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  • Twins Daily Official MLB Draft Day 1


    Seth Stohs

    Happy MLB Draft Day 1, Twins fans!

    Since it became clear that the Minnesota Twins had the #1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, which happened fairly early last September, the fandom has been very excited about who the Twins might be able to add at the top of the draft. That day has come.

    This purpose of this article is to be a place for several draft-related resources and links, and a place for fans to keep updated of rumors and rumblings throughout the day. We ask that if you see an article online or a tweet with a rumor or nugget, that you post it in the comments below.

    At 6:00 central time, the draft will officially start. Moments later, the Twins will make their much-anticipated draft selection. But that won’t be it for the night. The Twins also have the 35th and 37th overall picks as well. Twins Daily will post articles about those draft picks moments after they are made.

    Note also that we will have Day 2 and Day 3 articles. In those articles, we will post the Twins picks made those days. Those articles will be updated throughout those two days. Rounds 3 through 10 are on Tuesday, and Rounds 11 through 40 will take place on Wednesday.

    Image courtesy of University of Louisville Athletics (photos of Brendan McKay)

    As you know, there will be a lot of rumors even throughout the day. It’s obviously a moving target. The reality is that there are likely a handful of people who know who the Twins will take at 1.1. At some point on Monday, they’ll have their decision.

    It will be based on a number of factors. First and foremost, it will be based on talent. The Twins will acquire a player with the first overall pick who has the potential and ability to be an all-star caliber player. That doesn’t always happen, of course, but the player will have the tools and such to become that.

    The Twins have likely seen each of the players in consideration for the top pick dozens upon dozens of times. The scouts, cross-checkers, and front office types are fully aware of what those players are as a player and as a person. They’ve had conversations with those players, their families, friends, teammates, coaches and others. For the college players, it’s likely they’ve been watching them for four to six years.

    The trick of course is looking at the player and all of the information on him and trying to project what that player will be in five to ten years. That is the part that isn’t a science, at least not yet.

    But science and technology has become more a part of the process. Many of the college programs have Trackman systems installed. Even some high schools are starting to get those. There is so much more information available.

    But the teams are also trying to figure out who can stay healthy. Drafting a pitcher comes with a bigger injury risk than drafting a hitter for obvious reasons.

    And, of course, dollars also come into play. It’s a strategy that has been used since the slotting system has been in the MLB draft. Most famously, the Astros were able to convince SS Carlos Correa to take millions less than the slot value for the #1 pick in 2012, and because of it, they were able to take RHP Lance McCullers and IF Rio Ruiz with their next two picks. As Jeremy has pointed out, the new draft slotting instituted this year makes it a bit more difficult to manipulate the draft, and since there are a handful of teams that have a second selection before the Twins, it could be difficult.

    THE NAMES

    At this stage, we pretty well know the names of the players the Twins are considering with the top pick.

    Louisville 1B/LHP Brendan McKay.

    Vanderbilt RHP Kyle Wright.

    Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA) SS/RHP Hunter Greene.

    In my opinion, all three of these guys are "safe" picks, but for different reasons. McKay legitimately has two paths to big league success. He can be a top-of-rotation starting pitcher, or he could be a middle-of-the-lineup bat. Could he possibly be both? Kyle Wright, in my opinion, is the safest pick for starting pitchers because of his stuff and his size and his makeup and more. How is Hunter Greene a safe pick? Well, he's the guy that everyone seems to believe is the best prospect. If the Twins took him and he didn't make it, most in the industry would say that the Twins were still right in shooting for the moon with such an elite talent.

    The bold pick, in my opinion, would be taking MacKenzie Gore. Many believe he is the best prep pitcher, with a mid-90s fastball and good secondary pitches.

    Most believe that those three are the guys most in consideration for the Twins first pick. However, if guys like MacKenzie Gore or Royce Lewis are willing to accept less money, they could still fit into the equation. While those two have not been talked about as much as the three listed above, they are both very talented. They are also both Scott Boras guys. Normally that might mean they’re guys to stay away from. However, Boras wants to maximize what his clients can get, so if they can make a little more than what they believe they will get by falling in the draft, maybe something could be worked out.

    MOST RECENT PERFORMANCES

    With both Louisville and Vanderbilt playing in Super Regionals, they pitched on Saturday. Here are their final lines:

    Brendan McKay (vs Kentucky): 6 IP, 8 hits, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts. Fastball was 89-94, with impressive curveball, slider, and cutter too.

    Kyle Wright (vs Oregon State): 6.2 IP, 8 hits, 7 earned runs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts. Fastball was 90-95, with an impressive curveball and changeup. He mixes those pitches well also.

    Hunter Greene hasn’t played lately (and hasn't pitched for a month or more), but he did come to Target Field on Friday for a workout. As you would expect, he was quite impressive. He is clearly the guy who would show up highest on prospect rankings because of the fastball and his athleticism and makeup.

    https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/873296225642176513

    While the Twins had people at all of those performances, it’s important to remember that each performance is just one data point on a chart that likely has 100s of dots on it. In other words, just because Wright’s line looked bad (and was bad), it isn’t likely to sway the Twins brass either way.

    TWINS DAILY DRAFT CONTENT

    Draft Profiles: MacKenzie Gore, Hunter Greene, Royce Lewis, Brendan McKay, Pavin Smith, Kyle Wright, and potential Minnesotans in the Draft.

    Jeremy provided a Draft Preview in which he discussed the slot values of each pick and overall. He wrote about the possibility of the Twins taking advantage of the slotting system to acquire more high-end talent.

    Seth caught up with ESPN’s Keith Law about the names at the top of the first round. Cody wondered if not drafting Hunter Greene could come back to haunt them. Nick wrote why Kyle Wright might be The Wright Fit for the Twins, considering his timeline.

    TWINS DAILY PREDICTIONS

    Here are some quick thoughts from Twins Daily writers:

    Seth Stohs:

    Personal Top 5 Rankings (as prospects): 1.) Hunter Greene, 2.) Kyle Wright, 3.) MacKenzie Gore, 4.) Royce Lewis, 5.) Brendan McKay

    Who Would You Take? Probably Kyle Wright.

    Who Do You Think The Twins Will Take? Brendan McKay

    I'd love to see the Twins get creative and find a way to save seven figures on their #1 pick. Hunter Greene is the most intriguing. Kyle Wright is probably the safest pitcher to pick. I'd be very curious to see if Derek Falvey would truly let McKay hit and pitch on his way up the ladder to really possibly be a big league two-way player. If he can do that, I'm all on board. I also really, really like Gore and Lewis and if the Twins can convince Boras to cut back a couple million from slot, I'd have no problem with them either.

    Nick Nelson:

    What is the definition of a "safe pick"? On the one hand, you could easily apply that description to someone like Kyle Wright or Brendan McKay – collegiate superstars and prototypical top-of-draft talents. On the other hand, isn't Hunter Greene the safest pick when you really think about it? He ranks first on almost every analyst's board. He's a media sensation and will generate tremendous buzz for the franchise. If he fizzles out, the Twins aren't going to look silly; they made the choice most people in the industry viewed as obvious. But that will be of little consolation if his development stalls exactly as they foresaw in their evaluations.

    I guess at the end of the day, there really is no safe pick.

    My Top Five:

    1. Hunter Greene

    2. Kyle Wright

    3. MacKenzie Gore

    4. Brendan McKay

    5. Royce Lewis

    Cody Christie:

    Personal Top 5 Rankings: 1.) Hunter Greene, 2.) Royce Lewis, 3.) Kyle Wright, 4.) MacKenzie Gore, 5.) Brendan McKay

    Who Would You Take? Hunter Greene

    Who Do You Think The Twins Will Take? Kyle Wright

    I’ve always put a higher value on younger players with a ton of potential. That was one of the reasons I had Miguel Sano number one on my prospect list while he was still playing in the rookie leagues. Greene has impressed me every step of the way. The more I hear about him, the more I want him to be part of the Twins organization. Lewis is also a raw talent that the Twins could develop over the next decade. He could be a mainstay in their line-up for years to come. Wright is the safest and I think that’s the direction the club will go.

    Tom Froemming:

    Personal Top 5 Rankings (as prospects): 1) Hunter Greene, 2) MacKenzie Gore, 3) Kyle Wright, 4) Brendan McKay, 5) Royce Lewis

    Who Would You Take? Greene

    Who Do You Think Will The Twins Take? Greene

    Have you seen a single big board that didn’t have Hunter Greene on top? I’ve heard all the rumors saying the Twins are going another direction, but I’m not buying it. Greene is the best athlete and has the highest ceiling. Sure, that comes with a scary floor/bust potential, but the opportunity to acquire a talent like this isn’t going to come around every year. On the other hand, I look at those top five names and don’t see a single bad pick. I’ll understand if the Twins pass on Greene, especially if that means they net more talent with the 35th and 37th picks.

    NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

    Here are some of the most recent draft player rankings and some mock drafts.

    DOLLARS AND SENSE

    Here the slot values for the Twins picks in the top ten rounds.

    1st overall (Round 1): $7,770,700

    35th overall (Comp Round A): $1,935,300

    37th overall (Round 2): $1,846,100

    76th overall (Round 3): $755,500

    106th overall (Round 4): $507,000

    136th overall (Round 5): $378,700

    166th overall (Round 6): $283,300

    196th overall (Round 7): $220,700

    226th overall (Round 8): $174,400

    256th overall (Round 9): $148,000

    286th overall (Round 10): $137,100

    ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE

    Until the Twins officially make their announcement, it’s hard to know with complete certainty what the Twins will do. Consider six weeks ago, everyone assumed that Hunter Greene was the easy choice at #1. Starting about a month ago, people believed that Kyle Wright was the top choice. Then suddenly on Friday, about 12 hours after writing that Wright would go #1, mlb.com’s Jim Callis posted a new mock draft in which he said the Twins were planning to take McKay with the top pick.

    That’s why this Day 1 thread is here. We want the comments to be filled with everything that’s out there as things are subject to change even throughout the day.

    Again, moments after the Twins make their first pick, we’ll have an article, and we can discuss the player that the Twins take (and presumably many will write about the players the Twins did not take) with the first overall pick.

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    I think it's safe to say that we'll hear how this is going to go, one way or the other, this afternoon. That's been the trend, because teams need to negotiate with players to make sure they can sign them for what they think they can. 

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    Jeremy Nygaard laid out an interesting scenario in which the Twins take Royce Lewis #1 in a Twitter thread. 

     

    https://twitter.com/jeremynygaard/status/873932994616197121

     

    The way he lays it out, the Twins would end up with a top end talent, also get a toolsy prep position player (which is something they do) and save a ton of money for another big pick with their 35th or 37th picks. It's interesting.

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    Everyone talks about Greens bust potential. Isn't that moreso as a pitcher? He could bust as a pitcher but still have upside at short, no?

    Same with McKay.

     

    Maybe it makes more sense to draft someone who can play two positions well rather than just a pitcher. It would give a lot more bench flexibility too.

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    My hope is that if the pick is McKay, that if he's putting his full energy into one position (he's been very good at both pitching and hitting) that he can be great at one.

     

    Obviously his timetable is more appealing than Greene, though I don't see Falvey/Levine being shortsighted while making this choice at 1.

    Edited by InfraRen
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    My hope is that if the pick is McKay, that if he's putting his full energy into one position (he's been very good at both pitching and hitting) that he can be great at one.

     

    Obviously his timetable is more appealing than Greene, though I don't see Falvey/Levine being shortsighted while making this choice at 1.

     

    I've heard others say this, however there is no way for the team to know if playing only one position will make an impact; it would be a total guess. And frankly, seeing as guys start to lose velocity around 22-23 years old, any gains made by a new approach may quickly be lost to age. If they pick McKay they are doing so assuming they are picking a guy who throws 89-91 with pick 1:1.

     

    I've been waiting to get an ace for a decade. I'm going to be really bummed if they don't get a guy who has a legit chance to become one.

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    I've heard others say this, however there is no way for the team to know if playing only one position will make an impact; it would be a total guess. And frankly, seeing as guys start to lose velocity around 22-23 years old, any gains made by a new approach may quickly be lost to age. If they pick McKay they are doing so assuming they are picking a guy who throws 89-91 with pick 1:1.

     

    I've been waiting to get an ace for a decade. I'm going to be really bummed if they don't get a guy who has a legit chance to be one tonight.

     

    Oh I would take the shot on Greene for sure, myself.

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    1. The coverage here has been amazing. I doubt there is another site on the web this good (for 1 team). Thank you all.

     

    2. Taking a "soft tossing" SP would really annoy me.

     

    3. I want upside more than anything else, so I go Greene or Gore.

     

    4. I don't see them getting shots at ACE types in FA, like the Cubs or other teams, so i don't think they can ignore pitching early as a strategy.

     

    5. I would be good with Greene, Gore, Wright.

     

    6. I would be less good with others.

     

    7. 7 teams have at least 1 more pick before the Twins, and the spreads aren't as big as previous years. So, I don't think saving money to get a guy to drop is as easy this year.

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    I think I'm ok with any of the top tier guys although I lean toward Wright. I am curious on what McKay can do once he stops being a two way player and I think we're putting too much stock in his velocity. He's a stud. He's either the best college pitcher or the second best college pitcher. He's not Scott Baker. 

     

    If they take Greene, is he fast to the majors like Berrios - meaning 2021 rookie season? If the Twins can take someone in that top teir at 1/1 and still save money for 35/37, great.

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    I found the note very interesting on the BA mock, they said a Twins front office guy says the pick is down to 4, McKay, Wright, Greene, and Lewis. It's very interesting that Gore was removed but not Lewis, I wonder if a pre draft deal could be done with him a la Correa in 2012, if you remember Correa was ranked in the 5-8 range that year and nobody had mocked him to the Astros, it was practically all Appel and a few Buxton

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    Lot of steam on McKay... I could get behind him as a two-way guy but would also hope he's saving them money if that's their choice.

     

    I'd really like to see how Falvey and Levine rate him in comparison to say, Stephen Gonsalves.

     

    They sound pretty similar to me.

     

    Gonsalves on MLB.com: Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curve: 50 | Slider: 40 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

     

    "Gonsalves reached Double-A for the first time in 2016 and continued to baffle hitters, finishing among the Minor League's best in ERA and batting average against. He does so with a low-90s fastball coming from his 6-foot-5 frame that might still have a little more velocity to come. His changeup is his best secondary offering, an excellent sinking offspeed pitch. His curve continues to get better as he throws it more, and he still tinkers with a slider."

     

    McKay on MLB.com: Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 6

     

    "McKay usually opens games on the mound by working with a 90-94 mph fastball that loses a couple ticks of velocity by the middle innings. He could add more velo and maintain it better if he focused on pitching full-time, and his fastball command is so good that his heater is effective in the upper 80s. McKay's curveball is a consistent plus pitch and he's working on refining a changeup that he hasn't needed much to this point in his career."

     

     

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    In a Strib article from last week Greene mentions his relationship with Torii Hunter. Evidently they met at a fundraiser and exchanged phone numbers. Since joining the FO Hunter has been deployed to scout for the draft and was on  hand at Greene's TF showcase. I wonder how much clout Torii will have in the draft and whether he is personally pulling for Greene.

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    In a Strib article from last week Greene mentions his relationship with Torii Hunter. Evidently they met at a fundraiser and exchanged phone numbers. Since joining the FO Hunter has been deployed to scout for the draft and was on  hand at Greene's TF showcase. I wonder how much clout Torii will have in the draft and whether he is personally pulling for Greene.

     

    Baseball America had a post about how Greene's workout really impressed the "former players" of the Twins front office. 

     

    https://t.co/FlN0z8QmU0

    Edited by InfraRen
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    McKay, if I'm understanding what I've read accurately, is neither the best pitcher nor hitter in the draft...and we expect he'll go first overall? Hmmm... I don't understand this new fascination with the mythica two-way player. I am as intrigued by Shohei as anyone, but even he is probably not destined to hit on a regular basis in MLB.

     

    Go with Greene, please.

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    I found the note very interesting on the BA mock, they said a Twins front office guy says the pick is down to 4, McKay, Wright, Greene, and Lewis. It's very interesting that Gore was removed but not Lewis, I wonder if a pre draft deal could be done with him a la Correa in 2012, if you remember Correa was ranked in the 5-8 range that year and nobody had mocked him to the Astros, it was practically all Appel and a few Buxton

    I was thinking about Correa too when I started hearing these Lewis hypotheticals. 

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    McKay, if I'm understanding what I've read accurately, is neither the best pitcher nor hitter in the draft...and we expect he'll go first overall? Hmmm... I don't understand this new fascination with the mythica two-way player. I am as intrigued by Shohei as anyone, but even he is probably not destined to hit on a regular basis in MLB.

    Go with Greene, please.

    He might be the best hitter. It's either him or Pavin Smith. He might be the best pitcher, too. 

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    Lot of steam on McKay... I could get behind him as a two-way guy but would also hope he's saving them money if that's their choice.

     

    I'd really like to see how Falvey and Levine rate him in comparison to say, Stephen Gonsalves.

     

    They sound pretty similar to me.

     

    Gonsalves on MLB.com: Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curve: 50 | Slider: 40 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

     

    "Gonsalves reached Double-A for the first time in 2016 and continued to baffle hitters, finishing among the Minor League's best in ERA and batting average against. He does so with a low-90s fastball coming from his 6-foot-5 frame that might still have a little more velocity to come. His changeup is his best secondary offering, an excellent sinking offspeed pitch. His curve continues to get better as he throws it more, and he still tinkers with a slider."

     

    McKay on MLB.com: Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 6

     

    "McKay usually opens games on the mound by working with a 90-94 mph fastball that loses a couple ticks of velocity by the middle innings. He could add more velo and maintain it better if he focused on pitching full-time, and his fastball command is so good that his heater is effective in the upper 80s. McKay's curveball is a consistent plus pitch and he's working on refining a changeup that he hasn't needed much to this point in his career."

     

    I'd have to agree.   As any one who has watched Gonsalves pitch, those numbers don't do his stuff or his ability to "feel" his pitches justice.   I saw Mckay pitch against Kentucky, and he looked really good against a good hitting team.   His stuff was just sneaky good.  

     

    I've said it before, but pure velocity is overrated.   Location and movement (as well as "feel") will always trump pure speed (Greg Maddux anyone?), and I'd take that in a heart beat over it.

     

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    McKay, if I'm understanding what I've read accurately, is neither the best pitcher nor hitter in the draft...and we expect he'll go first overall? Hmmm... I don't understand this new fascination with the mythica two-way player. I am as intrigued by Shohei as anyone, but even he is probably not destined to hit on a regular basis in MLB.

    Go with Greene, please.

     

    Statistically, he may be the best at both.

     

    I think all of them are a bit of a crap shoot, and I haven't seen any of them pitch.   Given it's year one of the new crew, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt (there is a one year limit on this :) )

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