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A Lot of Mocks, A Lot of Directions


Jeremy Nygaard
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Mock draft season is going to really heat up over the next few weeks. Players' demands become clearer and teams must solidify their board with as much information as they possibly can.

Keith Law of The Athletic and both Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of MLB.com have released updated mocks over the last week. Baseball America did a "staff mock draft." We'll have Twins Daily/Brewer Fanatic Mock Draft v.2.0 posted right here next week. 

Keith Law and joined an earlier Jim Callis mock draft, projecting the Twins to select Campbell SS Zach Neto. Now, how high Neto is on their board remains to be seen. Law has them taking Neto over Gavin Cross (OF, Virginia Tech) and Cole Young (SS, Pennsylvania prep), while Callis arrives on Neto because Termarr Johnson (2B, Georgia prep) and Cam Collier (3B, Florida prep) are off the board.

Says Baseball America about Neto, who they currently rank him 16th on their board: 

Quote

Listed at 6-foot, 185 pounds, Neto shows only average raw power in batting practice, but he backspins the ball consistently and has solid bat speed and barrel manipulation—enough so that scouts think he’ll get to every ounce of the raw power that he does have, with potentially above-average game power depending on the major league environment. There are some questions about whether his setup will need to be simplified at the next level against better competition, but so far Neto has shown an ability to be on time. Neto has played all over the infield for Campbell but was the team’s everyday shortstop in 2022. He has solid hands and defensive actions, with easy plus arm strength that allows him to make challenging throws in the hole. 

At this point, every connection made to the Twins and their first pick has involved a hitter, though it's been split on a college or prep hitter.

Callis, more recently, pairs the Twins with Jacob Berry (hitter, LSU) and Jonathan Mayo has the Twins selecting Gavin Cross (OF, Virginia Tech) for the third straight time. Both are being selected on the strength on their bat, while Cross projects as a much more serviceable defender than Berry. 

Of note, *maybe*, Callis mentions other players the Twins may be interested in and actually lists a pitcher, Connor Prielipp (LHP, Alabama) who hasn't pitched while recovering from Tommy John surgery. On the heels of a promising throwing session at the Draft Combine, Prielipp is now under consideration for a Top 10 pick. 

JJ Cooper of Baseball America go the responsibility of making the selections for the Twins in Baseball America's two-round "staff draft." Cooper was hoping to take Cam Collier with the 8th pick, but saw him go to the Cubs one pick earlier. 

Instead he paired the Twins with Jace Jung (2B, Texas Tech) who is another strong hitter with a questionable defensive future and Thomas Harrington (RHP, Campbell) in the second round. Harrington doesn't represent an overly high-floor selection, but he would be a pretty safe pick who projects as a mid-rotation starter.  

TWINS MOCK DRAFTS
Callis Law Mayo Baseball America McDaniel TwinsDaily
Jacob Berry
3B/OF
LSU
(6/22)
Zach Neto
SS
Campbell
(6/21)
Gavin Cross
OF
Virginia Tech

(6/15)
Cam Collier
3B
Chipola JC
(6/3)
Jacob Berry
RF
LSU
(6/1)
Cam Collier
3B
Chipola JC
(5/26)
Zach Neto
SS
Campbell
(6/8)
Cole Young
SS
Pennsylvania HS
(5/19)
Gavin Cross
OF
Virginia Tech

(6/1)
Jacob Berry
3B/1B
LSU
(4/1)
   
Jacob Berry
3B/OF
LSU
(5/25)
  Gavin Cross
OF
Virginia Tech

(5/18)
Chase DeLauter OF James Madison (2/10)"}" style="padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; text-align:center; vertical-align:middle">Chase DeLauter
OF
James Madison
(2/10)
   
Jace Jung
2B
Texas Tech
(5/11)
  Jacob Berry
3B/OF
LSU
(4/27)
     

JEREMY's BIG BOARD will return after next week's mock draft.

MOCK DRAFTS / PROSPECT BOARDS

Baseball America - Staff Draft (6/22/22) / v4.0 (5/26/22) the draft changed but the link stayed the same / v2.0 (4/1/22)v1.0 (2/10/22) / Top 300 (4/27/22) / Staff Draft v.1.0 (4/20/22)

MLB.com - Mayo Mock Draft (6/1/22) / Callis Mock Draft (5/25/22) / Mayo Mock Draft (5/18/22) / Callis Mock Draft (5/11/22)Mock Draft (4/27/22) / Callis - Top 10 (12/15/21), Mayo - Top 20 (7/20/21) / Top 150 (4/25/22)

The Athletic - Law Mock Draft (6/21/22)Bowden Top 10 (6/1/22) / Law Mock Draft (5/19/22)Law Top 100 (5/5/22) / Law Top 30 (3/10/22)

ESPN - McDaniel Mock Draft (6/1/22) / Early Draft Rankings (7/26/21) ($$$ - ESPN+) / McDaniel’s Draft Rankings (2/24/22) / Draft Rankings 2.0 (4/27/22)

Fangraphs - The Board / 2022 MLB Draft Rankings and Offseason List Primer (11/30/21) 

Prospects Live - v3.0 (6/6/22) / v2.0 (4/21/22) / v1.0 (1/4/22) 

 

 


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I believe I said it last week but I am getting good vibes on Neto.  He looks like he can stick at short.  Had only a 7% K rate this year so he can make contact which is a good thing.  He is a little light on the power stroke but the Twins have been pretty good at helping guys get there.  I think he is a solid up the middle player that could be a plus defender and plus bat.  If the top 7 fall like the Mocks think they will then Neto is my choice.  If any of the other top 7 guys fall to 8 might have to rethink things but Neto is growing on me at pick 8.

Cross probably is an OK pick as well but there were questions about strike zone recognition and with all the outfielders in play right now for Minnesota it isn't an exciting pick IMO. A player with up the middle potential seems like a better use of pick 8 to me all things being equal.

I don't like Jung either and his bat has fallen off as well.  I could be convinced on Berry since he is a switch hitter but sitting at 8 do you really want to take a DH?

I was thinking Young with an under-slot deal at 8 but if Neto is there and with his ability to make contact he feels like a safer pick to me.  I could end up being wrong but I think Young is going to fall down the board.  Will have to wait and see. Anyway that is my take.

 

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I recently found an archived email folder which had me and a few buddies discussing the NFL draft from 2009-2010-ish. We were debating about whether Jimmy Clausen, Ryan Mallet or Colt McCoy was the better NFL prospect. Unrelated yet sort of related. 

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This draft is so hard to predict that I think outside the top 3 or 4, there may be some surprises.  I agree with Dman that we don't need another DH type, or someone with defensive issues.  The nice thing about drafting shortstops is that they often can transition to other positions defensively if need be so long as the hit tool is there.  Actually, while it is important to have players who can drive the ball, I think Arraez is proving that having players who use the whole field and take great at bats is just as important if not more important than hitting the ball over the fence.  So Neto's lack of big time power is not an issue for me.  I think we may see teams adding these types of players in the next few years as they try to add balance to their offenses.  IMHO, it would make the game more interesting.

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I’d be totally onboard a Neto pick. He’s batted over 400 each of the last two seasons for Campbell. In the NCAA regionals in three games against Georgia Tech and Tennessee, he went 7 for 13 with 3 doubles and 3 walks, including going 2-2 with a double against Chase Dollander. (He also got a hit and a walk off of Marquis Grissom Jr).  He also has pitched 25 innings for the team in more than a dozen relief appearances for the Camels, including getting three saves this year.  They probably could have used him on the mound in their game against Tennessee - they trailed 8-7 after 8 and then gave up 4 runs in the 9th.

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I know too little about all of these guys to make an informed comment.  I have read that Jace Jung is the bat first field later college bat we have been known to target some times.  I am opposed to that, as we have too many in our system right now.  I am always fans of college SS later in first round as they generally are good athletes and can play most positions even if they cannot stick SS long term.  No matter the pick I will do what I always do, wait and see.  You should always take best available and never worry about need, because other than a few select college pitchers just about no one makes debut for about 2 to 5 years depending on age at draft. 

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