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Twins Draft for immediate bullpen help

Doc Munson



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The more and more sources I speak with, the more I am convinced the Twins will be taking pitcher Kumar Rocker at #8 in the draft Saturday.

Is this picking based on NEED vs best player? maybe, But I still like the pick.  Assuming his shoulder is good to go then he would be a nice pick. He was at one point he was in the running for 1.1 last year. Ultimately going #10 to the Mets. SO assuming health, he is a legit top 10 pick. Combine that with the fact that the Twins need significant upgrades in pen, and this makes it an even more realistic move.

If you factor in what the Twins would give up from the system to get a top bullpen arm you are looking at something most likely around a top 10-15 prospect, then the Twins could keep some prospects while getting a power arm in the pen. Make no mistake, Kumar is a starting pitcher!!  and a team like the Twins does not spend on top FA pitching, we need to draft and develop. and Rocker has a chance to be a very nice starting pitcher in the future. SO it will just be a bonus to get him for the stretch drive as well.

I am no scout, I cant tell you anything about the players available in the draft other than what I read other places.  But at #8 the Twins are not gettign a consensus stud like Druw Jones.  MLB.com has the Twins currently taking  3B/OF Jacob Berry (or OF Gavin Cross as an alternate) both College hitters. I have no clue if either are "cant miss" have big bats or what. Maybe they will be the next Mike Trouts for all I know, but  If we can get a potential top of the rotation starter of the future AND get immediate bullpen help for a contending team, then Kumar is the pick for me!!

Draft picks are crapshoots. Here are all of the "good" picks frm #8-15 in the last 10 drafts... (with the actual 8th pick)

2012 #8 Mark Appel   2013 #8 Hunter Dozier  2014 #8 Kyle Freeland  #13 Trea Turner  2015  #8 Carson Fullmer  2016 #8 Cal Quantril  #11 Kyle Lewis  #15 Kirilloff     2017 #8 Adam Haseley    2018  #8 Carter Stewart   2019  #8 Josh Jung   2020 #8 Reid Detmers  2021  #8 Benny Montgomery.


While some of these drafts are still too early to tell. How many #8's have been major league impact.. or even quality players? Jacob Berry, or anyone else the Twins may take, may be the next Aaron Judge, but odds say no. So why not take an arm that most people who DO know what they are talking about say plays AS IS in a MLB bullpen this year. 






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So you're thinking he goes straight to the 26-man roster? Or maybe just a couple warm-up weeks? The indy league he's in is kind of a low tier league, but I suppose if they consider it equal to A ball, they could decide to bump him up to AAA after draft day.

That doesn't seem very Twins-like but that sure would be fun. I could get behind this pick. The more I keep looking at the top bats, the more I get the urge cross a few of them off. 

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I am convinced about the pitcher. In a draft where no pitchers may go in the top 10 I think the Twins should go against the trend. There are pitchers in this draft that will be valuable major league pitchers. The Twins need to identify one and may be choosing from the entire pool. 

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3 hours ago, Dale Powers said:

I think the idea is to draft Rocker, then flip him for RPs

That wouldn't be allowed during the same season when he was drafted. It could be a "player to be named later" thing, but Rocker seems riskier for both teams making a would-be trade than the typical PTBNL.

Pretty sure the idea of the original post is that Rocker would remain in the Twins system and supplement the MLB bullpen by the end of the year.

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Well so much for that    Stupid Rangers!!!  outside of top 2-3 picks, Rocker will easily be the most productive MLB to come out of this draft.  A July Draft and a September Bullpen call up and then next year a midyear call up to teh rotation for good would have been a great play.

My understanding is Rocker will start out at AA Frisco.

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Exceedingly few players skip the minors. The last one I can recall was Chris Sale (which worked out well, obviously), but that's a long time ago. 

It's always the best strategy to pick the best player available. Especially in baseball where the players are typically years away from contributing at the major leagues. 

Yes, the draft is a crapshoot, but an educated guess type of crapshoot. You wouldn't trade your picks in the first three rounds for another teams' rounds 4, 5, and 6 because it's a "crapshoot". Similarly, you should trust your scouts and just select the player regarded highest by your evaluation process. If you pick a pitcher for need you may be skipping over the next Bryce Harper or Carlos Correa. 

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Living in the area where the independent league team plays, I saw all 5 of Rocker's starts and he was excellent.  The few times he had multiple men on base, he pitched his way out, had good stuff on his breaking balls and was consistently over 95 on FBs.  I was so hoping he would be available for the Twins.  I can see him on the Rangers sometime next year - not this year, even in September.  

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