Andy MacPhail, a former Twins GM who helped construct the 87 and 91 World Series Teams once said his goal was to promote 2-3 players per season up to the majors to fill roles on the team. A good farm system can do that. So, with that in mind let’s review the previous drafts in the Falvey era, not to grade them but to see how Falvey. Levine and company are doing in developing 2-3 starters/ regulars (or really players who can stay on the roster all year including bench and relievers) a year. Below the starters I will include several who at least played a role of some kind and list if anyone else still has a chance to make it to the show. Let me know if I forget someone. I am not the draft hound as others here.
2017: was their first draft year and the players who are starters include:
3B Royce Lewis
OF/DH Brent Rooker
SP Bailey Ober
And that is pretty much it. There are others who may still make it up for a role including Blaine Enlow, Mark Contreras, Calvin Faucher is with the Rays, and maybe Andrew Bechtold
This draft is a success as Ober and Lewis are a big part of the team now and moving forward.
2018: has many potential role players or players who can carve out niches but there are some who start for the Twins and others who contribute.
C Ryan Jeffers
OF Trevor Larnarch
RP Cole Sands
RP Josh Winder
RP Kody Funderburk
The jury is still out on Larnarch. Cole Sands and Josh Winder are likely to be 7th and 8th man on relief pitching with the potential to get better. Kody Funderburk is just getting started but is off to a nice start and looks promising. In terms of others who may make it up at some point include DaShawn Keirsey Jr., Chris Williams, Austin Schulfer
This draft needs a little more time to be judged. Jeffers is a starter and Larnarch should be. If Kody Funderburk becomes a solid reliever and we get some innings 20-50 from Winder and Sands in the pen in each of the next 2 seasons I would rate this draft as solid.
2019: we had the misfortune of drafting Keoni Cavaco in the first round which set the draft performance back quite a bit. But it looks like we still did well in this draft.
Matt Wallner (also drafted by the Twins in 32nd round in 2016)
Inn addition to these guys Casey Legumina who we trade to the Reds for Farmer, Sawyer Gibson-Long who we traded to Detroit for Fulmer just made his major league debut and Brent Headrick pitched over 20 innings up here this season and is on the shuttle with Josh Winder and Cole Sands as the 7th and 8th relievers Alex Isola is a solid hitting C prospect in AA and Matt Canterino is a top pitching prospect who is injured.
I gotta say this was a great draft for them.
2020: was a lost season and while we only drafted 5 players, we do have 3 prospects from this draft.
Alerick Soularie in AA, Kala’I Rosario in A+, and Marco Raya.
I would rate this draft a success if one player makes it up and is a starter. The best bet is Raya if he can stay healthy.
2021: We traded our first 4 picks from the 2021 draft to be more competitive last year. Petty for Sonny Gray, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Steve Hajjar were included in the trade for Mahle, and Cade Povich was included in the trade for Lopez from Baltimore.
Festa is in AAA and is getting close to an opportunity at some point next season. Christina Strand is now up with Cincinnati, Povich was in AA with a high strikeout rate. Jaylin Nolin is a top prospect and Noah Miller is already a major league ready defensive specialist if he can learn to hit at all so he can at least be a solid bench player.
I would say there are lots of depth players in this draft outside of Encarnacion-Strand if we get a few of them to contribute this can be a good draft.
2022: is too early to grade as is 2023 but there are many prospects from the 2022 draft who did well in their first full minor league season including Brooks Lee who made it to AAA and Tanner Schobel in AA. And the Twins were voted as having one of the top three drafts in terms of talent acquired in the draft in 2023.
Overall, the Twins have consistently done a good job of developing players for the major leagues under Falvey. I think the surprise is that they have not drafted and developed very much pitching, but have drafted many good hitters, who they developed for the lineup or trade. I do see many promising starting pitchers down in A and A+ ball so it will be fun to see how that translates as they pitch at more advanced levels next year and so on. I would rate the 2017 draft, 2019 draft, with 2022 and 2023 drafts looking to join them as the most successful and the 2018 draft is on the cusp. 2020 is an incomplete as COVID torpedoed the season. The success of the 2021 draft will be determined by players no longer in the organization. Do you feel like the Twins in the Falvey era are succeeding in drafting and developing players to contribute at the major leagues?