Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Supplemental Draft Picks have great talent, made tough decisions

    Can you imagine the difficult decision that highly-drafted high school kids have to make? Do they sign a signing bonus for seven (or at least upper six) figures, or do they go to a college whose coaches have recruited them and clearly want him to play for their school? For a couple of Twins prospects, that decision was all too real.

    The Twins had two supplemental first round draft picks in 2011 thanks to losing free agents Michael Cuddyer and Matt Capps. As a result of having one of the best records in the game in 2010, the Twins had the 30th overall pick. They drafted infielder Levi Michael and signed him for $1.175 million. With their two supplemental first round picks, the Twins went the high school route, selecting third baseman Travis Harrison and right-handed pitcher Hudson Boyd.

    TRAVIS HARRISON



    Harrison has started all five games at third base this year for Cedar Rapids while Boyd was the starting pitcher in their second game. This weekend in Cedar Rapids, I asked these two top talents just how hard the decision was for them to sign with the Twins and forego their college scholarships.

    Harrison said that the decision for him was very hard. “It was because I fell in love with USC. I did. That place is awesome. It’s close enough to my house where there are a lot of people who would support it. But then I got picked by the Twins which is exciting. They didn’t even give me a first offering until two days before the deadline. So, it wasn’t like we were trying to wait. That happened like that, and I think it was a good decision overall.”

    When the Twins did make an offer and it was negotiated, the finally agreed upon a signing bonus of $1.05 million.

    “My family was supportive of what I wanted to do. In the end, realizing that I really wanted to go pro, I really wanted to do it. With that said, I was ready to go to USC. You really have to balance what you want. I feel like baseball is my thing, so I wanted to go that way. Fortunately the Twins provided that offer so I could.”

    He made his debut in 2012 with Elizabethton. He hit .301/.383/.461 with 12 doubles, four triples and five home runs. Manager Jake Mauer believes that his power will come.

    “He’s strong. He’s strong in his hands for a young man. (When) he starts recognizing pitches and tendencies, and not only that but what he can really lock in to, you’ll see him start knocking the ball out of the park. It’s learning yourself. Learning what pitches you can take a chance on, per se. Understanding points of the game and counts, when to do it.”

    Harrison had three doubles in his first four games with the Kernels this season and last night, he hit his first home run of the season.

    The biggest question with Harrison seems to be his glove. Can he stay at third base? At E-Town last year he committed 24 errors in 59 games. He said he worked hard on the defense in the offseason. He was at the ballpark and on the first four hours before game time getting extra groundballs from Mauer. Tommy Watkins said he works hard and has already shown great improvement this spring.

    “I played outfield in high school. I played 3B for my high school team, but that’s only 15-20 games a year. I’m still fairly new to the position. Last year I was mostly learning it. This year, I put a lot of work in the offseason, so it feels like night and day different. I make it a priority to get out there with Jake every day, and just keep getting better.”

    HUDSON BOYD

    For Boyd, the decision was just as difficult. The Ft. Myers native could sign with the Twins, or go to the University of Florida. He was the 55th overall pick in the draft, and he had a certain number in mind. When the Twins made that offer, he agreed to sign. It was not an easy decision, but it was one that he is very happy with.

    “It was a tough decision, mostly because I really wanted to go to Florida just because I was a big Gator fan growing up. My brother went there. He graduated from there. Me and Coach O’Sullivan had a pretty good relationship.”

    Like Harrison, Boyd signed just minutes before the deadline that August. The Twins had to go slightly over slot to sign him for $1 million.

    “I think I made the right decision. I mean, you don’t really get to the big leagues by going to college.”

    At Elizabethton a year ago, he went 2-5 with a 2.95 ERA. In 58 innings, he walked 23 and struckout 36. He was a large man, but he made the effort in the offseason to lose some weight and get in better shape. He is still not the skinniest guy on the team, but he now looks like a pitcher. His velocity in his first outing was good. He sat 89-91 but he hit 93 mph a few times. He also showed a very good changeup and a tremendous curveball. He has a ways to go, but he will work and will improve.

    The Twins got a couple of extra picks in the 2011 draft, and they used the strategy of taking a couple of big, strong, powerful high school kids with high ceilings. So far, so good for both as they enter their first full seasons in 2013. Harrison will turn 21 on October 17. Boyd will turn 21 on October 18. Both will develop slowly, but each has the potential to be an impact player for the Twins for years to come.
    This article was originally published in blog: Supplemental Draft Picks have great talent, made tough decisions started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 26 Comments
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      If you have the chance to get 1 MM USD as a HS kid you have to take - especially a pitcher. The way the some college coaches abuse their stars arms is almost criminal.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Agree. You can always put money aside and use it for college if baseball doesn'twork out
    1. mini_tb's Avatar
      mini_tb -
      Good read, Seth. Thanks! Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Twins re-signed Capps following the 2011 season. The second supplemental pick came from losing Kubel.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Good luck to both, and thanks to both for taking the time to talk to us fans. Appreciated greatly!
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Clutterheart points out a real concern, abuse of college pitcher arms. Just ask Matt Fox!

      We all think these kids should get giddy over their $1,000,000 signing bonuses. Do we all feel the same if someone said the kid got $550,000? Because after FED and State taxes, barrring some real creative tax avoidance, that is what they get.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Nice article, Seth. I really like Harrison and I think that, if nothing else, Boyd can become a nice bullpen arm. Good supplemental picks by the Twins.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      $550K after taxes.....compared to the median FAMILY income in the US? Yes, yes they should be excited by that.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Sure, it's good money either way. But I think the point is that it's not an easy decision to make.

      If they elect to go to college, it doesn't mean they have no shot at getting that kind of bonus later. In fact, if they perform well in college, they may make more money. Then again, they may wash out in college due to injury or poor coaching decisions or inability to focus on their game because of those pesky classes they have to take to remain eligible to play baseball.

      In the end, it comes down to how you want to spend your first 2-3 years playing baseball after high school... for a college coach who's job security is tied to wins and losses or for managers who's job performance is evaluated by how well he gets his players prepared for advancing to the next level of professional ball.

      Either way... signing immediately or signing after 3 years of college... you should be roughly at the same level within the organization (somewhere between low A and high A). After that, you're on even footing with the guys who chose the other path.

      The question shouldn't be so much about which path will get you the bigger bonus, but which path do you see having the better shot at getting you to that Class A-A+ level successfully?
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I was responding to Roger's post about the money, not indicating one way or the other what someone should do. I am not sure I get roger's post at all, frankly. That's nearly 20 years of income for a family in the US, in one check......
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I was responding to Roger's post about the money, not indicating one way or the other what someone should do. I am not sure I get roger's post at all, frankly. That's nearly 20 years of income for a family in the US, in one check......
      I won't speak for Roger, but here's what I took from it. $550,000 is no small amount, but when you consider what it will provide to a guy over, say, the course of his likely working years (40-45 years), it's not all that much... maybe $15-20K a year, depending on what interest rates run.

      The difference in household income in the US between someone with just a HS education and one with a 4 year college degree is about $30K a year.

      If he ends up using that nest egg to go back to college, that could easily eat up 20-30% (or more) of the $550,000 for four years (which would have been free if he had chosen to take a baseball scholarship).

      Personally, I'd have taken the money in a heartbeat and I think most others would, too. But then, I'm a guy who left his spot on the bench of his JuCo basketball team midway through his second year of college to run fast food restaurants... so I'm probably not the guy to provide advice in this area.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      You have to take the money. Set 80K aside in a low risk investment as college money should baseball not work out. Invest the rest wisely and you have a nice supplemental check for the rest of your life... or blow it all on whatever you want, just don't touch the 80k until you've played a few years in the pros.
    1. roger's Avatar
      roger -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I was responding to Roger's post about the money, not indicating one way or the other what someone should do. I am not sure I get roger's post at all, frankly. That's nearly 20 years of income for a family in the US, in one check......
      My point was simple, when you see those big gaudy numbers thrown around for the top few rounds, divide it roughly in half as most of the other half goes to taxes. A $550,000 bonus looks a lot different than a million or in Buxton's case, a $3,600,000 bonus is really different than $6,000.000. Expect Buxton is also very happy he got the bonus last year before this year's taxes went up.

      Yes, they all are a lot of money and a lot more than the average fan will see in many years of working or a lifetime for most of us in Buxton's case.

      Also thought that Mr. Crikket did in excellent job taking a look at what a young high school grad should consider when offerred these opportunities.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      $550K = five years of good wages. It takes five years to make the majors. Until then, the minor league minimum is like $30K + meal money or something, before taxes. They certainly don't get rich off of signing bonuses.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      your definition of good wages is way off. You are suggesting 110K after taxes is a "good wage"? That's nearly double the median, pre-tax, income for a family in this country.

      yes, they get rich off getting $1MM in one check. That's 10 years of 100K per year pre tax. Around 20% of US households make that in a year. College educated (or higher) does not "average" that until a male is in 35-44.

      Assuming they can generate 8% in the stock market off of 500K, they can get 40K per year. If they then work a regular job, even as a HS graduate, they make significantly more than the 80% of US households. Oh, and they still have $500K in the market if they need it, instead of tens of thousands in debt.

      If a minore leaguer makes 30K per year, and they get 40K per year in investment income, that is a lot of money. A lot.
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      "Rich" or not, the math seems kind of simple to me. College is retarded expensive, but even in pricey private schools, you're looking at $50k a year, which should include living expenses. Four years and you're not even halfway through your post-tax bonus. No scholarship in the entire NCAA is worth that. It seems like a tough decision, but realistically, in the sandwich round, it just isn't.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      From a financial perspective, agreed. The college experience is potentially more fun than the MiLB experience though.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Oh, and I have a HS senior, and make good money. AFTER help from schools and whatnot, we are looking at $35K+ per year for the schools he wants.....
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Don't forget the agents cut of their signing bonus and/or the cost of any other advisor that comes out of their pocket: lawyer, CPAs, PR people, off season trainer.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      don't forget, they get meal money, and in lower minors some live with families for free. And sorry, but lots of people pay for gym memberships/trainers. Really, people are still arguing a million dollars isn't a lot of money? Really?
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      A million bucks is a ton of money! Don't think I said it wasn't. I just don't think it is a no brainier as people make it out to be.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.