Looking Back at the 2002 Twins Draft
1st – Denard Span - High School Hitter – Colorado was rumored to be interested in him with the 9th overall pick. However, they feared his price tag and his football scholarship so they took a left-handed pitcher from the University of British Columbia instead by the name of Jeff Francis. Span finally got a chance with the Twins early in the 2008 season and became a full-time starter later that season. In over 510 big league games (and over 2300 plate appearances), he has hit .285/.360/.386 (.746). The Twins signed him to a long-term deal and it is fair to say that the Twins did very well with this pick.
2nd – Jesse Crain - College Pitcher – Crain went to the University of Houston where he was a Conference USA All Star infielder, a first team All-American Utility player (because he was a starting SS and the team’s closer). In 2003, he moved from Ft. Myers to New Britain to Rochester. In 2004, he was called up at midseason and went 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 22 games. In 2005, he went 12-5 with a 2.71 ERA. In 2006, he was 3-4 with a 3.52 ERA. He was signed to a 3-year deal before the 2007 season and needed surgery late that year. He really struggled until mid-May of 2010, and then something clicked. He was one of baseball’s best relievers the second half of 2010. He signed a big contract with the White Sox where he has gone 9-3 with a 2.55 ERA the last two seasons. Yes, a great pick.
3rd – Mark Sauls - High School Pitcher – The Panama City, Florida, native did not sign. Instead, he went to Florida State where he joined his brother Matt. He played there for four years and was never drafted again. He went 5-0 with a 3.27 ERA as a freshman. In 91.1 innings, he gave up 110 hits, 40 walks and struck out just 52. He was 6-2 with a 4.18 ERA in his junior year. Following his senior season, he signed as a free agent with the Angels. He went 11 innings and gave up 12 hits and walked six. He made the FSU Dean’s List and majored in Social Sciences.
4th – Alex Merricks - High School Pitcher – The Oxnard, California, native is a lefty that signed. He spent three years with the GCL Twins. In 2002, he went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in nine games, including two starts. However, in 15 innings, he walked 16 hitters. In 2003, he went 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA. In 15 innings, he had 37 walks and 14 wild pitches. In 2004, he walked 26 and threw 14 wild pitches in 14 innings. That was the end of his pitching career.”
5th – Michael Thomas - High School Hitter- Thomas was another selection from Panama City, Florida. He too did not sign.
6th – Pat Neshek - College Pitcher – As you all know, Neshek was drafted by the Twins in the 45th round of the 1999 draft. He went to Butler and improved his stock significantly. He signed with the Twins. In 2005, he went 6-4 with a 2.19 ERA and had 24 saves in New Britain. He was added to the 40 man roster. In 2006, he started in Rochester where he went 6-2 with a 1.95 ERA. In 60 innings, he had 14 walks and 87 strikeouts. That earned him a midseason promotion to the Twins. In 37 big leagues innings, he went 4-2 with a 2.19 ERA. He struck out 53 and walked just six. In 2007, he was so good in the first half of the season that he was on the ballot for the final AL All-Star spot (it went to Hideki Okajima). For the season, he went 7-2 with a 2.94 ERA. In 70.1 innings, he struck out 74 and walked 27. Early in the 2008 season, he hurt his arm and later needed Tommy John surgery which cost him his 2009 season. He worked really hard and came back and spent time with the Twins in 2010. He was claimed by the Padres in 2011, and he is currently with Norfolk, the AAA affiliate of the Orioles.
7th – Ricky Barrett - College Pitcher – Barrett is another pitcher on the current Twins 40 man roster. The Twins took him out of the University of San Diego where he was the 2002 West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year. He got to Rochester in 2005. He is a lefty who struck out more than a hitter an inning. He clearly has great stuff. His primary problem throughout his career has been trying to stay healthy. He spent some time in Japan in 2009 and has played in independent baseball two of the last three years.
8th – Adam Lind - High School Hitter – The Anderson, Indiana, native obviously chose not to sign with the Twins. Instead he went to the University of South Alabama. He then was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004. Obviuosly he signed with them. He did nothing but hit in the minors. In 2005, he hit .392/.456/.659. In 2006, he hit .310/.357/.543 at AA, .394/.496/.596 at AAA and .367/.415/.600 in 18 games with the Blue Jays. In 2007, he had to spend another 46 games in AAA before hitting .238/.278/.400 in 89 games with the Jays. In 2009, he hit .305 with 46 doubles, 35 homers and 114 RBI. He turned that into a four year deal, and he has been pretty poor since. His OPS in 2010 was .712, and in 2011 it was .734. It was .586 in 34 games this year before he was demoted to AAA where he is now.
9th – Doug Deeds - College Hitter – An Outfield/1B from THE Ohio State, Deeds has progressed through the Twins system. His breakout year was 2005 in New Britain where he had 52 extra base hits. He had to repeat the level in 2006 and had 51 extra base hits. In 2007, he moved up to Rochester where he was a bench player for the first time. In 86 games, he hit .243/.306/.404. But he did have seven doubles and nine home runs. That was the end of his time with the Twins. He has spent AAA time with the Cubs, Diamondbacks, Rangers and now the Angels organizations.
10th – Kyle Phillips – HS Hitter – Phillips is the brother of former Mets, Dodgers and Blue Jays catcher/1B Jason Phillips. Kyle Phillips signed and hit .289 with Elizabethton in 2003. Never again hit over .230 in his time in the Twins system (Quad Cities, Ft. Myers and New Britain). Since 2006, he has played in the Brewers, Blue Jays and Padres organization (until this year, he appears to be out of baseball). He got some big league time with the Jays in 2009 and the Padres in 2011.
11th – Evan Meek – High School Pitcher – Meek didn’t sign right away. Instead he went to Bellevue Community College and signed with the Twins as a draft-and-follow. In 2003, he went 7-1 with a 2.47 ERA. In 51 innings, he walked 24 and struck out 47. I’m sure his scouting report read something like, “Tremendous fastball, great potential, but he needs to harness his control to continue to advance.” Well, in 2004, he went to Quad Cities where he walked 15 and gave up seven hits in 5.2 innings. He went back to Extended Spring Training and went back to Elizabethton. There, he worked 22.1 innings and gave up 18 hits and walked 25 (with 11 wild pitches). In 2005, he went back to the Midwest League, to Beloit, where he pitched in 13 games. In 18 innings, he gave up 15 hits and walked 36. The Twins let him go. In 2006, he pitched for Lake Elsinore, the A-League team of the San Diego Padres. He made 25 starts. In 119.1 innings, he gave up 136 hits and walked 62. He did strike out 113 hitters. In August, the Padres traded him to the Devil Rays. In 2007, he made 44 relief appearances for the Rays AA affiliate. He went 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA. In 67 innings, he gave up 74 hits, walked 34 and struck out 69. The Pirates took him in the Rule 5 draft after the 2007 season. They offered him back to the Rays but the Rays told them to keep him so he stayed with the Piraated. By 2009, he was an important cog in the bullpen. In 2010, he was a National League All-Star and posted a 2.14 ERA in 80 innings. He was again good in 2011. He has struggled in 2012 and was optioned to AAA recently.
12th – Jeff Clement – High School Hitter – The Twins drafted Clement, knowing that it was quite unlikely that the Marshalltown, Iowa, native would not sign. At the time, he was the career high school home run king. He chose to go to USC where he hit 46 homers in three years. In 2005, the Mariners took the catcher with the third overall pick. He was injured for a good chunk of the 2006 season, but Seattle continued to push him. In 2007, he hit .275/.370/.497 with 35 double and 20 homers. He got a September call up and went 6-16 with two home runs. Unfortunately, Clement has accumulated a ton more plate appearances in AAA and played rarely in the big leagues. He is hitting .316/.398/.557 (.955) with 23 extra base hits in AAA this year so he could move up to the Pirates again soon.
13th – William Pettit – College Pitcher – The Twins took him out of LSU, but for some reason he did not sign.
14th - Garrett Mock - JC Pitcher – The Twins took Mock out of Grayson Junior College in 2002. He had been drafted by Cleveland in 2001. He finally signed after the Diamondbacks took him with their 3rd round pick out of Houston in 2004. In August of 2006, Arizona traded Mock with Matt Chico to the Nationals for Livan Hernandez. He pitched in just 15 games this year, 11 of them were for AA Harrisburg. He spent time with the Nationals big league bullpen from 2008 through 2010. This season, he is pitching in the Red Sox AAA bullpen.
15th – Adam Harben - CC Pitcher – Another draft-and-follow, Harben went to Westark CC. He had been drafted by the Tigers in the 38th round in 2001. In 2004, he went 9-7 with a 3.09 ERA at Quad Cities. In 2005, he went 10-5 with a 2.66 ERA in Ft. Myers and was added to the 40 man roster. In 2006, he got off to a quick start at New Britain, but went 4-9 with a 3.96 ERA in 122.2 innings. Then on September 5, 2006, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Phil Nevin. After the 2006 season, he had Tommy John surgery and missed most of the 2007 season. He pitched in Hi-A in 2008. He went to the Mariners organization and pitched in A-ball in 2009. He hasn’t played since.
16th – K.C. Jones - High School Pitcher – The 6-6, 220 pounder from Eatonville, Washington signed with the Twins. In 2002 with the GCL Twins he went 0-1 with a 3.10 ERA. In 29 innings, he gave up 20 hits, walked 21 and struckout 21. In 2003 he was 0-3 with a 7.22 ERA. In 33.2 innings, he gave up 50 hits, walked 23 and struckout 15. He did pitch for Chillethe of the Frontier League in 2005 and went 0-1 with an 8.55 ERA. IN 20 innings, he gave up 30 hits, walked 11 and struck out 14.
17th – Adam Hawes – High School Pitcher – Hawed decided not to sign with the Twins out of high school. Instead, he went to community college and the Twins took him in the 40th round in 2003. He signed in May of 2004. Hawes split the 2007 season between Beloit and Ft. Myers. He played independent ball in his native Canada in 2008.
18th – Javier Lopez- CC Hitter – The catcher/1B signed and played for the GCL Twins in 2002 and 2003 where he hit .253 and .237, respectively. In 2004, he moved up to Elizabethton where he hit .244/.276/.394. He was let go and spent 2005 and 2006 with Yuma in the Golden League.
19th – Adam Daniels - CC Pitcher – Daniels did not sign, but he was drafted plenty. The Blue Jays took him in the 27th round in 2001. Colorado took him in the 22nd round in 2003, and the Cubs drafted him in the 43rd round in 2004. Oh, and then in 2005, the Cardinals drafted him in the 15th round. In 2006, he pitched for the Cardinals Midwest League team and went 7-11 with a 3.07 ERA. He struck out 128 in 137.2 innings. He split 2007 between Hi-A and AA. He was released during the 2008 season and spent time in Mexico and the Northern League, where he pitched in 2009 and 2010.
20th – Ryan Schreppel - High School Pitcher – The Stockton, California, native did not sign with the Twins instead opting to go to Cal-State Fullerton. The Diamondbacks took him in 2005 in the 8th round. He signed with them and went 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA in 12 games. In 2006, he went 6-13 with a 5.00 ERA in 26 games for South Bend.
21st – TJ Prunty - College Pitcher – Prunty did not sign with the Twins when they drafted the St. Paul Academy grad in the 20th round in 2000. Instead he went and played football at Miami. The Twins took him again, and this time he signed. In 2003, he pitched at Quad Cities. He went 4-10 with a 4.97 ERA in 30 games (19 starts). He went back to Quad Cities in 2004 where he went 0-0 with a 5.93 ERA in 10 games. He gave up 14 hits and seven walks in 13.2 innings before he was released.
22nd – Justin Sims – College Hitter – Determining what college stats mean for a pro career is so tough. Sims was drafted out of Middle Tennessee State. In 2001, he hit .377/.416/.636 with 10 homers. In 2002, he hit .387/.446/.618 with 11 homers. Then he signed and hit just .248/.354/.358 for Elizabethton. In 2003, he hit just .197/.241/.289 and was let go.
23rd – Danny Matienzo – College Hitter – Matienzo had been drafted by the Twins in the 24th round in 1999 out of high school. He went to The U (Miami) and the Twins took him again. His big year came in 2005 at New Britain when he hit .282/.338/.488 with 36 doubles and 23 homers. Inexplicably, he was sent back to New Britain in 2006 and really wasn’t the same. He hit just .254/.287/.419 with 25 doubles and 17 homers. He was released before the 2007 season.
24th – Josh Peterson - High School Hitter – He did not sign. He then signed with the Mets as a free agent in 2004. He spent 2006 and 2007 with St. Lucie of the Florida State League. He is a utility type player, able to play both corner infield positions and corner outfield positions.
25th – Justin Keeling - College Pitcher – Keeling signed out of California Lutheran. In 2002 in Elizabethton he went 3-1 with a 6.16 ERA in 22 relief appearances. In 30.2 innings, he struck out 34 and walked 16. He pitched in just four games for Quad Cities in 2004. Since then, he has played for several independent league teams.
26th – Jared Johnson – High School Pitcher- The Las Vegas native didn’t sign with the Twins. The Marlins then took him in the 43rd round in 2003 and the 46th round in 2004. In 2006, he played for two independent league teams… as a hitter. He didn’t hit over .226 though.
27th – Ron Perodin – College Hitter – He signed quickly out of El Camino College. Speaking of quick, Perodin was one of the quickest players in the organization. After signing, he went to the GCL Twins where he hit .325/.371/.390 with nine stolen bases. He started 2003 with Quad Cities where he really struggled. He went back to Elizabethton and hit .335/.405/.418 with 15 steals. In 2004, he stole 24 bases in Ft. Myers. He played independent ball from 2006 through 2011.
28th – Hasan Rasheed – High School Hitter – The outfielder from Nashville did not sign. He went to Lake City CC and the Brewers selected him in the 26th round in 2003. He signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004 with the Brewers. In 2004 and 2005, he hit .299 and .305. In 2006 he hit .241/.337/.259.
29th – James Avery – High School Pitcher – The pitcher from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, did not sign, opting to pitch at Niagara University. He became the Reds 5th round pick in 2005. He went 8-8 with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts in the Florida State League in 2006. In 2007, he pitched for AA Chattanooga and went 11-10 with a 5.22 ERA in 27 starts. In 2008, he played for Team Canada in the Olympics. He pitched in one AAA game for the Reds in 2006 and one in 2010, but that is it. He’s been in AA since 2007. He shifted to the Tigers for 2012 where he is pitching in AA.
30th – Roberto Martinez - College Pitcher – Martinez is a native of the Dominican Republic who went to St. Petersburg College. He didn’t sign with the Twins. He had been selected by the Rockies in the 21st round in 2001. In 2004, he signed with the Giants as a free agent after spending 2003 with the Expos organization.
31st – Terry Killion – High School Pitcher – From Austin, TX, he signed and spent 2003 with the GCL Twins. In 16 relief appearances, he went 0-1 with a 9.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he walked 22 and gave up 18 hits.
32nd – Jon Koch - CC Pitcher – Koch had been drafted in the 22nd round in 2001 by the Pirates, but instead went to Lake City Community College. He signed as a draft and follow with the Twins in May of 2003. He went 2-3 with three saves an a 2.73 ERA for the GCL Twins. He was released by the Twins in June of 2004. He spent the 2004 through 2006 season with the Brockton Rox.
33rd – Tom Ferrara - CC Pitcher – He did not sign.
34th – Christian Castorri- High School Pitcher – The Thomasville, Georgia, native did not sign. Instead her went to Georgia College and State University. He pitched or Gateway of the Frontier League in 2006. In 2007, he played with State College in the New York-Penn League for three games before moving up to Hickory (HI-A) where he went 5-2 with eight saves and a 1.93 ERA. He pitched in the Pirates system through the 2009 season.
35th – Tarrence Patterson - High School Hitter – From Bartow, Florida, Patterson signed and reported to Ft. Myers. He spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons hitting over .300 with the GCL Twins. In 2004, he hit just .224/.250/.406 for Elizabethton. In 2005 at Beloit, he hit .254/.331/.345 and stole 18 bases. He returned to Beloit in 2006 where he hit .257/.317/.306 with 35 stolen bases. He was released before the 2007 season.
36th – John Cahill - High School Pitcher – From Lakewood, California, Cahill signed with the Twins in June of 2002 and was released in April of 2003. For the GCL team, he went 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in 14 relief appearances. In 17 innings, he walked 17 and struck out nine. He pitched for Yakima in 2005. In 12 innings over 8 games, he gave up 11 runs on 20 hits and seven walks.
37th – Mike Costantino – High School Hitter – The Somerset, Massechusetts, grab, did not sign with the Twins. Instead, he attended Maryland in 2003 and 2004. He hit .309/.385/.457 as a freshman and then in his sophomore year he hit just .246/.319/.308. He transferred to New Orleans where he hit over .300 both years. One positive is that he consistent walked more than he struck out.
38th – Toby Gardenhire - CC Hitter – Gardy’s son was taken by the Twins out of Westark Community College. He didn’t sign and went to Illinois. The Twins took him in the 41st round in 2005. He was a utility infielder for the Twins, up to AAA Rochester, through the 2011 season. In early 2012, he became the head coach at UW-Stout.
39th - Brandon Doddo – High School Hitter – From Cooper City, Florida, Doddo did not sign and went to Broward Community College. In 2003 he was drafted by the Angels in the 36th round. In 2004, he got 76 at bats with the Angels Arizona Rookie League team and hit .250/.278/.303.
40th – Rodney Story - CC Pitcher – Story was drafted out of Gulf Coast Community College. He didn’t sign and went to Southeast Louisiana. He pitched in 17 games (15 starts) and went 3-6 with a 4.14 ERA. In 78.1 innings, he gave up 83 hits, 31 walks and struck out just 50. In 2005, he made 15 starts again and was 5-5 with a 5.42 ERA. In 96.1 innings, he gave up 122 hits, 29 walks and struck out 53.
41st – Chris Brown – High School Hitter – The Cooper City, Florida, second baseman did not sign.
42nd – Kyle Geiger - CC Hitter – Geiger went to Rend Lake CC and signed as a draft and follow. He split 2003 between Quad Cities and Elizabethton. In 2004, he split time between Quad Cities and Ft. Myers. In 2005, he hit .257 at Ft. Myers .In 2006, he split time between Ft. Myers and New Britain. In 2007, he hit .250/.301/.362 for the New Britain Rockcats. In 2008, he played in Ottawa.
43rd – Jacob Jean – CC Pitcher – The Twins took him out of Consumnes Community College. He didn’t sign and went to the University of Kansas. In 2004, he gave up 30 hits and 15 walks in 19 innings. In 2005, he gave up seven hits and six walks in seven innings. He pitched in 16 games for the White Sox Bristol affiliate in the Appalachian League. He gave up 63 hits and 20 walks in 48 innings. In 2006, also at Bristol, he was 0-1 with a 20.06 ERA in 12 games. In 11.2 innings, he gave up 17 hits and 18 walks.
44th – Chris Beatty - High School Pitcher – The Kokomo, Indiana, grad went to Arizona State instead of signing with the Twins. In 2003, he pitched in eight games and in 6.1 innings, he gave up seven hits and five walks.
45th – John Stocco – High School Pitcher – Stocco, a graduate of Holy Angels Academy in Richfield, MN, did not sign. Instead he went to the University of Wisconsin where he was a starting quarterback for three seasons. He had been throwing to Larry Fitzgerald in high school. Wisconsin was 29-7 when Stocco was their starter.
46th – Wayne Renfrow- High School Pitcher – Another high schooler from Virginia Beach drafted, Renfrow decided not to sign. He went to Old Dominion where in 2003 he went 0-5 with an 8.57 ERA. In 34.2 innings, he gave up 46 hits and 33 walks. In 2005, he went to Virginia Commonwealth where he was 2-4 with a 7.36 ERA. In 47.2 innings he gave up 53 hits and 39 walks. In 2006, he pitched for Division III Virginia Wesleyan where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice. He signed with the Dodgers and in 2006 he went 1-1 with a 0.60 ERA in three games. In 15 innings, he gave up nine hits, walked five and struck out 16. He then pitched one game with Ogden and gave up two hits and a walk (And threw two wild pitches) in just 1/3 of an inning.
47th – Brandon Carlton – High School Pitcher – Another Panama City draftee, Carlton also did not sign. He went to Gulf Coast Community College. In 2005, he went to Southeast Louisiana where he went 0-1 with a 5.13 ERA in 23 games. In 33.1 innings, he gave up 33 hits and walked 18.
48th – Brandon Cohen - High School Hitter – From Rivers Edge, NJ, Cohen did not sign. He went to Seton Hall for four years and graduated with a criminal justice major. His sophomore season, he hit .325/.472/.397. Then he hit .263 as a junior and .293 as a senior.
49th – Brock Peterson – High School Hitter – As we all know, Peterson signed out of his Chehalis, Washington, high school. He has simply worked his way up the Twins system, an incredible feat for a 49th round pick. He repeated Ft. Myers in 2006 and it was a great thing for him. In 2007, he moved up to New Britain and in 112 games, he hit .385/.382/.476 with 21 doubles, four triples and 15 homers. He began 2008 in New Britain but ended it with Rochester where he played in 2009 and 2010 as well. He spent 2011 with Bridgeport (independent) where he is playing again this year.
50th – Mike Ballard - High School Pitcher – Another Virginia Beach guy, Ballard did not sign and instead he went to the University of Virginia. The Twins drafted him again in 2005, in the 47th round. In 2006, the Texas Rangers took him in the 14th round. In 2007, he split the season between Low A Clinton and High A Bakersfield. He split 2008 and 2009 between AA and AAA with the Rangers. He spent all of 2010 in AAA. In 2011, he moved to the Orioles organization and pitched in AA and AAA. This year, he is 1-4 with a 3.12 ERA in ten starts for Harrisburg (Nationals AA).
So, what do you think? It took Span seven years to become a big league regular, but he has proven to be a great pick. Jesse Crain was a terrific pick. In all, eight of these players played some time in the big leagues, and many of them got up to AAA. In a vacuum, that seems like a very good number. In ten years, how many of the 43 Twins selections from the 2012 draft will call themselves big leaguers?