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The new, patient, Eddie Rosario

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:40 AM
An interesting tidbit. We all know that walks aren't entirely indicative of plate discipline, but Rosario's new approach is startling whe...
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Game-Thread 8/14: Kansas City Royals (8-11) @ Minnesota T...

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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:30 PM
I said in the 2019 thread that I would start this forum thread...    Let's start populating it. How many former Twins are on ro...
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2020 Game Thread Intros

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:30 PM
Yes, I believe there will be baseball! Further, the Twins would be a popular pick this year to advance to the playoffs and maybe, just ma...
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Miguel Sano's Moonshot

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 01:46 PM
I finally figured out where Miguel Sano's home run from last night landed.     Moon bomba!!!
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First Round Busts: The Twins Struck Out Three Consecutive Years

It’s tough to make it to the big leagues no matter how good a player is during their amateur career. Every team drafts players in the first round with the hope of them reaching their highest potential. Unfortunately, only a small percentage can live up to the lofty expectations placed upon them. Players fizzle out, but the Twins struck out for three straight years as the team was trying to rebuild.
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota had a decent run of first round picks in the early 1990s. Torii Hunter, Todd Walker, Mark Redman and Michael Cuddyer were all drafted in consecutive years leading into the three picks discussed below. All those players would make it to the big leagues and there are multiple All-Stars on the list. However, Minnesota’s luck ran out from there.

Ryan Mills (1998, 6th overall)
Ryan Mills had been a 13th round pick out of high school by the Yankees, but he opted to head to Arizona State and he greatly improved his draft stock. He played every professional inning with the Twins organization, but he failed to get out of Triple-A. He was the only top-10 pick that year not to make the big leagues. Other players taken later in the first round included Carlos Pena (25.5 WAR), Jeff Weaver (15.2 WAR), CC Sabathia (62.5 WAR) and Aaron Rowand (20.9 WAR).

BJ Garbe (1999, 5th overall)
One year after the Twins took Mills, BJ Garbe was the team’s first round pick and the team missed out for the second year in a row. Josh Hamilton and Josh Beckett were the first two players off the board, but some other well-known big leaguers were taken later in the first round. The Twins missed out on Barry Zito (31.9 WAR), Ben Sheets (23.2 WAR), Alex Rios (27.3 WAR) and Brian Roberts (29.5 WAR). Garbe played for three different organizations and never made it past Double-A. By the age of 25, he’d be out of baseball.

Adam Johnson (2000, 2nd overall)
Adam Johnson might be the biggest swing and a miss in team history. Minnesota saw the Marlins take Adrian Gonzalez with the first overall pick before they were on the clock. There was plenty of other strong talent left on the board including Rocco Baldelli (10.2 WAR), Chase Utley (64.4 WAR) and Adam Wainwright (40.5 WAR). Johnson would make his big league debut in 2001, just one year after being drafted. He would only make nine appearances with the Twins and he allowed 30 earned runs in 26.1 innings. Johnson was out of affiliated baseball at age-26 and his professional career was over before he turned 30.

Minnesota’s first round ineptitude improved after the Johnson debacle. Joe Mauer was selected first overall in 2001, Denard Span was taken in 2002, Trevor Plouffe and Glen Perkins were taken in 2004, and Matt Garza was taken in 2005. While these picks all worked out well, one must wonder how the future of the franchise would have changed with different picks from 1998-2000.

Which player was the biggest bust? Which player do you wish the Twins would have drafted instead of these players? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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13 Comments

Cody, you're a fan of horror movies aren't you?

terrible - as I read these different essays I am having to reevaluate Terry Ryan.His reputation as a scout is damaged by his drafts and his trades and signing. 

    • Minny505 and Twinsrule1991 like this
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The Wise One
Jun 09 2020 11:42 AM

28 players chosen after mills in the first round, including supplemental players were busts

39 players after Garbe

24 players after Johnson

 

Out of over 100 players chosen you only find a few good players. The Twins did not. Nor did a lot of other teams

 

Redman was the best player on a very bad team. Somebody had to be the all star, Walker at best was serviceable

 

Drafting is a very inexact science. Couldas wouldas are fun but are generally the most optimal situation from a random happening. 

 

Radcliff was the scouting director, not Ryan. Ryan has stated that he let the scouting director run the draft. He may have set parameters of signability and maybe position but I doubt he was making the call

I crunched some numbers regarding 1st round picks a long time ago. High failure rate. It's tough.
    • Minny505 likes this
I crunched some numbers regarding 1st round picks a long time ago. High failure rate. It's tough.

 

28 players chosen after mills in the first round, including supplemental players were busts

39 players after Garbe

24 players after Johnson

 

Out of over 100 players chosen you only find a few good players. The Twins did not. Nor did a lot of other teams

 

Redman was the best player on a very bad team. Somebody had to be the all star, Walker at best was serviceable

 

Drafting is a very inexact science. Couldas wouldas are fun but are generally the most optimal situation from a random happening. 

 

Radcliff was the scouting director, not Ryan. Ryan has stated that he let the scouting director run the draft. He may have set parameters of signability and maybe position but I doubt he was making the call

And if the scouting director failed so did Terry - that is how it works in management

 

    • ewen21 likes this

I see a lot of Terry Ryan apologists - it is an inexact science.The scouting director made the choices.Well here are the teams that did well - and you might be as shocked as I am to see the Twins in the top five!Wow - https://www.mlb.com/...cess-c235346730

Here is what they say - "5) Minnesota Twins: 168.7 WAR

24 picks (average slot of 15th), 13 with positive WAR

The Twins hit it big with 2001 No. 1 overall pick Joe Mauer, who finished his career with 55.3 WAR -- all in Minnesota. Michael Cuddyer, Denard Span, Matt Garza and Glen Perkins all enjoyed their share of big league success as well, and Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson continue to produce. The speedy Byron Buxton (No. 2 overall, 2012) anchors the organization's more recent selections, with more help potentially on the way from the likes of prospects such as 2017's top overall pick, Royce Lewis."  

 

 

    • DocBauer likes this
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The Wise One
Jun 09 2020 06:17 PM

 

And if the scouting director failed so did Terry - that is how it works in management

In the end Ryan had 4 teams makes the playoffs. Better yet for the owner, he made the team money. That is how it works for Pohlad

    • mikelink45 likes this
First round picks wash out all tbe time, or never reach anything regarding great success. But 3 in a row like that really hurt, especially considering such a need for pitching at tne ML level. I was never that excited about Garbe, he just seemed too raw, but IIRC Mills and Johnson were pretty highly regarded. Was it bad luck or poor development from the old guard way of doing things back then? Considering neither Mills or Johnson did anything with anyone else, I'm going to go with bad luck. While nothing is proven yet, sure seems like the current FO and the new approaches have built up a system that could start paying real dividends in the field and on the mound soon.
Terry Ryan’s deficiencies didn’t lie in his ability to identify talent. His inability to keep up with the times in terms of information systems was his downfall. The development side was a disaster for a significant amount of time. Many-a-player have publicly lamented the “Twins Way.”

When it comes to player acquisition only, I think Ryan’s team did pretty well. The young-ish “core” of this club are all Ryan-era (including Smith’s short stint) holdovers. Kepler, Polanco, Buxton, Sano, Berrios, Garver, Rosario, Rogers, Duffy, May, etc.

You can go back to the 00s as well, as mentioned above. Plucking Johan in the Rule 5. The Liriano trade. Hunter, Mauer, Morneau.

Some pretty phenomenal talent acquisition. The game just seemed to pass him by in terms of philosophy. Also, wherever the blame lies (whether Ryan or Pohlad), the reluctance to fortify a roster from the outside in a meaningful way could’ve easily cost him a ring or two.

I lived in North Carolina in 1999, so after the Twins drafted Garbe I went to Danville to watch him play.What a disappointment.He was supposed to be a great athlete, but he really had a stubby body and you could tell he did not have the bat speed.I thought Kevin West was a better prospect.

 

The best player in that game was teh Danville Brave reliever Tim Spooneyberger who made it to the majors.  

 

I so wanted the Twins to take Ben Sheets in that draft.

I wish the players you mentioned drafted after you had put where they were drafted.You make it seem they were very near them, but my guess that is not the case.Josh Hamilton was a bust for the Rays in that draft as well.I have stated many times, everyone misses in drafts and have the wish we would have taken this guy.How many teams are kicking themselves for missing on Trout?  

 

Yes this was three years in a row of high picks but very rare will a player be a lock.Even early on the Mauer draft people said the Twins screwed up, but now years down the road he was the better pick.  

The first round of the MLB draft is over-rated. Littered with busts...and if you throw out the very top, the first round is barely materially different in terms of producing future value than is the supplemental round or even the 2nd round.

 

Having said that...if you have a very high first-round pick...it really does hurt to miss on those. Twins history with top 6 overall picks includes the likes of Adam Johnson, Willie Banks, Travis Lee (didn't sign), Dave McCarty (god), Bryan Oelkers, BJ Garbe, Nick Gordon, Ryan Mills, Tyler Jay....and Joe Mauer...and Byron Buxton. (Puckett was drafted 3rd overall in '82...but in a secondary January draft phase that no longer exists.)

 

Adds to the argument that many here make...that it usually pays to be more aggressive trading high prospects for proven pieces while the prospect still has the high draft pick smell.


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