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Article: Importance Of The 2017 Draft

royce lewis brent rooker derek falvey thad levine blayne enlow
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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 08:14 PM

When a team has the number one overall pick, it’s imperative to make an organizational shifting selection. This might seem like an obvious statement but teams are rarely in position to select at the top of the draft. If the front office makes a wrong choice at the top, there can be reverberating effects for multiple years into the future.

Minnesota’s minor league system has been strong for multiple years but many top players have graduated from the prospect ranks in recent years. Minnesota needed an influx of talent to give the farm system a shot in the arm.

Lucky for Twins fans, the early returns are in and the results are quite promising.Make sure to order a copy of the 2018 MINNESOTA TWINS PROSPECT HANDBOOK if you want to know more about Minnesota’s recent draftees and other players in the minor leagues. This book provides over 170 profiles on players throughout the Twins’ farm system. It is a must own for any baseball fan.


New Front Office
As the Twins were searching for a new regime, the ability to draft at the beginning of every round in the 2017 draft had to be an intriguing selling point. After being hired, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine had to be licking their chops to dive into the draft process.

There is also pressure on the front office to make the right pick. It will be multiple years before the Twins know the results of the 2017 draft. Prospects can have lots of bumps in the road before becoming regular at the big league level. Not every prospect is Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. Even recent top Twins prospects like Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios went through some growing pains.

The new front office entered the draft process and made their best selections.

Top Picks
Royce Lewis wasn’t the consensus number one pick but there might not have been a consensus top prospect as the draft approached. Lewis quickly made an impact in his professional debut. In fact, he cracked a home run in his first professional at-bat. In 42 games between the GCL and the MWL, he hit .279/.381/.407 with 15 extra-base hits. He was over three years younger than the competition in the MWL.

With their second pick in the draft, the Twins selected a familiar name. Brent Rooker had been the team’s 38th round pick in 2016 as a redshirt sophomore. He returned to Mississippi State and the decision paid off. Rooker split time between the Appalachian League and the Florida State League while combining for a .930 OPS.

Other top draft choices like Landon Leach, Blayne Enlow, Charlie Barnes and Andrew Bechtold are also going to figure into Twins top prospect lists this offseason.

Be Aggressive
Prospects can be a fickle bunch. Not every prospect is going to live up to the hype that is bestowed on him at such a young age. However, there are players in every organization who will blossom into the next wave of talent.

John Mirabelli, the Cleveland Indians Senior Director of Scouting Operations, said, “If you have a core of guys on the cusp, it’s important to get that next group and move them along as quick as you can. If you can see that coming… When you see that coming, it’s imperative to be aggressive to get them seasoned.”

The Twins were aggressive with Lewis and Rooker in their first professional season and that trend will likely continue. There are plenty of young pieces ready to contribute at the big league level. Other pieces from the 2017 draft could make it to Target Field as early as the 2018 season.

Drafting top talent is important but drafting the right pieces, that fit an organization, can make a world of difference.


Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the 2018 MINNESOTA TWINS PROSPECT HANDBOOK.


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#2 h2oface

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 11:06 PM

SNAFU. Pitching is but a side note.


#3 MidwestTwinsFan15

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 08:39 AM

I personally was hoping we would draft Kyle Wright from Vanderbilt - quick rising pitcher that could've the big club soon. Royce Lewis has looked promising so far, hopefully that continues.


#4 AZTwin

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:01 AM

I personally was hoping we would draft Kyle Wright from Vanderbilt - quick rising pitcher that could've the big club soon. Royce Lewis has looked promising so far, hopefully that continues.


Yep. I think they just saw too much risk with the pitchers for the #1 overall pick. I’m just glad we didn’t get the kid out of Louisville. Between him, Greene, wright and the NC kid, one of the pitchers could turn out to be a stud. Hard to say who though. Hopefully Enlow and Leach erase some of that pain though
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#5 MidwestTwinsFan15

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:08 AM

 

Yep. I think they just saw too much risk with the pitchers for the #1 overall pick. I’m just glad we didn’t get the kid out of Louisville. Between him, Greene, wright and the NC kid, one of the pitchers could turn out to be a stud. Hard to say who though. Hopefully Enlow and Leach erase some of that pain though

Agree with McKay from Louisville - wasn't a fan of him. Leach has some big potential, excited to watch him. Enlow has some growing to do, physically, which could make his ceiling climb higher.


#6 gunnarthor

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:44 AM

I liked the 2017 draft (although I was a moody little bitch on day one and way to angry we didn't draft for need) but I'm not sure it's as good as either 2012 or 2016. Time will tell.

 

It's also good to remember that pushing prospects isn't new this year. We've been very aggressive with our prospects ever since Brad Steil took over the minor leagues.

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#7 nytwinsfan

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:49 AM

A lot of attention has been understandably paid to Lewis and Rooker, but I think a lot of people are really sleeping on Enlow, who was a consensus top 30 pick and for some (i.e., Keith Law, who is behind a paywall) a top 14 pick. Yes, his velocity apparently dipped toward the end of the spring, but that's not that uncommon with an 18 year old, and according to reports from the GCL, it was back up later in the summer.

 

Here is what some people said BEFORE the draft:

 

John Sickels:

 

 

Enlow hit 94 MPH last summer but his velocity was down somewhat early this spring, in the 88-90 range, although in later outings he was back into the 92-93 territory with his fastball. He has a highly-projectable frame and could easily be 6-5, 200 in a couple of years. Most observers expect his velocity to increase as he matures and it isn’t hard to imagine him throwing consistent gas in the mid-90s a few years down the line. As good as the fastball can be Enlow’s best pitch is actually his curveball, which is one of the best breaking pitches in the entire class, high school or college. The curveball has been too much for most prep hitters to handle and as a result he doesn’t use a straight change-up very often. Enlow repeats his delivery well and has shown he can throw strikes with both of his key pitches. He’s responsive to coaching and should be able to improve his change-up with experience.

 

Jim Callis:

 

Mlb.com (Callis, Mayo):
 

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

 

Enlow might have the best breaking ball in the 2017 high school class, with low-80s power and 12-to-6 shape. He operated in the low 90s and hit 94 mph with his fastball early in games on the showcase circuit, though he has worked more at 88-92 mph as a senior and still has to show he can maintain his velocity in the later innings. That shouldn't be an issue once he fills out his oh-so-projectable 6-foot-4 frame.

The headliner in a standout Louisiana State recruiting class, Enlow has a loose, quick arm and a relatively easy delivery. He already fills the strike zone, so the only items on his to-do list are to get stronger and develop a changeup he hasn't needed yet. He has the upside of a frontline starter.

 

Eric Longenhagen (Fangraphs):
 

Blayne Enlow, RHP, St. Amat HS (LA)

#33 overall on my board, chance for plus fastball and curveball, had one of the better max curveball spin rates measured on the showcase circuit (2700+ rpm)

 

Also, Bob Sacamento's report from after the draft at the GCL was that Enlow's FB was back in the mid-90s. His whole report is worth reading.
 

During the GCL season, Blayne's fastball showed to be a plus pitch sitting 94-95 mph regularly with great life that runs in on the hands of right handed hitters.When he wants he can rearback and get a few more ticks on his fastball as I've seen him max at 97 mph. Still his already above average control over his heater was what really sets him apart.

 

In addition to his fastball, Blayne features a wicked 84-86 mph slider with hard sharp bite getting as much break vertically as it does horizontally.Characteristically it looks very similar to a hard curveball aka a slurve but he showed me the grip and it's a slider.His other secondary pitch is a changeup but it's still in it's infantile state as he didn't need much of it as a prep pitcher.Nevertheless, Enlow shows a great ability to let the ball tumble out of his hand and releases the 88-89 mph pitch out of the same arm slot as his fastball creating even more deception.

 

 

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#8 beckmt

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 10:47 AM

Looks great. Really liked Enlow and think he could be the front line starter we need. Move him up fast.
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#9 ThejacKmp

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 11:08 AM

Yeah I liked Gore a lot and Greene felt like a guy you might be kicking yourself about in five years but can't fault the Twins approach. They got a much more projectable player #1 overall and used the savings to get multiple live arms.

 

The results may or may not work out but you have to like the process.

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#10 70charger

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 11:59 AM

 

I liked the 2017 draft (although I was a moody little bitch on day one and way too angry we didn't draft for need) ...

 

Put very "eloquently." That's how I remember myself on draft day too.

 

With just a short amount of hindsight, however, I have really come around to Royce Lewis and Brent Rooker, who were both pushed very hard very early, and have responded quite well. Also, by the time they got to Blayne Enlow, I was reconsidering. I agree with beckmt that he could be a real gem, and we were lucky to be able to snag him, albeit way overslot, with such a low draft pick.

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#11 DocBauer

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 08:40 PM

I was also in a "WTH" mood when Lewis was picked. Not because I didn't like him, but I was simply somewhat shocked and was really hoping for one of the college pitchers. But as the smoke cleared after the second day, and even the third, I really warmed up to this draft and found myself impressed.

We all know how this shakes out, which is no definitive answer for a few years, but with such varying opinions on the potential and ceilings of the top pitchers available, I really think the Twins did the smart thing by drafting...what seems to be...the best player available in Lewis. The kid seems hard working and all class. No question he has mad tools to hone. It is so hard to take a high school infielder and just state, unequivocally, that in a few years he will be or won't be a true SS. And j find it humorous that some are already clamoring he won't be, therefore devaluing his selection. How about more time than half a season of ball and some coaching to see? His skill set would seem to suggest he could find a home and have big offensive potential at a variety of spots if SS doesn't work out.

Leach is projectible, is interesting, but will take time. Enlow just screams potential stud to me. His body fills out and be finds some sort of quality off speed pitch, look out! Rooker? Find his best spot to play and work him at it, because his bat looks for real. And there are several others...already get long winded here...that look really, really interesting.
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#12 caninatl04

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 11:09 AM

Plus Bechtold

#13 jrod23

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 12:16 PM

I love seeing fruits of the labor/draft after it's all said and done.

 

Any love for Austin Bizzle?!?!

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#14 ashburyjohn

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 03:40 PM

Any love for Austin Bizzle?!?!

i picked him in TD's annual Adopt-A-Prospect project, and he didn't do anything to disqualify himself in his 2017 pro debut, so sure, I'll give some love.

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Nothing is so annoying as someone going on talking when I'm interrupting.


#15 Doctor Wu

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 07:09 AM

Count me as one that was also surprised and disappointed that they selected Lewis with the first pick. But ... after reading more about him, and factoring in the uncertainty of the pitching prospects in the top five, I think it was a good pick. Plus, the other picks the Twins made in the early rounds look like good ones too. Astute, canny, smart, or whatever you want to call it, I think it was an impressive draft. We all know the results are still years away, but I'm optimistic.

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#16 howieramone2

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 09:57 AM

The 2017 draft most likely extended the window past 2021. 

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It's official. We received more for board scapegoat John Ryan Murphy, than we did for board favorites Pinto, Arcia, and Vargas combined.


#17 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:01 PM

I think most of us were disappointed after day 1... Day 2 though showed what they were doing. I'm guessing the drop off between a guy like Wright to Lewis (not to mention the increase in risk going with Wright) and getting Enlow, Leach, and Bechtold was worth it.


#18 RaymondLuxuryYacht

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:23 PM

Agreed - I'll read anything Bob contributes.

 

 

Also, Bob Sacamento's report from after the draft at the GCL was that Enlow's FB was back in the mid-90s. His whole report is worth reading.

 

 


#19 laloesch

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 11:52 AM

 

I think most of us were disappointed after day 1... Day 2 though showed what they were doing. I'm guessing the drop off between a guy like Wright to Lewis (not to mention the increase in risk going with Wright) and getting Enlow, Leach, and Bechtold was worth it.

 

I was not at all excited about taking Lewis over several of the College Arms and Greene.However, seeing what they did get eventually made me feel better.And the more read I read about Enlow, Leach and Rooker the more i think this was a good draft.Still would have like to have taken Wright or Greene but i get it.

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#20 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 12:20 PM

I was all in on Mackenzie Gore. He signed for less than Lewis did, too.

Like others here, I have come around to thinking that Royce was a decent pick.

It will be fun to follow this draft class and see how they do.

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