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2021 MLB Draft Day 3 Thread


We are onto Day 3 of the MLB Draft, and today we will welcome as many as 10 new players to the Minnesota Twins organization. Be sure to follow along to learn more about the new prospects that the Twins draft in rounds 11-20 today.

 

Day 3 of the MLB Draft is here and we have a lot more action for you, as the Twins will be making 10 more selections. The draft will begin at 11 a.m. CT and can be followed on MLB.com. Be sure to refresh this page throughout the day, as it will be updated regularly with each of the Twins selections, as well as to join in on the discussion in the comment section below.

The Twins have already had a big haul in this year's draft as they selected fireball high school pitcher Chase Petty in the first round and followed that up by selecting a high school shortstop from the state of Wisconsin in Noah Miller. After taking two high schoolers on Day 1, the Twins went exclusively the college route on Day 2, which started by taking Michigan left-hander Steven Hajjar in the second round.

Twins Day 3 Picks

Round 11, 339th Overall

Pick: Brandon Birdsell, RHP, Texas Tech

Brandon Birdsell was well traveled across the state of Texas in his college career, as he played for three different Texas schools in his three years of college baseball. Birdsell began his collegiate career at Texas A&M, but only pitched six innings across eight appearances his freshman season and eventually transferred to San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas for his sophomore season in 2020.

After one year there, he then transferred to Texas Tech were he found some success in limited work as a starter this spring before his season was cut short with a rotator cuff injury during an April 11th start against TCU. 

As a pitcher, Birdsell has an electric two pitch combo with his fastball and slider both grading out as above average to plus pitches. The fastball sits easily in the mid-90s and occasionally touches upper 90s. With the injury concerns, to go along with his player profile, Birdsell seems destined to a bullpen role once he returns from his injury, but he has the potential to one day be a backend of the bullpen piece with his stuff.

Round 12, 369th Overall

Pick: Kyler Fedko, OF, UConn

After selecting UConn catcher Pat Winkel in the 9th round yesterday, the Twins double-dipped into the Husky well just three rounds later, taking Winkel's teammate Kyler Fedko in the 12th round today. Fedko was a three-year starter in college and after a so-so freshman season, Fedko turned it on in the last two seasons at UConn.

We got a small glimpse of Fedko's breakout last spring, before getting to see what Fedko could do over the course of a full college season this spring. In 52 games, Fedko slashed .398/.483/.673 with 12 home runs and 7 stolen bases. This performance was strong enough to earn First Team NCBWA All-American honors and be named the BIG EAST Player of the Year.

Round 13, 399th Overall

Pick: David Festa, RHP, Seton Hall

David Festa came to Seton Hall as a freshman in 2019 and immediately earned a spot in the Pirates weekend starting rotation. Festa had mixed results in his first two seasons, but everything came together for his this spring as he had an ERA of 2.00 in 72 innings pitched and was a named to the All-BIG EAST First Team.

While Festa does not have eye popping strikeout numbers or a fastball that will impress on the radar gun, it is possible that both of those things could still be developed with Festa. The main reason for this is his frame, though he stands at 6'6", he only weighs 185 pounds and could easily add more muscle. We have already seen a small jump in velocity from Festa this spring, so there is no reason to suggest that he can't continue to add more velocity as he builds more strength, especially in his lower half. 

Round 14, 429th Overall

Pick: Pierson Ohl, RHP, Grand Canyon University

A three-year starter at GCU, Pierson Ohl has a proven track record of success at the collegiate level. For his career, Ohl has thrown 219 and 1/3 innings and has an ERA of 2.99 and 186 strikeouts. Perhaps the most impressive stat on Ohl is his minuscule walk rate, as he has walked just 1.3 batters per nine innings over the course of his entire career, which includes walking just 12 in 100 and 1/3 innings this spring on his way to being named the WAC Pitcher of the Year.

Round 15, 459th Overall

Pick: Mikey Perez, 2B/SS, UCLA

After getting limited playing time in his first two seasons at UCLA, Mikey Perez started every game for the Bruins this spring, with a majority of those games coming at second base alongside fellow UCLA middle infielder Matt McLain, who was taken by the Cincinnati Reds with the 17th overall pick in the draft. In addition to second, Perez also saw some time at both short and third, showing his versatility around the infield.

While it was not an impressive season for Perez from a batting average perspective (.231), he did draw a good number of walks and led the Bruins in home runs with 11. With such little playing time at the college level, it is hard to tell exactly how good of a player Perez is with the bat, but with his ability to play all over the infield along with some power potential he is a good shot for the Twins to take at this stage of the draft.

Round 16, 489th Overall

Pick: Johnathan Lavallee, RHP, Long Beach State

Johnathan Lavallee began his college baseball career at LA Pierce College, where he pitched for two seasons. After a dominate sophomore season, Lavallee transferred to Long Beach State. After an alright showing in 11 innings pitched in 2020, Lavallee put together a dominate season in 2021, as he had a mere 1.89 ERA in nine starts (11 total appearances). In 62 innings pitched, the Long Beach State right-hander struck out 73 batters and only walked 16 on his way to being named First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

Round 17, 519th Overall

Pick: Dylan Neuse, 2B, Texas Tech

We are in the 17th round, and this is already the third time the Twins have doubled-down on prospects from the same university, as Dylan Neuse is teammates with Twins 11th round pick Brandon Birdwell. Neuse was a starter each of the last three seasons for the Red Raiders, and slashed .305/.421/.477 with 10 home runs and 41 stolen bases.

After being named the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, Neuse was off to a solid start this spring, but suffered a season ending injury after getting hit in the back by a pitch. Coincidentally, Neuse's last game of the season came on April 11th, which was the same date of Brandon Birdwell's last game of the season. 

Round 18, 549th Overall

Pick: Mike Paredes, RHP, San Diego State

Mike Paredes split his time between the starting rotation and the bullpen in 2019, as he made five starts as part of 17 total appearances. After that season, Paredes began pitching almost exclusively out of the rotation. Paredes never had a lot of success as a pitcher at the collegiate level, as he had a career 5.28 ERA with 138 strikeouts and 43 walks over 148 and 1/3 innings pitched.

Round 19, 579th Overall

Pick: Jaylen Nowlin, LHP, Chipola College

In his lone season at Chipola College in Florida, Jaylen Nowlin was very impressive coming out of the bullpen, as he had an ERA of just 2.14 in 42 innings pitched. Nowlin has good strikeout stuff, as he struck out 12.6 batters per nine innings pitched, but he also struggles a bit with command as he walk 5.1 batters per nine innings this spring.

Round 20, 609th Overall

Pick: Dillon Tatum, C, UC Irvine

With their final selection of the 2021 MLB Draft, the Twins took their third college catcher, this time it was Dillon Tatum from UC Irvine. Tatum play his first three seasons of college baseball at San Joaquin Delta Junior College before transferring to UC Irvine for the 2021 season. In 40 games (37 starts) for the Anteaters this spring, Tatum slashed .278/.401/.684 and 15 home runs. 


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I wonder what the Twins know about the rotator cuff injury?  They seem to like grabbing guys with high upside but previous injury history.  This guy has already had TJ and now a rotator cuff shut him down.  That seems very high risk to me.  Hopefully the medicals look OK.

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Kyler Fedko, OF, UConn

Fedko was one of college baseball’s top hitters this spring, and earned All-American honors from five different outlets. After hitting .412 in an abbreviated 2020 season, the Pennsylvania native continued his strong play in 2021, hitting .396. The Big East Player of the Year showed an ability to hit for contact and power with 26 extra base hits.

He’s the 500th ranked prospect, per Baseball America.

“He has innate gifts,” UConn coach Jim Penders said. “He’s a very confident player. You can get on him, and it’s not going to mess his confidence up. I think the thing that separates Kyler from most guys his age is that he’s so willing to work on his craft.”

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4 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

I'm kind of bummed they weren't saving some of their pool to try to grab another HS athlete. 

This morning on the Day 2 thread I commented that we have plenty of savings opportunities between rounds Comp A and 6 ... easily could increase value of a 11-20 pick up to 2/3 value. I thought it would be enough to lure a HS away from a college commitment. My guy is Braden Montgomery. 

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4 minutes ago, NapoleonComplex said:

This morning on the Day 2 thread I commented that we have plenty of savings opportunities between rounds Comp A and 6 ... easily could increase value of a 11-20 pick up to 2/3 value. I thought it would be enough to lure a HS away from a college commitment. My guy is Braden Montgomery. 

I might be missing the strategy, but I struggle to understand why you wouldn't grab that guy in round 11, maybe 12 if that's what a team intended to do.

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Am I correct that the only two HS kids taken were the first two picks?  Certainly doesn't seem that they are working the bonus pool to grab that HS kid in round 11 or wherever and going over the $125K to keep him from college.  Don't know, but where there a lot fewer high school kids taken this year than normal?  With the reduction of minor league teams, maybe baseball is shifting to more like football where they put more emphasis on college for training rather than the low minor leagues.

Find the 11th round pick to be interesting.  Comments like "electric two pitch combo" seems more exciting than most of the throwers taken yesterday.  Considering he is/was injured, he may be thinking of going back for his senior season to increase his value in next year's draft.  In that case, they may intend to use any dollars saved to get him on board this year.

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25 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Fast reply!

Lots of releases already happen, but more will happen after all these signings. Two notes: 1. Teams can have HUGE amounts of players at complex 2. With all the weirdness of 2020, expect a lot of pitchers to simply get shut down until 2022.

Which is fine, but doesn't exactly lead to a quick call up. If anyone was hoping for a fast rising college arm to debut in a couple of years, that's probably not happening if they aren't going to pitch again until next summer.

Though considering Ober was drafted in 2017 and he's the first pitcher the current front office drafted and got to the majors, I suppose hoping for a 2-3 year turn time was probably already unreasonable.

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3 minutes ago, Dman said:

Looks like a balanced draft with 11 pitchers and 10 position players.  Could really use some arms at the A ball level so hoping some of these guys can contribute yet this year.  I guess we'll know pretty soon.

I could be mistaken, but don't they usually send even the seasoned college arms to the Rookie Leagues? Seems like a couple of guys who were known for their command, like Cole Sands, were sent to A ball. I'm trying to recall others, but it would be nice to see some of these guys move up.

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3 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

The Angels selected all pitchers. Wow.

Wow, and only one was a HS pitcher. 

Well, like the Twins, that's another club that is terrible at developing pitchers. Have to give them a hand for throwing everything at the wall to see what (if anything) will stick.

Not that I wanted the Twins to do that.

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An update:


@mbrooke_brooke
Replying to @Kevin_Goldstein
Kevin, on your 2nd point regarding pitchers. What would be the measuring tool. Just inning this yr vs last? Potential injury history. I would think orgs. would be looking to at least have an increase of innings to some degree.


@Kevin_Goldstein

2020 was super weird, as was the off-season. So many players got out of routines and many believe that's why we've had so many injuries this year. Just shut them down, give them a normal off-season and start fresh next year. It's fine.
 

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