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  • Get to Know Twins Draft Pick Connor Prielipp


    Ted Schwerzler

    Picking 8th overall in the 2022 Major League Baseball draft, the Twins were bound to wind up with a solid talent. After grabbing Brooks Lee, they found themselves in position to get another first-round talent when they took Alabama’s Connor Prielipp in round two.

    Image courtesy of Gary Cosby Jr. via Imagn Content Services, LLC

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    A lefty starter from Tomah, Wisconsin, Connor Prielipp was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2019 and tabbed as the state’s top draft prospect. As the Crimson Tide staff ace, Prielipp dominated to the tune of 21 scoreless innings with 35 strikeouts before the pandemic ended the 2020 season. He underwent Tommy John surgery last May, but showed well during the Major League Baseball draft combine. Prielipp has a devastating slider and can touch 95 mph on his fastball.

    He’s agreed to an over-slot deal with the Twins. His professional career will soon be underway, I caught up with him in the days following the selection.

    Twins Daily: Your draft status was talked about as an early pick, but having not pitched after surgery you had to have some uncertainty as to how things would go. What was the experience surrounding the draft and workouts for you?

    Connor Prielipp: Yeah, not pitching for a long time was really tough on me, but I never lost the confidence that I had while I was playing, and I always believed in myself. I was able to do the bullpen in Hoover and the [MLB] Combine and to be fortunate enough to give myself the opportunity to play professional baseball.

    TD: Your stuff was some of the best in the country prior to Tommy John surgery. How have you rebuilt following surgery and where do you feel like you’re at now?

    CP: My Tommy John surgery rehab has gone very well throughout the whole process, and I feel like I am just about back to my old self at the moment.

    TD: With such an impressive slider and the Twins being notable for loving the pitch, what are you most excited about developing with your offerings and repertoire?

    CP: I am very excited to start working with a professional staff, and I am not working on anything, in particular, to add to my repertoire at the moment.

    TD: Coming into professional baseball, what do you think is the thing that you as a pitcher can take the biggest leap? How do you feel about the pitch clock in the minors?

    CP: The biggest leap that I can take as a pitcher coming into professional baseball is to just become more polished and to be more consistent with all my pitches. The pitch clock doesn’t really bother me, and I don’t really have too big of an opinion on it.

    TD: What do you know about the Minnesota Twins? Have you ever been to Target Field?

    CP: Growing up close to the Twins and Target Field, I know a lot about who their best players were and some of their history, but I, unfortunately, grew up a Brewers fan and never made the trip to Target Field.

    TD: As a person or player, what is something you want Twins Territory to know about you?

    CP: Something that I would want Twins Territory to know about me is that I am going to do everything in my power to try and bring a World Series to Minneapolis.

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    Watched him play quite a few times as a teenager against teams from my area. He was a man amongst boys then. He comes from a good family and has worked hard to get healthy again.  Kid could move fast, but I'm sure the Twins will use kid gloves with 

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    I was surprised and Happy the Twins were able to get Prielipp in the second round.  I honestly was wondering if one of the top 7 didn't make it to the Twins if they would go pitcher with their first pick.  With TJ out of the way and if his pitches are as good as advertised he should be a fast mover through the system.  Really nice to see the Twins have some good lefty options in the system.  I am guessing the Twins paid a hefty price going over slot so I sure hope this works out well.

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    Did Ted break the news that he's signed? That's fantastic if he did.

    Though, just submitting the Q&A back was probably a good sign that he wasn't going to walk away I suppose.

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    Well if Priellip signed overslot, they either have others already signed,  or they feel comfortable they will be able to make up the money later.  That sounds very good.  It looks like everything is going smoothly with signing players.  

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    Cart before the horse, "He’s agreed to an over-slot deal with the Twins." That's sounds good, but there is no mention of it from him, and no signing is announced, and not even in MLB rumors. If he has agreed to an over-slot deal, this is a scoop, and the first mention of it, and that should be news by now. 

    I'll get to know him if he signs.

    So far, only 3 of 20 drafted have been announced as signed - 1st round Brooks, Competitive Balance round Schobel, and 6th round Ortega,

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    5 minutes ago, h2oface said:

    Cart before the horse, "He’s agreed to an over-slot deal with the Twins." That's sounds good, but there is no mention of it from him, and no signing is announced, and not even in MLB rumors. If he has agreed to an over-slot deal, that should be news by now. 

    I'll get to know him if he signs.

    My guess, signed in principal, barring any unforseen problems signing the underslot guys.  Probably be the last one announced. I originally thought he would be a $3M sign, now I would guess more in the $2.4-$2.5M range.

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    Sounds like they have agreed to a number.  Now the Twins have work to do to have that amount available.  With a total pool of just over $10M, they can go over by roughly $500k before losing draft picks kick in.  Of the three signings listed, they are about $183,000 over.  So if they are going to pay him over $2M, they have a lot of work to do.

    But it is great knowing they have agreed to a number.  I remain hopeful that this young man will turn into the Twins version of Chis Sale.  You know, a tall college lefty with a couple knee buckling pitches who rockets thru the system arriving with the big club late next year.  We can dream, can’t we?

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    26 minutes ago, gil4 said:

    It appears his Friday night replacement at Alabama (and Twins 19th round pick) is returning to school.

    https://tide1009.com/bama-baseballs-garrett-mcmillan-chooses-to-return-to-tuscaloosa/ 

    Smart decision. He has not been all that good, even in college. May as well get your education paid for and play ball and improve instead of getting under minimum wage in the minors.

    "The two-way starter for the Crimson Tide went 4-5 last season in 16 starts and recorded a 4.29 ERA.

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    7 minutes ago, h2oface said:

    Smart decision. He has not been all that good, even in college.

    "The two-way starter for the Crimson Tide went 4-5 last season in 16 starts and recorded a 4.29 ERA.

    Josh Winder pitched more, but the results in college were worse. But it was probably a good decision.  

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    5 hours ago, h2oface said:

    Smart decision. He has not been all that good, even in college. May as well get your education paid for and play ball and improve instead of getting under minimum wage in the minors.

    "The two-way starter for the Crimson Tide went 4-5 last season in 16 starts and recorded a 4.29 ERA.

    Makes me curious how much he was asking for.  $50K bonus is probably the most he could expect.  Probably less... Good luck to him raising his stock.

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