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Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

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Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...
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I'm going to try to keep a running list of all of the Twins Spotlight episodes here. Feel free to discuss any of them, ask questions or l...
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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

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Free agency is likely going to be a really slow burn this year, but I still think it's worth having a thread to discuss signings. ...
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Comments on 41 MLB baseball I visited with 5 to go

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I've been to 41 MLB parks with 40 since 1993. I missed 5 or 6 starting in the early 1990s when I landed my first computer job and then jo...
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Twins Minor League Signings

Twins Minor League Talk 22 Nov 2020
I thought I should set up a thread for minor league signings. Use this thread to post when the Twins sign a minor leaguer or when a forme...
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Twins Have Found Value in Late Round Draft Picks

Last week MLB announced changes to the 2020 MLB Draft and the Twins aren’t the only organization that will be hurt by these changes. Middle to small market teams, like Minnesota, are forced to draft smartly and build from within the organization. MLB is limiting the draft to five rounds this June but looking back at previous drafts and it’s easy to see some strong player the Twins have identified in the draft’s later rounds.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
6th Round: Pat Neshek (10.7 Career WAR, 3.0 Twins WAR)
Neshek has gone on to have a 13-year big league career as he appeared in 20 games last season for the Phillies. He’s been selected to four All-Star teams, but they have all come after he turned 33-years old. His time in Minnesota (129 2/3 innings) saw him compile a 3.05 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP and a 151 to 45 strikeout to walk ratio.

7th Round: Latroy Hawkins (18.0 Career WAR, 8.1 Twins WAR)
Hawkins pitched nine seasons in a Twins uniform, but the more amazing feat might be the fact he pitched in the big leagues until his age-42 season. Minnesota used him as a starting pitcher through the 1999 season, but he led the league in earned runs that year and would transition to the bullpen for the rest of his career. Because most of his Twins tenure was as a starter, his 5.05 ERA 1.523 WHIP are high. However, no one pitches 21 years in the big leagues without providing some value.

8th Round: Brad Radke (45.4 Career/Twins WAR), Brian Dozier (23.6 Career WAR, 22.7 Twins WAR)
Radke and Dozier are a strong duo to pull out of the draft’s same round. Since the Twins moved to Minnesota, only five players have compiled more WAR in a Twins uniform and four of them are in the Hall of Fame (Carew, Killebrew, Puckett and Blyleven) and the fifth, Mauer, likely could be there someday. Dozier was a late bloomer as he didn’t debut with the Twins until age-25 and he was a first-time All-Star at age-28. His last three full seasons in Minnesota he hit .258/.335/.496 while averaging 35 home runs per season.

9th Round: Mitch Garver (5.1 Career/Twins WAR)
Like Dozier, Garver was a bit of a late bloomer, but he’s revamped his offensive and defensive approach since leaving college. He has 218 games played at the big-league level and last season he was masterful at the plate with a .995 OPS and 31 home runs while only appearing in 93 games. Many fans were looking forward to what he was going to be able to do for an encore performance during the 2020 campaign.

10th Round: Steve Braun (17.4 Career WAR, 15.0 Twins WAR), Jeff Reboulet (10.0 Career WAR, 5.8 Twins WAR)
For younger fans, Braun might be a name that is a little less familiar. He played the bulk of his career during the 1970s and early 1980s when the Twins were between their strong 1960’s teams and their future World Series squads. In over 750 Twins games, he hit .284/.376/.381 while playing all over the infield. Reboulet joined the Twins in 1992 as a 28-year old that spent six seasons working his way through the minors. He posted a .335 OPS and played decent enough defense at shortstop and third base to help his value.

11th Round: Taylor Rogers (6.4 Career/Twins WAR)
As the team hurdled toward 100-wins last season, Rogers anchored a bullpen that saw some trepidatious moments through the middle of the season. Over the last two seasons (137 1/3 innings), he has posted a 2.62 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP with a 165 to 27 strikeout to walk ratio. That includes a season where the baseball was flying out of the park at a record pace.

Other Late Round Picks: Kent Hrbek (17th Round: 38.4 WAR), Eddie Guardado (21st Round: 13.3 WAR), Corey Koskie (26th Round: 24.6 WAR), Matt Lawton (13th Round: 15.0 WAR)
Some important figures in Twins history fell even deeper than the 12th round of the draft. Hrbek has his number retired by his hometown team and he was a vital part of the two World Series runs. Guardado and Koskie both played pivotal roles on the Twins as the team rebuilt itself in the 2000s. Lawton played on some bad Twins teams in the late 1990’s but he was one of the best players on those squads.

Who gets your vote for the best late round pick in Twins history? Leave a COMMENT and join the discussion.

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May 14 2020 05:19 AM
In the days of yore, I believe Neshek and Laudner played on the same Legion team. Laudner was pointed out to me, no mention of Neshek.

Now there will be a scramble for players who go undrafted and because of the limit on signing bonuses many might go elsewhere if they have a good degree and a job prospect. I would have thought they would have 10 rounds.Its not like the NBA and their two rounds - they see their prospects in the NCAA tournament and know who the one or two players are that can move into the rotation.Baseball is filled with low pick stars and first round flops. 

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Nine of twelve
May 14 2020 06:49 AM


Who gets your vote for the best late round pick in Twins history? Leave a COMMENT and join the discussion.

Denny Hocking. Very good utility player, held his own very well at the plate and in the field. The reason I say he was the best pick is because he was chosen in the 51st round. That's not a typo. Fifty-first round.

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The title of article suggests the Twinsdo better than other teams, but upon reading the article, I would argue every team has found success in late rounds over the years.Just as every team has had many flops of first round picks.  


Baseball is such a hard sport to really know who will do well or fail at the next level.Also, some late round picks were there for different reasons.Sign-ability, low exposure, or bias of region is to name a few.There are many other reasons I am sure.Some players fall because they are expected to go football, or college, but drafting team gets them the magic number that is needed to sign.I read Trout dropped because prior years a player from his area turned into complete flop so teams shyed away thinking good players from there numbers were inflated from low talent level.Back in the day, players from cold weather HS got little exposure and scouts would hardly go there.  


Many of the guys listed were known for their mental game and work ethic, something that is hard to determine when looking at them play 1 game, or some tape.As Yogi once said baseball is 90% mental.I will not finish the rest of the quote but he is correct it is a mental game and watching tape of the physical aspects is hard to see their mental aspects. 

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Doctor Gast
May 14 2020 12:18 PM


Now there will be a scramble for players who go undrafted and because of the limit on signing bonuses many might go elsewhere if they have a good degree and a job prospect. I would have thought they would have 10 rounds.Its not like the NBA and their two rounds - they see their prospects in the NCAA tournament and know who the one or two players are that can move into the rotation.Baseball is filled with low pick stars and first round flops. 

We seem to do better than average as far as late round drafts go & more than our share of early round flops. Dobnak wasn`t even drafted, hopefully he`ll continue to be a success story. There is too many intangible factors, which the Twins do a fantastic job in evaluating. Factors like character, teachable, responsible & drive, while many highly talented kids lack the intangibles plus lazy

    • mikelink45 likes this

Bill Campbell went undrafted and had a long career

Marty Coedova was a 10th round pick


50 years of drafting and not even 15 players. I do not think it was his intention but it does point out that late round picks for tr the Twins rarely pan out.If most teams have similar success it is no wonder there is talk of reducing the draft.

One thing that concerns me here is teams with deeper pockets using the limited draft to their advantage. And I was reminded today listening to Gleeman and the Geek that the changes to the draft will probably extend to 2021 as well. HS players, with little exception, will be forced to go to college now.

If you are a TOP HS prospect, you probably still sign even though you only get around $100K or so initially. But you get the rest of your bonus money over the next 2yrs. So you still probably sign. Over slot HS signings just probably don't sign and go to school. College players are just screwed. IF your school will allow you to come back, IF they will honor any scholarship money made available to you...big IF's at this point...you can try to go back for another season and see what happens with ANOTHER potentially limited draft in 2021.

OR, you can sign with a ML team for $20K and peruse your dream for the bonus money that would be paid to a 14+ round draft selection and hope for a normal 2021 milb season. If that is your choice, and the Yankees or Dodgers, as an example, come calling, do you look at the Twins, or Royals, or Padres, etc. Some teams could use deep pocket reserves to offer a ton of $20k contracts others couldn't match. OR, would big market teams not interest you if you felt the road to the majors was a tougher road due to prospect depth and future FA acquisitions? OR, is there a loophole in the $20K bonus deep pocket teams see where they could offer incentives to make this an unfair free for all?

Amongst the many things that have to be worked out for a ML season, including development of current milb systems and players, ownership needs to find a way to make any draft and potential signings fair and equitable across the board. If they don't, they end up further screwing up an already disjointed situation.

And if they aren't smart about this, college pkayers will end up in the independent leagues for 2021 and a potentially unfair bidding war will take place then. It's not hard to imagine a collection of college players in independent leagues next season, 2021, developing/dominating/, and being offered contracts by big market teams who have greater financial flexibility coming off whatever 2020 ends up offering.

There are ramifications that have to be considered beyond just "saving money" in regard to the 2020 and 2021 draft.

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