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Christensen: Twins locking in on potential draft choices

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:56 AM

According to the Star Tribune's Joe Christensen, the Twins are starting to identify who their number two overall draft choice might be next month:

At No. 2, all signs point to the Twins either taking Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton or one of two college pitchers -- Stanford's Mark Appel or San Francisco's Kyle Zimmer.


Kyle Boddy of DrivelineMechanics.com had a great breakdown of Appel's mechanics along with a fantastic scouting report on the Stanford right-hander who touches triple-digits. Boddy's knock on Appel was that he was not throwing his slider for strikes consistently.

Meanwhile Zimmer, who pitches out of the West Coast Conference, has impressed scouts by hitting 98 miles per hour and peppering the strike zone. Said one scout to Baseball America back in February:

"His first pitch was 97, the next was 98. He never threw a pitch under 93, and the first 22 pitches were all strikes," a National League area scout said. "He clearly jumped to the front of the pack for being 1-1 (the first pick in the first round). He has the best curveball in the area, and he's an 80 athlete. We're not talking about a guy that just has good stuff. He's an off-the-charts athlete—as good an athlete as you can get."


Buxton, on the other hand, is a toolsy high school outfielder with off-the-chart projections of the youngster. The only hindrance is that he has not faced difficult competition.

For the Twins, who are clearly short on pitching, either Appel or Zimmer would fit well into their immediate plans while someone like Buxton could be a key player in the outfield for years to come.

#2 Gernzy

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 08:04 AM

As much as we really need a good power pitcher, Buxton could be a great outfielder. Tough choice. I'd have to say take the best pitcher. It's the draft though. Whoever we take could be a bust, or could be great.
I bent my wookie...

#3 Shane Wahl

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 08:17 AM

Hopefully Appel or Zimmer win out here. I like them both more than Gausman, and I am not sold on taking Zunino either.

#4 jimbo92107

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 08:58 AM

I'd take Zimmer, hands down. Twins need to load up on power arms, and this one throws strikes. As a converted infielder he'll need to spend time learning to pitch, but with the mechanics to throw high 90's, and the accuracy to throw strikes, he's going to be at least a dominant reliever, maybe a dominant starter. The fact that he's a great athlete is another huge plus, because it means he's less likely to lose his touch or hurt himself by clumsiness. Of course, as long as the Twins are this bad, they should take a top pitching prospect every year. Stockpile them, then cash in after several years when Gibson and Wimmers are regulars.

#5 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:19 AM

Definitely take Zimmer...stockpile pitchers...you can never have too much pitching. Buxton seems like another Hicks and Twins dont need a number one pick to take 3-5 years via Beloit, Ft. Myers, New Britain and Rochester.

#6 ScottyB

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:43 AM

Definitely take Zimmer...stockpile pitchers...you can never have too much pitching. Buxton seems like another Hicks and Twins dont need a number one pick to take 3-5 years via Beloit, Ft. Myers, New Britain and Rochester.


Totally agree - Revere, Hicks, Benson, Morales, Arcia, Kepler - the Twins have a ton of 'toolsy' OF'ers. Pitching, pitching and more pitching is what's needed, and not #3's. Pitch to contact guys are over. Strong arms with mid 90's fastballs and control are what's needed on this team! Stockpile with all of the #1 or #2 draft choices we're going to have the next few years. Then maybe we can contend in 2015.

#7 minn55441

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:44 AM

I don't remember where I heard it but someone quoted Gardy with something like " I hope we take pitchers that can throw in the mid 90's with all 5 of our top picks". Nice to hear that he is on the same page with the rest of us.

#8 twinsfanstreif

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:54 AM

Out of that group I would choose Zimmer or Appel, I prefer Zimmer over Appel although his injury makes him a wild card. Appel may end up being a very good pitcher but I'm not buying his strike out numbers though. I also have never heard that he hits triple digits, I've heard 95-98 range.

#9 twinswon1991

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:11 AM

The pick will be Buxton. Ryan/Gardy hate hard throwing strikeout pitchers. Ryan will not stop until he can field a lineup of 9 160# punch n judy hitters that slap it the other way.

#10 righty8383

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:17 AM

The pick will be Buxton. Ryan/Gardy hate hard throwing strikeout pitchers. Ryan will not stop until he can field a lineup of 9 160# punch n judy hitters that slap it the other way.

Why don't you take this garbage somewhere else. Like the Star Tribune comments section...

#11 twinsfanstreif

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:20 AM

I still think it's a mistake to cut out Giolito, Gausman, and even Correa at this point. The 3 mentioned above haven't done anything more than the 3 I mentioned to separate themselves from the group. Giolito has dropped because of injury but somehow Zimmer has not, Giolito has the most upside of anyone in this draft and I think it would be worth the risk to take a hard look in his direction. The other thought is that this is a ploy to get the Astros to draft one of these guys instead of the guy they really want. I know that the Texans here in Houston use the local beat writer frequently to throw other teams off of their real target. He'll say that his source said they are targeting player X, Y, and Z and they end up taking a complete wild card. It sounds far fetched but there could be something to it, or not

#12 StormJH1

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:21 AM

Gardy may never get to manage any of these guys anyway, who knows... Was hearing Appel may go first, but that could change. Look, while it's obvious that they need pitching, you don't mess around with #2. If Buxton is the best player, and the Twins next 4 picks after that are pitchers, could you really say they "neglected" pitching? Of course not. But I'm glad to hear that Zimmer sounds like an exciting Top 3 talent, so we at least have the "option" of taking a pitcher up there that we could be excited about. It's a double-edged sword because we're hearing more and more (from scouts and Keith Law-types) that college pitchers are getting overworked in pitch counts. On the other hand, a college pitcher has more of a track record and could also be in the bigs within a year, which would obviously help the Twins. Terry Ryan and Co. need get some arms, but I don't want him or the fans thinking about how we "fix" 2013 with this draft. 2013 will be determined by the guys already on the roster and whatever else we can piece together. The Twins need to get players with upside and just accept that 4 out of 5 of them will probably be unmitigated busts. The foundation for this season's pitching woes (apart from injury troubles) was that the Twins kept using the draft to acquire guys that really never had a ceiling above that a replacement level player they could have signed through free agency or otherwise acquired. That has to stop, and I think they know it now.

#13 J-Dog Dungan

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:28 AM

I hope to god the Twins choose Zimmer. They have enough "toosly Outfielders" already that they switched one of their top prospects from outfield to 2B.

#14 nicksaviking

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:28 AM

Giolito's injury is more concerning because it is arm related as opposed to Zimmer's hamstring. That said I still like Giolito a ton. I'd be nervous but excited if he went #2. Zimmer, Giolito and Gausman are my choices, though it sounds like Zimmer is the only one of the three being considered.

Edited by nicksaviking, 15 May 2012 - 12:33 PM.


#15 asmus_ndsu

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:41 AM

K we should take zimmer because if anyone knows anything about advanced sabremetrics, a good percentage players whos last name starts with Z are successful... Zito, zambrano, Ziegler, zimmermman, zobrist, Zisk... Etc... I think im on to something here!

#16 nicksaviking

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:39 PM

K we should take zimmer because if anyone knows anything about advanced sabremetrics, a good percentage players whos last name starts with Z are successful... Zito, zambrano, Ziegler, zimmermman, zobrist, Zisk... Etc... I think im on to something here!


I think you are going to need a further analytical breakdown due to the various Zambranos and Zimmermans. My money is still on Zimmer coming out ahead but if you listen to some folks Zunino is going to be your man.