Twins Select OF Alex Kirilloff with 15th Overall Pick
Kirilloff in a nutshell: He's 6-2, 195 and will start his professional career in center field. He has the arm to handle right field and the power profile to fit in either corner. The Twins will have to buy him out of a commitment to Liberty. Kirilloff is a good student who could have gone to larger-profiled schools, but chose Liberty based on his religious background.
The biggest question surrounding Kirilloff is his hand speed - can he catch up to the heat? - but the Twins don't share those concerns. Kirilloff will likely start his professional career in the GCL this summer and will turn 19 in November.
As they have done in the past, the Twins have selected a very "toolsy" outfielder; Kirilloff checks all the boxes: Hit, hit for power, speed, arm and defense.
Baseball America ranked Kirilloff as the 15th best prospect in the draft.
Kirilloff is one of the better quick-twitch athletes in this year's class. The son of a hitting coach, Kirilloff's offensive game is built around his exciting power potential. He is a lefthanded hitter with plus raw power. Coming from the Pittsburgh area, Kirilloff's lack of exposure to high-level pitching showed on in the showcase circuit, as he often chased pitches outside of the strike zone and struggled to consistently time quality pitching. As some of that rust shook off, Kirilloff began to emerge offensively, with strong performances towards the end of the summer. He also played first base for much of the showcase circuit, but he has solid-average raw speed and has played center field for his high school team this spring. Kirilloff has a exceptional arm, which earns plus or better grades from scouts, making him a natural fit for right field if he moves off center field at the next level. There are some mechanical concerns with his swing, as he bars his lead arm, but he's shown the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field at times. Kirilloff is deeply religious, and he committed to Liberty as an underclassmen. His games this spring have drawn hoards of evaluators, including general managers.
MLB.com ranked him 18th.
A product of the Southwest Pennsylvania high school ranks, Kirilloff put himself firmly on the map with a fine showing on the summer showcase circuit. With the weather warming up and scouts running in to see him, he has the chance to be the highest-drafted Pittsburgh area prepster since Neil Walker went in the first round in 2003.
Teams interested in Kirilloff will be buying the bat. While there is a little length to his swing, he's shown the ability to barrel the ball consistently and has considerable raw power, which he put to use while winning the Perfect Game All-American Classic home run derby over the summer. He's more athletic than one would think given his size and plays center field for his high school team. He'll have to move to a corner spot at the next level, but moves more than well enough to stay there. He has a strong arm, one that fires 87-90 mph fastballs from the mound.For him be an everyday corner outfielder, Kirilloff will have to fit the offensive profile. The team that takes him, perhaps as early as the middle of the first round, believes the Liberty University commit will do just that.
Alex Kirilloff was kind enough to share with us (via twitter) his response to getting drafted.