioned this in my first rounder prediction, Derek Falvey seems to relish in plucking unheralded pitchers from the most obscure of places. I'm sure he and the rest of the crew on the pitching development side have identified a few guys they knew would fly under the radar and be available to sign. 

 

Having bonuses for undrafted players capped at $20,000 is an embarrassment. I hope anyone with the option to will go to/back to school, but there are seniors who don't have that option. 

 

As for Rosario, fun pick. I'm surprised how easy his power looks. 

    • nicksaviking, NapoleonComplex, DocBauer and 1 other like this

 

Presumably yes, the Twins are in constant contact with each of these players agents throughout the process, so they know what number it would take to sign them before they even select the player. So, if the Twins wouldn't be able to sign both of these high schoolers, they probably would have passed on them.

 

It is what I assumed but it isn't 100% foolproof.I assume that Rosario will be a rather easy signing because he is not going to a high end baseball school.But Maya seems like he might be more expensive than that slot with a Texas Tech commitment. 

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Carneal&Gordon
Jun 11 2020 09:51 PM
When do the UDFA signings begin?
    • Danchat likes this
TINY detail but actually 90th from BA. But why quibble about 2 spots?

Kind of reminds me of college football recruiting where a kid comes from a small school or a low population state so he isn't ranked as high as some other kids. Then he goes to a couple of camps and performs as well or better against higher regarded recruits and everything changes.

BA lists him currently as 17yo and 6' 1" and 200lbs. While Hawaii is probably about as far away from being a baseball recruiting hotbed as you can get, if you are the team CF and have that size and power, you'd like to think the arm could stretch out enough to play RF in a couple of years.

Once again, power, but hit ability and BB to go along with some SO. A definite pattern with our FO. Take the elite athlete where you can, but otherwise look to the best triple slash line you can find.
    • Dman, MN_ExPat, wabene and 1 other like this

 

Are the two HS players they selected signable?

 

Absolutely yes. 

 

It is what I assumed but it isn't 100% foolproof.I assume that Rosario will be a rather easy signing because he is not going to a high end baseball school.But Maya seems like he might be more expensive than that slot with a Texas Tech commitment. 

 

From what I'm hearing, both will be slightly over slot. Most likely Soularie agreed to take something under slot to make signing both Raya and Rosario possible. 

 

In a draft this short, I'm certain that there wasn't a pick made by the Twins that didn't have an agreed upon number already...  

    • rdehring likes this

 

When do the UDFA signings begin?

 

Scouts can start calling them on Saturday. There will be a 48-hour closed period. 

    • Carneal&Gordon, Shaitan and rdehring like this
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notoriousgod71
Jun 12 2020 05:14 AM

 

Mentioned this in my first rounder prediction, Derek Falvey seems to relish in plucking unheralded pitchers from the most obscure of places.

When do they start?

 

When do they start?

 

Scouts can start calling them on Saturday. There will be a 48-hour closed period. 

Don't you just love when you question a comment in a thread and you question appears just below an answer

    • rdehring likes this

 

When do they start?

They started looking years ago and following players.

 

Mentioned this in my first rounder prediction, Derek Falvey seems to relish in plucking unheralded pitchers from the most obscure of places. I'm sure he and the rest of the crew on the pitching development side have identified a few guys they knew would fly under the radar and be available to sign. 

 

Having bonuses for undrafted players capped at $20,000 is an embarrassment. I hope anyone with the option to will go to/back to school, but there are seniors who don't have that option. 

 

As for Rosario, fun pick. I'm surprised how easy his power looks. 

For the college senior they might be able to get 20k rather than 10k , It hurts the couple hundred juniors drafted between rounds 6  and 20

    • Tom Froemming likes this

When the draft began I was somewhat blah after the Twins first pick. Know nothing about him, but I was hoping for a chance at getting the next Chris Sale.

 

Kept checking ESPN yesterday and eventually saw three names that meant absolute nothing to me. After reading the three posts here, kind of like what the Twins got. But they still didn't get the next Chris Sale. Assume they will save a few dollars signing the first two to give a bit extra to the two young kids. 

 

Hopefully, they will add 8 to 10 interesting signings to fill out this group. Does Seth or anyone know what their plans are for this group, other than taking a physical, signing a contract and depositing a check? With no minor league seasons, will this group have an instructional camp in Ft. Myers sometime later this summer? With such a small group, will they include some of the younger kids from last year's GCL and DSL?

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Tom Froemming
Jun 12 2020 08:24 AM

Rosario bomba 

    • nicksaviking likes this

Everyone keeps saying we only have 4 draft picks but aren't the rest of the players up for free agency contracts. Who knows, we could have 40 players when it's all said and done ..

 

Hopefully, they will add 8 to 10 interesting signings to fill out this group. Does Seth or anyone know what their plans are for this group, other than taking a physical, signing a contract and depositing a check? With no minor league seasons, will this group have an instructional camp in Ft. Myers sometime later this summer? With such a small group, will they include some of the younger kids from last year's GCL and DSL?

 

I'm going to try to get a more official answer on that soon, maybe for a story. But at this point, all they can continue to do is what they've been doing. Working out on their own or with people in their towns. Keeping in touch with the Twins coaching staff, coordinators, trainers, etc. 

 

I think there is a hope that they will be able to open up the academy at some point and do camps like they have in recent years. I'm sure they're thoughtfully working through the planning. 

 

As for these players, yes, it's just the formality of signing the deals they had likely agreed to before being picked and taking physicals. 

 

Mentioned this in my first rounder prediction, Derek Falvey seems to relish in plucking unheralded pitchers from the most obscure of places. I'm sure he and the rest of the crew on the pitching development side have identified a few guys they knew would fly under the radar and be available to sign. 

 

Having bonuses for undrafted players capped at $20,000 is an embarrassment. I hope anyone with the option to will go to/back to school, but there are seniors who don't have that option. 

 

As for Rosario, fun pick. I'm surprised how easy his power looks. 

One thought that just popped in head.Is there anything to stop a team from signing an undrafted kid to the 20KThen turn around right away and sign them to a long term MLB contract?Of course I assume they need to be on 40 man so that would be an issue, but just thinking outside the box to get around the 20K issue.I could see some teams for juniors that they are high on do something like this.However, it would have been more likely they would have just drafted them too.Just wondering if there is a loop hole that can be exploited. 

 

If I hadn't read somewhere that Falvey was considered to be a pitching guru, I would think our favorite team is looking to play Beer Ball.

 

Which may be a statement of how he views this year's pitching class rather than a philosophical statement about power bats.


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