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  • Reviewing Minnesota's Recent First Round Picks


    Cody Christie

    This week’s MLB Draft is certainly going to have a different look and feel. The draft will be limited to five rounds and many of the players being selected played little or no spring season due to the on-going pandemic. Because of their strong finish last season, the Twins will have the 27th overall pick in the first round. How has the club fared in recent drafts with their first-round selections?

    Image courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff))

    2019: Keoni Cavaco, SS (13th overall)

    Twins Daily 2020 Top Prospect Ranking: 8

    2019 Season (Rookie): .172/.217/.253 (.470 OPS), HR, 4 2B, 35 K

    Cavaco flew up draft boards in the weeks and months leading up to the draft and the Twins saw enough in him to make him their first-round pick. He clearly had some struggles in his first professional season as he struck out in over 40% of his at-bats. His athleticism and other tools are hard to ignore, so Twins fans might have to be patient with him as he moves through the system.

    2018: Trevor Larnach, OF (20th overall)

    Twins Daily 2020 Top Prospect Ranking: 3

    2019 Season (A+/AA): .309/.384/.458 (.842 OPS), 13 HR, 30 2B, 124 K

    Larnach was drafted in the midst of a tremendous College World Series run that saw him hit a walk-off home run that helped Oregon State win the championship. Last season was a breakout campaign for the former first rounder. The Twins named him their Minor League Player of the Year and he took home the same honors from Twins Daily. He would also be named the Florida State League Player of the Year and he led the Twins organization in hits (147).

    2017: Royce Lewis, SS (1st overall)

    Twins Daily 2020 Top Prospect Ranking: 1

    2019 Season (A+/AA): .236/.290/.371 (.661 OPS), 12 HR, 26 2B, 123 K

    When a team has the number one pick, it’s imperative not to miss on the player. Lewis had some struggles last season with his swing and there are questions about his long-term defensive position. Following the season, he went to the Arizona Fall League and put some of those concerns to rest as he was named the league’s MVP. He is almost unanimously considered the team’s best prospect and all three major prospect rankings have him as a top-30 prospect in all of baseball.

    2016: Alex Kirilloff (15th overall)

    Twins Daily 2020 Top Prospect Ranking: 2

    2019 Season (AA): .283/.343/.413 (.756 OPS), 9 HR, 18 2B, 76 K

    It was going to be hard for any player to live up to the season compiled by Kirilloff back in 2018. He was arguably one of the best hitters in all the minors that season. His 2019 campaign included multiple stints on the DL with a wrist injury and this can be a tough injury to overcome in the middle of a season. He ended the year on a tear by hitting .319/.371/.496 (.867) and he crack home runs in Pensacola’s first four playoff games.

    2015: Tyler Jay (6th overall)

    Twins Daily 2020 Top Prospect Ranking: No longer in the organization

    The previous front office regime had hopes for Jay by taking him this high in the draft. As a hard throwing college arm, the Twins hoped to be able to turn Jay from a reliever into a starter. This experiment didn’t exactly go as planned and the Twins traded Jay last June to the Cincinnati Reds for cash. It was just announced this week that Jay was one of the players released from the Reds organization, so he is currently searching for a new organization.

    What do you think of Minnesota’s recent first round picks? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    The 6th overall pick not even on a team 5 years after the pick.  Just sad.  I have big hopes for Kirilloff and Lewis.  Larnich I think will have a good career but I am bigger on Kirilloff, if I had to pick between the two.  Cavaco I do not mind the draft the athlete and hope he can make moves.  I am sure he will take more time to develop, but Twins are not in a position they need to rush.    

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    The 6th overall pick not even on a team 5 years after the pick.  Just sad.

    This sort of outcome occurs for #6 overall every 2 or 3 drafts. For each Barry Bonds or Gary Sheffield, you have a Paul Coleman or Geoff Girdley who never even reaches the Show, or a Jeremy Sowers or Seth Greisinger who has a few moments but makes no real impact.

     

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?overall_pick=6&draft_type=junreg&query_type=overall_pick&from_type_jc=0&from_type_hs=0&from_type_4y=0&from_type_unk=0

     

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    This sort of outcome occurs for #6 overall every 2 or 3 drafts. For each Barry Bonds or Gary Sheffield, you have a Paul Coleman or Geoff Girdley who never even reaches the Show, or a Jeremy Sowers or Seth Greisinger who has a few moments but makes no real impact.

     

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?overall_pick=6&draft_type=junreg&query_type=overall_pick&from_type_jc=0&from_type_hs=0&from_type_4y=0&from_type_unk=0
     

    Very interesting to look at.  I looked up the draft and the biggest miss, with some players still in minors being out of HS, is Walker Buehler, the second pitcher drafted from Vanderbilt.  The first one being Carson Fulmer going 2 picks after Jay.  Just shows how much of a crap shoot projecting players can be.  There were 9 pitchers taken before Buehler, several from HS so jury still out on them, but sure most teams wish they would have taken Buehler instead of who they did. 

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