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  • Twins Draft History

    Over the next several months, Twins fans are going to hear a lot about the June MLB draft, and for good reason. The Twins have the #2 overall pick and five picks in the Top 100. Coming off of a 99 loss season, and having a middle-of-the-pack minor league system, it is important to take advantage of the draft. In coming months, youíll read names like Mark Appel, Lucas Giolito, Devin Marrero, Byron Buxton and Mike Zunino frequently. Today I wanted to look at the draft a little differently.

    It is said that it usually takes five or six years to start judging a teamís draft. I would contend that it really takes ten years. Consider that some high school players who are drafted donít get to the big leagues for eight or nine seasons. Consider there are players that donít sign and go to college for three years before getting drafted again. It takes them several years sometimes. Yes, for the below report, I am going to include players that the Twins drafted but did not sign who made it to the big leagues. Seeing talent, and future big league talent, is what scouting is all about. Some late-round picks havenít signed and went to college. There are some players that the Twins have redrafted. There are other players that the Twins have drafted but didnít sign who they have brought in later as free agents or in trades.

    To start, Iíll give a more detailed look at the Twins 2002 draft and show how many of the 50 draft picks made it to each level. After that, Iíll show how many players from each yearís Twins draft have made it to the big leagues. Iíll go back to 1987 as that is when many of the current Twins scouts and scouting directors began working with the Twins.

    The 2002 Draft:

    For the players who were drafted and signed in 2002, 2012 will be their 11th professional season. There is some chance that one or maybe two more players will get a cup of coffee in the big leagues.
    • MLB Players (9): Denard Span (1), Jesse Crain (2), Clete Thomas (5), Pat Neshek (6), Adam Lind (8), Kyle Phillips (10), Evan Meek (11), Jeff Clement (12), Garrett Mock (14).
    • AAA (7): Ricky Barrett (7), Doug Deeds (9), Josh Petersen (24), James Avery (29), Toby Gardenhire (38), Brock Peterson (49), Mike Ballard (50)
    • AA (5): Adam Harben (15), Adam Daniels (19), Danny Matienzo (23), Christian Castorri (34), Kyle Geiger (42)
    • A (10): Bo Pettit (13), Adam Hawes (17), Ryan Schreppel (20), TJ Prunty (21), Justin Keeling (25), Ron Perodin (27), Hasan Rasheed (28), Roberto Martinez (30), Tarrence Pattersen (35), John Cahill (36)

    Ten players peaked in Rookie Ball, and nine players that didnít sign did not play in affiliated baseball again. Among them was their 45th round pick, a pitcher from Holy Angels HS in Minnesota named John Stocco, who went to Wisconsin and became their quarterback. TJ Prunty is another St. Paul kid who the Twins drafted out of high school, but he went down to Miami to play football before the Twins drafted him again. Three of the players who have peaked at AAA are still playing. Without looking at all teams for a decade of drafts, it is impossible to put this into context, but my assumption is that this breakdown would put the Twins and their scouts in a positive light.

    Big Leaguers from Twins Drafts (1987-2001)

    • 2001 (5): Joe Mauer (1), Jose Morales (3), Kevin Cameron (13), Matt Macri (17), Nick Blackburn (29)
    • 2000 (8): Adam Johnson (1), Aaron Heilman (1s), JD Durbin (2), Jason Miller (4), Josh Rabe (11), Jason Kubel (12), Paul Maholm (17), Daniel Davidson (28)
    • 1999 (8): Rob Bowen (2), Justin Morneau (3), Brian Wolfe (6), Brian Slocum (14), Travis Bowyer (20), Willie Eyre (23), Terry Tiffee (26), Pat Neshek (45)
    • 1998 (7): Saul Rivera (9), Mike Gosling (14), JJ Putz (17), Kevin Thompson (18), Juan Padilla (24), Kevin Frederick (34), Tommy Watkins (38)
    • 1997 (7): Michael Cuddyer (1), Matthew LeCroy (1s), Michael Restovich (2), Kevin Frederick (17), JC Romero (21), Adam Johnson (25), Nick Punto (33)
    • 1996 (9): Travis Lee (1), Jacque Jones (2), Chad Allen (4), Michael Ryan (5), Chad Moeller (7), Mike Lincoln (13), Matt Kata (20), Mike Lamb (31), Josh Bard (35)
    • 1995 (6): Mark Redman (1), AJ Hinch (3), Doug Mientkiewicz (5), Mike Moriarity (7), Robert Ramsay (17), Jeff Harris (28)
    • 1994 (7): Todd Walker (1), Travis Miller (1s), Cleatus Davidson (2), AJ Pierzynski (3), Corey Koskie (26), Brandon Puffer (27), Brian Lawrence (39)
    • 1993 (14): Torii Hunter (1), Jason Varitek (1), Dan Perkins (2), Javier Valentin (3), Benj Sampson (4), Kelly Dransfeldt (7), Kevin Ohme (9), Alex Cora (12), Ryan Radmanovich (14), Danny Kolb (17), Shane Bowers (21), Rod Radlosky (22), Emil Brown (27), Lance Carter (41).
    • 1992 (6): Dan Serafini (1), Gus Gandarillos (3), Dan Naulty (14), Scott Watkins (23), Gary Matthews (38), Craig Dingman (50).
    • 1991 (7): David McCarty (1), Scott Stahoviak (1s), Mike Durant (2), LaTroy Hawkins (7), Brad Radke (8), Matt Lawton (13), Tim Davis (34)
    • 1990 (11): Todd Ritchie (1), Midre Cummings (1), Jayhawk Owens (2), Rich Becker (3), Brent Brede (5), James Mouton (8), Pat Meares (12), Jeff Granger (14), Damian Miller (20), Eddie Guardado (21), Brian Raabe (41)
    • 1989 (10): Chuck Knoblauch (1), Denny Neagle (3), Scott Erickson (4), Marty Cordova (10), Dan Mastellar (11), Mike Trombley (14), George Tsamis (15), Derrick White (23), Tim Urbani (29), Denny Hocking (52).
    • 1988 (7): Alan Newman (2), Steve Dunn (4), Pat Mahomes (6), Doug Simons (9), JT Bruett (11), Scott Stahoviak (27), Aaron Sele (37)
    • 1987 (9): Willie Banks (1), Terry Jorgensen (2), Larry Casian (6), Mark Guthrie (7), Shawn Gilbert (12), Chip Hale (17), Dan Smith (22), Bret Boone (28), Craig Paquette (36).

    Obviously this is only one way to judge a draft. Ideally teams will want an All-Star or two to come out of every draft, but thatís not realistic. The draft and scouting is such an inexact science. It is also such an important part of building a roster and an organization. Not all players are going to be All-Stars, but it is important to have role players too.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Draft History started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I think that it makes sense to separate the players (or indicate some way) that the Twins did not sign... I would also judge a draft by who they signed not only who they drafted...
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      Seth, this is the question I would like to see explored. I'd agree with thrylos about separating the unsigned players.
      If you made a list of those players who eventually stayed on a 25-man roster for three "full" seasons or more, and then compared the numbers to some other team that fans tend to think of as superior to the Twins at drafting and developing, I wonder how the Twins would compare, even without looking at which team had the more favorable draft order. Break the tie with Hall of Famers and All-Stars.
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      It would be interesting to see the WAR breakdown of all the draft classes (Any Twins Daily member want to take a shot at that?). I would think that the 1989 draft class might be the most successful of all those years.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      Several things one could gather from Seth's data for 15 drafts by the Twins. While nearly all 1st round draft picks made the majors, less than half had significant big league careers. Less than 40% of the players taken in the first 10 rounds ever played in the majors. Over the 15 years listed here, only about a dozen, drafted and signed after the 10th round had significant big league careers.(that is a judgement call).

      I don't know how important these "facts" are or how they compare to other teams. It does point out how difficult it is to get to the majors and carve out a career there.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
      It would be interesting to see the WAR breakdown of all the draft classes (Any Twins Daily member want to take a shot at that?). I would think that the 1989 draft class might be the most successful of all those years.

      Baseball Reference has all that stuff so it will be easy to do.

      Here is the 1987 link, one just has to add and move up year by year.

      I would do it, but just not much time now
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      JimH - I think it would be interesting to see how the Twins compare to other teams in these categories, but I think your last point is the best. It is really, really difficult to get to the majors and then to have a decent career.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      I like this idea, but personally I would choose these career milestones:

      Cup of coffee
      Arbitration (Dustin Mohr but not Mike Ryan)
      Free agency (Pat Meares but not Allan Anderson)
      Vesting retirement (10 yrs) (Cuddyer, but not Hocking)
      Hall of Fame (Mauer, but not Hrbek)

      I also don't think you can use the number of picks that appear in the majors as a comparison between teams because the bar that Cleatus Davidson had to reach in the 90's is much lower than for a pennant-chasing team (i.e. Braves) as well as the current Twin's team.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
      Hall of Fame (Mauer, but not Hrbek)
      I hope, but still a tad too early to tell... Everyone thought that Doc Gooden was going to be a Hall of Famer after his 8 first seasons
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