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The #5 pitcher on the 1965 Twins

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What does MLB History Say about the 27th Pick?

The MLB draft is quickly approaching and the Minnesota Twins are slotted to select 27th. In preparing for the much anticipated event, let’s take a look at how the 27th pick in the MLB draft has performed historically.
Image courtesy of © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Since the first MLB amateur draft was held in 1965, there have been 55 players selected with the 27th overall pick. Of those 55 players, 56% of them played in the majors. Overall, the number 27 pick in the MLB draft has produced a combined bWAR of 122.8, which ranks as the lowest combined bWAR of any single draft position of the first 30 picks. Further, the number 27 draft position has produced an average of 4.0 bWAR per major leaguer which also ranks last among draft positions in the 1st round.

Attached Image: war.png

Minnesota Twins and the 27th Overall Pick

The Minnesota Twins have twice had the 27th overall pick in the amateur draft. In 1991 the Twins selected first baseman, Scott Stahoviak. Stahoviak joined the Minnesota Twins big league club in 1993, and over his 5-year tenure with the Twins played in 334 games, posting a career .256 batting average with 27 home runs.

In 2008 with the 27th pick, the Twins selected right handed pitcher Carlos Gutiérrez. While an intriguing prospect, Gutiérrez struggled as he worked his way through the Twins minor league system, posting a 4.59 ERA in AAA. Gutiérrez never made it to the majors, instead being released to waivers where he was claimed by the Cubs, playing in their minor league system for one season before retiring in 2013.

Top 3 Players Drafted with the Number 27 Pick

1. Vida Blue
1969-1986
3.27 career ERA
44.9 career bWAR
6x All-Star, 1971 AL MVP, 1971 AL Cy Young

Vida Blue had a long 17-year career in the major leagues, highlighted by his time in the Bay Area where he played nine seasons with the Oakland Athletics (and won three rings) and six seasons with the San Francisco Giants. Blue was consistently a top-flight pitcher during his career, earning 6 all-star bids and 5 top-10 Cy Young finishes. Blue’s best season was in 1971 when he pitched 312 innings and led baseball with a minuscule 1.82 ERA. His performance was enough to win him the AL MVP and Cy Young Award in the same season, a feat that has only been done nine other times in MLB history.

2. Rick Porcello
2009-current
4.36 career ERA
19.7 career bWAR
2016 AL Cy Young

Porcello joined the Detroit Tigers in 2009 as a top-25 prospect, expected to form a dynamic pitching duo with teammate Justin Verlander. While Porcello certainly didn’t live up to his top-prospect billing in Detroit, he was a solid pitcher with the Tigers — consistently putting up 170+ IP with an ERA hovering around 4.00. In 2014, Porcello was traded to the Boston Red Sox in a trade centered around Yoenis Céspedes. Porcello peaked in his second year with the Red Sox in 2016 when he won 22 games with a 3.15 ERA and was voted the AL Cy Young winner. Porcello went on to win a World Series with Boston in 2018 before his contract ran out after the 2019 season. Porcello was signed this offseason with the New York Mets.

3. Todd Jones
1993-2008
3.97 career ERA
10.3 career bWAR
1x All-Star

Another Tiger, Todd Jones had an astonishingly effective 16-year career as a relief pitcher in the majors. Jones had his best season in 2000 when he saved a league high 42 games with a 3.52 ERA for the Tigers. Jones was voted an American League All-Star and ended the season fifth in Cy Young voting. In his 16 year career, Jones played for 8 different teams, even making a pit stop in Minnesota in 2001 after he was traded for pitcher, Mark Redman. Jones pitched a total of 19.1 innings for the Minnesota Twins, posting a 3.26 ERA and saving two games.

What are your thoughts on the history of the 27th pick? Are you confident that the Twins will come away with a difference-maker with their first round selection next week? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!

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8 Comments

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Doctor Gast
Jun 05 2020 06:56 AM

There have been a lot of pretty good pitchers at the 27th pick. Very hopeful that we can pull away w/ a pretty good pitcher w/ this group & our scouts

    • glunn likes this

Interesting that it is the lowest of the top 30.One would think the 30th should be the lowest, but it shows what kind of a crap shoot it is.I do not have high hopes, but you never know. 

    • glunn likes this

How about Pete Harnisch? I thought he was picked higher, but apparently not. He carved out a pretty good career, and in comparison to a reliever who really was never dominant I'd put him at #3.

    • glunn and DocBauer like this
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Matthew Taylor
Jun 05 2020 01:56 PM

 

How about Pete Harnisch? I thought he was picked higher, but apparently not. He carved out a pretty good career, and in comparison to a reliever who really was never dominant I'd put him at #3.

 

Harnisch was probably the better overall player. He has more career WAR than Jones. Threw Jones in there because of his 2000 season when he finished 5th in Cy Young voting. Also because of his ties to the Twins. Harnisch is another example. 

    • ashbury and glunn like this

Harnisch was probably the better overall player.

Was sort of wondering whether you were just checking if we were reading carefully. :)

    • glunn and DocBauer like this
Interesting. Don't care. Because the Twins are going to nab someone really good at 27 this year. :)
    • USNMCPO likes this

Can we get the whole list of 27th picks?

Can we get the whole list of 27th picks?

Baseball-reference.com has a draft history with filters that can be applied. Here it is when you choose #27 overall.

 

Twins in this slice of history are Carlos Gutierrez and Scott Stahoviak. Not auspicious.