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A Look Back: The 2012 Draft

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:05 PM

I'm stealing this from the Byron Buxton Top Prospect thread as I think it is a pretty interesting discussion... The Minnesota Twins had the #2 overall pick in the draft thanks to an awful 2011 season. The Astros surprised many by taking Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa. The Twins, as we area all aware, used their pick in toolsy outfielder Byron Buxton, who most experts said had the highest upside of anyone in the draft.

The conversations leading up to that selection here at Twins Daily and other places was pretty intense. This was a huge pick. The Twins need pitching. The Twins are strong in the outfield. Do we want a middle infielder, or would a high-end college pitcher be more appropriate.

Obviously Mark Appel's name was out there, but the Boras agent would be (and proved to be) a tricky sign. Kyle Zimmer was said to have some great stuff, but really hadn't been pitching terribly long. And, Kevin Gausman from LSU was also in the running.

So, my question to everyone is: Who did you want the Twins to take, and why?

I'll acknowledge that my hope was that the Twins would take Kevin Gausman. I always believe in best available and believe that if the scouts are convinced that a certain player is going to have the highest ceiling, the team should take him. However, with the Twins pitching issues and perceive (and probably real) lack of pitching prospects, I thought a sure-fire, hard-throwing, four-pitch possible future ace was the way to go.

Obviously there were other times in the month leading up to the draft where I made cases for Buxton, and Zimmer as well... and for a week, I agreed with the argument that maybe catcher Mike Zunino (who went third to Seattle and has already played in the big leagues, as has Gausman) was the guy the Twins should nab.

So, who was your pick, and why?

#2 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:17 PM

Honestly, I would have been fine with Appel, Gausman, or Zimmer... Now Appel wasn't going to sign, that I get... I dont' think anyone questioned the ceiling (though the comparrisons we see right now weren't being tossed around)... and he had a lot of question marks. Some of the biggest were concerns about the level of competition that he faced. I personally didn't see anything in those discussions that screamed BPA. A number of people had that at Appel...

Now that said, so far it appears as though I was wrong. I'm happy to eat crow. My biggest concern (and a bit tangental here) is that I'm hearing ridiculous comps for him now, and while I hope he sees that, we should probably remind ourselves that he's just getting his first taste of AA ball. There's still a lot that needs to go right for him.

#3 zenser

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:18 PM

At the time, I really wanted pitching. I was hoping Gausman. IIRC, Zimmer was interesting because he had just started pitching that season or the season before. Gausman was polished coming out of LSU. Appel, to me, reminds me of Mark Prior. I think he is good but IMO Gausman might have a better overall career than Appel. I will be the first to admit that I really wasn't in favor of grabbing one more toolsy OF. I loved getting proven wrong.

After seeing a season of this draft class, I love what Buxton means to the Twins. Not that Gausman, Appel, Zunino, and Zimmer among others won't be good, I think they will have nice careers and maybe a few all star games. The hype around Buxton is amazing. When you hear comps that his floor is Hunter, you know we nailed that pick.

#4 johnnydakota

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:29 PM

Zimmer once I heard Appels agent was boras, and he had another year of eligibilty left.
kinda glad they (the Twins) pissed me off and didnt listen to me now...yup another crow sandwich. Really disappointed in our 3rd (1st rounder) Bard ...

Edited by johnnydakota, 14 February 2014 - 01:32 PM.


#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:38 PM

1. Appel
2. Gausman
3. Zunino
4. unsure

that was my list, I think. It is still possible Appel is the better pick, but right now, it looks like the Twins were right, thankfully.
Lighten up Francis....

#6 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:33 PM

Off topic, but interesting to note, Gausman kept our very own Ryan Eades at the #2 starter at LSU. Aaron Nola, projected to go #10 this year by BA, did so the following year. Another concern was Eades 6.8K/9 rate, which is equal to BA's #2 pick this year, Jeff Hoffman.

#7 cmb0252

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:35 PM

I had a top three of Buxton, Correa, and Gausman who I would have been fine with the Twins picking. I honestly didn't care which as long as it was one of them. I'm not a supporter of drafting for need.

#8 Steve Lein

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:41 PM

I wanted pitching, and complained about the Twins going that direction, though I wasn't exactly "against" their pick of Buxton. I was expecting him to not to develop as quickly as he has, so in retrospect kudos to the Twins.

Plus, since then they shipped off some good players to acquire young pitching, which is arguably in the class of the guys available for them in that draft, they covered themselves in other ways.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#9 Dman

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:41 PM

I was for Appel but would have been happy with any of the top pitchers. I just felt the Twins were so starved for pitching that it was was worth reaching for a pitcher. At the time I just couldn't see grabbing another outfielder. Although I understood what scouts saw in him I wasn't confident it would translate. I fell for the lack of competition question some analysts had about him. I really, really thought pitching was the way to go and I can't tell you how disappointed I was when the Twins chose Buxton. I just couldn't fathom them not going with a pitcher. I felt the pressure had to be immense for them to pick a pitcher but they still went outfield. I have been waiting to blast them for that mistake and it looks like I might never get that chance as I will be eating crow for quite a while.

Edited by Dman, 14 February 2014 - 02:48 PM.


#10 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:42 PM

Honestly, I remember Correa being kind of a last minute thing. Buxton and Appel were always assumed to be 1-2. Correa was a late riser.

#11 birdwatcher

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:47 PM

I was confident and pleased that the Twins would pick the BPA in their own opinion, and was like most of us desperately hoping that the BPA would be a pitcher.

It appears there will be very few busts among the top 10 or so picks in 2011, and I think that might be a notable trend.

#12 markos

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:02 PM

My top 5:
1) Correa // super young for draft class. raked. projected to stay at short.
2) Zunino // I had visions of the next Buster Posey
3) Appel
4) Gausman
5) Buxton // old for draft class. questions about competition and polish. I thought he had the highest bust potential.

I'm glad I was wrong, though I still think Correa will be a stud.

#13 Kwak

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:07 PM

Buxton has worked-out great, but so have the others. I am curious if the Twins' confidence in Hicks had diminished in '12 and influenced the selection of Buxton? The reluctance around Appel was understandable, but there had to be other factors involved. Example: 1) a belief that pitching wasn't the #1 problem; 2) more risk selecting a pitcher than an OF; 3) a belief that Mauer would always be the starting catcher; 4) or was it the stated reason of not wanting to miss out on a long-term all-star?

After perusing the Houston site, I now understand why they selected Correa rather than any of the others mentioned--but that is a thread for a Houston blog.

#14 AM.

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:15 PM

I remember reading the SI article about Buxton; scoring from 2B on a sac fly, and throwing a football the length of the football field, and hoping they'd take him.  Also thought Appel would go to his hometown Astros, so didn't think he'd be there.

#15 nfisch22

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:28 PM

I was definitely high on Correa because he was projected to stay at SS. Much the same way as I'm high on Turner in this year's draft. As we've seen it's hard to find someone who can stay at SS long term... Obviously looking back on it I'm quite glad we picked Buxton

#16 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:42 PM

I generally don't get too fired up about who was/wasn't picked in the draft because I don't get to see these kids play.

But I think the 2012 draft is a perfect example of why you always draft the best player available and never for need. You want the best player available, not the best pitcher or catcher or third basemen available. You're just undermining your own scouting department with that strategy.

#17 Monkeypaws

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:01 PM

My initial reaction was, "right, another toolsy HS outfielder." I don't remember who I wanted them to take.

He won me over right away though with his post draft reaction and comments.

#18 Twins Twerp

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:13 PM

I was so jacked when Appel wasn't taken #1 overall. Then, I was both astonished and outraged that he wasn't taken by the Twins. I knew lots about Buxton, but figured he'd go number 1. I wanted Appel more than the other pitchers, but an OF when we had so many? I then apologized to my inner self as I believe blindly that the Twins know what they are doing. As per-uze...the Twins knew what they were doing, and I was wrong. When Appel kept falling, I got more and more comfortable with the pick. Today, I guess you could say I admit that I was wrong, I would much rather have Buxton and JO than Appel and...some easy-to-sign/cheap senior in the supplemental.

#19 Willihammer

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:25 PM

I wanted Appel. The Twins had the biggest bonus pool at a little over 12m and paying over slot to get Appel would have been money well spent IMO. If anyone was going to sign Appel that year, it would have been the Twins. But I understand the enormous risk of him walking and Buxton isn't a bad consolation at all. I've gotten to like the pick more in the past year and a half. Still way too early to call Buxton the BPA over Appel though.

#20 Kwak

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:31 PM

Unfortunately none of the young men have BPA stamped on their forehead.

#21 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 07:03 PM

I wanted Appel. The Twins had the biggest bonus pool at a little over 12m and paying over slot to get Appel would have been money well spent IMO. If anyone was going to sign Appel that year, it would have been the Twins. But I understand the enormous risk of him walking and Buxton isn't a bad consolation at all. I've gotten to like the pick more in the past year and a half. Still way too early to call Buxton the BPA over Appel though.


If the Twins drafted Appel, they probably don't get Berrios. I think it's safe to say the Twins made the right call.

#22 Chance

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 09:36 PM

For me:
1. Gausman- I got really excited about Gausman after watching some videos of him pitch. Loved his delivery, mix, and velocity.
2. Zimmer- Zimmer was my second favorite pitcher and I believed we really needed a pitcher.
3. Correa- We needed and still do need, an exciting SS in our system. I know people are big on Polanco but I need to see another improved year.
4. Zunino- Zunino looked like a beast that would be ready for the majors soon. At the time I thought Common was right in moving Mauer to right (or 3rd).
5. Buxton- Best player available but at a position we didn't need to draft at.

....whoops!

#23 That Guy

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 10:16 PM

I thought Houston was going Appel being a hometown kid so thought Buxton or Zimmer was the pick. I don't think I will every question the draft again after this, the twins could have folded under pressure and gone with Gausman/Zimmer but Buxton and Correa look like multiple all star type players. At the time I really thought Span/Revere/Hicks would cover the outfield for next decade. Guess that is why you never draft for need early. Now instead of Span, Revere and Hicks outfield with Appel or Gausman/Zimmer you have a Buxton/Hicks and Alex Meyer/Trevor May and Berrios. Buxton MVP type potential with Hunter a world series move. I am believer in big time talent and the Buxton is the biggest talent.

#24 That Guy

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 10:25 PM

Also why I love Kohl Stewart as a prospect and Buxton is they are high school guys that played multiple sports and still showed top of the first round potential. There is a lot to say in that. You can tell Twins staff see the value in this. Athlete first. They tend to take off after high school as we are seeing. You look at the hype of Bryce Harper (he's going to be great BTW) but Buxton didn't have that and really looking at tools and potential Buxton looks like a better bet for MVP/HOF. Also nice Win Gopher hockey. Sorry multi sport fan and multi sport athlete.

#25 tobi0040

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 10:36 PM

i

I wanted Appel. The Twins had the biggest bonus pool at a little over 12m and paying over slot to get Appel would have been money well spent IMO. If anyone was going to sign Appel that year, it would have been the Twins. But I understand the enormous risk of him walking and Buxton isn't a bad consolation at all. I've gotten to like the pick more in the past year and a half. Still way too early to call Buxton the BPA over Appel though.


I think we could have signed Appel. I think the issue is he went 8th, so he had a reason to go back to school. We were at 2. I wanted Appel, then a coin toss for zimmer and gausman

I find it interesting that it was viewed as a weak draft. Lot of guys look promising right now. Buxton, appel, correa, zunnino, gausman, etc.

#26 righty8383

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 07:09 AM

One of the big talking points here at the time was concern about the competition Buxton was facing. Buxton clearly had the most upside, but the risk factor for a lot of people including myself put him on a fairly even scale with guys like Appel and Guasman. So the fact that the Twins needed pitching was the tiebreaker. I wanted Appel when Houston passed on him. Wasn't surprised when the Twins selected Buxton but was admittedly disappointed.

#27 Willihammer

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:07 AM

If the Twins drafted Appel, they probably don't get Berrios.


They could have spent 916k more than they did, so I think they could have gotten both, maybe. Their strategy wasn't to pay under slot at no. 2 so they could go over slot with subsequent picks. What they did was go slot or less with their first 13 picks, and came in almost 300k under their bonus pool. By my math, they could have offered Appel 6.916m and not changed anything the rest of the draft. They would have paid tax on about 600k of that, but not lost any picks.

#28 cmb0252

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 12:38 PM

i

I think we could have signed Appel. I think the issue is he went 8th, so he had a reason to go back to school. We were at 2. I wanted Appel, then a coin toss for zimmer and gausman

I find it interesting that it was viewed as a weak draft. Lot of guys look promising right now. Buxton, appel, correa, zunnino, gausman, etc.


2012 draft is actually looking pretty good. Half of the first round picks look like sure fire mlb players and multiple of them seem like perennial all stars. While the draft isn't deep, it definitely had talent.

#29 nicksaviking

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 01:30 PM

I wanted pitching as I didn't think Buxton as I though most people's argument at the time for the BPA was simply code for "I don't want a pitcher!"

I wanted Appel, Zimmer, Gausman, though honestly I jumped on the Buxton hype as soon as his name was called.

I wanted nothing to do with Zunino.

#30 Kwak

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 01:35 PM

2012 draft is actually looking pretty good. Half of the first round picks look like sure fire mlb players and multiple of them seem like perennial all stars. While the draft isn't deep, it definitely had talent.


It seems to me that almost every year (except 2014!) is labeled as a "weak draft". Perhaps to deflect blame for a team for "drilling dry holes". Generally overlooked is how well a team developed their players. The metric isn't very good because we would never know what would have happened if a guy went to a different team.