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Twins Excited About Day 1 Picks, Chase Petty and Noah Miller


When picking near the end of the first round of the MLB draft, it’s impossible to know what direction those picks might take. On Sunday night, the Twins selected two high school players with their first round picks. Learn more about RHP Chase Petty and shortstop Owen Miller. 

“We’ve loved Chase Petty for a long time, and we’ve had a crush on Noah Miller for a long time too. Walking out of the (draft) room with two guys that you love is a feeling you want to have after Day 1. Our group in that room is thrilled.” Twins Scouting Director Sean Johnson at the end of a long, but exciting first day of the 2021 MLB Draft. 

For the first time, the MLB Draft took place on All Star weekend in the city of the All Star game, Denver, Colorado. Several of the draft prospects were in attendance including the Twins top pick. 

When the time came for the Twins’ first pick, the commissioner announced that the Twins selected right-handed pitcher Chase Petty from Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey. Petty is touted for having hit triple-digits with his fastball, but on Sunday night, he displayed plenty of personality too. 

LaTroy Hawkins represented the Twins in Denver at the draft - after managing the American League team of prospects in the Futures Game earlier in the day. Asked if he approved of the pick, Hawkins said,  “I didn’t have to approve of it. I liked his personality.”

During Petty’s interview on MLB Network, it was mentioned that he threw a no-hitter this year against Millville High School, Mike Trout’s old stomping grounds. Petty nonchalantly said that he’s been in contact with Trout (who was also taken with the 26th overall pick), and that he had texted with him a couple of hours before the draft. He then pointed out that he is having dinner on Monday night with Fernando Tatis, Jr., and Manny Machado (they belong to the same agency).     

Petty and fellow draft prospect Joe Mack developed their “bromance” and appear to have named themselves Shake-and-Bake. Mack was selected with the 31st overall pick by the Miami Marlins. His older brother, Charles Mack is a catcher for the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels and was in Denver for the event with his family. Petty said that the two got to know each other. In addition, Petty said that he has trained with Twins 2019 draft pick from St. John’s, RHP Sean Mooney, as well. Last summer, Vanderbilt Jack Leiter texted him and they spent some time working together. Leiter was the second overall pick in the 2021 draft. 

If there is one knock on Chase Petty that Twins fans may have, it might just be this. “I’m a Yankees fan. My first ever game was at the original Yankees Stadium. It’s by far my favorite stadium I’ve been to.” 

While Petty has always played middle infield, primarily second base, when he’s not pitching, his favorite players have been a couple of Mets pitchers. “My favorite players, personally, are Marcus Stroman and Jacob de Grom which is funny because they’re on the same team. I’ve talked to Stroman. He and I have developed a little bit of a relationship.” 

  

Chase Petty has all the connections. 

In addition to his personality, Johnson noted his arm strength, “spin talent” and a feel for his changeup. Twins area scout John Wilson coached Petty in the East Coast Pro Showcase last summer and got to know him. The two developed a great relationship there. The Twins also had several Zoom meetings with him last winter. They had medical personnel review his video. So did several in the Twins Player Development group. 

Let’s start with the velocity. It’s hard to ignore. As you have seen, Petty has hit 102 mph on the radar gun. He said that it has been a process to gain velocity. Petty said it really started his sophomore year when he began training at Baseball Performance Center. “I really started seeing improvements in velocity and everything. They put me on a really tough lifting schedule that obviously worked out. Over the years, I’ve put on more weight. I’ve worked on my mechanics a lot, and through that whole process is when I saw the jump.” 

When was the first time he hit 100 on a radar gun? Petty, who said he is now 6-1 and 200 pounds, said, “It was in July of last summer.” 

Asked if there is more in the tank? Petty laughed and said, “Oh yeah. Oh yeah!” 

Petty is both confident and competitive. “I think you (Twins fans) got the strongest competitor in the draft. I’m going to go out there and do everything I can to help my team win, help the organization win, and I’m just going to give it my all.” 

But as we know, pitchers in today’s game need more than a fastball to sustain long-term success. Petty said, “I throw a four-seam (fastball), a sinker, a slider and a changeup. Right now, I’m really just working on perfecting everything, perfecting my craft, getting bigger, getting stronger still. And really just putting in the work in the weight room and at my training facility.” 

Johnson thinks that Petty can be much more than a one-pitch pitcher. “We think he has ceiling to all of his pitches. Obviously he doesn’t need to throw any harder. 101 is definitely a good number, to start with. We see a lot of upside to both breaking balls, especially the slider which we think is going to be a really good pitch, as well as the change. He’s had command of those pitches, especially the change. He’s thrown strikes when we’ve seen him.” 

Johnson pointed out, “I’m not sure it was a real analytical decision that we used to push us over the hump with Chase. It was more of a scouting evaluation. We loved him. We had him in the first round. Our player development people and everyone else that looked at him and got to know Chase were all on board. As a scouting director, you’re looking for confidence from the group to make the selection.”

Johnson continued, “I would say that with both of our picks tonight, our group loved both players equally. We wanted those players, and it feels good to walk out of that room - and I know we’ve got more work to do the next two days - but getting two guys in the barn that you love is a good feeling.” 

Ten picks after taking Petty, the Twins selected shortstop Noah Miller with the 36th pick, the final pick of Competitive Balance Round A and the final pick of the night. Miller is a shortstop from Ozaukee High School in Wisconsin. His brother Owen made his MLB debut with Cleveland earlier this year. 

Johnson said, “You can just see the competitiveness in him that he got from his brother, and his family and being in that environment.” 

Players don’t get selected this high in the draft without incredible baseball tools and talent, but it’s clear that the Twins really the character of both of their Day 1 picks. 

However, let’s start with Miller’s skill set. Johnson noted, “It’s rare anymore to see a player you believe has hit skills from both sides of the plate. Switch-hitters are pretty rare anymore. He has a great swing from both sides. We think that he will have power from both sides. He’s extremely instinctive as a defender. He’s not the fastest shortstop in the world, but we think that has a chance to stay there for a long time. He’ll profile whether he plays short forever or not. Great hands. Great feet. Great clock. It’s all the things you want to see. He’s super advanced, more advanced than a lot of the college guys you see.” 

Johnson added, “I’m glad we got him. One of our favorites. You walk into the draft room and there’s certain guys that you don’t want to miss on. And Noah Miller, after the first round, was a guy we did not want to miss on. To get him today was a great feeling.” 

Joe Bisenius was the Twins area scout and he got to know him really well. The Twins (and likely other teams) benefited from the draft moving from early June to mid-July. Miller didn’t play in the Area Code Games last summer. The Twins were aware of him and liked him, but the extra five to six weeks gave the Twins plenty of time to play catch up. 

Johnson said, "It doesn't take long to realize that Noah Miller is a rock star." 

The Twins selected high school players with their first two picks in the draft for the first time since 2016 when the Twins selected four high school hitters with their first four picks in Deron Johnson’s final draft as Scouting Director. Before that, Johnson selected Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios with the team’s first two picks in 2012’s draft. 

It was a long day for the Twins scouting department. They got to Target Field about noon and then after Day 1 was complete, they continued to work. Starting at noon on Monday, Day 2 begins. Second through tenth round picks will be made. 

Johnson said, “We’re going to plan scenarios. We’ll come up with some ideas. Some guys may have become signable. Some guys may have fallen short of and decided to go to college, that slipped out of the first round. A lot of conversations with agents, advisors, and with players and get a feel for what our board is going to look like so we are ready to go with our next pick.” 

 

What will the Twins do on Day 2? Find out throughout the draft and discuss in the Day 2 Thread.

 


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Great writing, Seth.  Was really down on the draft yesterday morning, expecting the Twins to take another big bat who can’t play defense.

After reading this and feeling the excitement the Twins appear to have, gotta be pumped.  Now let’s hope that one, heck both, are lottery tickets who break in when they are 21 or 22.  Hopefully they can get both signed for near slot.

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Miller was projected to go later in the second round, so my guess is that he is going to sign for second round money rather than sandwich pick slot money. I hope the Twins draft a few more high school players over their next four or five selections. Time to reseed the system. This time next year, the Twins will have earlier selections in each round (maybe they will be able to select a top of the rotation college starter in the first round next year). 

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I was was hoping for a fast moving College pitcher but, getting Petty at 26 who Compares to Green who was taken at the very top of the draft seems like a good get. I do have my concerns about arm issues with hard throwing High Schoolers but, I am glad they went with a high upside pitcher instead of a bat as KC, Clevelend and Detroit all went with high upside arms as well.  It looks like the AL central is in an arms race this year.  Hopefully Petty stays healthy.   He has the fastball to make it so just needs to work on the secondary's and control.  Maybe he will be a faster mover than I think he will be.

As usual I didn't care for the perceived reach on the supplemental pick.  After Jeffers and Steer I do trust this FO with bat evals for these reach picks but I wish they could find guys they like that can run better. Average runner as Shortstop screams 3rd or second base in the majors.  The hit tool is the most important thing and he appears to have a good one I just wish he had better up the middle projection.  He kind of seems Dozier like to me.  He can play short but not likely at good enough level to not be a liability there as he grows.

We'll see how things turn out but I am pleased that no Left field\1st Basemen were taken early.  Still hoping for College arms in the second round.

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1 hour ago, Twinsoholic said:

Miller was projected to go later in the second round, so my guess is that he is going to sign for second round money rather than sandwich pick slot money. I hope the Twins draft a few more high school players over their next four or five selections. Time to reseed the system. This time next year, the Twins will have earlier selections in each round (maybe they will be able to select a top of the rotation college starter in the first round next year). 

My guess is they'll go heavy on college pitchers the rest of the way... it's a strategy that appears to be working. Ober, Jax, Barnes, Winder, Sands, Canterino... in reality that's the Cleveland thing too, to select college pitchers. Obviously we shall see. But I would think college pitchers at this point, unless they can make deals with high school players above slot. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Dman said:

I was was hoping for a fast moving College pitcher but, getting Petty at 26 who Compares to Green who was taken at the very top of the draft seems like a good get. I do have my concerns about arm issues with hard throwing High Schoolers but, I am glad they went with a high upside pitcher instead of a bat as KC, Clevelend and Detroit all went with high upside arms as well.  It looks like the AL central is in an arms race this year.  Hopefully Petty stays healthy.   He has the fastball to make it so just needs to work on the secondary's and control.  Maybe he will be a faster mover than I think he will be.

As usual I didn't care for the perceived reach on the supplemental pick.  After Jeffers and Steer I do trust this FO with bat evals for these reach picks but I wish they could find guys they like that can run better. Average runner as Shortstop screams 3 or second base in the majors.  The hit tool is the most important thing and he appears to have a good one I just wish he had better up the middle projection.  He kind of seems Dozier like to me.  He can play short but not likely at good enough level to not be a liability there as he grows.

We'll see how things turn out but I am pleased that no Left field\1st Basemen were taken early.  Still hoping for College arms in the second round.

Question, Dman.  Where did you get that he doesn't run well?  He looks to be athletic and the little I have seen is that he is a good runner, not blazing speed, but certainly not slow.  

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I'm very happy for the 2 young high school players the Twins selected.  They will become instant millionaires in signing bonuses for playing high school baseball.  Plus the odds are they may never make it to the majors.  That in reality is what happens to most high school players drafted.  Twins issue same old, " we are excited about our picks".   I sure hope they are very successful but reality tells me it's not likely.

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40 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

My guess is they'll go heavy on college pitchers the rest of the way... it's a strategy that appears to be working. Ober, Jax, Barnes, Winder, Sands, Canterino... in reality that's the Cleveland thing too, to select college pitchers. Obviously we shall see. But I would think college pitchers at this point, unless they can make deals with high school players above slot. 

 

I'd like to see the Twins pick Seth Halverson again. MN kid. Hits high 90's. Picked him out of high school, and he went to Missouri but with Mizzou's NCAA troubles he'll either go pro or transfer if he doesn't get drafted again. 

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1 hour ago, roger said:

Question, Dman.  Where did you get that he doesn't run well?  He looks to be athletic and the little I have seen is that he is a good runner, not blazing speed, but certainly not slow.  

It is really just in the scouting grades but when they give shortstops 50 run grades as high schoolers very few stay at short. They get bigger and slightly slower and usually end up at 2nd.  Go to MLB.com and look at Spencer Steers bio.  They have him as a 50 runner and at 2nd base not short.  I would say the odds of Miller staying at short are very, very slim IMO.

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18 minutes ago, dex8425 said:

 

I'd like to see the Twins pick Seth Halverson again. MN kid. Hits high 90's. Picked him out of high school, and he went to Missouri but with Mizzou's NCAA troubles he'll either go pro or transfer if he doesn't get drafted again. 

He announced recently that he's transferring to Tennessee, but yes, he is still eligible. 

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The best bet on a take that proves to be right is to be critical of the picks. Players picked 26th and 36th rarely have significant major league careers. The path to the majors is too long and can easily be derailed by injury. The best bet is to take the failed pick side.

I haven’t watched either of these guys play but have these two thoughts.

  • It might be the right time to go with the raw arm talent over any Rapsado data. Spider tack isn’t going to help anyone hit 102.
  • There is a lot of flexibility in picking a switch hitting high school shortstop. There are so many paths from there to develop into a role on a major league team.
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29 minutes ago, Dman said:

It is really just in the scouting grades but when they give shortstops 50 run grades as high schoolers very few stay at short. They get bigger and slightly slower and usually end up at 2nd.  Go to MLB.com and look at Spencer Steers bio.  They have him as a 50 runner and at 2nd base not short.  I would say the odds of Miller staying at short are very, very slim IMO.

That isn't what the Twins seem to be saying.  If you look at his build, he doesn't seem like the type who is going to bulk up so much it will slow him down.  The little I have seen, yes very little, he looks athletic.  

With the Twins saying all positive things about his athleticism, etc., it is surprising to me how a few small comments on this and other sites already have him bulking up, being slow and moving off short.  That isn't what I have seen.  Will also question scouting grades for a lot of kids like him.  How many scouts have actually seen him play?  Plus, in spring high school ball in Wisconsin, like Minnesota, no one is running real fast in April.

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1 hour ago, Whitey333 said:

I'm very happy for the 2 young high school players the Twins selected.  They will become instant millionaires in signing bonuses for playing high school baseball.  Plus the odds are they may never make it to the majors.  That in reality is what happens to most high school players drafted.  Twins issue same old, " we are excited about our picks".   I sure hope they are very successful but reality tells me it's not likely.

That in reality is what happens to most players drafted.

There, fixed it for you. Alex Kirilloff was drafted out of high school. So was Jose Berrios. So was Ben Rortvedt (from a WI high school even!). And Nick Gordon. Don't forget Byron Buxton. Kepler signed at 16 (not even out of high school yet!). Sano was also 16*. Arraez also signed as a high school aged kid. I feel like there was some kid out of the same area of New Jersey who got picked 26th overall by the Angels a few years back who came straight out of high school. What was his name again? Oh, Mike Trout. Seemed to work out for him. 

Yes, the vast majority of players drafted never make it to the bigs. That's the nature of the beast. I mean there are typically 40 rounds in the draft each year. There are top 10 picks who never reach the majors. Of course it is less and less likely they reach the majors as the draft slot gets higher and higher. Don't get the need/desire/whatever to point out that chances are these kids won't become stars, or even make the majors. That's true of most players. The Twins didn't go crazy and pick you and me last night. These are legit prospects with every chance in the world to make their dreams come true and both appear to be hard workers who are going to give it everything they have. Levi Michael was a college shortstop picked higher than Miller was (Michael went 30th) and he never made the majors. It's incredibly hard to make the major leagues. Why not just enjoy the hope for the future with these 2 kids?

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I feel like I'm watching a teaser trailer for a new Star Wars movie. Getting psyched about triple-digit fastballs the same way I get excited about John Williams music and five seconds of Millennium Falcon footage, but ultimately I have no more idea whether it will amount to anything good or not than I did yesterday morning.

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If Twins excited, I am excited. I know little about draft prospects. Would expect new CBA will limit control of players, may push teams to limit HS players drafted. This year first round was basically 50/50 college/HS players. 

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31 minutes ago, roger said:

That isn't what the Twins seem to be saying.  If you look at his build, he doesn't seem like the type who is going to bulk up so much it will slow him down.  The little I have seen, yes very little, he looks athletic.  

With the Twins saying all positive things about his athleticism, etc., it is surprising to me how a few small comments on this and other sites already have him bulking up, being slow and moving off short.  That isn't what I have seen.  Will also question scouting grades for a lot of kids like him.  How many scouts have actually seen him play?  Plus, in spring high school ball in Wisconsin, like Minnesota, no one is running real fast in April.

Sean Johnson acknowledged that he's not a burner, but they think he can stick at shortstop. JJ Hardy was slow. Andrelton Simmons isn't fast. That said, 1.) a scouting director on the night of a pick should tout all that a player can do, his skill set. That doesn't mean they don't see where work needs to be done, but that's true of any 18-year-old coming into pro ball. The goal is to find guys who can stick at shortstop while they realize that very few do. But as he said, they think he will have enough bat that even if he moves off of shortstop, he will be a positive bat. And, like all years, draft lots of shortstops and center fielders, athletes, and you can move them around and they could be plus at another position.

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17 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

Sean Johnson acknowledged that he's not a burner, but they think he can stick at shortstop. JJ Hardy was slow. Andrelton Simmons isn't fast. That said, 1.) a scouting director on the night of a pick should tout all that a player can do, his skill set. That doesn't mean they don't see where work needs to be done, but that's true of any 18-year-old coming into pro ball. The goal is to find guys who can stick at shortstop while they realize that very few do. But as he said, they think he will have enough bat that even if he moves off of shortstop, he will be a positive bat. And, like all years, draft lots of shortstops and center fielders, athletes, and you can move them around and they could be plus at another position.

Thanks for the response, Seth.  I don't always write that well, Seth, and often find it difficult to clearly say what I am thinking.  I guess my point when I made that comment dealt with the fact that what people are writing today has meaning. 

Yes, the Twins have said he isn't a burner.  That doesn't mean he is slow or doesn't run well, it means he doesn't have plus speed.  Yet, somehow I have seen it written several times here and elsewhere that he probably won't stick at short because of his lack of speed.  Does that mean that the writer is saying he is slow?  I don't know, but that is how I read it.  Thus, my point that by one making that statement, it gets picked up elsewhere and before we know it the consensus is that he is slow and won't be able to stick at short.  He may never reach AA or he may become an All-Star.  Which happens remains to be seen and is up to him.

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52 minutes ago, roger said:

That isn't what the Twins seem to be saying.  If you look at his build, he doesn't seem like the type who is going to bulk up so much it will slow him down.  The little I have seen, yes very little, he looks athletic.  

With the Twins saying all positive things about his athleticism, etc., it is surprising to me how a few small comments on this and other sites already have him bulking up, being slow and moving off short.  That isn't what I have seen.  Will also question scouting grades for a lot of kids like him.  How many scouts have actually seen him play?  Plus, in spring high school ball in Wisconsin, like Minnesota, no one is running real fast in April.

Well below is what Johnson had to say as reported in the Athletic and below that Law gives him a 50/50 chance to stay at short not exactly a ringing endorsement.  He isn't slow he runs average but shortstops usually are above average runners just like center fielders. My view is pessimistic because you don't see many 50\Average running shortstops.  His actions look good apparently which gives him a chance but, just looking at past profiles the odds are against him.

"We think he’ll have power from both sides (of the plate),” Johnson said. “He’s extremely instinctive as a defender. He’s not the fastest shortstop in the world, but we think he has a chance to stay there for a long time. Great hands. Great feet. Great (internal) clock. Does all the things you want to see. He’s just super advanced. More advanced than a lot of college guys you go see.”

Law agrees with much of that assessment, reporting that Miller has “excellent instincts and at least an even chance to stay at shortstop.”

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2 hours ago, jorgenswest said:

The best bet on a take that proves to be right is to be critical of the picks. Players picked 26th and 36th rarely have significant major league careers. The path to the majors is too long and can easily be derailed by injury. The best bet is to take the failed pick side.

I haven’t watched either of these guys play but have these two thoughts.

  • It might be the right time to go with the raw arm talent over any Rapsado data. Spider tack isn’t going to help anyone hit 102.
  • There is a lot of flexibility in picking a switch hitting high school shortstop. There are so many paths from there to develop into a role on a major league team.

Excellent points, Jorgenswest. ALL High School draft picks are crap shoots, but picking kids with great natural talent and flexibility make for good choices. I like Petty's effortless motion. Always have to hold breath on hard throwers' arm issues, but he looks good. Cue Tom Petty's 'The Waiting'

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Very surprised by both of these picks. But surprised pleasantly so.

My gut told me the first selection would be a college pitcher....which I would have been OK with...or a college bat. With the crapshoot that is the ML draft, you just don't know what you're going to be able to grab in the late 20's. Think Levi Michael for example. I LOVE the pick of Petty as a 6' 2" HS kid who almost certainly isn't done growing and filling out yet but who already throws 100MPH and has at least one additional quality offering with potential. Honestly, I'm surprised he lasted that late. His ceiling alone should have had him gone 5-10 spots earlier. As compared earlier, think of Green picked 2nd or 3rd just a few years ago with similar velocity and projectability. 

I am not going to pretend to know anything about Noah Miller at this point except for the one scouting scorecard I saw and what Johnson has to say about him. Now I'm confused by the scorecard I saw because the numbers don't equate to what I hear Johnson saying. Scorecard says a defense first SS with a quality arm...which I'm OK with but not this high...with a 60 for fielding and a 55 for arm. No problem! He's got a 50 for speed again no problem. He doesn't have to be a basestealing wizard or speed demon to still be athletic and play a good SS. But the 45 hit and 40 power seems to fly in the face of the Twins' opinion.

But with so many kids missing seasons due to covid, with travel and scouting time interrupted, with kids missing camps and not being able to play on travel teams, etcm I guess I'm going to side with the team/scouts that have been watching the kid closely for the longest period of time. Further more I think there is a real or imagined sort of prejudice against kids from the Midwest, northern states and Canada often because they simply don't have some of the same year round opportunities that others have.

So I love the Petty choice and I'm super intrigued by a HS defensive playing SS that the Twins think has real hitting potential. 

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