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  • Twins Draft Preview: Carlos Rodon

    With the Houston Astros having the number one overall pick for the third year in a row, there is some question about who will be selected first overall. Two years ago it looked like Mark Appel would be a lock for the first pick. The Astros saved a little money by taking Carlos Correa and this looks like a great decision. Correa is blossoming into one of the best position players in the minors and Appel ended up in an Astros uniform in last year's draft.

    Will Houston go with an expected player at the top of the draft or will they surprise the baseball world for the second time in three years?

    Who is this guy?
    Carlos Rodon attended high school in North Carolina and was drafted in the 16th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. The appeal of playing in his home state to pitch for North Carolina State was too much and he made the decision not to sign with the Brewers.

    Carlos Rodon photo by Jeremy Brevard

    Entering the 2014 spring season, Rodon was considered by many to be the clear-cut number one pick in the draft. He burst onto the scene as a freshman at NC State. In 2012, he posted a 9-0 record with a 1.57 ERA over 16 starts. He struck out 135 and walked 41 in 114.2 innings. His sophomore campaign was also very good as he compiled a 2.99 ERA and struck out 184 in 132.1 innings.

    There have been some concerns about how he's been used during his junior season and this could cause him to fall in the draft. He's only thrown 98.2 innings and he has a 2.01 ERA but there have been some long outings. During one three game stretch, he was averaging 126 pitches per start. With Tommy John surgery seeming like a big league epidemic, teams will be cautious when it comes to his workload. Jeff Hoffman and Erick Fedde, two possible top 10 draft picks, have already had Tommy John surgery.

    Rodon's stock might not be as high as it was coming into the spring season but he should still be one of the first couple names called by Bud Selig on draft night.

    Why the Twins will pick him?
    Starting pitching is one of the weaknesses for the Twins and many of their top pitching prospects are multiple years away from the big leagues. Rondon's college experience could make him a fast mover in the organization and this could allow him to be an impact player in the next couple years. A possible rotation with Alex Meyer, Kohl Stewart, and Carlos Rodon is the stuff dreams are made of for Twins fans.

    While the prep arms will take time to develop, Rodon is already a proven pitcher who could likely make an impact at the big league level sooner rather than later. If Rodon were to make it to the Twins with the fifth pick and he is healthy, there is no reason to think the team wouldn't take him.

    Why the Twins won't pick him?
    Realistically, there doesn't seem to be a scenario where Rodon will drop to the Twins, especially with the injuries to other potential top pitching prospects. He's not going to be on the board at number five.

    Scott Boras is an advisor to Rodon and that could scare away some teams if he drops in the draft. Last year's top pick Mark Appel, another Boras client, was supposed to be the top pick in the 2012 draft but he fell to ninth and he didn't sign with the Pirates. That sounds like a headache the Twins would like to avoid even though they have shown a tendency to pay the full slotted amount for their top picks.

    Also, the Twins haven't used their first overall pick on a college pitcher since 2009-2010 when they selected Kyle Gibson and Alex Wimmers in back-to-back drafts. Gibson has finally found some big league success but both players underwent Tommy John surgery in the minors. Rodon's high workload in college might scare the Twins away.

    The Twins evened up the series vs the Brewers yesterday, winning 6-4, so you can get 50% off your large or extra-large pizza from PapaJohns.com with the promo code 'WINTWINS' on Wednesday.
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Sometimes weird things happen on draft day. We can always hope he falls to five. But I'm not holding my breath.

      The Twins tied with the Cubs for the fourth-worst record. Too bad that tiebreaker didn't go their way...
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      Sometimes weird things happen on draft day. We can always hope he falls to five. But I'm not holding my breath.

      The Twins tied with the Cubs for the fourth-worst record. Too bad that tiebreaker didn't go their way...
      It would be nice if he fell. Rodon and Aiken are locks in the top 2-3 picks. After that who knows.

      Slight correction to the article, Appel fell to #8 in the 2012 draft.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Well, if he's there, you take him. But it seems more likely I will win the lottery on Saturday....
    1. Lonestar's Avatar
      Lonestar -
      Rodon was drafted in the 16th round of the 2011 draft by the Brewers but chose not to sign. He had some back problems in high school and was an upper 80's to low 90's guy with potential on good days and a mid 80's guy with inconsistent mechanics on the bad days. He went from a top five round guy to a 16th round flier due to the inconsistency but by that fall, he was hitting 97 as a member of the Wolfpack.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Yeah, it really seems impossible for Rodon to slip by the Cubs. They need pitching and, from what I've read, he's #1 on their board. Probably doesn't slip that far either. The best hope for the Twins is that Houston does something stupid and Miami takes Jackson which would leave one of the 3 pitchers to fall to us. But that seems pretty unlikely.
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      I'm hoping the Twins will take Jackson or Gordon. I think we need another prized hitter. With the top level pitching we have in the minors, we can take pitchers in the 2nd and/or 3rd round.
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      I keep hearing Gordon. I think a lot of that is due to long standing problems at the ML level, though that might be changing now with Escobar's performance and signs of real life, talent and potential in Santana. (Nothing against Escobar, but I'd love to see more of Santana at SS)

      No knock on Gordon, or his potential, but if Jackson were available I'd snap him up and I'd keep him at C. I don't see a need to rush him, despite his potential bat, up the chain by moving him position wise. We could afford, in my opinion, to work and develop him at C for now.
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