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  • TwinsDaily 2022 Draft Coverage, June 16

    Jeremy Nygaard

    With a little over a month left until the 2022 MLB Draft kicks off, things seem to have started to settle down. And by “settle down,” I mean “players have stopped getting hurt so frequently.” (Immediately knocks on wood.)

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    In this update, we’re going to focus on three names.

    The first name is one you’ve probably heard, but definitely haven’t seen pitch this year (up until his debut over the weekend) and that’s Carson Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt, a left-handed pitcher from East Carolina was suspended for the season after a failed drug test. He claims that test came as a result of taking a supplement from a nationwide nutrition store. At any rate, Whisenhunt was not allowed to pitch all year.

    Obviously missing a full season of college ball didn’t give teams 15 or so opportunities to watch Whisenhunt pitch, but his absence may not necessarily all be bad in the long run. He made ito June healthy and is now able to showcase his skills in the Cape Cod League.

    Whisenhunt made his debut on Sunday night. Though it was of the shorter variety (only three innings), Whisenhunt struck out five and walked one. He allowed three earned runs on two hits and a walk. His stuff wasn’t bad. Topping out at 95 mph, his fastball sat a few clicks lower. He threw his change-up and curveball as well. As you can expect after the long layoff, he showed some rust. He will make a few more starts before the draft, but expect Whisenhunt’s pitching ability to put him back in the first-round conversation.

    How teams view Whisenhunt’s suspension and explanation about his suspension is another story.

    Across from Whisenhunt on Sunday was 3B Cam Collier. Collier’s path to the Cape is a unique one. He reclassified, instead heading to junior college to make himself draft-eligible quicker. And now he’s in the wood-bat league as one of the league’s youngest players ever. Through three games (as of Wednesday), Collier is batting 3-for-9 with three singles, three walks and three strikeouts. He’s been caught stealing in his only attempt. While playing two games at third base, he’s been perfect on the six balls he’s fielded. Collier continues to trend upward, where he may eventually settle in the top 5. 

    Lastly, let’s talk some more about Kumar Rocker. As you probably know by now, Rocker was a potential #1 overall pick who fell to the Mets at #10 and agreed to an overslot deal before the Mets pulled out due to some arm concerns. Instead of going back to Vanderbilt for his senior season, Rocker instead joined the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Frontier League.

    Rocker made his second start on Friday night and reviews are mixed. On the surface, going backwards in pitches and max velocity from his first start to this start don’t seem promising. In his first inning of work on Friday, he walked a batter before hitting two batters to load the bases.

    But he worked his way out of the trouble and was able to throw three scoreless, two-hit innings that included five strikeouts. 

    You can read a very thorough review of his second start here

    If the draft were today, I’d have a hard time believing that Rocker makes it out of the first round. In a draft that lacks high-end pitching, someone is going to believe that the Kumar Rocker we watched pitch for Vanderbilt for three years still exists. 



    1.) Druw Jones, OF, Georgia prep (Vanderbilt commit)

    2.) Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly (previously: 4)

    3.) Elijah Green, OF, Florida prep (Miami commit) (Baseball America breaks down his game.)

    4.) Jackson Holliday, SS, Oklahoma prep (Oklahoma State commit) (previously: 6)

    5.) Termarr Johnson, 2B, Georgia prep (previously: 2)

    6.) Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC (previously: 7)

    7.) Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech (previously: 5) 

    8.) Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama

    9.) Jacob Berry, Hitter, LSU (previously: unranked)

    10.) Jace Jung, 3B, Texas Tech 





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    The first 7 picks you have seem pretty set if you ask me.  The order of those 7 is the only thing that is up in the air.  Unfortunately 8 where we pick is where things could take a turn.  Miami is a bit of wild card for me though.  If one of the high school bats falls to them will they want to wait for them to develop or will they want a college bat like Jung or the switch hitting Berry as faster moving college bats with high hit tool ceiling's?  Miami has plenty of pitching they need better bats though so maybe one of those high school guys falls to the Twins.

    It doesn't feel like this draft lines up quite right for the Twins as they don't really need players like Jung or Berry who have the hit tool potential the Twins like but are 1st base 2nd base DH guys.  Picking this high you would like to snag a decent up the middle prospect if you can.  Callis got me thinking about Neto and the more I look into the guy I like him at number 8.  There is a chance he has to move off of short but he has a legit arm and good actions there it really is just range that might be in question.  The hit tool is quirky as from what I understand he has an exaggerated leg kick in his swing.  He also doesn't come from a big time conference but he did hit well in the wooden bat Cape Code league .304/.439/.587 not the 407/507/769 he hit in his small school conference but those are pretty nice numbers against some of the best competition.  It is possible they could get an under slot deal for Neto as well.  The Twins don't have a ton at short in the system so it fills a need as well.

    Another guy the Twins might look at who is rising up the board is Justin Crawford.  He has 70 speed so Buxton like in the outfield and a decent bat to go with it.  However he doesn't have much for power and a fairly lean build at the moment so you would have to try and project how he fills out over time.  Still he would be an up the middle player the Twins could probably get under slot as well.  A bit more risk with that pick and he would go against the Twins typical slugging model but likely an elite defender at minimum with possibly much more over time wouldn't be a bad thing.

    Anyway those are my thoughts. Still a month left and things can change.


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    39 minutes ago, Dman said:

    The first 7 picks you have seem pretty set if you ask me.  The order of those 7 is the only thing that is up in the air.  Unfortunately 8 where we pick is where things could take a turn. 

    I think this is just the way people naturally think. 

    The top of this draft is going to be a mess. If the Top 7 on my board are the seven to get drafted, I'd be really surprised. 

    The Twins have really focused on hitters (with Cavaco being the least hitter-ish of the bunch) and this draft has a lot of high-end ones. I think the Twins would love for Lee or Johnson to fall to them, even though their futures are likely at third and second, respectively. Neto is interesting as he's not in that top tier of hitters, but is probably in the top tier defensively. 

    I'm curious to see how creative teams get with their bonus pool, that always adds intrigue to the first night.

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    I agree with Jeremy that this draft is really going to be full of surprises.  With so many injured players, and so many players that have great skills but also some flaws, I think the top 10-15 are going to be really unpredictable.  I think there will be a lot of variation in how teams value some of these prospects, meaning that there will be players taken in the top 15 that will cause some people to shake their heads.  With all its picks, Baltimore could really shake things up if they draft to save money.  I actually think this draft will be an absolute blast to watch.

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