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  1. TwinsDaily Draft Kickoff and First-Round Mock

    The Twins will draft 6th overall (and you already know this, man!) which has a slot value of $3,889,500. Because of the signing of pitcher Ervin Santana, the Twins had to forfeit their second round pick. They were, however, awarded a pick in the Compensation B Round (73rd overall) that has a value of $839,700. They will then go on to make eight selections on Tuesday and finish out the draft on Wednesday by making thirty more picks.

    From now until the draft, Twins Daily will be your home for a ton of draft coverage. We'll profile several of the players who the Twins could potentially draft as well as posting Mock Drafts and much more. Of course, we'll continue to cover the Minnesota Twins and lead the market with the best minor league coverage of the organization, but these next two weeks will certainly have a strong draft focus.

    We will be on top of the draft during the three days of the event. Join in on the discussion by commenting in our articles as well as posting in the forums.

    We are also happy to announce that for the second straight year, Twins Daily will be hosting a draft-related show while the Twins pick. Last year, we did a Hangout during the first five picks, followed by a radio spot from 9-10 pm. We’re dropping that. On June 8 from 7-8 pm, John Bonnes will host a draft show on KFAN. I’ll be fighting the traffic to join him in studio and we’ll have Seth Stohs on the show as well. Be sure to put that on your calendar.

    At some point in late June, we'll also be putting together a PDF-only Draft Prospect Handbook. It's going to be sick. And if you're draft-crazy, you won't be able to live without it. (Ok, that's hyperbole; but it will be great.)

    All told, it's going to be more Twins-draft related information than you could shake a stick at.

    So without further adieu, grab a water bottle, pop some popcorn and enjoy Twins Daily’s first-round mock draft:

    1) Arizona: Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
    2) Houston: Daz Cameron, OF, Georgia HS
    3) Colorado: Brendan Rodgers, SS, Florida HS
    4) Texas: Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
    5) Houston: Alex Bregman, SS, LSU

    If those five guys are off the board when the Twins draft, it will leave them with a difficult decision. At this point in time, there is no chance that Swanson drops and a very slim chance that Rodgers falls. Tate has a slightly better chance to drop, but it’s unlikely the first five picks are all hitters and Tate is still the best college pitcher. The Twins love Bregman and - again - at this point, would love to see him drop to them. The Twins like Cameron, but don’t have any desire to meet his asking price. And, lastly, despite only one of the top five picks above being pitchers, there is a strong feeling around the industry that they “all want pitching” which could muddy this up even more.

    In this scenario, I would expect the decision to come down to Tyler Jay, LHP, Illinois and Kyle Tucker, OF, Florida HS.

    6) Minnesota: Kyle Tucker, OF, Florida HS
    7) Boston: Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt
    8) Chicago (AL): Tyler Jay, LHP, Illinois
    9) Chicago (NL): Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas
    10) Philadelphia: Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt
    11) Cincinnati: Jon Harris, RHP, Missouri State
    12) Miami: Trenton Clark, OF, Texas HS
    13) Tampa Bay: James Kaprielian, RHP, UCLA
    14) Atlanta: Tyler Stephenson, C, Atlanta HS
    15) Milwaukee: Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville
    16) New York (AL): Garrett Whitley, OF, New York HS
    17) Cleveland: Kolby Allard, LHP, California HS
    18) San Francisco: Mike Nikorak, RHP, Pennsylvania HS
    19) Pittsburgh: Ashe Russell, RHP, Indiana HS
    20) Oakland: Donnie Dewees, OF, North Florida
    21) Kansas City: Brady Aiken, LHP, IMG Academy
    22) Detroit: Donny Everett, RHP, Tennessee HS
    23) St Louis: Kevin Newman, SS, Arizona
    24) Los Angeles (NL): Nathan Kirby, LHP, Virginia
    25) Baltimore: Ian Happ, OF, Cincinnati
    26) Los Angeles (AL): Phil Bickford, LHP, College of Southern Nevada

    So there you have it: Mock Draft v. 1. What do you think? If the Top 5 go like that, did the Twins do the right thing? Leave your thoughts below.

    And don't forget to check back frequently for new content.

    • May 25 2015 08:11 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  2. Twins Select Royce Lewis First Overall

    California prep SS Royce Lewis.

    Bet you didn't see that one coming a few days ago.

    Represented by Scott Boras, Royce Lewis is a high-upside, middle-of-the-diamond player. He'll start his career at shortstop, but has the athleticism to play center field as well.

    There are some questions about his hit tool and if power will develop. There are also some doubts that his arm can hold up on the left side of the infield. Those questions are pretty typical of prep position players. He'll have a few years to develop and answer those questions.

    But there are no questions about his speed, his approach and how he's an elite athlete. The ceiling is amazingly high.

    The big question is how taking Lewis will shape how the organization uses the rest of their draft pool. It was suggested to me that if Lewis didn't go first, he could tumble to seven... that might give the Twins an extra $1.75 million to play around with.

    Get your popcorn. The rest of your night is going to be fun!

    • Jun 12 2017 08:59 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  3. Twins Select OF Alex Kirilloff with 15th Overall Pick

    Alex Kirilloff was featured earlier this week in his own draft profile.

    Kirilloff in a nutshell: He's 6-2, 195 and will start his professional career in center field. He has the arm to handle right field and the power profile to fit in either corner. The Twins will have to buy him out of a commitment to Liberty. Kirilloff is a good student who could have gone to larger-profiled schools, but chose Liberty based on his religious background.

    The biggest question surrounding Kirilloff is his hand speed - can he catch up to the heat? - but the Twins don't share those concerns. Kirilloff will likely start his professional career in the GCL this summer and will turn 19 in November.

    As they have done in the past, the Twins have selected a very "toolsy" outfielder; Kirilloff checks all the boxes: Hit, hit for power, speed, arm and defense.

    Baseball America ranked Kirilloff as the 15th best prospect in the draft.

    Kirilloff is one of the better quick-twitch athletes in this year's class. The son of a hitting coach, Kirilloff's offensive game is built around his exciting power potential. He is a lefthanded hitter with plus raw power. Coming from the Pittsburgh area, Kirilloff's lack of exposure to high-level pitching showed on in the showcase circuit, as he often chased pitches outside of the strike zone and struggled to consistently time quality pitching. As some of that rust shook off, Kirilloff began to emerge offensively, with strong performances towards the end of the summer. He also played first base for much of the showcase circuit, but he has solid-average raw speed and has played center field for his high school team this spring. Kirilloff has a exceptional arm, which earns plus or better grades from scouts, making him a natural fit for right field if he moves off center field at the next level. There are some mechanical concerns with his swing, as he bars his lead arm, but he's shown the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field at times. Kirilloff is deeply religious, and he committed to Liberty as an underclassmen. His games this spring have drawn hoards of evaluators, including general managers.


    MLB.com ranked him 18th.

    A product of the Southwest Pennsylvania high school ranks, Kirilloff put himself firmly on the map with a fine showing on the summer showcase circuit. With the weather warming up and scouts running in to see him, he has the chance to be the highest-drafted Pittsburgh area prepster since Neil Walker went in the first round in 2003.
    Teams interested in Kirilloff will be buying the bat. While there is a little length to his swing, he's shown the ability to barrel the ball consistently and has considerable raw power, which he put to use while winning the Perfect Game All-American Classic home run derby over the summer. He's more athletic than one would think given his size and plays center field for his high school team. He'll have to move to a corner spot at the next level, but moves more than well enough to stay there. He has a strong arm, one that fires 87-90 mph fastballs from the mound.For him be an everyday corner outfielder, Kirilloff will have to fit the offensive profile. The team that takes him, perhaps as early as the middle of the first round, believes the Liberty University commit will do just that.


    Alex Kirilloff was kind enough to share with us (via twitter) his response to getting drafted.

    • Jun 09 2016 09:54 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  4. Twins Select Matt Canterino with 54th Overall Pick

    The Twins had three picks on the opening day of the MLB Draft. With their first-round pick, the Twins selected SS/3B Keoni Cavaco. During the competitive balance round, the club took Minnesota native Matt Walner, a college outfielder. With the 54th overall pick in the MLB Draft, Minnesota selected RHP Matt Canterino.

    ***Listen to Across the Meadow's breakdown of the Canterino pick.***

    Canterino is a right-handed pitcher out of the Rice University. As a freshman, he led Conference USA with 111 strikeouts in 96 innings. Only two college pitchers have struck out over 100 batters over the last three seasons and he is one of them. He’s been making the rounds as he pitched for the US collegiate national team and he pitched in last year’s Cap Cod League. He even won that league’s All-Star Game.


    His fastball can reach into the upper-90’s but it typically sits in the low 90s. His slider might be his best pitch as it can reach the mid-80s. He also has a spike curveball with a lot of action. His high strikeout totals show that he can get both righties and lefties out on a consistent basis. The Twins hope he can remain a starter as he transitions to his professional career.

    Some scouts have been critical of his delivery during his collegiate career. He uses a lot of effort during his delivery and this makes it tough to stick as a starting pitcher. Because of the effectiveness of his other breaking pitches, he hasn’t had to rely on his change-up as much. This could be another thing for him to work on as he moves through the Twins system.

    Feel free to discuss and check back for more information.

    • Jun 04 2019 10:03 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  5. Twins Select Keoni Cavaco with 13th Overall Pick

    Minnesota was picking near the middle of the first round so there were plenty of options available. Cavaco turned 18 on Sunday and comes in at 6-feet-0 and 185 pounds. He bats and throws right-handed. He comes from East Lake High School in Chula Vista, California. It's the same high school as former number one overall pick Adrian Gonzalez. He is currently committed to San Diego State but the 13th pick is slotted to receive a $4.2 million bonus.



    Cavaco wasn’t well known entering this past spring season. He wasn’t invited to many of the summer showcase events. These events allow scouting departments and front office personnel to see top-tier players face some of the best young pitchers. MLB.com ranked him as the 28th best prospect in the draft.

    In the fall, he was invited to a showcase. At the Angel Elite showcase, he was able to really exhibit some of his power potential. He has the potential to be a five-tool player as he has a very strong arm so this should help him to stick at third or short. He’s athletic, has great hands with a good set-up at the plate. Also, he has shown some speed as he can get home to first out of the box in less than four seconds.

    Being the 2019 draft season’s biggest riser, means there are some things still to work on. There are some questions surrounding his hit tool, especially since he wasn’t part of the summer showcases. It’s tough to know what he would do against that level of talent, but the Twins believe his power tool will continue to grow. Minnesota drafted him as a shortstop, but many think he might have to end up back at third base.

    Minnesota could save money on signing Cavaco because of where he was projected to be drafted. This could be used to offer over-slot deals to other picks. Besides the 13th pick, the Twins have a pick in the competitive balance round (39th overall), which is sandwiched between the first and second round. The club’s second round pick is 54th overall.

    Feel free to discuss and check back as there is more to come…

    • Jun 04 2019 07:07 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  6. Twins Select C Ben Rortvedt with 56th Overall Pick

    What you need to know about Ben Rortvedt:

    Rortvedt, a left-handed hitting catcher from Verona Area High School in Wisconsin, is 5-10, 190 lbs. Rortvedt is more advanced with his bat than he is with his glove currently, offering gap power presently, but should develop into someone that can hit a couple dozen home runs in a season. Perfect Game called him the most "well-rounded" catcher in the draft, citing his arm strength and athleticism.

    Rortvedt is committed to Arkansas, but is fully expected to sign. He will start his career in the Gulf Coast League.

    MLB.com lists Rortvedt as the 51st best prospect.

    Only six Wisconsin high schoolers were selected in the top two rounds of the first 51 Drafts, but the Badger State may have two this year in shortstop Gavin Lux and Rortvedt. The latter is the best offensive catcher in the 2016 prep ranks and could be the first high school backstop picked in June. Rortvedt has a smooth left-handed swing that generates a lot of bat speed. He's strong and barrels a lot of balls, producing power without swinging for the fences. He has the upside of a .270 hitter with 20 homers per season, though the demands of catching may knock those numbers down. Rortvedt has work to do behind the plate, though he has the tools to make it at catcher and scouts believe he'll figure it out. The Arkansas recruit has solid arm strength and makes accurate throws. He sets a good target and moves well behind the plate, though his receiving and blocking skills will have to improve.


    Baseball America ranks Rortvedt 82nd.

    High school players are rarely drafted and sign out of Wisconsin high schools, but the track record for those who do is a frightening one. In the history of the draft there have been 26 Wisconsin high school players who were drafted and signed in the top 10 rounds. Four of them have made the majors, only one (Erik Cordier) of whom was drafted in the past 45 years. Six of the seven picked in the past 30 years have failed to make it out of Class A. Rortvedt, like Gavin Lux, has the tools to escape those odds--he has above-average power potential from the left side with a swing that has leverage. He can get caught on his front foot too often and struggle with contact at times. Rortvedt produces average to a tick above-average pop times behind the plate, but his receiving needs some polish. The Arkansas signee is old for the draft class (he'll turn 19 shortly after the season ends) but he should be picked in the top three-to-four rounds.

    • Jun 09 2016 09:26 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  7. Twins MLB Draft Preview: Kyle Wright, SP

    Who Is He?

    Kyle Wright is “best player in the the draft by far” a Twins scout told me about a month ago.

    It just so happened to be an echo of what the same scout told me late last summer, around the time the Hunter Greene hype-train started barreling down the tracks. Wright had just completed his time pitching for the Collegiate National team, with his last outing coming in relief, but pitching five one-hit innings and striking out five Cubans. That was the exclamation point to a very strong summer showing: 16 2/3 innings, 16 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.20.

    Kyle Wright had officially arrived. Armed with a low-to-mid-90s two-seamer, a four-seamer that touches 97, two breaking balls - a curveball and slider that both sit around 80 mph and a changeup that has slowly been getting better and better. Four usable pitches when he’s at his best, Kyle Wright has the makings of a top draft prospect.

    You can read an interview with Kyle Wright done by the boy wonder Chris Cotillo.

    Why the Twins Will Pick Him

    When you’re picking first, you take the best player in the draft, right? Well, that’s arguably one feather that Wright has in his hat. But that’s all relative. If you want ceiling, there are higher ceilings than Wright's. If you want a higher floor, Wright’s got a lower floor than some others. What Wright has, in many people’s opinion, is the perfect combination of potential and floor.

    He’s developed admirably since arriving at Vanderbilt. As a high school senior, he was 6’ 3”, 175 lbs with a fastball that touched 90 if the wind was blowing right. Three years later, he’s 6’ 4”, 220 and can touch 97 and could still have more developing to do.

    After being a stud in the bullpen as a freshman, Wright moved into the rotation and was Vandy’s Friday night starter as a junior. The stars were aligned… and then he struggled. The velo was there. The consistency wasn’t.

    But after not putting up great numbers, he’s Wrighted the ship. The 5-5 record might not be as pretty as last year’s 8-4 or the 6-1 as a freshman, but the peripherals are all better. His K/9 is up to 10.5 from 10.3. His WHIP went down to 1.06 from1.22. His walks are down. His home runs are down. He’s just better.

    His performance last Saturday, with many Twins scouts in attendance, was the stuff worthy of being the first overall pick. You can read all about it here.

    Why the Twins Will Not Pick Him

    When you think of first overall picks, the names Stephen Strasburg and David Price pop into your heads. Wright isn’t those guys. There isn’t a “generational” college prospect. Ideally, when you’re drafting first, there’s the can’t-miss guy that’s going to breaking into the major leagues within a year of signing. This isn’t one of those drafts.

    You may make a comparison between Wright and Strasburg though. Only it revolves around their deliveries. I went into more depth a few weeks ago in a separate piece for Twins Daily. While Kyle Wright has a clean bill of health, Strasburg hasn’t as he’s had multiple arm injuries. Is it enough to make the Twins look another direction? That remains to be seen.

    Then there are the inconsistencies that Wright has shown over not only the last few months, but the last few seasons. As with anyone with a developing body and skills would, that shouldn’t be too alarming. But when mixed with the other things, how does it stack up against other prospects?

    Nick Nelson wrote about the Vandy product being the Wright fit recently. I’d say he is. I would guess that somewhere in the upper parts of Target Field the team has made a call to Wright’s representatives, CAA, and have begun negotiating what it’s going to take to get that name on the dotted line. (Editor's note: they haven't... yet.)

    In my estimation, that conversation - if the sides aren’t close - is the biggest factor as to whether the Twins pick him or not. And I’m guessing they won’t be too far apart… at least not by the end of the weekend.

    Follow Kyle on Twitter too.

    Previous Draft Profiles:

    Hunter Greene, SP/SS by Nick Nelson
    Brendan McKay, SP/1B by Cody Christie
    Royce Lewis, SS/OF by Nick Nelson
    Pavin Smith, 1B by Tom Froemming

    My 10-round Mock Draft

    • Jun 08 2017 07:21 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  8. Twins Draft Preview: 10-round Twins Mock

    To try to give this an as “realistic” feel as possible, I found every player’s composite ranking (the average of Perfect Game, Baseball America and MLB) and couldn’t take them unless they fell after or within 10% of the pick (with the exception of the first pick). For example, to be “eligible” for me to pick at 73, the composite ranking had to be lower than 65.7. To be drafted at 80, he had to be ranked 72 or lower. For the last three picks, I couldn’t choose a player who was ranked in the Top 200 on each of the three lists.

    Round 1 (Pick 6 - $3,889,500): RHP Dillon Tate, UC Santa Barbara. Consider it wishful thinking. As much I like Alex Bregman (a ton), my hope is that Tate is available at six and that’s the route the Twins go. Should he not be available, Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Kolby Allard are other names that are under consideration.

    Comp Round B (Pick 73 - $839,800): RHP Kyle Cody, Kentucky. At the beginning of the season, Cody looked like a first-rounder. Armed with a big body (6-7, 245) and a bigger fastball (high-90s), Cody has been very inconsistent and has regressed to the point that Kentucky was using him as a mid-week reliever. Cody had success in the Cape Cod League last summer and could continue to the Kentucky-to-Minnesota pipeline. Oh, and Cody also grew up exactly 100 miles to the east of Target Field in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. If a prep like RHP Dakota Chalmers falls to this point, he could be another guy the Twins zero in on. (Composite average: 69)

    Round 3 (Pick 80 - $754,000): 3B Trey Cabbage, Tennessee prep. Cabbage was mentioned by Darren Wolfson a couple weeks ago as someone the Twins could target with their second pick. He’ll come off the board here with their third pick. Cabbage is a Top 100 draft prospect with a pretty left-handed swing, projectable power and the potential to play third base. (Composite average: 93)

    Round 4 (Pick 110 - $517,800): LHP Jeff Degano, Indiana State. The Canadian-born Degano missed nearly two seasons with Tommy John surgery before becoming a dominant pitcher for the Sycamores. Degano throws a mid-90s fastball and backs it up with a high-70s slurve. If he can improve on a changeup - and with Neil Allen, I’d believe everyone can - the 6’4" southpaw has the stuff to be a professional starter. (Composite average: 105)

    Round 5 (Pick 140 - $387,600): LHP Logan Allen, IMG Academy. IMG Academy has much more well-known names on the current roster, but Allen is no slouch. A South Carolina commit, Allen transferred to IMG Academy after two years of high school and is a pretty advanced 18-year-old. If Allard is the Twins pick in the first round, don’t expect them to pop a second prep lefty so quickly. Mac Marshall could be another prep lefty on the team’s radar. (Composite average: 148)

    Round 6 (Pick 170 - $290,300): C Joey Bart, Georgia prep. The Twins usually draft at least one catcher in the Top 10 rounds. Bart is known more for his bat and could eventually move out from behind the plate. A more likely catcher selection may be Washington’s Austin Rei, who was drafted, but unsigned, by the Twins out of high school in the 37th round of the 2012 draft. Rei figures to go off the board much earlier. (Composite average: 172)

    Round 7 (Pick 200 - $217,500): RHP Jacob Cronenworth, Michigan. Cronenworth is playing wherever Michigan needs him. He’s been a starter, a closer and played around the infield. He’s never solely focused on being a pitcher, and could make huge improvements with that focus. Cronenworth has a background in hockey, so he’d fit right in. (Composite average: 186)

    Round 8 (Pick 230 - $175,400): RHP Josh Graham, Oregon. Graham doesn’t show up in any Top 200s (yet). He’s a converted catcher who throws gas. He’s from Oregon. The Twins had success with Jake Reed from Oregon. His last name is Graham. The Twins had success with J.R. And for icing of the cake: The Twins drafted Graham out of high school in 2012. He still considers himself a catcher, however. He even removed his cap while fielding a pop up earlier this season. He was pitching. Graham could certainly go higher and is the one on this list I’d peg the Twins most likely to take.

    Round 9 (Pick 260 -$163,800): RHP Kyle Davis, USC. Davis profiles best as a reliever, but has the pitches to give starting a chance. He pitched in both roles as a Trojan.

    Round 10 (Pick 290 - $153,100): OF Anderson Miller, Western Kentucky. Miller is an athletic player who has shown some pop (14 homers) in his bat. The makeup is good as well.

    So there you have it: a projection of what the Twins could do with their top 10 picks. How would you feel if it played out like this? Would you prefer seven college relievers instead?

    • Jun 01 2015 05:40 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  9. Twins Daily Draft Preview: Zack Collins

    WHO IS HE?

    Zack Collins is an offensive-minded catcher.

    So far in 2016, Collins has hit .364/.540/.630 (1.170). He and the rest of the Hurricanes will begin their postseason hosting on Friday evening in the Coral Gables Region.

    It’s not a one-year thing either. Collins has hit double-digit home runs in each of his three seasons. He’s increased his batting average, on-base percentage and slugging in each season, though his lowest OPS (as a freshman) was still a robust .983.

    Impressively, Collins has walked more times (165) than he’s struck out (155) as a collegiate.

    One mark against Collins - and it’s a tiny one - is that in his limited exposure to wood-bat leagues - the Cape Cod League in 2015 - he struggled in 13 at-bats. It’s a tiny sample, but the Twins have always kept a close eye on how players perform in that league.

    WHY THE TWINS WILL DRAFT HIM

    The bat is powerful and elite. Collins has the 39th-highest slugging percentage in the nation. Not many of the 38 above him are from power conferences. Not many above him put the catching gear on.

    We’ve seen teams - such as the Cubs - take impactful bats in the draft recently even though those bats came with defensive question marks. Kyle Schwarber, a “catcher” in college, played less than 150 minor league games before getting the call to the Bigs. Why did he get that call? Because he had posted an OPS over 1.000 in four of the five levels he made stops at.

    Who does Collins get compared to the most? Schwarber, of course. Defensive questions or not, Schwarber posted a 1.2 WAR in less than 70 games in 2015.

    Any lineup could use a bat like Collins. A catcher who could add that much offensive potential to a lineup would be fantastic...

    WHY THE TWINS WON'T DRAFT HIM

    ...but he’s not likely to stick at catcher.

    Collins has shown a significant amount of improvement behind the plate. But most scouts don’t think he’ll ever be more than an average defender, if he’s even that good. One suggested that he could maybe be a “(Steven) Vogt-type if he hits enough.”

    Athletically, Collins is average at best. Though he has plenty of arm strength, his receiving needs a lot of work.

    For an organization that doesn’t have a clear long-term answer behind the plate, it would be difficult to make a $2.8m bet that he’ll stick and provide the team with a solution for the future. If you miss, you’re stuck with a(nother) first baseman.

    [attachment=9103:Collins_RL24312.jpg]
    Image courtesy of Richard Lewis / Miami Athletics

    Collins has been all over in recent mock drafts, going as high as #10 overall in Baseball America’s most recent mock and as low as #19 in Keith Law’s last projection. I had him going to the Mariners at #11 in my second mock draft.

    The last communication I got about Collins was that he was an “offensive force” but the Twins appeared to be “targeting a different batch of players.”

    But if that “batch” prices themselves out of the Twins range and Collins is still available, who knows...?

    Other draft-related articles:
    Local Profiles
    Zack Burdi

    • Jun 01 2016 04:22 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  10. Twins Daily Draft Preview: The Board

    This year is different. Obviously, when the Twins are picking fourth, fifth or sixth, there are only so many players and combinations of them that can go before the Twins were picking. Drafting at 15 makes things more difficult. Having a handful of players whose signability is being questioned makes it infinitely more difficult.

    Even as the draft approaches - it’s only three days away! - it’s being described as being a “long ways away.” Seems ridiculous, right? Not really. There are still a number of high school pitchers who have unknown price tags. We heard last week that the Twins weren’t going to be able to get Manning done with their draft slot at 15. It’s entirely possible that we could be adding more prep pitchers into that category as the week progresses. Why is that happening? Because the teams at the top of the draft - the Phillies, Braves and Reds - have so much money that they can spread it out among their first few picks, essentially taking players off the board before they’re selected.

    So even if the Twins have settled on their Top 15, there’s a strong chance that none of those players are actually “available” when the Twins come to the podium. Make sense?

    What you’re going to see below is not a guess at how the Twins have their board stacked, but instead how I would stack my own board… with the caveat that whichever player is drafted will sign for slot at pick 15. I know that’s an impossibility, but without knowing every player that has a high price tag, this is the best way to fairly assess the talent.

    1) A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida. I’m not totally sold on Puk - especially after his last start - but you could do worse than taking a left-handed pitcher who throws mid-90s. The combination of ceiling and floor makes Puk the relatively easy choice to take first overall.

    2) Jason Groome, LHP, New Jersey HS. I debated Groome vs Pint as top prep pitcher, but Groome’s curveball and the fact he’s young for his class gives him a ceiling of an ace-starter and there are never enough of them.

    3) Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer. Sure, he hasn’t played against the best competition and that magnifies some of the questions about his bat, but his no one can match his ceiling as a hitter and he appears athletic enough to stay in center field.

    4) Riley Pint, RHP, Kansas HS. It’s hard to look at a prep pitcher who throws 100+ and not assume he’s going to need Tommy John surgery sometime soon. For me, it’s hard to look at Pint and not think he’s going to be Max Scherzer in a handful of years. If Pint was a little more consistent with his breaking stuff, I’d rank him above Groome.

    5) Corey Ray, OF, Louisville. Ray doesn’t have Lewis’s loud power tool. In fact, he lacks any significant carrying tool (unless you want to count his speed). What Ray offers, though, is enough with the bat and glove to project him with an MLB floor, which isn’t easy to do.

    6) Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee. Senzel’s calling card is his hit tool and there is a lack of that quality in this draft. Good enough to stick on the left side of the infield, Senzel is another high-floor, top-10 pick.

    7) Mickey Moniak, OF, California HS. Moniak has the chops to stay in center field and has the hit tool to project as an everyday player, though he’ll probably not add much power as he develops.

    8) Braxton Garrett, LHP, Alabama HS. Garrett is the safest of all the prep arms, equipped with a MLB-ready curveball already. The Twins would love him at 15, if he’s available.

    9) Delvin Perez, SS, Puerto Rico HS. Young but unfairly compared to Carlos Correa, Perez may have the highest ceiling in the whole class. Will he hit though?

    10) Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College. People are going to do the “another reliever” thing with Dunn if the Twins pick him, but his electric arm is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. For being a relatively fresh arm (that can run it up to 99 mph), he offers a high floor to go with an extremely high ceiling.

    11) Ian Anderson, RHP, New York HS. I tried not to dock Anderson for his signability questions and when lined up with Dunn, I have them ranked very closely. Dunn, though smaller, gave me less durability concerns than Anderson, which is why I rank Anderson one spot lower.

    12) Alex Kirilloff, OF, Pennsylvania HS. Kirilloff projects to be a good hitter with potential plus power and a good enough arm to play right field. Though I’d always err on the side of pitching, Kirilloff is one hitter who may be on the board at 15 that I’m sold on.

    13) Dakota Hudson, P, Mississippi State. I had come around on Hudson before he struggled in his last start. He battles with command, but I’ve been told he may have the best “stuff” in the draft. My concern is the Twins would try to clean up the delivery in hopes that it will improve command, but instead it will cause his “stuff” to play down.

    14) Blake Rutherford, OF, California HS. Rutherford is a year older than most other prep players and appears to be physically mature, so there isn’t as much upside as you’d typically get with a high schooler. There’s still a lot of things to like in his bat - I’m just not as sold as some others.

    15) Matt Manning, RHP, California HS. I always feel like there’s more to unlock in multi-sport starts and Manning, who is committed to play both baseball and hoops at Loyola Marymount, has plenty of raw ability already, hitting 98 mph with his fastball. I believe Manning has a deal with the Padres.

    16) Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford. Quantrill missed the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but was a legitimate Top 5 candidate before the injury. He has the upside on a #1 starter and likely won’t make his professional debut until Spring Training 2017, nearly 23 months following his procedure.

    17) Zack Collins, C, Miami. Collins has the bat to profile as a big-leaguer, but there are questions about his defensive home. He’ll need time to develop behind the plate, but teams might want to push his bat through their system quicker, shifting him to a corner, likely first base.

    18) Zack Burdi, RHP, Louisville. Guys who can throw triple-digits and profile with a clean enough delivery have to be considered first-round picks. While Burdi’s ultimate home is probably in the bullpen, he’s an intriguing option for teams in the middle of the first round.

    19) Joey Wentz, LHP, Kansas HS. It’s hard not to factor signability into ranking Wentz, who is committed to Virginia. He’s backed off the mid-90s that he was throwing early in his season, but still offers the upside of a front-end starter.

    20) Forrest Whitley, RHP, Texas HS. The big-bodied Texan beat out a number of college pitchers for the last spot on this list. There are conditioning questions, but he’s got present ability that projects to play up as he continues to work his body into shape.

    Just missed: Cody Sedlock, RHP, Illinois and T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh

    Other draft-related articles:
    Local Profiles
    Zack Burdi
    Zack Collins
    Prep Arms
    10-round mock

    What does your board look like?

    • Jun 06 2016 11:25 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  11. Twins Daily Draft Preview: Mock Draft v. 3.0

    The last one.

    1. Phillies - Kyle Lewis, OF Mercer. The latest buzz has the Phillies taking prep CF Mickey Moniak. But in my original mock, I said I had a gut-feeling that Lewis was going to be the guy. I’m going to go with my gut on this one. (Previous: A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida)

    2. Reds - Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee. The lack of college bats coming off quickly could be a trend… or the Reds just like Senzel this much. (Previous: Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer)

    3. Braves - Corey Ray, OF, Louisville. Like the teams above them, the Braves have dollar flexibility too. The Braves have a few more picks (#40, #44, #76) on the first day too that they can get creative with. (No change)

    4. Rockies - Mickey Moniak, OF, California prep. I still don’t think it’s wise for the Rockies to pass on top-end pitching, but if Moniak doesn’t go first. This is his landing spot. (Previous: Jason Groome, LHP, New Jersey prep where I said this, “I’ve been told Groome is the wild card of this draft and to not be surprised if he takes an Appel-like tumble”)

    5. Brewers - Zack Collins, C, Miami. I felt good about the Perez pick until the recent PED reports. The Braun stuff is too recent to go back to that well. I don’t feel great about Collins, but that’s the choice. (Previous: Delvin Perez, SS, Puerto Rico prep)

    6. A’s - A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida. This would work out well for Billy Beane. I had Puk rated #1 on my board. (Previous:Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee)

    7. Marlins - Braxton Garrett, LHP, Alabama prep. I won’t be shocked if Garrett is the first prep pitcher off the board based on all the good things I heard about him all spring. (Previous: Mickey Moniak, OF, California prep)

    8. Padres - Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford. Exactly as I said before: Lots of talk that Quantrill has a deal with Padres at #24. That doesn’t make sense to me. Draft Quantrill at #8 and take one of the high price tag guys at #24. Regardless, Padres are going to leave the draft with two or three top talents. (No change)

    9. Tigers - Riley Pint, RHP, Kansas prep. I really like Pint and if he falls into the Tigers lap… good for them. (No change)

    10. White Sox - Blake Rutherford, OF, California prep. I’m going to stick with Rutherford here. I considered a tumble to the Mets more than getting popped early by the Brewers. Interesting talk that his inflated asking price might be due to the Phillies trying to push him down. (No change)

    11. Mariners - Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College. I continue to mock Dunn going before the Twins because I really hope he falls. (Previous: Zack Collins, C, Miami)

    12. Red Sox - Zack Burdi, RHP, Louisville. I don’t like this pick here, but when something makes a ton of sense and nothing has changed two weeks later, why change it? (No change)

    13. Rays - Gavin Lux, SS, Wisconsin prep. Lux is the top shortstop now that Perez has a red flag. (Previous: Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State)

    14. Indians - Alex Kirilloff, OF, Pennsylvania prep. I’m going to leave this here, even though I wouldn’t mind him dropping one more pick. (No change)

    15. Twins - Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State. I think Dunn, Quantrill and Kirilloff all would be in play if available. The price tags on the prep arms have become too inflated to feel great about getting them done. (Previous: Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College)

    16. Angels - Taylor Trammell, OF, Georgia prep. (No change)

    17. Astros - Cody Sedlock, RHP, Illinois. (No change)

    18. Yankees - Will Craig, 3B, Wake Forest. (No change)

    19. Mets - Matt Thaiss, C, Virginia. (No change)

    20. Dodgers - Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt. (No change)

    21. Blue Jays - Garrett Whitley, RHP, Texas prep. (Previous: Kevin Gowdy, RHP, California prep)

    22. Pirates - Nolan Jones, SS, Pennsylvania prep. (No change)

    23. Cardinals - Delvin Perez, SS, Puerto Rico prep. There’s not a better potential landing spot for Perez. (Previous: Kyle Muller, LHP, Texas prep)

    24. Padres - Matt Manning, RHP, California prep. Manning will fall due to money demands. Quantrill won’t. So while Manning gets the bigger bonus, he won’t go before Quantrill. (No change)

    25. Padres - Will Smith, C, Louisville. Nobody has the helium of Smith right now. (Previous: Chris Okey, C, Clemson)

    26. White Sox - Eric Lauer, LHP, Kansas State. (Previous: Gavin Lux, SS, Wisconsin prep)

    27. Orioles - Kyle Muller, LHP, Texas prep (Previous: Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State)

    28. Nationals - Jason Groome, LHP, New Jersey prep. The Nationals always seem to both a) not get scared away and :cool: get their way. (Previous: Alec Hansen, RHP, Oklahoma)

    29. Nationals - Robert Tyler, RHP, Georgia. (No change except I had him 28 previously)

    30. Rangers - Josh Lowe, 3B, Georgia prep. (No change)

    31. Mets - Bryan Reynolds, OF, Vanderbilt. (Previous: T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh)

    32. Dodgers - C.J. Chatham, SS, Florida Atlantic. (Previous: Joey Wentz, LHP, Kansas HS)

    33. Cardinals - Buddy Reed, OF, Florida. (No change)

    34. Cardinals - Logan Shore, RHP, Florida. (No change.)

    ---
    Bonus picks

    35. Reds - Kevin Gowdy, RHP, California prep. (Previous: Forrest Whitley, RHP, Texas prep)

    40. Braves - Ian Anderson, RHP, New York prep. Braves have been rumored to be working on a “package” deal: bat at #3 and arm here. (No change)

    42. Phillies - Joey Wentz, LHP, Kansas prep. The Phillies are going to get to someone, though no idea who that is. (Previous: Braxton Garrett, LHP, Alabama prep)

    What do you think?

    • Jun 09 2016 08:12 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  12. Twins Daily Draft Preview: Alex Kirilloff

    WHO IS HE?

    Alex Kirilloff is a prep hitter from Plum High School in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Kirilloff, who turned 18 in November, is a left-handed hitter and thrower who projects as a right-fielder, though through high school he’s primarily pitched and played first base. A 4.0 student, Kirilloff is 6-2, 195 and committed to Liberty.

    WHY THE TWINS WILL DRAFT HIM

    As mentioned earlier, the Twins have always been enamored by toolsy prep players and Kirilloff has the tools. Perfect Game ranks both Kirilloff’s hit tool and power tool as the third best in the entire prep class. He has a powerful arm that would fit in right field. Kirilloff has the athleticism and speed (6.6 in the 60) that suggests he could even be an average defender in centerfield. He’s still relatively new to the outfield, so he’ll need plenty of reps to properly gauge his defensive ability.

    The greatest value that Kirilloff offers is in his bat. He won the Home Run Derby at the Perfect Game All-American Game last summer and hasn’t seemed to tap into all of his raw power potential yet. He’s starting to show he’s able to generate power to all fields.

    WHY THE TWINS WON'T DRAFT HIM

    His father is a hitting coach that has helped the younger Kirilloff refine his swing, though there has been mention about his lack of hand speed. His ZEPP Hitting Metric hand speed score was only 28 mph, according to Perfect Game, which is 2.5 mph slower than average and put him in the 28th percentile. A consequence of this is an inability to catch up to professional fastballs. There seems to be a split in the industry as to whether he has enough natural ability to overcome this deficiency.

    Player-wise, though, teams will almost always be able to find warts on preps. And Kirilloff is no different. If there weren’t questions, he’d be in consideration for a Top 5 pick. What might cause the Twins to look elsewhere is if the deep pool of pitchers spreads out and they have an opportunity to land one.

    Kirilloff is going to be high on the Twins board, there’s no doubt about that, and he’s signable, but will he be the best player available at 15?



    Other draft-related articles:
    Local Profiles
    Zack Burdi
    Zack Collins
    Prep Arms
    10-round mock
    Draft Board

    • Jun 07 2016 08:13 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  13. Twins Daily Draft Preview: 10-round Mock

    In 2014, I hit on Nick Gordon in the first round (most would have) and landed 9th-round pick Max Murphy in the exact spot he was drafted. Because of that, I will overvalue/overrate Murphy for the rest of his career. Hitting on two of the ten picks was exactly two more correct than I expected to hit on, and I expected some regression the following year.

    Projecting Dillon Tate first in 2015 was incorrect. And I thought my chances of hitting on anyone was rapidly approaching 0%. But my next two projected picks - Kyle Cody and Trey Cabbage - both heard their names called by the Twins and I had my two picks correct for the second straight year.

    This year, with two comp picks and no forfeited picks, I have 12 picks to try to extend my streak.

    To give this as “realistic” feel as possible, I found every player’s composite ranking (the average of Perfect Game, Baseball America and MLB) and couldn’t take them unless they fell after or within 10% of the pick (with the exception of the first pick). For example, to be “eligible” for me to pick at 74, the composite ranking had to be lower than 66.6. To be drafted at 93, he had to be ranked 83.7 or lower. For the last four picks, I couldn’t choose a player who was ranked in the Top 200 on each of the three lists.

    Round 1 (Pick 15 - $2,817,100): OF Alex Kirilloff, Pennsylvania HS. The talk all along has been on the team’s focus on “power arms”. But I don’t think there is going to be a great option available at #15. Kirilloff is one of the few bats that really seems to intrigue the Twins in the first round and though he’s been linked to many of the teams around the Twins, has a decent chance to be available.

    Round 2 (Pick 55 - $1,141,600): RHP Daulton Jefferies, Cal. The undersized righty missed a significant amount of time this season with a shoulder injury that was originally reported as a calf strain. He’s returned recently to the mound and pitched well. Jefferies has a three-pitch mix currently: a low-to-mid-90s fastball, an above-average changeup and a slider that’s developing. Had Jefferies been healthy, he would have gone much sooner. (Composite average: 50.7)

    Comp Round B (Pick 73 - $878,500): C Will Smith, Louisville. After a late-season surge, there’s a chance that this all-around catcher isn’t available in the 70s. The helium that Smith has is impressive, considering he missed Perfect Game’s Top 500, checks in at 219 for Baseball America and tops out at 110 for MLB Pipeline. Smith is a name to remember and is almost a certainty to come off the board on Day One. (Composite average: N/A)

    Comp Round B (Pick 74 - $865,200): SS Luis Curbelo, Florida HS. A Miami commit, Curbel, who worked out for the Twins a few weeks ago, will start his professional career at shortstop, but projects long-term as a third baseman with power and the ability to be an above-average defender. (Composite average: 93.6)

    Round 3 (Pick 93 - $645,600): SS Stephen Alemais, Tulane. Alemais was one of my personal favorites coming out of high school three years ago. He went undrafted and has played really well at Tulane. He has the defensive chops to stick at shortstop, though there are concerns about his bat. Alemais was the subject of an ESPN article about the Twins scouting, which probably makes the likelihood of Alemais getting drafted by the Twins pretty slim. (Composite average: 105)

    Round 4 (Pick 123 - $477,900): LHP Keegan Akin, Western Michigan. Akin had success in the Cape Cod League and has a three-pitch mix: a mid-90s fastball and an average slider and changeup. Akin has been moving up boards, so it wouldn’t be entirely shocking to see him go off the board earlier than the fourth round. (Composite average: 114)

    Round 5 (Pick 153 - $357,800): 3B/C Ulysses Cantu, Texas HS. Cantu has dabbled with catching, but has played more third base. His calling card, however, is a pure hitting ability, something the organization always seems to be lacking. (Composite average: 149)

    Round 6 (Pick 183 - $267,800): RHP Stephen Nogosek, Oregon. The Twins have had some recent success with both Oregon closers and converting relievers to starters. Nogosek checks both of those boxes. Armed with a fastball in the mid-90s, a “frisbee” slider and a changeup that will probably be scrapped if he stays in the bullpen, Nogosek would be an intriguing addition to the organization. (Composite average: 169.3)

    Round 7 (Pick 213 - $200,900): OF Dom Thompson-Williams, South Carolina. Recently on the Talking Twins Podcast, I suggested that the Twins don’t have a positional need as much as they have a need for pure athletes. Thompson-Williams is a great athlete, though he still needs to refine his baseball skills. (PG: 169; BA: 237; MLB: NR)

    Round 8 (Pick 243 - $178,200): RHP A.J. Bogucki, North Carolina. Bogucki was drafted by the Twins in the 31st round in 2013 out of a Pennsylvania HS, but decided to pitch collegiately and has been a dependable bullpen arm for the Tar Heels. Bogucki’s low-to-mid-90s fastball and curveball/slider combination profile best in the bullpen, but you never know. (PG: 217; BA: 262; MLB: NR)

    Round 9 (Pick 273 -$166,300): LHP Scott Moss, Florida. Moss underwent Tommy John surgery after redshirting his freshman year, so he hasn’t had many opportunities to showcase his ability (and he has two more opportunities to go through the draft process if he chooses). But what Moss has been able to show is a three-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, changeup) and a raw ability that scouts can dream on. Moss did have success pitching in the Northwoods League, but has really battled with command. (PG: 192; BA: NR; MLB: 191)

    Round 10 (Pick 303 - $156,600): RHP Curtis Taylor, U. of British Columbia. Though it’s not necessarily going to happen in the top ten rounds (nor does it have to happen at all), the Twins now have a presence in Canada with scout Walt Burrows, who knows baseball in Canada better than anyone. Could his addition to the organization pay off with the drafting of a pitcher like Taylor, another power pitcher with a fastball/slider combo?(PG: 284; BA: 115; MLB: NR)

    There it is. The Twins first 12 picks (over 10 rounds). Six pitchers of the college variety, a couple of potential shortstops and a couple of potential catchers along with a potential corner-OF All-Star bat. What do you think?

    Other draft-related articles:
    Local Profiles
    Zack Burdi
    Zack Collins
    Prep Arms

    • Jun 03 2016 09:52 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  14. Twins Daily Draft Preview

    DRAFT SLOTS AND POOL

    Each draft pick has a specific dollar amount assigned to it, but it’s not as simple as just drafting a player in that spot and him getting all the dollars tied to the pick. The team and player can agree to any signing bonus and that money goes against the cap. As long as the entire draft class stays under the limit, there are no penalties.

    There are a few exceptions: If a player doesn’t sign, the team loses value assigned to that pick. For example, if the Twins fail to sign the first overall pick, their draft pool would be reduced to $6,386,100. Additionally, the cap for all picks for rounds 11-40 is $100,000. A team who signs a player for more than $100,000 will have the excess amount count against the cap. For example, if the Twins sign their 11th round pick for $600,000, $500,000 will count against the cap.

    1st overall (round 1): $7,770,700
    35th overall (comp round A): $1,935,300
    37th overall (round 2): $1,846,100
    76th overall (round 3): $755,500
    106th overall (round 4): $507,000
    136th overall (round 5): $378,700
    166th overall (round 6): $283,300
    196th overall (round 7): $220,700
    226th overall (round 8): $174,400
    256th overall (round 9): $148,000
    286th overall (round 10): $137,100

    UNDER CONSIDERATION

    As of today, there are a handful of names still being talked about as potential 1-1 candidates. We will go in depth on these players as the draft gets closer. But the list of names contains college arms righty Kyle Wright and lefty Brendan McKay, preps uberprospect Hunter Greene, shortstop/centerfielder Royce Lewis and pitcher Shane Baz, and college first baseman Pavin Smith.

    Handicapping the race to go first three weeks early probably has Wright in the lead as McKay fades. Greene, who hasn’t pitched in a game for over a month, and only threw 28 innings all year, remains an ultra-intriguing prospect, but is surrounded with question marks. Lewis has some questions about his bat, but is a premium athlete who oozes potential. Baz has as much helium as anyone in the draft and. Smith is a left-handed bat who plays first well defensively, but has some questions about his ability to hit left-handed pitching.

    DRAFT STRATEGIES

    Having the largest draft pool provides the Twins with some flexibility to get creative. But pump your brakes before your mind wanders too far. This isn’t going to be like the Correa/McCullers/Ruiz year or the Bregman/Tucker/Cameron year. The reason is simple: The rules changed.

    The Twins still have the pick worth the most, yes; but the value has been reduced (by almost $1.25 million) while picks 5-9 have all increased by over a million dollars. By bringing the values of these picks much closer together, it has narrowed the advantage in two ways. First, the team picking first, in this case the Twins, can’t just skim a million and a half off of their pick value and still be able to offer more than the second team could. And on the flip side of that, teams that pick after the Twins could get creative with their pools and be able to come up with more than the first pick value. That would have been very tough to do before.

    That doesn’t mean the Twins can’t still get creative. I anticipate they’ll still be able to save a considerable amount of money to turn a 6th round pick into a 2nd round value or an 11th or 12th round pick into a 5th round value (or something like that). The ability to get creative remains, but the chance to manipulate their pool into getting two Top 7 talents doesn’t.

    OTHER POTENTIAL TARGETS

    Two names that are intriguing in the 30s are Clark Schmidt, a right-handed pitcher from South Carolina who is missing the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and Seth Romero, a lefty who was kicked off the team at Houston. Both are first round talents and just might be worth the risk with that “extra” pick. The Twins drafted Tyler Benninghoff in the 11th round last year knowing that he’d need Tommy John surgery. And the Twins know Romero well, though it’s unclear whether or not he’ll make their final draft board.

    Some other names that should receive consideration: Heliot Ramos, a Puerto Rican outfielder, Jacob Heatherly, a prep lefty from Alabama, Brent Rooker, an outfielder from Mississippi State and Greg Deichmann, a third baseman from LSU. The Twins drafted both Rooker and Deichmann last summer.

    Though the draft is quickly approaching, many teams haven’t gotten a great read on contract demands yet and that doesn’t happen for many players until the final days before the draft. But the Twins have always been one of the best teams in the league at being able to gauge a player’s signability. Both Stephen Gonsalves and Kolton Kendrick are recent players to have dropped, and while many teams passed because of signability issues, the Twins were able to draft confidently because their area scouts did the work and knew the players would sign. Though their professional careers haven’t taken the same paths, the organization impressed many others with the homework they had done.

    And you better believe the Sean Johnson-lead scouting department will have all their homework done this year too.

    • May 24 2017 09:49 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  15. Twins Add Two More on Thursday Night

    Jose Miranda is a taller, bigger bodied shortstop that may eventually have to move. He's considered to have a good bat, though there's some mystery surrounding Miranda because he didn't travel off of the island as much as other Puerto Ricans. Miranda will start at shortstop in the Gulf Coast League.

    Akil Baddoo is listed at 6-0, 195; he's not that big. Don't let the size fool you though. The 20/20 talk is probably his ceiling, but he gets compared to players like Carl Crawford, Ray Langford and Denard Span. Baddoo is going to be a fan favorite as a player that just seems to have fun playing the game. He'll get plenty of reps in centerfield to start his career, but may profile long-term as a left-fielder. One scout called him the "best pure hitter in Georgia."


    Baseball America ranks Miranda #113, but MLB.com did not have him ranked.

    "The strength of the Puerto Rican draft class this year is its infielders, and Miranda has emerged as one of the best following Delvin Perez. Miranda has a good approach at the plate and has an advanced feel for hitting, enabling him to make a lot of contact. He also shows some pop and projects to hit for average power as he physically matures. While Miranda plays shortstop now, his footwork and lower half will lead him to move off the position as a professional. He has an average arm and a good enough glove to stay in the infield, either at second or third base. There is still some rawness to the 17-year-old's game, but Miranda provides significant upside thanks to his offensive profile."

    Baseball America had Baddoo ranked as their 54th best prospect.

    "Baddoo combines plus speed with an intriguing feel for the barrel. He endeared himself to scouts on the national scene with a strong showing at the 2015 East Coast Pro event, where he showed off his quick hands and even quicker feet. This spring, while his team went just 9-16, Baddoo showed scouts strong bat-to-ball skills, leading some evaluators to believe he could develop a plus hit tool and hit at the top of the lineup. He's a lefthanded hitter (and thrower) with above-average bat speed and a short stroke, but he was pull-happy against quality pitching at East Coast Pro and at the WWBA Championships in the fall and will have to continue to prove himself against quality pitching. Baddoo's arm strength is below-average and his reads and routes lack polish, leading some to envision him as a left fielder long term, though scouts expect him to play center field to start his career. He is committed to Kentucky."

    MLB.com ranks Baddoo #72.

    "The Georgia high school ranks have produced 13 outfielders selected in the first two rounds in the six previous Drafts this decade, and Baddoo could add to that number in 2016. The Kentucky recruit has an intriguing power/speed combination and has improved in both departments over the last year.
    Baddoo has made strides with his bat as well and has the potential to hit for both power and average. He has a loose, whippy left-handed swing with plenty of bat speed. Add in his plus speed, and he has the upside of a 20-20 player if everything comes together.Baddoo's quickness stands out more than his instincts in center field, so he could wind up on an outfield corner. With his below-average arm, that would mean shifting to left field, though scouts who like him think he'd still provide enough offense to profile there."

    • Jun 09 2016 10:30 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  16. Official Twins Daily Draft Day Thread & Cheat Sheet

    10:08pm: Keegan Akin, my 4th round pick, just went to the Orioles in the second round.

    10:03pm: Ryan Boldt just drafted by the Rays. Good for Boldt!

    9:58pm: Erceg and Shore both off the board. Lots of catchers available still...

    9:42pm: Interesting to see which teams - the expected ones - taking the high price tag guys now as the draft continues. Braves getting Anderson/Wentz/Muller and the Phillies getting Moniak/Gowdy. Big $$$$. Even the Reds and Trammell.

    9:29pm: Daulton Jefferies was my pick to go to the Twins in Round 2. He went to the A's. I already lost my Will Smith pick to the Dodgers.

    9:22pm: Comp Round A kicked off. Reds take a high schooler with a high price tag... see if that's a trend with some of these teams (Atlanta and Philadelphia).

    -------
    7:43pm: Twins take Kirilloff, a polished high school hitter.

    7:37pm: TWINS ARE ON THE CLOCK!

    7:31pm: Law says Will Benson to Indians. Get. It. Dunn.

    7:27pm: Lowe to Rays. For me, I'm taking Justin Dunn. If he's gone, I'm taking Kirilloff.

    7:20pm: Sounds like Groome to the Red Sox. I have Groome #2 on my board based on talent alone. There are some concerns, however. Twins are up in three picks...!

    7:18pm: Fingers crossed that Red Sox take Rutherford here. Rutherford doesn't do it for me.

    7:14pm: Collins to the White Sox is ok with me. Lewis should go to Mariners here. Dunn and Kirilloff are favorites to go to Twins at this point.

    7:08pm: Manning to the Tigers took me by surprise, but I'm glad because he's one guy I didn't see the Twins taking. Lengthens their board.

    7:02pm: Padres take Cal Quantrill. I had him mocked correctly for a while... hoped he would fall to Twins.

    6:56pm: Cooper says there are "rumblings" this could be Kyle Lewis to Padres. I'm ok with that. Probably will try to get Manning with their next pick. Marlins make Garrett official. Twins really liked him.

    6:52pm: Braxton Garrett expected to be selected by Marlins. Garrett to the Twins was my #1 pipe-dream. Boras/Vandy guy.

    6:48pm: Nothing reported on Marlins front yet, but many expect Braxton Garrett to be drafted next. Puk to A's done.

    6:46pm: Puk likely to come off board to A's. Really surprised Kyle Lewis is still available. He won't fall to Twins, but someone will get quite a bat.

    6:40pm: Wow. Brewers go with Ray - not Puk. I've had a few people tell me that Ray is the best player in the draft. The Brewers could have some freaky good outfields in the future with Phillips, Clark, Gatewood, Harrison and now Ray.

    6:37pm: If Brewers take Puk, they get a steal. He was #1 on my board.

    6:34pm: So far I'm one-for-four in my mock draft, but I really like the Pint pick. Pitchers don't want to sign there, so you have to draft them. I think Pint is going to be a star. Nothing crazy so far.

    6:32pm: Jeff Passan tweets that the Braves are expected to save $2.5-$3m on the Anderson pick. They basically get to make another top 10 pick. Rockies make Riley Pint official. Pint throws straight gas (homey) and I compared him to Max Scherzer.

    6:27pm: Braves make Ian Anderson official. They will have a lot of money to play with. I declare them draft winners. (Kidding.)

    6:22pm: Braves are on the clock and expected to take Ian Anderson. Who had him as the first prep pitcher off of the board? Not me. But I did have Anderson connected to the Braves all along, so I'll count that as a three-quarters-win.

    6:20pm: Cooper also says Rutherford to Brewers. He not-so-correctly had Daz Cameron to the Astros last year. Reds make Senzel official. Boras guy, can't imagine they're going to save a ton, but enough to make a difference in round 2 for sure.

    6:17pm: Cooper says Puk to Brewers at 5. If A's go Groome, that puts Marlins on clock. Braxton Garrett has been the name mentioned most.

    6:15pm: John Manuel suggesting that the Braves may go Corey Ray. Could Anderson fall to #40? I've said as much.

    6:13pm update: Keith Law says Pint to Rockies at 4 and after the Brewers pick at 5, Jason Groome could go sixth to the A's.

    6:12pm update: All indications are that the Phillies are taking Moniak, the Reds are taking Senzel, the Braves are taking Anderson (!) and that would put the Rockies in position to get a pitcher that they want - either A.J. Puk or Riley Pint.

    5:58pm update: ARE YOU READY?! LET'S DO THIS!

    3pm update: John Manuel has been updating and reupdating his mock draft.... but still has Dakota Hudson going to the Twins. He's got Kirilloff going to the Angels at #16 and Whitley going to the Blue Jays at #21.

    LEN3 tweeted that the Twins are scheduled to make their first pick around 7:20 and their last two picks around 10:08. Schedule accordingly. I might do a Periscope after the last two picks if people are interested.

    11:10 update: Keith Law says that Rutherford is still in play for the Brewers and that Whitley is in play to the Mariners. Frankie Piliere adds Zach Burdi to the list the Mariners could be considering.

    11 am update: There are lot of new rumors floating out there. The newest has Ian Anderson going to the Braves at #3 on an underslot deal and the Braves hoping to catch Groome at #40. I will be posting noteworthy news here. So keep it here and refresh often.

    ---

    In the midst of a poor season, we always have the future to look toward. The draft is a small step to realizing that future and by the time you go to bed tonight, the Twins will have added four pieces of that future.

    This three-day event starts on Thursday evening (tonight!) at 6pm and concludes on Saturday. The first 77 picks (Round 1 through Comp B Round) are Thursday. Round 3 will start at noon on Friday and last through Round 10. Round 11 will begin at 11 am on Saturday and last until the conclusion of the draft, which is 40 rounds long.

    The Twins will make their first selection with the 15th overall pick. They were in line for the 17th selection until both the Diamondbacks and Orioles signed free agents which required them to forfeit their first-round draft pick, thrusting the Twins up two more spots. They will come back on the clock with the 56th pick, their regular second-round pick, before finishing out their night with back-to-back picks in the Comp B round at 73 and 74. They were awarded the 73rd pick for the second consecutive year as winners of the one of the twelve Competitive Balance Lottery picks. Because they failed to sign last year’s choice, Kyle Cody, they receive the 74th pick this year.

    On Friday, the Twins first choice will be 93rd overall. They’ll be on the clock every thirty picks after that for the duration of the draft.

    So who will the Twins select this evening with the 15th overall pick this year?

    That - along with 14 picks before it - remains a great mystery.

    Over the last few weeks, at Twins Daily, we run several articles highlighting a number of players that the Twins could take:

    We started our coverage by looking at some local players that could be drafted.Our specific looks at players started with flamethrowing Zack Burdi, younger brother of Nick, and Miami Hurricane backstop Zack Collins.

    But then a funny thing happened, all heck broke loose. Boards started doing somersaults and players, mostly prep pitchersstarted coming out with giant bonus demands. We profiled one more specific bat, prep outfielder Alex Kirilloff. It really became increasingly difficult to not only peg who the Twins would take, but also what would happen before then. The last profile included a handful of college pitchers, some of whom entered the discussion very late.

    In addition to that, I treated readers to a 10-round Twins-only mock draft and a look at how I’d stack my own Draft Board if you threw bonus demands out the window.

    Oh… and the mocks. I projected the Twins to take Forrest Whitley on May 11th in Mock Draft v. 1. On May 29th, I switched course and had the Twins drafting Justin Dunn in Mock Draft v. 2. My third and final mock draft was posted this morning.

    One thing that I need to continue to note is how important it is for you to understand how teams go about manipulating their draft money. The teams drafting at the top - the Phillies, Reds, Braves - and other teams with multiple picks (like the Padres) will be working on cutting deals right up until the draft starts. This doesn’t only mean with their first pick, but also with later picks. When this happens, agents will start floating their price tags out to teams, who shy away from those players, essentially making them unavailable to teams though they haven’t already been picked.

    A potential example that I’ve used is with the Braves, Ian Anderson and pick 40. The Braves love Anderson, but he’s not going to sign for $1.6 million, which is what pick 40 is worth. The Braves also have the third overall choice, which is worth $6.5 million. Their likely choice there, Corey Ray, isn’t going to need that full allotment to sign. So what the Braves could do is offer each player $4 million. They would draft Ray at 3. Anderson’s agent would let all teams know it will cost them $4 million to sign his client and - after a tumble - guess who’s available the next time the Braves select? The Braves, who are just one example, could get even more creative because they have three more picks in the top 80.

    Long story short, it means if the Twins lined up their favorite 15 players, it could come time for them to pick and all 15 of those players could either already be picked or just be “unavailable.” The players that will fit into that “unavailable” category will be primarily high-school pitchers.
    The MLB Draft is such an important time for MLB teams. The Twins will select 42 players to add talent to the organization. In any given year, if two or three of the picks become useful big leaguers, the draft was a huge success.

    We encourage you to keep close to Twins Daily for more updates. We will post articles for each of Thursday’s picks. On Friday, I’ll be posting all of the picks and adding thoughts throughout the day. (So keep pounding that refresh button.) Saturday will be more of the same, with picks coming - and you refreshing - more rapidly.

    But we don’t expect you to make TwinsDaily.com your only priority on draft weekend. We also want you to tune in to KFAN (100.3 FM or online or on iHeartRadio) on Friday night at 7pm for a special radio broadcast that I’m calling Guru and the Geek. John Bonnes and I will be in studio discussing the first 10 round (12 picks) and might even have a special guest or two.
    It's going to be a full, fun, busy three days here at Twins Daily. Use this thread to discuss rumors throughout the day. Even more fun, post below your thoughts on who will be taken with each of the top 5 or 10 picks.

    And, in all seriousness, check out some of the best league-wide draft sites that exist: BaseballAmerica.com’s draft coverage is outstanding. Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo team up at MLB Pipeline to rival BA’s coverage. Keith Law isn’t free at ESPN, but if you have an Insider account, you can read all sorts of good stuff. You can find a lot of information on prep players at Perfect Game.

    Enjoy the conversation. Enjoy the hope. Don’t hate all the relievers (again). Just kidding.

    Maybe.

    • Jun 09 2016 09:06 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  17. Official Twins Daily Day Two Draft Thread

    If you didn't keep up on all of Thursday's happenings, I'll throw a whole bunch of links at you. You could start with the Day One Thread. It might take you an hour (or four) to sift through all the information.

    If you just want the cliff notes versions, read all that's been written about the four players already selected: Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rortvedt, Jose Miranda and Akil Baddoo.

    And if you don't want all the facts to help color your narrative, pass on the clicks and I'll tell you how to feel below.

    Before that though, don't forget that the Godfather John Bonnes and myself will be broadcasting on KFAN on Friday night from 7-8. We'll be recapping the Top 10 rounds.

    --

    As the draft had approached, it never offered much clarity as it got closer. I knew the Twins had always like Kirilloff, but the talk on the national-level always focused on power-pitchers. As prep arms started to price themselves out of the Twins price range, I broadened the search to include college arms. To be completely honest, there weren't a ton of pitchers that I really liked: Braxton Garrett, Cal Quantrill, Ian Anderson and, towards the end, Justin Dunn.

    Anderson went off the board at #3, Garrett at #7 and Quantrill at #8. When it came time for the Twins to read off their card, I figured it was between Dunn and Kirilloff and I had come around to prefer Dunn, which is odd because I typically prefer high-ceiling preps over stale collegiates.

    It didn't take me too long to come back around on the only hitter I liked at #15. Kirilloff is going to be a very good player. Twins made comps of Christian Yelich and Todd Helton, but when I heard the Max Kepler comp, I thought that made sense. (Probably because I had that comp earlier in the process.) Kirilloff isn't close and he doesn't need to be, but he adds a high-ceiling prospect to the stable. And the value is in his bat, which seems to become a trend later in the day.

    There have been many complaints about the lack of catching in the organization and I understand it, though I don't necessarily agree that it's as empty as many claim. I thought they'd pop a guy sometime on Day 2, but they were able to get the top prep catcher in the nation, Ben Rortvedt, at #56. He profiles as a catcher who could stick and also have a decent bat while doing it, so that's great. What I worry about it that a majority of fans have already written his name in stone as the "future catcher". He's no where near that. He's four, maybe five years from contributing. Rortvedt, no matter how good he is - and he can be really good, isn't going to solve the problem we're watching on TV every night.

    The Twins got the neat opportunity to draft two players consecutively at the end of the night. These are picks awarded, potentially, to teams who receive part of the league revenue (revenue-sharing). Having already taken two prep players, I figured we'd see the franchise transition to safer (college) arms with lower mileage (relievers!).

    I was pleasantly surprised to hear Brad Radke call off two more prep names: Jose Miranda, a high-ceiling Puerto Rican shortstop who probably plays third but has the bat for it, and Akil Baddoo, a plus athlete who profiles as a left fielder but will someday hopefully fill the charismatic void that Torii Hunter left when he retired. Baddoo also has the makings of a good hitter. Both players are 17 years old.

    All in all, there's nothing to not like about Day One (without getting nit-picky). The Twins will make eight more picks on Friday, with the first pick probably coming between 12:15pm and 12:30pm.

    It's going to be another fun day. Chime in below. Share your thoughts. Ask questions (though I apologize, I can't respond to nearly as many as I'd like too.)

    Twice as many picks on Friday. Twice as much fun.

    • Jun 09 2016 11:21 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  18. Mock Draft v. 2.0

    This year, you can't find a consensus top pick or a consensus top three. I reached out to a number of scouts for feedback on this mock and/or other things that are being talked about in the industry:

    "I have no clue."

    "I honestly have no idea."

    "Anything could happen."

    I'll share some of things that I'm hearing right now on Gleeman and the Geek, but some of the big things that seem destined to happen: Teams with big pools will cut deals with prep pitchers to drop to their second pick. College arms are making a late surge. After the top guys, college bats are bad... but teams might also reach for a bat just to get one they consider to be quality. (And guys that have had big days recently or have big days leading up to the draft will make themselves some money.)

    There's still a lot to consider. And still a lot of time left for things to sort themselves out.

    Here’s my second-to-last mock draft.

    1. Phillies - A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida. The Phillies could easily - and maybe should - open up the pick and take the player that allows them to bank a bunch of money, but as it stands, Puk is the best way to go when you balance risk/reward. There are still other names in play, including Nick Senzel, who I’ve been told has been watched heavily by the Phillies though being represented by Scott Boras lessens the chances he agrees to an underslot deal.

    2. Reds - Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer. The Reds are also in a great position to bank dollars. Expect them to draft the top bat available and cut a deal to draft a high school pitcher at #35.

    3. Braves - Corey Ray, OF, Louisville. Like the teams above them, the Braves have dollar flexibility too. The Braves have a few more picks (#40, #44, #76) on the first day too that they can get creative with.

    4. Rockies - Jason Groome, LHP, New Jersey prep. There’s been ton of Moniak talk, but it’s hard for the Rockies to pass on pitchers… since nobody wants to pitch at Coors. I’ve been told Groome is the wild card of this draft and to not be surprised if takes an Appel-like tumble.

    5. Brewers - Delvin Perez, SS, Puerto Rico prep. This has long been a connection, though there are others that have moved into the picture.

    6. A’s - Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee. Whichever of the top five (and also Moniak) could go here.

    7. Marlins - Mickey Moniak, OF, California prep. Moniak going higher than this could help a team bank some money for a later pick.

    8. Padres - Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford. Lots of talk that Quantrill has a deal with Padres at #24. That doesn’t make sense to me. Draft Quantrill at #8 and take one of the high price tag guys at #24. Regardless, Padres are going to leave the draft with two or three top talents.

    9. Tigers - Riley Pint, RHP, Kansas prep. Pint can’t drop forever and the Tigers would be wise to take this big arm.

    10. White Sox - Blake Rutherford, OF, California prep.

    11. Mariners - Zack Collins, C, Miami

    12. Red Sox - Zack Burdi, RHP, Louisville. I don’t love this pick here, but when I was trying to piece my mock together, one scout told me this pick made “perfect sense.”

    13. Rays - Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State. Could have the best stuff of any college arm, but has command issues.

    14. Indians - Alex Kirilloff, OF, Pennsylvania prep.

    15. Twins - Justin Dunn, RHP, Boston College. If either of Hudson or Kirilloff made it here, I think they’d be the guys. I also think the Twins could jump on Quantrill if he made it this far. The other arms connected to the team - Braxton Garrett, Matt Manning, etc - could all find themselves sliding (on purpose) to the teams who have banked money. Dunn offers the highest upside of the college arms available.

    16. Angels - Taylor Trammell, OF, Georgia prep.

    17. Astros - Cody Sedlock, RHP, Illinois.

    18. Yankees - Will Craig, 3B, Wake Forest.

    19. Mets - Matt Thaiss, C, Virginia.

    20. Dodgers - Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt.

    21. Blue Jays - Kevin Gowdy, RHP, California prep.

    22. Pirates - Nolan Jones, SS, Pennsylvania prep.

    23. Cardinals - Kyle Muller, LHP, Texas prep.

    24. Padres - Matt Manning, RHP, California prep. I’ve long been of the belief that Manning’s floor was the Twins. Saturday I was told what other national guys have been saying, he’s got a high price tag, one that is higher than the Twins slot can get done. The Padres, however, have saved some money that they can spend on Manning.

    25. Padres - Chris Okey, C, Clemson. For the Padres to fit Manning in their budget, they might have to cut an underslot deal here too. I went with Okey because, you know, catchers.

    26. White Sox - Gavin Lux, SS, Wisconsin prep.

    27. Orioles - Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State.

    28. Nationals - Robert Tyler, RHP, Georgia.

    29. Nationals - Alec Hansen, RHP, Oklahoma.

    30. Rangers - Josh Lowe, 3B, Georgia prep.

    31. Mets - T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Pittsburgh

    32. Dodgers - Joey Wentz, LHP, Kansas HS. Wentz would have to come in overslot, which could be difficult, but this gives the Dodgers the best opportunity to add a high-ceiling arm… that they can trade later.

    33. Cardinals - Buddy Reed, OF, Florida.

    34. Cardinals - Logan Shore, RHP, Florida. Shore continues to strike me as someone that the Cardinals will draft.

    ---
    Bonus picks

    35. Reds - Forrest Whitley, RHP, Texas prep. Whitley should be on the Twins radar, but he could be guaranteed an excess of $3 million by the Reds here.

    40. Braves - Ian Anderson, RHP, New York prep. Braves have been rumored to be working on a “package” deal: bat at #3 and arm here.

    42. Phillies - Braxton Garrett, LHP, Alabama prep. Garrett could go Top 10, but if the Phillies play their cards correctly, the could split their $10.5 million allotted to their top 2 picks and pay one $6 million and another $4.5 million (which is more than slot at #5).

    What do you think?

    • May 29 2016 08:56 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  19. Minnesota Twins Day 2 Draft Picks (Rounds 3-10)

    Information will be added in spurts, so keep refreshing!

    3rd Round (93; $645,500) - RHP Griffin Jax, RHP

    Jax is an interesting pick to kick off the second day of the draft. The 6-2, 200 lb righty is the first ever player from the Air Force Academy selected in the Top 10 rounds. A junior, there is talk that there must be some sort of a military commitment or a high price tag. How does that effect Jax's ability to sign a professional contract and pitch? That's something that we'll have to find out. As far as ability goes, though, Jax has it with a three-pitch mix that features a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a low-80s slider and a low-80s changeup. He threw 105 innings, so the Twins - if they have him - would have him throwing very little before next year anyway. His father, Garth, was a NFL linebacker.

    Update: Twins feel confident they can sign Jax, though they are prepared for him to have to finish his military obligations, be unavailable until next May and, hopefully, go into reserves. There's little concern about him not being in shape when they can get their hands back on him because, as my source tells me, "finger tip push ups."

    Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 100; MLB.com, 82; Perfect Game, 125.

    4th Round (123; $477,900) - RHP Thomas Hackimer, St. John's (SR)

    You can all stop holding your breath: The Twins drafted a college reliever. Hackimer is a side-arming unhittable relief pitcher. His numbers were eye-popping: WHIP and ERA are both under 0.75. He does it with a two-pitch mix: a low-90s fastball and a low-80s "frisbee" slider. Hackimer, the first relief pitcher to be named Big East Pitcher of the Year since 2005, will be the first member of this draft class to pitch for the Twins, which could be as soon as next year.

    Here is an interesting write-up on Hackimer.

    Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 191; MLB.com, 174; Perfect Game, 152.

    5th Round (153; $357,800) - RHP Jordan Balazovic, Ontario HS

    I put a Canadian pitcher in my 10-round mock, but didn't have the right guy. Balazovic is another high-schooler, though the Auburn commit has another year left of high school (what comes after senior year? Super senior year) and can re-enter the draft the team can't meet his demands. I don't think that should be a problem at this point. Balazovic is young (still 17) and raw, but the 6-3, 170 lb right-hander hits 92 mph with his fastball. He also throws a changeup and breaking ball. There is a lot of projection left, so file Balazovic under "projectable."

    Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 134; MLB.com, 127; Perfect Game, unranked.

    6th Round (183; $267,800) - RHP Alex Schick, California

    A high school teammate of Stephen Gonsalves and Brady Aiken, Schick missed most of his junior season with a dislocated kneecap. He returned at the end of season, throwing a low-90s fastball and a curveball that is his best pitch. While draft previews project him best a reliever, the early word is that he'll "probably" begin his professional career as a starter.

    Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 498; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, unranked.

    7th Round (213; $200,900) - CF Matt Albanese, Bryant University

    A 6-2, 200 lb athlete with power, Albanese has been a three-year starter at Bryant University. In 142 career games, Albanese only struck out 59 times. In comparison, he walked 57 times. As a junior, Albanese walked 28 times and struck out 15 times. He hit 11 home runs and stole 15 bases. While the hit tool is present against weaker competition, there is some question about how the bat will transfer to pro ball. The Twins obviously believe in the bat and approach enough, which makes five hitters in the first nine picks.

    Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 431; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, 237.

    8th Round (243; $178,200) - OF Shane Carrier, Fullerton College (Junior College)

    Carrier is a power bat. Here's some video.

    Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, unranked; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, unranked.

    9th Round (273; $166,300) - C Mitchell Kranson, Cal (SR)

    Kranson is a senior sign who will join the organization as a catcher after playing most infield for the Golden Bears. Undersized but with a decent bat.

    Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, unranked; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, unranked.

    10th Round (303; $156,600) - SS Brandon Lopez, Miami (SR)

    Light-hitting shortstop, who can stick.
    Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 432; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, 466.

    • Jun 10 2016 05:51 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  20. Inaugural Twins Draftbook

    Since then, you’ve done the same thing each and every holiday season, building this collection and randomly looking back to see names you’ve long since forgotten.

    Fortunately, I was asked to come on board a few years ago to help Seth with what had become an enormous project. What was once a job that outgrew one guy soon seemed like a boatload of work for three guys.

    But it was just so much fun.

    At one point while compiling the 2015 Prospect Handboo I started to mess around with some formatting things. You know, trying to make it a little more pleasing to the eye. I realized quickly that making modifications to such a huge project mid-project was a silly idea. But I kept the file that I had started and made up a fake profile for Kolby Allard, who, at the time, was one of the top prep pitchers in the nation.

    Lightbulb.




    -----

    DRAFTBOOK AVAILABLE NOW

    -----


    I got to thinking about our Handbook and how we wrote up nearly 200 prospects, but when June rolls around and the short seasons get ready to begin, our Prospect Handbook doesn’t serve the purpose that we intended it to do when we wrote it: To give you the most informative, in-depth breakdown of all the prospects in the system.

    We fall two teams short of doing that. While it would be impossible to give you accurate information about the players that are graduating from the DSL and starting their careers in the GCL, we certainly could fill your plates with our breakdown of the recent draft picks. The Twins typically sign 22-27 of them.

    And then it became a question of when. When would be the best time to present this flood of information? At first, I settled on the July signing deadline. We’d all know who signed, where they’re playing and what they’re about. But by then, it’s too late.

    As the “arrival” time kept getting earlier and earlier, it was obvious: This supplement to the Prospect Handbook—known simply as the 2015 Twins Draftbook—needed to come out as soon as humanly possible after the draft came to a conclusion. And it needed to include all the draft picks. Because, well… we include everyone from the GCL and up in the Prospect Handbook, so we need to include all 40 draft picks.




    -----
    DRAFTBOOK AVAILABLE NOW FOR ONLY $2.99
    -----


    So that’s what this is. Information overload on 40 guys. Some won’t sign with the Twins. Some won’t be in the organization for long. But all deserve a chance to earn you as a fan. And some, who don’t sign, will get drafted again– maybe by the Twins– and this is your chance to get a head start.

    You may be asking yourself, “Can’t you just dump this information on Twins Daily?” The simple answer, “Sure. I could.” But then it gets lost with all the articles, updates and other things that are uploaded every day.

    These players that were drafted deserve something of their own.

    And this is it.

    We hope you enjoy.

    Here it is, the first-ever Twins Draftbook. We've also slashed prices on the 2015 Prospect Handbook and the e-book.

    • Jun 25 2015 12:21 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  21. Greene Impresses Twins Brass

    According to various reports, Greene sat at 98-99 with his fastball. Some radar guns even flashed triple digits. Throughout his 91-pitch, 13-strikeout, complete-game outing, his fastball never dipped below 95. Greene also flashed a devastating slider.

    You can see Green throw one pitch, with the Twins crew in the background below:



    Greene has become the darling of the draft. He's helped the poor by doing a sock drive, collecting socks in exchange for autographed cards. (And I missed the deadline... but he still sent the cards.) He's gone through hard family times as his younger sister dealt with leukemia. He's shown his personality through his social media.

    On the field, he's proven to be, perhaps, the most unique prep right-handed pitcher in recent memory (or ever?) and strives to make history as the first ever high school right handed pitcher to go first overall. He's also a pretty darned good shortstop.

    In a draft that doesn't include any top notch college stars, Greene continues to shine brightly and is becoming a cult hero in Twins Territory.

    ---

    Check back for updates.

    • Apr 08 2017 05:44 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  22. Draft Update

    From the moment the draft wrapped up and word of signings started to trickle in, you've been able to follow all the news right here at Twins Daily.

    Today, the Twins are expected to officially announce the signing of three more players: Alex Kirilloff, the team's first-round pick, who is signing for slot; Brandon Lopez, who needs to pass his physical to finalize a $30k deal (which saves the Twins $126,600) and switch-hitting prep catcher Kidany Salva, who will sign for $70k pending contract approval.

    6/24 Update: Austin Tribby, a big-bodied left-handed pitcher from Missouri who is out of college eligibility, is undergoing his physical and is expected to be official soon. Tribby is almost certainly looking at a $1,000 signing bonus.

    That will leave only fifth-round pick pitcher Jordan Balazovic remaining. All I've heard is that there are not expected to be any hang-ups with him either, though he is likely to come in over slot. Using Benninghoff's terms, even if Balazovic got the same $600k, the Twins would still have over $62k left. (Though it is possible that Balazovic could eat up all that's remaining.)

    But let's pretend that the Twins sign all of their Top 10 round picks and still have $75,000 left. They could offer any of their unsigned picks up to $175,000 without penalty. Who could get that money?

    I'd really like to see the Twins pursue Matt Jones, Canadian prep pitcher, 28th round. And it sounds like there is a distinct possibility they reach a deal with the young lefty.

    UPDATE: Matt Jones will undergo his physical on Sunday and sign after that. Let's revisit some of the guys that could take up the extra pool money.

    Shamoy Christopher, JUCO catcher, 20th round: Christopher is one of those "pop-up" guys who not all the teams knew about going into the draft. The Twins liked him, though he hadn't given every indication he wanted to sign. They've been in contact with him throughout the last few weeks, but at this time it sounds as though his demand is more than the Twins are willing to spend.

    Matt Byars, Michigan State catcher, 24th round: Do the Twins turn to another Wisconsin kid, who played JUCO ball in Illinois before hitting .284 in the Big Ten, adding another catcher to the system?

    Greg Deichmann, LSU third baseman, 26th round: Deichmann was a draft-eligible sophomore who has only played significantly for one season and has two years remaining. He demonstrated power, hitting 12 home runs in the best conference in America, and only committed eight errors at third base. Deichmann would likely command more money than the Twins have.

    Could they spread the money out and lock up a couple more players? It's always a possibility. Could there be another player or two they are keeping tabs on? Absolutely.

    So while the class is almost complete, there still is plenty of intrigue.

    [attachment=9278:2016draft1.JPG][attachment=9280:2016draft2.JPG]

    • Jun 24 2016 10:21 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  23. Draft Theories

    We're all aware that the Twins entered the draft process with an advantage over the other clubs - that coming off the heels of being the worst team in baseball last season and cushioned by the fact they qualified for a Comp Round A pick - owning the largest draft pool in all of baseball and the largest pool of all time.

    It was entirely fair to assume that the club wasn't going to spend its entire allotment ($7.7m) on the first pick. No team ever had. In all likelihood, no team ever will. The Twins were going to take the player they liked the most in a price range they were comfortable with.

    There are rumblings that Brendan McKay turned down an offer from the Twins. I'd be surprised if he was the only one. But I doubt it was an "offer" as much as it was the Twins trying to find the magic number with a handful of players. Brendan McKay will likely break the new-rule bonus record of $6.7m held by Kris Bryant when he signs with the Rays. It wouldn't surprise me if Hunter Greene's number is in that range too.

    But Royce Lewis wasn't a "money-saving" pick. Lewis was the club's top target and will sign for a fair price - a price that will likely be very close to - if not more than - $6.7m.

    Basically, what I'm saying is that Lewis, McKay and Greene will all sign for relatively similar bonuses. And, honestly, I think the Twins had a pretty good inkling that regardless of who they drafted - and they didn't make their mind up til the very end according to various reports - they were going to bank around a $1 million.

    That's not being cheap. That's just using the resources available to them.

    Now let's turn the page...

    Immediately our focus turned to picks 35 and 37. We knew there would be some money available to spend later in the draft. It made a ton of sense to do it at 35 and/or 37.

    And I'm sure - OK, not sure but guessing - that the club had a handful of prospects they really hoped would fall to these spots and that the money would be used up. Purely speculative, but I'd put Shane Baz and Seth Romero in that group. Sam Carlson was someone fans placed in that group. Call it whoever you want and call that pie-in-the-sky Plan A.

    The fact is, though, outside of the draft room not one knows who was actually in that group or how big it was. From everything that I can gather, they weren't "sniped," there just wasn't a prospect they liked so much to blow their entire pool on (which at that time could have been nearly $3 million). So they stuck to their board at #35 with Brent Rooker and took a player at #37 in Landon Leach who was quickly moving up draft boards.

    And then they turned to Plan B, which was still a really good plan.

    When Leach's name was called - and Carlson's wasn't - and then fans looked for where he was ranked by Baseball America and MLB.com, many were aghast. How dare they go cheap! Did they just screw up their whole draft? Those types of things filled up both my Twitter timeline and mentions. To many I replied with some variety of "let's see what happens tomorrow."

    The reality was they knew they still had around $1.5m with which to play around. They probably also - when they picked at #35 and #37 - had a really good idea which group of prep arms would fall to the first pick of the third round. A group that I'm assuming they thought would include Sam Carlson and definitely included Blayne Enlow.

    As soon as Monday's picks wrapped up, I'm guessing they got on the phone with Enlow's reps and made sure the (reportedly) $2 million they had to offer him was enough. It was.

    One question that gets asked often is, "Then why not just draft Enlow in Round 2 and take Leach in Round 3. Hoping he falls was risky." Yep, it was. But you can also look at it from a couple of other perspectives: Maybe Leach was a guy the club had to have. And Enlow was one of a group they knew they'd get one of.

    It also could do with the draft pools. If Enlow is drafted in Round 2 and doesn't sign, the club loses a lot more of their pool than if he's drafted in Round 3 and doesn't sign.

    Then they turned the page to the next rounds, which they seemed to have played relatively straight until round 8, when they draft their first of three consecutive college seniors.

    When the smoke cleared on Day 2, I asked about the signability of the players and the remaining draft pool: No concerns on signability and no money left.

    As we turn the page to Day 3, the focus shifts to filling rookie-league rosters. Though reports of Enlow's bonus started to drift out last night, there will still be a few back-up guys drafted just in case he doesn't sign and they have money to use.

    All in all, the Twins did a pretty good job manipulating their pool to get the best high school shortstop, one of the top college bats, and two really good prep arms.

    Maybe they do know what they're doing.

    • Jun 14 2017 12:45 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  24. Draft Season is Upon Us

    This year’s draft will be June 9-11. You should probably write that down. You’d hate to miss three of the busiest days at Twins Daily.

    The Twins will draft 15th overall. That pick has a slot value of $2,817,100. They will also draft 56th, 73rd and 74th on the first night. Having two extra picks (a compensatory pick awarded by MLB as well as an extra pick for failing to sign Kyle Cody last year), the Twins actually have the 11th largest bonus pool at just under $8 million. Rounds 3-10 will take place on Friday and we are currently working with KFAN to bring you a draft show after those 10 rounds (and 12 picks) happen.

    The final 30 rounds will happen on Saturday.

    You’ll get organizational depth-charts, updated prospect rankings and, starting Sunday with a new mock draft at 4pm, draft-related articles each ensuing day that will help make Twins Daily your home for a ton of draft coverage. We'll also profile several of the players that are under consideration for that first-round pick as well as other players of interest.

    We will be on top of the draft during all three days of the event. (Refresh, refresh, refresh!) Join in on the discussion by commenting in our articles as well as posting in the forums.

    The Twins are currently in the process of getting their “last looks” at players. While college players are still playing, many area scouts are hosting workouts for the high school kids. Of course, you can probably flip through the channels right now, tomorrow or through the weekend and find potential draft picks playing right in front of your eyes.
    Like every other year, the draft is going to be crazy and unpredictable. But if you tune into Twins Daily for the next two weeks, you’ll hopefully find some of the strategies much less confusing.

    Between now and draft time, come here frequently, comment often and if you want to reach me, you can at @jeremynygaard.

    Enjoy Christmas in June also known as Draft Season.

    • May 25 2016 08:16 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  25. Draft Preview: Greene Hits 100

    The Twins will have the largest bonus pool at their disposal (nearly $13.5 million), but won’t have the ability to “play the draft” as others have in the past. Comparing the last two drafts, the first pick this year has $7.4 million tied to it, a dramatic decrease from last year’s $9 million and change. The first overall pick this year is twice the slot of the 13th pick; last year the first pick was worth twice as much as the fifth pick. These changes that have happened in the new CBA put a direct damper on teams trying to tank for the first pick (or, more specifically, the money tied to the first pick).

    Gone are the days when a team could cut a deal with a player (or two) and use those savings on a third player who miraculously drops in the draft. In 2015, the Astros, owning the second, fifth and thirty-seventh picks were able to hand out three of the highest six bonuses.

    Don’t misunderstand, some players will still sign underslot and some will still sign for overslot. It’s just not going to be the same as it was before. And that directly impacts the Twins.

    Fortunately, despite all the changes, the Twins will still pick first and still have their choice of all the players available. And there are some good ones.

    You probably saw the Keith Law tweet on Friday night that California prep RHP Hunter Greene hit 100 mph. (Or if you bought the Twins Prospect Handbook, you read there that he’s touched 100 mph before.)

    Law’s tweet really got Twitter going though.

    But according to a source in California, Greene touched 102 mph last week and has demonstrated improved command of his entire four-pitch arsenal. Over 60 scouts witnessed Friday’s tilt, where Greene also showed his ability to hit.

    2/7 Update: Was able to talk to another source who was at the game. Said Greene touched 101 on Friday night and that his slider "was better". The slider is the aforementioned "fourth pitch" to go with his curveball and change. The Twins are believed to have had three scouts in attendance.

    The state of Minnesota swooned.

    Greene has become the fan’s early favorite to be selected first overall. But will the front office decide this is the year where a prep right-handed pitcher finally goes first overall? Only time will tell.

    If not, there are plenty of other options. The college season hasn’t gotten underway yet, but Vanderbilt OF Jeren Kendall is a polished, five-tool prospect who deserves to be in the conversation. The Twins are enamored with the college pitching class which includes RHP Alex Faedo, Florida; RHP Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt; RHP J.B. Bukauskas, North Carolina; and RHP Alex Lange, LSU; among others.

    There are other preps to consider too and one of the names at the top of the list is California prep SS Royce Lewis. Lewis headlines a fairly deep group of prep hitters and is out to prove he can play the most difficult position in baseball. He has played third base, deferring to upperclassmen, but is making the move to shortstop this spring. Some scouts also believe his future home might be in centerfield. If there’s one thing the old regime loved: it’s toolsy preps such as Lewis.

    Other notes:

    Christopher Crawford, who formerly wrote for ESPN, is now posting draft info at Hero Sports. You can read more on both Lewis and Alex Faedo there.

    Full draft slots and pick values can be found at Baseball America. It’s a place worth bookmarking.

    You can see what’s changed since I wrote up and even earlier draft piece in October.

    And going back even further, here’s a link to the Twins Daily Draft Preview of Baseball America’s #1 Prospect, Andrew Benintendi.

    The college baseball season kicks off soon. Be sure to check back for updates on your (potentially new) favorite players.

    • Feb 07 2017 10:01 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard