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Jeremy Nygaard

Draft Board v.2.0 (3/13)

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As we sit around three months from draft day there have been many risers and fallers around the draft world. Some larger than others. Obviously, there is still a lot of time for things to happen, but this is how I would stack the Twins Draft Board if it were up to me.

The first installment of my draft board featured a top 4 as well as some other names to watch. The following list has stayed the same at the very top, but has seen many changes around it. It's also expanded to a top 8.


(photo from WVLA NBC33 | Baton Rouge News, Weather and Sports | Baton Rouge News)

As I mentioned last month: In the last 20 years, the Twins have had 24 1st round draft picks (not counting supplemental picks). Of those 24 picks, 11 have been prep position players and eight have been college pitchers. The other two groups: college position players (4) and prep pitchers (1) have been much less represented.

The Twins first pick (fourth overall) will come with an approximate $4.5m price tag.

JEREMY’S SMALL BOARD
(Keep in mind, please, that this is not a “mock draft”. This is not a reflection of my top players. This is my attempt at stacking a “Twins Draft Board”, based on a number of things.)

1) Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford

WHY HE STILL MAKES SENSE: Appel has been nothing short of dominant so far this season.
WHY THE TWINS COULD PASS: Scott Boras. Because of Appel's inclusion in the draft pool, it's going to be hard for anyone to project. He's a wild card.
MY TWO CENTS: Appel has been good enough that, as the #1 guy on my board, I take him and cut money from Rounds 2-10 to give him as much as possible. The stickier part of this situation is that, as a college senior, the signing deadline wouldn't apply. So unless you give up on him before the deadline, you can't rely on "fallback options", that you took in the later rounds.
PRICE TAG: We know it's going to be high. That's a given.


2) Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State

WHY HE STILL MAKES SENSE: Though he hasn't been as "lights-out" as he was this summer, he's still been good and projects to be a top-of-the-rotation type pitcher. And he's a lefty. The Twins would do good to add him, even though he'll need more minor league time to develop than Appel would.
WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: I think Manaea - even more so than Appel - has solidfied his spot in the top 5. If I had to bet, I'd say the Twins won't get the chance to draft (or pass on) Manaea.
MY TWO CENTS: I'm hoping to make it to Friday night's game at the Metrodome to see Manaea in person. I would guess my suspicions will be verified.
PRICE TAG: Manaea would be smart to take slot money and get signed as quickly as possible.


3) Clint Frazier, OF, Georgia HS

WHY HE'S ON THE BOARD: Frazier is the top-rated high school player in the nation. And then he goes and hits two home runs in the Frazier/Meadows showdown yesterday. He's going to be a top 5 pick. The Twins love prep outfielders.
WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: The Twins should pass because they need to pass. Baseball is about pitching, and even though Frazier has a cannon, he's not standing on a mound when he's showing it off.
MY TWO CENTS: Frazier has some experience in the infield. As a prospect, though, he didn't take off until he moved to the outfield. If I was convinced Frazier can become a star, I'm using his versatility as my crutch. Would you feel differently if instead of drafting a prep OF, the Twins took a prep 3B? I'm not sure how the transition would go, but the Twins have tried to make the OF to INF switch with Rosario. It would be a very expensive gamble.
PRICE TAG: Like Buxton, Frazier will probably sign for near-slot.


4) Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma

WHY HE'S ON THE BOARD: If you're a low-to-mid-90s guy, you're a prospect, as Gray was coming into the season. When you're a mid-to-high-90s guy, you're an very good prospect. When you touch 100 and have the feel to spin a ball, you're an elite part of the draft.
WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: Are you buying the hype? Gray is full of helium. His arm is fresh now but what happens as the season progresses? Is he still throwing 100? Is he more susceptible to injury? So far reports check out. But for as quickly as he's risen, he's got three months to stay on top.
MY TWO CENTS: Twins fans, this is the guy to keep an eye on. He has really taken off. Viewed as a potential first-rounder before the season, he has climbed up draft boards with every start. If Manaea doesn't improve and Appel's demands remain a question mark, Gray may not stop climbing until he's #1.
PRICE TAG: As another junior pitcher, he probably won't have any unreasonable demands (hopefully).


5) Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas

WHY HE'S DROPPED: Despite coming into the season being mentioned in the same sentence as Manaea and Appel, Stanek has had a disappointing first month of the season. He isn't lasting late into games and he isn't missing many bats.
WHY THE TWINS SHOULD STILL CONSIDER HIM: Stanek still has the conference schedule to impress the scouts; if he can get it done against the best conference in baseball, his stock will rise.
MY TWO CENTS: At the very least, Stanek is one of four (or more) college pitchers that are viable options for the Twins at #4.
PRICE TAG: You have to worry a little bit about guys that come into the season hyped as a potential #1 pick and begin to drop.


6) Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, California HS

WHY HE'S DROPPED: Smith was in the news for the wrong reasons earlier this month. Long story short: Smith was ejected from a game and subsequently suspended for the following game. In an effort to not hurt his draft stock, scouts were told that he wasn't at the game because he was sick. Well, the truth came out and now Smith and his school look bad.
WHY THE TWINS SHOULD STILL CONSIDER HIM: Despite what could be considered a make-up/character issue, Smith is still a premium prospect and offers standout defense (albeit at first base) to a team that emphasizes defense.
MY TWO CENTS: Someone to keep on the radar, but probably not someone that will make the top 4 at any point.
PRICE TAG: It should be mentioned that the Astros banked a lot of their pool by taking a prep player and paying him less than slot.


7) Bobby Wahl, RHP, Mississippi

WHY HE'S ON THE BOARD: Wahl is appearing on the list as a pitcher that doesn't have a tremendous ceiling, but is already nearly a finished product. He offers a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a low-80s slider that misses bats. His changeup is also coming around. By the time June rolls around Wahl may possess three pitches that are currently in the 55-60 range. Not likely to be an ace, he could still be a very serviceable #3. And soon.
WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS:
When you're drafting at #4, you should be shooting for the stars. Not taking a guy because he's close to his ceiling.
MY TWO CENTS:
The Twins could do "safe". Wahl would be safe. If Wahl continues to impress and moves up the board, I'd be okay with safe. If he's a borderline top-10 prospect... I'd rather take a shot on someone with more upside.
PRICE TAG:
I would guess Wahl will sign for slot (or if drafted higher, cut a deal) and sign quickly.


8) Austin Meadows, OF, Georgia HS

WHY HE'S #8:
I won't rule out anything at this point and Meadows is highly-regarded. I'm interested to see what Meadows does after Frazier so obviously stole the show yesterday. Your move, Austin.

Others to watch:

Chris Anderson, Jacksonville, has probably taken a bigger leap than any other college pitcher. Once viewed as a 3rd-5th round pick, he's moved up in the first round conversation. He's still moving up. I don't see him entering the top 10, much less the top 5, but he's got time on his side. Scouts love him and as a Minnesota prep, so do the locals. (Some have suggested taking him #4 and paying him like a late 1st rounder. That isn't necessarily my style, but I can assure you that the Twins brass will leave no stone unturned.)

Jonathan Crawford
, Florida, is throwing it in the high-90s, but he's lacking success. Like Stanek, he'll have plenty of time to build his status back up. It's not helping that Florida can't catch a break.

I'll leave Minnesota LHP Tom Windle and prep OF Ryan Boldt grouped together again. I would guess the Twins would love for Windle to fall to the 2nd round, but I don't see it happening. Boldt has probably solidified himself as a mid-1st rounder strictly on his play last summer.

Though the Twins rarely go to the "college position players well", there are two 3B that should be mentioned: Kris Bryant, San Diego and Colin Moran, North Carolina. I prefer Bryant's right-handed power (even though he will probably end up in the OF or at 1B), but I don't see the Twins going this route.

As long as I'm mentioning avenues that aren't taken, I'll name a prep pitcher who enamors me: Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Tennessee HS. Sheffield is a hard-thrower, but also very intelligent. There is a strong belief already that he'll be a tough sign, so if the Twins do something to save money early, maybe Sheffield - a first-round talent - could be one of those options later.

Feel free to discuss.
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  1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
    This is an excellent list! I'm a big fan of Frazier. I know the Twins have a glut of outfielders, but that guy could be a huge star. I would also keep an eye on Jon Denney, the high school catcher from Oklahoma. Good catcher, good power. Could really move up draft boards if he has a big senior year.
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