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  • With the 61st Overall Pick the Twins Select Steven Hajjar


    Andrew Thares

    After adding two high schoolers on Day One of the draft, the Minnesota Twins went the college route in Round 2 selecting left-handed pitcher Steven Hajjar from the University of Michigan.

    Image courtesy of Thiéres Rabelo

     

    A college pitcher was a position that many Twins fans were begging for the Twins to take early in this year's draft. While that wish did not come true on Day One of the draft, the Twins did fulfill that wish right away on Day Two by selecting University of Michigan starting pitcher Steven Hajjar.

    At 6'5" and 215 pounds, Steven Hajjar is a physically imposing presence on the mound. Unlike Twins first round pick Chase Petty, Hajjar is not a guy that will light up the radar gun with his fastball, as he typically sits in the upper-80s to low-90s. Hajjar's best secondary offering is his changeup, which is probably his best pitch at this point. He also throws a both a mid-70s 12-6 curveball and a low-80s slider, both of which have some potential for development.

    Hajjar was previously selected in the 21st round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Milwuakee Brewers, but decided not to sign and went to play college baseball at Michigan. While Hajjar was on the 2019 Michigan squad that made it to the College World Series finals, he did not play on that team as he redshirted that season as a result of a torn ACL in his right knee. His first season for Michigan was the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season where he made four starts and put up a 2.70 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 11 walks in 20 innings pitched.

    This spring was a breakout season for Steven Hajjar, who was named All-Big Ten Conference First Team and led all Bid Ten pitchers with 110 strikeouts. In total, Hajjar threw 81 and 2/3 innings across 14 starts with a strikeout to walk ratio of 3.8.

     

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    Listening to Goldstein......great starting point to get this guy at 61....needs work. Good upside play. A LONG way to go. Everything beyond the FB needs work. A lot of room to grow. 

    (re-posted from draft thread, for those that won't go there). Goldstein works at Fangraphs, and used to be in a front office.

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    7 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

    Listening to Goldstein......great starting point to get this guy at 61....needs work. Good upside play. A LONG way to go. Everything beyond the FB needs work. A lot of room to grow. 

    (re-posted from draft thread, for those that won't go there). Goldstein works at Fangraphs, and used to be in a front office.

    I was underwhelmed so thanks for posting that.  Nice to see them going for some lefties.  I hope they can develop him like a Winder type but most all of the big ten pitchers we have taken have been bad picks so not overly confident this one is any better especially with the low velocity.  Kind of Reminds me of an Ober type I guess we will see.  At least FanGraphs likes the pick.

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    4 minutes ago, Dman said:

    I was underwhelmed so thanks for posting that.  Nice to see them going for some lefties.  I hope they can develop him like a Winder type but most all of the big ten pitchers we have taken have been bad picks so not overly confident this one is any better especially with the low velocity.  Kind of Reminds me of an Ober type I guess we will see.  At least FanGraphs likes the pick.

    This front office definitely likes college pitchers with big frames, and he certainly fits that bill.  They haven't been able to improve all of them, but we've seen some success with Winder being the prime example, and the potential is certainly there with Hajjar.  I expect they will have drafted a few more pitchers that fit that description before the day is done.

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    First concern I see is that he is a redshirt sophomore.  With his only having one year, plus a few innings during COVID last year, is he going to be a player who thinks he can move up and make a lot more $$$ by going back for his junior season?  Assume they know what he will sign for and the second round slot is around there, but that was my first thought.

     

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    1 minute ago, roger said:

    First concern I see is that he is a redshirt sophomore.  With his only having one year, plus a few innings during COVID last year, is he going to be a player who thinks he can move up and make a lot more $$$ by going back for his junior season?  Assume they know what he will sign for and the second round slot is around there, but that was my first thought.

     

    At this point, they pretty much have agreements in place before they pick a guy, from what I read and hear.

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    I managed to take in the NCAA regional at Notre Dame, where Hajjar was locked in a 1-1 duel through five innings before UConn scored three in the sixth on four singles sandwiched around a stolen base. The final hit was past a drawn-in 3B, as I recall. Can't give further specifics from memory, other than that it was a well-pitched game both ways to that point. 

    And given that the only other D-1 college game I've attended included a Larnach HR in the College World Series, I consider myself a good omen. 

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    Steven Haijar 

    Stephen Gonsalves

    .almost identical prospects at this stage after their collegiate Seasons

    HAIJAR Should be better than Gonsalves long term tho... he's a year younger than Stephen G was obviously ...maybe 2

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    Anybody here know with certainty how to pronounce his last name?  The online sources I found for the word in general would make it sound like "hah-YAR".  If he's of Arabic extraction that might be about right, but the draft day announcer had it as "HAD-jer", and  it wouldn't surprise me if it was something like "HEY-jar'.

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    41 minutes ago, ashbury said:

    Anybody here know with certainty how to pronounce his last name?  The online sources I found for the word in general would make it sound like "hah-YAR".  If he's of Arabic extraction that might be about right, but the draft day announcer had it as "HAD-jer", and  it wouldn't surprise me if it was something like "HEY-jar'.

    @Seth Stohs needs to make a video of him pronouncing his name, like he did with JT Chargois

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    12 hours ago, Shs_2 said:

    Steven Haijar 

    Stephen Gonsalves

    .almost identical prospects at this stage after their collegiate Seasons

    HAIJAR Should be better than Gonsalves long term tho... he's a year younger than Stephen G was obviously ...maybe 2

    Gonsalves never went to college, was drafted as a teenager, so I don’t really know what to make of your comparison.  Both lefties, though!

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