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Ahead of the draft, which starts on Sunday night, let's check in with the Twins 2021 draft to see how last year's draft class is shaking out.


2022 Prospect PreviewToo often, as the draft approaches, we focus on the first-round pick and nothing else. That’s a mistake we’re doomed to repeat over and over again. It’s also true retrospectively, and it clouds our analysis and judgment. For example, thinking about the 2020 draft, folks immediately think about Aaron Sabato and less about Marco Raya. With that in mind ahead of draft kickoff on Sunday night, let’s check in with the Minnesota Twins draft class of 2021. It’s shaping up to be incredibly impressive.

Round 1: Chase Petty, RHP (A-Ball)
Petty was an exciting pick for the Twins, bucking a trend of not selecting prep pitchers in early rounds. A 102 mph fastball also added to the excitement (let’s hope they stick with the high-velocity trend). Petty was traded in the off-season to the Reds for Sonny Gray. So far in 2022, Petty has struck out 58 in 61 innings of work to go along with a 3.39 ERA in A ball, a solid start for a 19-year-old. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Preseason #9 Prospect

Competitive Balance A: Noah Miller, SS (Fort Myers)
Miller is still just 19 and has spent all of 2022 at Fort Myers. A legitimate shortstop prospect, he has the defensive chops, movement, and range to stay at the position long-term. While Miller’s hitting is still a work in progress (.238 average) he has incredible strike zone control and has worked 50 walks in 73 games in 2022 (.365 OBP). Patience is key with Miller, but things are ticking over nicely in Fort Myers. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Sire of Ft. Myers Consideration

2: Steven Hajjar, LHP (Fort Myers)
The first of a pair of talented left-handed starters drafted by the Twins, Hajjar has battled injuries in 2022 but has been completely dominant when on the mound. Despite walks being an issue (23 in 37 innings), Hajjar has struck out 61 batters and limited opposing offenses to a .160 batting average. (2022 Prospect Preview

3: Cade Povich, LHP (Cedar Rapids)
Povich is another exciting talent from the early rounds of the 2021 draft that is proving abundant for the organization. Povich has a 3.62 ERA at Cedar Rapids in 69 2/3 innings of work in 2022. He’s also managed an eye-popping 97 strikeouts in that time. Povich has added velocity as he has filled out and has a ton more projectability in his frame. He’s one to watch for the Twins. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Twins Spotlight Interview

4: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 1B/3B (Wichita)
Encarnacion Strand is another incredible success story in 2022, with a Jose Miranda-like breakout. He’s already crushed 26 home runs in his first 98 minor league games across three levels. After putting up a .370 OBP at Cedar Rapids he was promoted to Wichita. In his second Double-A game on Friday night, he clobbered two home runs. In 76 games this season across two levels, he’s managed a .616 SLG, 22 home runs, and 74 RBIs. Based purely on performance, Encarnacion-Strand would be a first-round pick in a redraft of 2021 selections.

5: Christian MacLeod, LHP (Rookie Ball)
MacLeod has pitched just 1 2/3 innings so far in his pro career. His career with the Twins is yet to get off the ground because he had Tommy John surgery during spring training.

6: Travis Adams, RHP (Fort Myers)
Adams has been in the rotation for Fort Myers all season, accumulating 14 starts. He’s pitched well overall, striking out 64 batters in 64 2/3 innings to go along with a 3.62 ERA and pinpoint control (15 walks).

7: Jake Rucker, 3B (Cedar Rapids)
A 22-year-old third baseman, Rucker has played at two levels in 2022, recently being promoted to Cedar Rapids. In his first 12 games in Iowa, he has a .367 OBP.

8: Noah Cardenas, C (Fort Myers)
The Twins eighth-round pick out of UCLA has been at Fort Myers all season after getting his feet wet in rookie ball at the end of 2021. Cardenas has shown excellent strike zone control, racking up 50 walks in 63 games, contributing to a gaudy .409 OBP.

9: Pat Winkel, C (Cedar Rapids)
A college teammate of Kyler Fedko, Winkel is currently at Cedar Rapids. His season was delayed by almost two months on the Injured List. The Twins 9th round pick has a .726 OPS through his first 25 games at High A.

10: Ernie Yake, SS (St. Paul)
Yake has played at four levels in 2022, mostly to plug holes for other promotions. He began the season in Ft. Myers but was called up to St. Paul when needed. He then spent time in Wichita. Currently, he is rehabbing in the FCL. Speaks to the confidence the organization has in his makeup, and his defense. 

11: Brandon Birdsell, RHP (did not sign)
Birdsell was a pitcher who fell in the draft due to injury concerns and opted to return to school at Texas Tech. He struck out 106 in 85 innings of work in college in 2022 and promises to be a top 150 pick this July.

12: Kyler Fedko, OF (Cedar Rapids)
An outfielder selected out of UConn, Fedko lit up Fort Myers early in the 2022 season to the tune of a .422 OBP through 26 games. He was promoted to Cedar Rapids, where the on-base numbers still look good (.340). (Three Questions With... Interview

13: David Festa, RHP (Cedar Rapids)
Festa is one of the greatest early success stories of the 2021 draft. A weekend starter for Seton Hall, he checks in at 6’6, 185 pounds (so plenty of projectability left). Festa struck out 33 batters in just 24 innings at Fort Myers, sporting a 1.50 ERA. He was the starter in the Mussels first no-hitter of the season. After being promoted to Cedar Rapids, he’s kept at it. In 48-plus innings at High A, he has a 1.86 ERA with 51 punch outs. Festa sports an upper 90s fastball and is a rising star in the Twins system. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Twins Spotlight Interview

14: Pierson Ohl, RHP (Fort Myers)
Ohl was a pitcher Seth interviewed and we wrote up prior to the 2022 season. Drafted as a control pitcher, Ohl has put up impressive strikeout numbers so far at Fort Myers. In 55 innings, he’s struck out 65 batters. His great challenge is lower velocity. He’s surrendering a .282 batting average against in his 12 starts so far this season. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Twins Spotlight Interview

15: Mikey Perez, SS (Fort Myers)
The 22-year-old infielder already has 240 at-bats at Fort Myers in 2022. He’s hitting .222/.327/.396 through 70 games so far this season.

16: Jonathan Lavallee, RHP
Lavallee has pitched very limited innings in 2022. After starting at rookie ball, he was moved up to Fort Myers. The 22-year-old is yet to give up a run in five innings of work in A ball, striking out six batters.

17: Dylan Neuse, SS (Cedar Rapids)
An older prospect at 23, Neuse started the season at Fort Myers but was moved up to Cedar Rapids. He’s struggled in his first 26 games with the bat, hitting just .198, but is on base plenty (.343). His brother Sheldon plays for the Oakland A's. 

18: Mike Paredes, RHP (Fort Myers)
A 21-year-old right-handed pitcher, Paredes is at Fort Myers in 2022. In 54 plus innings pitched this season, he surrendered just a 2.15 ERA, striking out 44, and walking just 10. His highlight may be throwing the first six innings of one of the Mighty Mussels no-hitters. 

19: Jaylen Nowlin, LHP (Fort Myers)
Nowlin is a developmental arm to watch. Pitching for Fort Myers, largely in a starting role in 2022, he’s racked up 68 strikeouts in just 41.2 innings pitched. Walks have been a problem (25 so far in 2022), but he’s giving up a .226 average to opposing hitters. Keep an eye out for his development.

20: Dillon Tatum, C (Fort Myers)
The 22 year old catcher drafted out of UC-Irvine is currently at Fort Myers. In 145 at-bats, he’s hitting just .166 with five home runs. He has also been the catcher for both of the Mussels no-hitters this season. 

How do you think the Twins 2021 draft class is shaping up? Who are the prospects you are most excited about?



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I sincerely hope that the same FO employees who had input in choosing the 2021 draft prospects are still in charge of the Twins 2022 draft. What an incredible draft 2021 was. Miller, Encarnacion-Strand, Festa and Pop, etc.. And Petty is a super star in the making. I understand the trade for Gray, but I wish it had not cost us Petty. After reading his article I have 100 % confidence in the Twins FO to make some really good choices in the draft today. I can't wait.

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