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  1. The 2021 MLB Draft has come and gone, and the Minnesota Twins brought in a new wave of young talent after making 21 picks. How many of them will sign and how good will they eventually turn out is yet to be determined, but for now, there is certainly reason to be excited about this class. While this year’s draft of 20 rounds was still only half of the usual 40, it pretty much felt like a return to normalcy after last year’s draft only had five rounds. The Twins had a clear approach of wanting to draft players that they knew they could sign, as they targeted high schoolers with both of their picks on night one, and then drafted exclusively college players on days two and three. When asked about this in an interview after the draft, Twins scouting director Sean Johnson had this to say, “Once you get past the second round a lot of those high school players that you would like to bring on board become a little less signable… so you get out of that high school group pretty quick starting in the second or third round.” With the 26th overall pick in the first round, the Twins took a fireball high school pitcher from New Jersey named Chase Petty. In showcases last summer and leading up to the draft, Petty’s fastball has routinely been clocked in the triple digits and has reached as high as 102 mph. Petty also has a breaking ball and a changeup that show potential to be above average pitches as he develops them. As a result of his makeup, along with how high school fireball pitchers have fared in the past, Petty was seen as a risky pick. However, with the Twins picking late in the first round, it made perfect sense to bet on the high upside of Petty, as his ceiling is as high as most of the players taken with the first ten picks of the draft. Just ten picks after they selected Chase Petty, the Twins were on the clock again, this time closing out night one of the draft in Competitive Balance Round A. Again, they went the high school route as they selected Noah Miller, a shortstop from Wisconsin. Miller is a well thought of defensive shortstop who could stick there at the professional level. Offensively, Miller is a switch-hitter with more of a contact approach. While the power is still a bit of a question mark, Miller has time to develop that as he gets into the Twins player development program. The focus early on day two was college pitching, as four of their first five picks were college pitchers. While each of those four pitchers are seen as more pitch-ability guys, with potential to be back of the rotation starting pitcher or long relief options, second round pick Steven Hajjar does have some middle of the rotation upside if he can tack on a few more MPHs on his fastball. With the rest of their picks on day two, the Twins focused on filling out their infield and catcher positions. In the fourth round they selected Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who is a third baseman from Oklahoma State with some power potential with the bat. They also drafted back-to-back catchers in the 8th in 9th rounds to continue to build depth at that position within the organization. On day three it became all about filling out the rest of their class with as many quality players as they could. Again the focus early was on pitching, as three of the first four picks on day three were pitchers. Sandwiched between those pitchers was the first and only outfielder the Twins took in the entire draft, as they selected Big East Player of the Year Kyler Fedko out of UConn. Another theme of this draft was taking multiple players who played for the same university. In the 8th and 15th rounds, the Twins selected catcher Noah Cardenas and middle infielder Mikey Perez from UCLA. In the 9th and 12th rounds, the Twins took a pair of UConn Huskies in catcher Pat Winkel and outfielder Kyler Fedko. Texas Tech was also well represented in this year’s Twins draft class, as a pair of Red Raiders in right-handed pitcher Brandon Birdwell and second baseman Dylan Neuse were taken in the 11th and 17th rounds, respectively. One thing everyone wants to know is, how good will this draft class be, and I can promise that the guys within the Twins organization who made these selections are wondering the same thing. The truth is, nobody knows and we likely won’t be able to accurately judge this class for another five to ten years. One this is true however, the Twins just added a number of new and exciting players to their ranks, and all Twins fans should be excited to see what these guys can do. View full article
  2. While this year’s draft of 20 rounds was still only half of the usual 40, it pretty much felt like a return to normalcy after last year’s draft only had five rounds. The Twins had a clear approach of wanting to draft players that they knew they could sign, as they targeted high schoolers with both of their picks on night one, and then drafted exclusively college players on days two and three. When asked about this in an interview after the draft, Twins scouting director Sean Johnson had this to say, “Once you get past the second round a lot of those high school players that you would like to bring on board become a little less signable… so you get out of that high school group pretty quick starting in the second or third round.” With the 26th overall pick in the first round, the Twins took a fireball high school pitcher from New Jersey named Chase Petty. In showcases last summer and leading up to the draft, Petty’s fastball has routinely been clocked in the triple digits and has reached as high as 102 mph. Petty also has a breaking ball and a changeup that show potential to be above average pitches as he develops them. As a result of his makeup, along with how high school fireball pitchers have fared in the past, Petty was seen as a risky pick. However, with the Twins picking late in the first round, it made perfect sense to bet on the high upside of Petty, as his ceiling is as high as most of the players taken with the first ten picks of the draft. Just ten picks after they selected Chase Petty, the Twins were on the clock again, this time closing out night one of the draft in Competitive Balance Round A. Again, they went the high school route as they selected Noah Miller, a shortstop from Wisconsin. Miller is a well thought of defensive shortstop who could stick there at the professional level. Offensively, Miller is a switch-hitter with more of a contact approach. While the power is still a bit of a question mark, Miller has time to develop that as he gets into the Twins player development program. The focus early on day two was college pitching, as four of their first five picks were college pitchers. While each of those four pitchers are seen as more pitch-ability guys, with potential to be back of the rotation starting pitcher or long relief options, second round pick Steven Hajjar does have some middle of the rotation upside if he can tack on a few more MPHs on his fastball. With the rest of their picks on day two, the Twins focused on filling out their infield and catcher positions. In the fourth round they selected Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who is a third baseman from Oklahoma State with some power potential with the bat. They also drafted back-to-back catchers in the 8th in 9th rounds to continue to build depth at that position within the organization. On day three it became all about filling out the rest of their class with as many quality players as they could. Again the focus early was on pitching, as three of the first four picks on day three were pitchers. Sandwiched between those pitchers was the first and only outfielder the Twins took in the entire draft, as they selected Big East Player of the Year Kyler Fedko out of UConn. Another theme of this draft was taking multiple players who played for the same university. In the 8th and 15th rounds, the Twins selected catcher Noah Cardenas and middle infielder Mikey Perez from UCLA. In the 9th and 12th rounds, the Twins took a pair of UConn Huskies in catcher Pat Winkel and outfielder Kyler Fedko. Texas Tech was also well represented in this year’s Twins draft class, as a pair of Red Raiders in right-handed pitcher Brandon Birdwell and second baseman Dylan Neuse were taken in the 11th and 17th rounds, respectively. One thing everyone wants to know is, how good will this draft class be, and I can promise that the guys within the Twins organization who made these selections are wondering the same thing. The truth is, nobody knows and we likely won’t be able to accurately judge this class for another five to ten years. One this is true however, the Twins just added a number of new and exciting players to their ranks, and all Twins fans should be excited to see what these guys can do.
  3. Day 3 of the MLB Draft is here and we have a lot more action for you, as the Twins will be making 10 more selections. The draft will begin at 11 a.m. CT and can be followed on MLB.com. Be sure to refresh this page throughout the day, as it will be updated regularly with each of the Twins selections, as well as to join in on the discussion in the comment section below. The Twins have already had a big haul in this year's draft as they selected fireball high school pitcher Chase Petty in the first round and followed that up by selecting a high school shortstop from the state of Wisconsin in Noah Miller. After taking two high schoolers on Day 1, the Twins went exclusively the college route on Day 2, which started by taking Michigan left-hander Steven Hajjar in the second round. Twins Day 3 Picks Round 11, 339th Overall Pick: Brandon Birdsell, RHP, Texas Tech Brandon Birdsell was well traveled across the state of Texas in his college career, as he played for three different Texas schools in his three years of college baseball. Birdsell began his collegiate career at Texas A&M, but only pitched six innings across eight appearances his freshman season and eventually transferred to San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas for his sophomore season in 2020. After one year there, he then transferred to Texas Tech were he found some success in limited work as a starter this spring before his season was cut short with a rotator cuff injury during an April 11th start against TCU. As a pitcher, Birdsell has an electric two pitch combo with his fastball and slider both grading out as above average to plus pitches. The fastball sits easily in the mid-90s and occasionally touches upper 90s. With the injury concerns, to go along with his player profile, Birdsell seems destined to a bullpen role once he returns from his injury, but he has the potential to one day be a backend of the bullpen piece with his stuff. Round 12, 369th Overall Pick: Kyler Fedko, OF, UConn After selecting UConn catcher Pat Winkel in the 9th round yesterday, the Twins double-dipped into the Husky well just three rounds later, taking Winkel's teammate Kyler Fedko in the 12th round today. Fedko was a three-year starter in college and after a so-so freshman season, Fedko turned it on in the last two seasons at UConn. We got a small glimpse of Fedko's breakout last spring, before getting to see what Fedko could do over the course of a full college season this spring. In 52 games, Fedko slashed .398/.483/.673 with 12 home runs and 7 stolen bases. This performance was strong enough to earn First Team NCBWA All-American honors and be named the BIG EAST Player of the Year. Round 13, 399th Overall Pick: David Festa, RHP, Seton Hall David Festa came to Seton Hall as a freshman in 2019 and immediately earned a spot in the Pirates weekend starting rotation. Festa had mixed results in his first two seasons, but everything came together for his this spring as he had an ERA of 2.00 in 72 innings pitched and was a named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. While Festa does not have eye popping strikeout numbers or a fastball that will impress on the radar gun, it is possible that both of those things could still be developed with Festa. The main reason for this is his frame, though he stands at 6'6", he only weighs 185 pounds and could easily add more muscle. We have already seen a small jump in velocity from Festa this spring, so there is no reason to suggest that he can't continue to add more velocity as he builds more strength, especially in his lower half. Round 14, 429th Overall Pick: Pierson Ohl, RHP, Grand Canyon University A three-year starter at GCU, Pierson Ohl has a proven track record of success at the collegiate level. For his career, Ohl has thrown 219 and 1/3 innings and has an ERA of 2.99 and 186 strikeouts. Perhaps the most impressive stat on Ohl is his minuscule walk rate, as he has walked just 1.3 batters per nine innings over the course of his entire career, which includes walking just 12 in 100 and 1/3 innings this spring on his way to being named the WAC Pitcher of the Year. Round 15, 459th Overall Pick: Mikey Perez, 2B/SS, UCLA After getting limited playing time in his first two seasons at UCLA, Mikey Perez started every game for the Bruins this spring, with a majority of those games coming at second base alongside fellow UCLA middle infielder Matt McLain, who was taken by the Cincinnati Reds with the 17th overall pick in the draft. In addition to second, Perez also saw some time at both short and third, showing his versatility around the infield. While it was not an impressive season for Perez from a batting average perspective (.231), he did draw a good number of walks and led the Bruins in home runs with 11. With such little playing time at the college level, it is hard to tell exactly how good of a player Perez is with the bat, but with his ability to play all over the infield along with some power potential he is a good shot for the Twins to take at this stage of the draft. Round 16, 489th Overall Pick: Johnathan Lavallee, RHP, Long Beach State Johnathan Lavallee began his college baseball career at LA Pierce College, where he pitched for two seasons. After a dominate sophomore season, Lavallee transferred to Long Beach State. After an alright showing in 11 innings pitched in 2020, Lavallee put together a dominate season in 2021, as he had a mere 1.89 ERA in nine starts (11 total appearances). In 62 innings pitched, the Long Beach State right-hander struck out 73 batters and only walked 16 on his way to being named First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Round 17, 519th Overall Pick: Dylan Neuse, 2B, Texas Tech We are in the 17th round, and this is already the third time the Twins have doubled-down on prospects from the same university, as Dylan Neuse is teammates with Twins 11th round pick Brandon Birdwell. Neuse was a starter each of the last three seasons for the Red Raiders, and slashed .305/.421/.477 with 10 home runs and 41 stolen bases. After being named the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, Neuse was off to a solid start this spring, but suffered a season ending injury after getting hit in the back by a pitch. Coincidentally, Neuse's last game of the season came on April 11th, which was the same date of Brandon Birdwell's last game of the season. Round 18, 549th Overall Pick: Mike Paredes, RHP, San Diego State Mike Paredes split his time between the starting rotation and the bullpen in 2019, as he made five starts as part of 17 total appearances. After that season, Paredes began pitching almost exclusively out of the rotation. Paredes never had a lot of success as a pitcher at the collegiate level, as he had a career 5.28 ERA with 138 strikeouts and 43 walks over 148 and 1/3 innings pitched. Round 19, 579th Overall Pick: Jaylen Nowlin, LHP, Chipola College In his lone season at Chipola College in Florida, Jaylen Nowlin was very impressive coming out of the bullpen, as he had an ERA of just 2.14 in 42 innings pitched. Nowlin has good strikeout stuff, as he struck out 12.6 batters per nine innings pitched, but he also struggles a bit with command as he walk 5.1 batters per nine innings this spring. Round 20, 609th Overall Pick: Dillon Tatum, C, UC Irvine With their final selection of the 2021 MLB Draft, the Twins took their third college catcher, this time it was Dillon Tatum from UC Irvine. Tatum play his first three seasons of college baseball at San Joaquin Delta Junior College before transferring to UC Irvine for the 2021 season. In 40 games (37 starts) for the Anteaters this spring, Tatum slashed .278/.401/.684 and 15 home runs.
  4. We are onto Day 3 of the MLB Draft, and today we will welcome as many as 10 new players to the Minnesota Twins organization. Be sure to follow along to learn more about the new prospects that the Twins draft in rounds 11-20 today. Day 3 of the MLB Draft is here and we have a lot more action for you, as the Twins will be making 10 more selections. The draft will begin at 11 a.m. CT and can be followed on MLB.com. Be sure to refresh this page throughout the day, as it will be updated regularly with each of the Twins selections, as well as to join in on the discussion in the comment section below. The Twins have already had a big haul in this year's draft as they selected fireball high school pitcher Chase Petty in the first round and followed that up by selecting a high school shortstop from the state of Wisconsin in Noah Miller. After taking two high schoolers on Day 1, the Twins went exclusively the college route on Day 2, which started by taking Michigan left-hander Steven Hajjar in the second round. Twins Day 3 Picks Round 11, 339th Overall Pick: Brandon Birdsell, RHP, Texas Tech Brandon Birdsell was well traveled across the state of Texas in his college career, as he played for three different Texas schools in his three years of college baseball. Birdsell began his collegiate career at Texas A&M, but only pitched six innings across eight appearances his freshman season and eventually transferred to San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas for his sophomore season in 2020. After one year there, he then transferred to Texas Tech were he found some success in limited work as a starter this spring before his season was cut short with a rotator cuff injury during an April 11th start against TCU. As a pitcher, Birdsell has an electric two pitch combo with his fastball and slider both grading out as above average to plus pitches. The fastball sits easily in the mid-90s and occasionally touches upper 90s. With the injury concerns, to go along with his player profile, Birdsell seems destined to a bullpen role once he returns from his injury, but he has the potential to one day be a backend of the bullpen piece with his stuff. Round 12, 369th Overall Pick: Kyler Fedko, OF, UConn After selecting UConn catcher Pat Winkel in the 9th round yesterday, the Twins double-dipped into the Husky well just three rounds later, taking Winkel's teammate Kyler Fedko in the 12th round today. Fedko was a three-year starter in college and after a so-so freshman season, Fedko turned it on in the last two seasons at UConn. We got a small glimpse of Fedko's breakout last spring, before getting to see what Fedko could do over the course of a full college season this spring. In 52 games, Fedko slashed .398/.483/.673 with 12 home runs and 7 stolen bases. This performance was strong enough to earn First Team NCBWA All-American honors and be named the BIG EAST Player of the Year. Round 13, 399th Overall Pick: David Festa, RHP, Seton Hall David Festa came to Seton Hall as a freshman in 2019 and immediately earned a spot in the Pirates weekend starting rotation. Festa had mixed results in his first two seasons, but everything came together for his this spring as he had an ERA of 2.00 in 72 innings pitched and was a named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. While Festa does not have eye popping strikeout numbers or a fastball that will impress on the radar gun, it is possible that both of those things could still be developed with Festa. The main reason for this is his frame, though he stands at 6'6", he only weighs 185 pounds and could easily add more muscle. We have already seen a small jump in velocity from Festa this spring, so there is no reason to suggest that he can't continue to add more velocity as he builds more strength, especially in his lower half. Round 14, 429th Overall Pick: Pierson Ohl, RHP, Grand Canyon University A three-year starter at GCU, Pierson Ohl has a proven track record of success at the collegiate level. For his career, Ohl has thrown 219 and 1/3 innings and has an ERA of 2.99 and 186 strikeouts. Perhaps the most impressive stat on Ohl is his minuscule walk rate, as he has walked just 1.3 batters per nine innings over the course of his entire career, which includes walking just 12 in 100 and 1/3 innings this spring on his way to being named the WAC Pitcher of the Year. Round 15, 459th Overall Pick: Mikey Perez, 2B/SS, UCLA After getting limited playing time in his first two seasons at UCLA, Mikey Perez started every game for the Bruins this spring, with a majority of those games coming at second base alongside fellow UCLA middle infielder Matt McLain, who was taken by the Cincinnati Reds with the 17th overall pick in the draft. In addition to second, Perez also saw some time at both short and third, showing his versatility around the infield. While it was not an impressive season for Perez from a batting average perspective (.231), he did draw a good number of walks and led the Bruins in home runs with 11. With such little playing time at the college level, it is hard to tell exactly how good of a player Perez is with the bat, but with his ability to play all over the infield along with some power potential he is a good shot for the Twins to take at this stage of the draft. Round 16, 489th Overall Pick: Johnathan Lavallee, RHP, Long Beach State Johnathan Lavallee began his college baseball career at LA Pierce College, where he pitched for two seasons. After a dominate sophomore season, Lavallee transferred to Long Beach State. After an alright showing in 11 innings pitched in 2020, Lavallee put together a dominate season in 2021, as he had a mere 1.89 ERA in nine starts (11 total appearances). In 62 innings pitched, the Long Beach State right-hander struck out 73 batters and only walked 16 on his way to being named First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Round 17, 519th Overall Pick: Dylan Neuse, 2B, Texas Tech We are in the 17th round, and this is already the third time the Twins have doubled-down on prospects from the same university, as Dylan Neuse is teammates with Twins 11th round pick Brandon Birdwell. Neuse was a starter each of the last three seasons for the Red Raiders, and slashed .305/.421/.477 with 10 home runs and 41 stolen bases. After being named the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, Neuse was off to a solid start this spring, but suffered a season ending injury after getting hit in the back by a pitch. Coincidentally, Neuse's last game of the season came on April 11th, which was the same date of Brandon Birdwell's last game of the season. Round 18, 549th Overall Pick: Mike Paredes, RHP, San Diego State Mike Paredes split his time between the starting rotation and the bullpen in 2019, as he made five starts as part of 17 total appearances. After that season, Paredes began pitching almost exclusively out of the rotation. Paredes never had a lot of success as a pitcher at the collegiate level, as he had a career 5.28 ERA with 138 strikeouts and 43 walks over 148 and 1/3 innings pitched. Round 19, 579th Overall Pick: Jaylen Nowlin, LHP, Chipola College In his lone season at Chipola College in Florida, Jaylen Nowlin was very impressive coming out of the bullpen, as he had an ERA of just 2.14 in 42 innings pitched. Nowlin has good strikeout stuff, as he struck out 12.6 batters per nine innings pitched, but he also struggles a bit with command as he walk 5.1 batters per nine innings this spring. Round 20, 609th Overall Pick: Dillon Tatum, C, UC Irvine With their final selection of the 2021 MLB Draft, the Twins took their third college catcher, this time it was Dillon Tatum from UC Irvine. Tatum play his first three seasons of college baseball at San Joaquin Delta Junior College before transferring to UC Irvine for the 2021 season. In 40 games (37 starts) for the Anteaters this spring, Tatum slashed .278/.401/.684 and 15 home runs. View full article
  5. When? This year’s MLB Draft will consist of 20-rounds that will take part over three days. Day 1 of the draft, featuring round one and Competitive Balance Round A, will air on both MLB Network and ESPN and will begin at 6 p.m. CT. The Twins have two picks on Day 1, which are the 26th and 36th overall picks. Day 2 of the draft will begin on Monday at 12 p.m. CT and can be watched on MLB.com. This day will feature rounds two through ten, along with Competitive Balance Round B that will take place between rounds two and three. The Twins have the 26th pick in round two (61st overall), and then will have the 27th pick in each subsequent round after that. The draft will conclude with Day 3 taking place on Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m. CT and can be followed on MLB.com. Day 3 will feature rounds 11-20, again with the Twins holding the 27th pick in each round. In years past, Day 3 would feature rounds 11-40, however, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the draft was shortened this year from 40 rounds down to 20. Who are the Top Prospects? If you want to dive in a little deeper on who some of the top prospects are before, or during, the draft, check out the Twins Daily Top 50 Prospect series that has been running for the last couple of weeks. 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 1-10 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 11-20 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 21-30 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 31-40 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 41-50 Possible Twins Picks to Follow If you are curious as to who are some of the names to follow for the Twins first round pick, Jamie Cameron wrote a great article earlier this week highlighting six players that the Twins may take with their first round pick. Twins Bonus Pool Allotment For those of you who follow the MLB Draft each year, you are probably well aware of the bonus pool structure by now. However, for those of you who don’t really know how that works, or need a little refresher, here is a quick breakdown of the logistics. When a team drafts a player, that team must make an offer to that player to get them to sign with their organization, which comes in the form of a signing bonus. Each team is only allotted a certain dollar amount that they must stay at or below when signing each of their picks in the first 10 rounds. This allotment number is determined by adding together each of the pick allotments which that team has in the first round, as each pick is assigned a specific value. For example, the Pittsburgh Pirates have the first overall pick in the draft, and that pick has a slot value of $8,415,300, while the Texas Rangers have the second overall pick in the draft which has a slot value of $7,789,900. If a team fails to sign one of their picks in the first 10 rounds, they do not simply get to use that money to help sign other picks, but rather that picks slot value is subtracted from the team’s total. This is where the game of the draft comes into play, as teams will often make selections based on how much it will take to sign a certain player. Additionally, for picks in rounds 11-20, if a team signs a player for more than $125,000, that money must come out of their bonus pool from the first 10 rounds. Here is a breakdown of the Twins picks in the first 10 rounds (plus their Competitive Balance Round A pick) and the slot value assigned to each pick. Round 1: $2,653,400 Comp Balance Round A: $2,045,400 Round 2: $1,129,700 Round 3: $593,100 Round 4: $442,900 Round 5: $327,200 Round 6: $253,300 Round 7: $198,500 Round 8: $164,700 Round 9: $150,500 Round 10: $142,700 Total Bonus Pool: $8,101,400 Now that you know more about how this works, you can tell fellow Twins fans who complain about the Twins being cheap in the draft that they are wrong. It is not that they are being cheap, they are just only allowed to spend so much money on these picks by MLB, and if take a guy with one of their first few picks that will sign for less that the pick value, it is because they plan on redistributing that money to sign other players later in the draft for over slot value, a strategy they have had a lot of success within recent years.
  6. 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. 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. Stay tuned for more... View full article
  7. 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. Stay tuned for more...
  8. The Twins walked away with two new faces to add to their prospect ranks (assuming both sign) in high school right-handed pitcher Chase Petty and high school shortstop Noah Miller. Be sure to click on the links on their names to learn more about each of those two selections. Day two of the draft is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. CT and will feature rounds 2 through 10, along with Competitive Balance Round B, which will take place between rounds 2 and 3. Here is a list of each of the Twins 9 picks that the Twins will have on Day two. Be sure to refresh throughout the day, as this page will be updated as the Twins make their selections. Round 2 | 61st Overall| | Slot Value: $1,129,700 Pick: Steven Hajjar, LHP, Michigan Steven Hajjar is a redshirt sophomore for the University of Michigan who was named First Team All Big Ten in 2021 behind a 3.09 ERA over 14 starts. You can read more about Steven Hajjar here. Round 3 | 98th Overall | Slot Value: $593,100 Pick: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska Like Steven Hajjar, Cade Povich is also a left-handed starting pitcher who was named First Team All Big Ten in 2021. After struggeling in 4 starts in 2020, Povich put together a strong 2021 season as he posted a 3.11 ERA in 81 innings pitched with 88 strikeouts and 22 walks. Cade Povich will typically sit in the upper-80s with his fastball, but he can creep into the low-90s at times. Povich also features a curveball and changeup in his pitching repertoire. Round 4 | 128th Overall | Slot Value: $442,900 Pick: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State Christian Encarnacion-Strand began his college career at Yavapai College, which is a JUCO located in Prescott, Arizona. As a freshman, Encarnacion-Strand hit .402 with an OPS of 1.301 and hit 22 home runs in 56 games. As a result, he was named Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Player and was a First-Team All American. He followed that up in 2020 by hitting .430 with an OPS of 1.482 and 11 home runs in just 25 games before the season was cut short. He then transfered to Oklahoma State for the 2021 season and he continued to rake, even against a higher level of competition. In 56 games this spring, Encarnacion-Strand had a slash line of .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 4 stolen bases. While Encarnacion-Strand does not have the most range in the world, he does have the power bat and a strong arm that profile well for third base should he be able to stay at the hot corner long-term. Round 5 | 159th Overall | Slot Value: $327,200 Pick: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State After dominating in four starts last spring, there was some hype on Christian Macleod coming into the 2021 season. While it was a dream season for Macleod's Bulldog squad who won the National Championship, it was not exactly that for Macleod individually as he put up a 5.23 ERA in 82 and 2/3 innings pitched and he struggled in the College World Series. While the ERA is not promising, the Twins front office has shown in the past that they don't overly care about ERA and rather look to strikeout and walk rates as a better predictor of future success, and that is an area with some encouraging signs for Macleod as he had 12.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 this season. Macleod's ERA was inflated heavily late in the season, likely as a result of fatigue, as he had a much more impressive 3.14 ERA before he fell apart in his final 5 starts of the season. Pitcher fatigue late this season was to be expected from many college pitchers, as they did not have a chance to build up innings the season prior as a result of the pandemic. It would not be surprising to me if the Twins noticed this and took advantage of a falling prospect who could have easily been drafted a few rounds earlier. Round 6 | 189th Overall | Slot Value: $253,300 Pick: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State Travis Adams is a junior pitcher from Sacramento State who posted a career 3.75 ERA with 130 strikeouts and just 25 walks in 151 innings pitched across three seasons. Adams split time as both a starter and a reliever as a freshman, but pitched exclusively out of the Hornets starting rotation during his sophomore and junior seasons. On the mound, Adams features a low-to-mid 90s fastball to go along with a well regarded changeup and an okay breaking ball. Round 7 | 219th Overall | Slot Value: $198,500 Pick: Jake Rucker, 2B/3B, Tennessee Jake Rucker was an integral part of this season's Tennessee Volunteers team that made their first College World Series appearances since 2005, as he hit .330 to go along with 9 home runs and 7 stolen bases and was named First Team All-SEC as a third baseman. Rucker is a three-year starter at Tennessee and showed signs of improvement in each season, which leaves hope that there is still more room for improvement in his game. Rucker had some consistency issues this spring, but aside from that he is a versatile defender that could find home at either second or third long-term. While Rucker won't flash any specific plus traits, he is a solid across the board player and could one day pave his way as a utility infielder at the MLB level. Round 8 | 249th Overall | Slot Value: $164,700 Pick: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA UCLA catcher Noah Cardenas was a hot name coming into this spring after a strong freshman season to go along his performance in the California Collegiate League last summer. However, after a disappointing performance this spring for the Bruins he fell down draft boards. In three seasons at UCLA, Cardenas slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and two stolen bases. The defensive side of the ball is where Cardenas shows the most promise, as he has a plus arm and is a good defender behind the plate. With this pick, the Twins are likely betting on the upside that Cardenas has shown in the past to see if they can get that out of him once again. Round 9 | 279th Overall | Slot Value: $150,500 Pick: Patrick Winkel, C, UConn After a strong freshman campaign in 2019, Pat Winkel missed the 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He came back in 2021 and played well enough to earn Second Team All-Big East honors. For his career, Winkel had a slash line of .300/.359/.507 and hit 18 home runs in 102 games played for the Huskies. Winkel is a quality defender behind the plate who both receives the ball and can control the running game. There were some concerns on how good his arm would be after coming back from Tommy John surgery, but he showed he can still throw the ball well as he nabbed 32.5% of would be base stealers this spring. Round 10 | 309th Overall | Slot Value: $142,700 Pick: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga Ernie Yake is a four-year starter at the University of Gonzaga and hit above .300 in all four of his seasons there. For his career, Yake has a .320/.392/.419 slash line with 6 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 165 games. Yake was twice named to the All-WCC Second Team. Twins Daily 5 Best Prospects Remaining Entering Day 2 21. Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork HS (SC) 22. Bubba Chandler, SS/RHP, North Oconee HS (GA) 23. Joshua Baez, OF, Dexter Southfield HS (MA) 24. Jaden Hill, RHP, LSU 25. Lonnie White, OF, Malvern Prep (PA)
  9. After an exciting first day of the draft, we are onto day two featuring rounds 2 through 10. You can follow along with the Twins picks as they happen here. The Twins walked away with two new faces to add to their prospect ranks (assuming both sign) in high school right-handed pitcher Chase Petty and high school shortstop Noah Miller. Be sure to click on the links on their names to learn more about each of those two selections. Day two of the draft is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. CT and will feature rounds 2 through 10, along with Competitive Balance Round B, which will take place between rounds 2 and 3. Here is a list of each of the Twins 9 picks that the Twins will have on Day two. Be sure to refresh throughout the day, as this page will be updated as the Twins make their selections. Round 2 | 61st Overall| | Slot Value: $1,129,700 Pick: Steven Hajjar, LHP, Michigan Steven Hajjar is a redshirt sophomore for the University of Michigan who was named First Team All Big Ten in 2021 behind a 3.09 ERA over 14 starts. You can read more about Steven Hajjar here. Round 3 | 98th Overall | Slot Value: $593,100 Pick: Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska Like Steven Hajjar, Cade Povich is also a left-handed starting pitcher who was named First Team All Big Ten in 2021. After struggeling in 4 starts in 2020, Povich put together a strong 2021 season as he posted a 3.11 ERA in 81 innings pitched with 88 strikeouts and 22 walks. Cade Povich will typically sit in the upper-80s with his fastball, but he can creep into the low-90s at times. Povich also features a curveball and changeup in his pitching repertoire. Round 4 | 128th Overall | Slot Value: $442,900 Pick: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State Christian Encarnacion-Strand began his college career at Yavapai College, which is a JUCO located in Prescott, Arizona. As a freshman, Encarnacion-Strand hit .402 with an OPS of 1.301 and hit 22 home runs in 56 games. As a result, he was named Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Player and was a First-Team All American. He followed that up in 2020 by hitting .430 with an OPS of 1.482 and 11 home runs in just 25 games before the season was cut short. He then transfered to Oklahoma State for the 2021 season and he continued to rake, even against a higher level of competition. In 56 games this spring, Encarnacion-Strand had a slash line of .361/.442/.661 with 15 home runs and 4 stolen bases. While Encarnacion-Strand does not have the most range in the world, he does have the power bat and a strong arm that profile well for third base should he be able to stay at the hot corner long-term. Round 5 | 159th Overall | Slot Value: $327,200 Pick: Christian Macleod, LHP, Mississippi State After dominating in four starts last spring, there was some hype on Christian Macleod coming into the 2021 season. While it was a dream season for Macleod's Bulldog squad who won the National Championship, it was not exactly that for Macleod individually as he put up a 5.23 ERA in 82 and 2/3 innings pitched and he struggled in the College World Series. While the ERA is not promising, the Twins front office has shown in the past that they don't overly care about ERA and rather look to strikeout and walk rates as a better predictor of future success, and that is an area with some encouraging signs for Macleod as he had 12.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 this season. Macleod's ERA was inflated heavily late in the season, likely as a result of fatigue, as he had a much more impressive 3.14 ERA before he fell apart in his final 5 starts of the season. Pitcher fatigue late this season was to be expected from many college pitchers, as they did not have a chance to build up innings the season prior as a result of the pandemic. It would not be surprising to me if the Twins noticed this and took advantage of a falling prospect who could have easily been drafted a few rounds earlier. Round 6 | 189th Overall | Slot Value: $253,300 Pick: Travis Adams, RHP, Sacramento State Travis Adams is a junior pitcher from Sacramento State who posted a career 3.75 ERA with 130 strikeouts and just 25 walks in 151 innings pitched across three seasons. Adams split time as both a starter and a reliever as a freshman, but pitched exclusively out of the Hornets starting rotation during his sophomore and junior seasons. On the mound, Adams features a low-to-mid 90s fastball to go along with a well regarded changeup and an okay breaking ball. Round 7 | 219th Overall | Slot Value: $198,500 Pick: Jake Rucker, 2B/3B, Tennessee Jake Rucker was an integral part of this season's Tennessee Volunteers team that made their first College World Series appearances since 2005, as he hit .330 to go along with 9 home runs and 7 stolen bases and was named First Team All-SEC as a third baseman. Rucker is a three-year starter at Tennessee and showed signs of improvement in each season, which leaves hope that there is still more room for improvement in his game. Rucker had some consistency issues this spring, but aside from that he is a versatile defender that could find home at either second or third long-term. While Rucker won't flash any specific plus traits, he is a solid across the board player and could one day pave his way as a utility infielder at the MLB level. Round 8 | 249th Overall | Slot Value: $164,700 Pick: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA UCLA catcher Noah Cardenas was a hot name coming into this spring after a strong freshman season to go along his performance in the California Collegiate League last summer. However, after a disappointing performance this spring for the Bruins he fell down draft boards. In three seasons at UCLA, Cardenas slashed .302/.407/.426 with 8 home runs and two stolen bases. The defensive side of the ball is where Cardenas shows the most promise, as he has a plus arm and is a good defender behind the plate. With this pick, the Twins are likely betting on the upside that Cardenas has shown in the past to see if they can get that out of him once again. Round 9 | 279th Overall | Slot Value: $150,500 Pick: Patrick Winkel, C, UConn After a strong freshman campaign in 2019, Pat Winkel missed the 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He came back in 2021 and played well enough to earn Second Team All-Big East honors. For his career, Winkel had a slash line of .300/.359/.507 and hit 18 home runs in 102 games played for the Huskies. Winkel is a quality defender behind the plate who both receives the ball and can control the running game. There were some concerns on how good his arm would be after coming back from Tommy John surgery, but he showed he can still throw the ball well as he nabbed 32.5% of would be base stealers this spring. Round 10 | 309th Overall | Slot Value: $142,700 Pick: Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga Ernie Yake is a four-year starter at the University of Gonzaga and hit above .300 in all four of his seasons there. For his career, Yake has a .320/.392/.419 slash line with 6 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 165 games. Yake was twice named to the All-WCC Second Team. Twins Daily 5 Best Prospects Remaining Entering Day 2 21. Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork HS (SC) 22. Bubba Chandler, SS/RHP, North Oconee HS (GA) 23. Joshua Baez, OF, Dexter Southfield HS (MA) 24. Jaden Hill, RHP, LSU 25. Lonnie White, OF, Malvern Prep (PA) View full article
  10. “We’ve loved Chase Petty for a long time, and we’ve had a crush on Noah Miller for a long time too. Walking out of the (draft) room with two guys that you love is a feeling you want to have after Day 1. Our group in that room is thrilled.” Twins Scouting Director Sean Johnson at the end of a long, but exciting first day of the 2021 MLB Draft. For the first time, the MLB Draft took place on All Star weekend in the city of the All Star game, Denver, Colorado. Several of the draft prospects were in attendance including the Twins top pick. When the time came for the Twins’ first pick, the commissioner announced that the Twins selected right-handed pitcher Chase Petty from Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey. Petty is touted for having hit triple-digits with his fastball, but on Sunday night, he displayed plenty of personality too. LaTroy Hawkins represented the Twins in Denver at the draft - after managing the American League team of prospects in the Futures Game earlier in the day. Asked if he approved of the pick, Hawkins said, “I didn’t have to approve of it. I liked his personality.” During Petty’s interview on MLB Network, it was mentioned that he threw a no-hitter this year against Millville High School, Mike Trout’s old stomping grounds. Petty nonchalantly said that he’s been in contact with Trout (who was also taken with the 26th overall pick), and that he had texted with him a couple of hours before the draft. He then pointed out that he is having dinner on Monday night with Fernando Tatis, Jr., and Manny Machado (they belong to the same agency). Petty and fellow draft prospect Joe Mack developed their “bromance” and appear to have named themselves Shake-and-Bake. Mack was selected with the 31st overall pick by the Miami Marlins. His older brother, Charles Mack is a catcher for the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels and was in Denver for the event with his family. Petty said that the two got to know each other. In addition, Petty said that he has trained with Twins 2019 draft pick from St. John’s, RHP Sean Mooney, as well. Last summer, Vanderbilt Jack Leiter texted him and they spent some time working together. Leiter was the second overall pick in the 2021 draft. If there is one knock on Chase Petty that Twins fans may have, it might just be this. “I’m a Yankees fan. My first ever game was at the original Yankees Stadium. It’s by far my favorite stadium I’ve been to.” While Petty has always played middle infield, primarily second base, when he’s not pitching, his favorite players have been a couple of Mets pitchers. “My favorite players, personally, are Marcus Stroman and Jacob de Grom which is funny because they’re on the same team. I’ve talked to Stroman. He and I have developed a little bit of a relationship.” Chase Petty has all the connections. In addition to his personality, Johnson noted his arm strength, “spin talent” and a feel for his changeup. Twins area scout John Wilson coached Petty in the East Coast Pro Showcase last summer and got to know him. The two developed a great relationship there. The Twins also had several Zoom meetings with him last winter. They had medical personnel review his video. So did several in the Twins Player Development group. Let’s start with the velocity. It’s hard to ignore. As you have seen, Petty has hit 102 mph on the radar gun. He said that it has been a process to gain velocity. Petty said it really started his sophomore year when he began training at Baseball Performance Center. “I really started seeing improvements in velocity and everything. They put me on a really tough lifting schedule that obviously worked out. Over the years, I’ve put on more weight. I’ve worked on my mechanics a lot, and through that whole process is when I saw the jump.” When was the first time he hit 100 on a radar gun? Petty, who said he is now 6-1 and 200 pounds, said, “It was in July of last summer.” Asked if there is more in the tank? Petty laughed and said, “Oh yeah. Oh yeah!” Petty is both confident and competitive. “I think you (Twins fans) got the strongest competitor in the draft. I’m going to go out there and do everything I can to help my team win, help the organization win, and I’m just going to give it my all.” But as we know, pitchers in today’s game need more than a fastball to sustain long-term success. Petty said, “I throw a four-seam (fastball), a sinker, a slider and a changeup. Right now, I’m really just working on perfecting everything, perfecting my craft, getting bigger, getting stronger still. And really just putting in the work in the weight room and at my training facility.” Johnson thinks that Petty can be much more than a one-pitch pitcher. “We think he has ceiling to all of his pitches. Obviously he doesn’t need to throw any harder. 101 is definitely a good number, to start with. We see a lot of upside to both breaking balls, especially the slider which we think is going to be a really good pitch, as well as the change. He’s had command of those pitches, especially the change. He’s thrown strikes when we’ve seen him.” Johnson pointed out, “I’m not sure it was a real analytical decision that we used to push us over the hump with Chase. It was more of a scouting evaluation. We loved him. We had him in the first round. Our player development people and everyone else that looked at him and got to know Chase were all on board. As a scouting director, you’re looking for confidence from the group to make the selection.” Johnson continued, “I would say that with both of our picks tonight, our group loved both players equally. We wanted those players, and it feels good to walk out of that room - and I know we’ve got more work to do the next two days - but getting two guys in the barn that you love is a good feeling.” Ten picks after taking Petty, the Twins selected shortstop Noah Miller with the 36th pick, the final pick of Competitive Balance Round A and the final pick of the night. Miller is a shortstop from Ozaukee High School in Wisconsin. His brother Owen made his MLB debut with Cleveland earlier this year. Johnson said, “You can just see the competitiveness in him that he got from his brother, and his family and being in that environment.” Players don’t get selected this high in the draft without incredible baseball tools and talent, but it’s clear that the Twins really the character of both of their Day 1 picks. However, let’s start with Miller’s skill set. Johnson noted, “It’s rare anymore to see a player you believe has hit skills from both sides of the plate. Switch-hitters are pretty rare anymore. He has a great swing from both sides. We think that he will have power from both sides. He’s extremely instinctive as a defender. He’s not the fastest shortstop in the world, but we think that has a chance to stay there for a long time. He’ll profile whether he plays short forever or not. Great hands. Great feet. Great clock. It’s all the things you want to see. He’s super advanced, more advanced than a lot of the college guys you see.” Johnson added, “I’m glad we got him. One of our favorites. You walk into the draft room and there’s certain guys that you don’t want to miss on. And Noah Miller, after the first round, was a guy we did not want to miss on. To get him today was a great feeling.” Joe Bisenius was the Twins area scout and he got to know him really well. The Twins (and likely other teams) benefited from the draft moving from early June to mid-July. Miller didn’t play in the Area Code Games last summer. The Twins were aware of him and liked him, but the extra five to six weeks gave the Twins plenty of time to play catch up. Johnson said, "It doesn't take long to realize that Noah Miller is a rock star." The Twins selected high school players with their first two picks in the draft for the first time since 2016 when the Twins selected four high school hitters with their first four picks in Deron Johnson’s final draft as Scouting Director. Before that, Johnson selected Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios with the team’s first two picks in 2012’s draft. It was a long day for the Twins scouting department. They got to Target Field about noon and then after Day 1 was complete, they continued to work. Starting at noon on Monday, Day 2 begins. Second through tenth round picks will be made. Johnson said, “We’re going to plan scenarios. We’ll come up with some ideas. Some guys may have become signable. Some guys may have fallen short of and decided to go to college, that slipped out of the first round. A lot of conversations with agents, advisors, and with players and get a feel for what our board is going to look like so we are ready to go with our next pick.” What will the Twins do on Day 2? Find out throughout the draft and discuss in the Day 2 Thread.
  11. When picking near the end of the first round of the MLB draft, it’s impossible to know what direction those picks might take. On Sunday night, the Twins selected two high school players with their first round picks. Learn more about RHP Chase Petty and shortstop Owen Miller. “We’ve loved Chase Petty for a long time, and we’ve had a crush on Noah Miller for a long time too. Walking out of the (draft) room with two guys that you love is a feeling you want to have after Day 1. Our group in that room is thrilled.” Twins Scouting Director Sean Johnson at the end of a long, but exciting first day of the 2021 MLB Draft. For the first time, the MLB Draft took place on All Star weekend in the city of the All Star game, Denver, Colorado. Several of the draft prospects were in attendance including the Twins top pick. When the time came for the Twins’ first pick, the commissioner announced that the Twins selected right-handed pitcher Chase Petty from Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey. Petty is touted for having hit triple-digits with his fastball, but on Sunday night, he displayed plenty of personality too. LaTroy Hawkins represented the Twins in Denver at the draft - after managing the American League team of prospects in the Futures Game earlier in the day. Asked if he approved of the pick, Hawkins said, “I didn’t have to approve of it. I liked his personality.” During Petty’s interview on MLB Network, it was mentioned that he threw a no-hitter this year against Millville High School, Mike Trout’s old stomping grounds. Petty nonchalantly said that he’s been in contact with Trout (who was also taken with the 26th overall pick), and that he had texted with him a couple of hours before the draft. He then pointed out that he is having dinner on Monday night with Fernando Tatis, Jr., and Manny Machado (they belong to the same agency). Petty and fellow draft prospect Joe Mack developed their “bromance” and appear to have named themselves Shake-and-Bake. Mack was selected with the 31st overall pick by the Miami Marlins. His older brother, Charles Mack is a catcher for the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels and was in Denver for the event with his family. Petty said that the two got to know each other. In addition, Petty said that he has trained with Twins 2019 draft pick from St. John’s, RHP Sean Mooney, as well. Last summer, Vanderbilt Jack Leiter texted him and they spent some time working together. Leiter was the second overall pick in the 2021 draft. If there is one knock on Chase Petty that Twins fans may have, it might just be this. “I’m a Yankees fan. My first ever game was at the original Yankees Stadium. It’s by far my favorite stadium I’ve been to.” While Petty has always played middle infield, primarily second base, when he’s not pitching, his favorite players have been a couple of Mets pitchers. “My favorite players, personally, are Marcus Stroman and Jacob de Grom which is funny because they’re on the same team. I’ve talked to Stroman. He and I have developed a little bit of a relationship.” Chase Petty has all the connections. In addition to his personality, Johnson noted his arm strength, “spin talent” and a feel for his changeup. Twins area scout John Wilson coached Petty in the East Coast Pro Showcase last summer and got to know him. The two developed a great relationship there. The Twins also had several Zoom meetings with him last winter. They had medical personnel review his video. So did several in the Twins Player Development group. Let’s start with the velocity. It’s hard to ignore. As you have seen, Petty has hit 102 mph on the radar gun. He said that it has been a process to gain velocity. Petty said it really started his sophomore year when he began training at Baseball Performance Center. “I really started seeing improvements in velocity and everything. They put me on a really tough lifting schedule that obviously worked out. Over the years, I’ve put on more weight. I’ve worked on my mechanics a lot, and through that whole process is when I saw the jump.” When was the first time he hit 100 on a radar gun? Petty, who said he is now 6-1 and 200 pounds, said, “It was in July of last summer.” Asked if there is more in the tank? Petty laughed and said, “Oh yeah. Oh yeah!” Petty is both confident and competitive. “I think you (Twins fans) got the strongest competitor in the draft. I’m going to go out there and do everything I can to help my team win, help the organization win, and I’m just going to give it my all.” But as we know, pitchers in today’s game need more than a fastball to sustain long-term success. Petty said, “I throw a four-seam (fastball), a sinker, a slider and a changeup. Right now, I’m really just working on perfecting everything, perfecting my craft, getting bigger, getting stronger still. And really just putting in the work in the weight room and at my training facility.” Johnson thinks that Petty can be much more than a one-pitch pitcher. “We think he has ceiling to all of his pitches. Obviously he doesn’t need to throw any harder. 101 is definitely a good number, to start with. We see a lot of upside to both breaking balls, especially the slider which we think is going to be a really good pitch, as well as the change. He’s had command of those pitches, especially the change. He’s thrown strikes when we’ve seen him.” Johnson pointed out, “I’m not sure it was a real analytical decision that we used to push us over the hump with Chase. It was more of a scouting evaluation. We loved him. We had him in the first round. Our player development people and everyone else that looked at him and got to know Chase were all on board. As a scouting director, you’re looking for confidence from the group to make the selection.” Johnson continued, “I would say that with both of our picks tonight, our group loved both players equally. We wanted those players, and it feels good to walk out of that room - and I know we’ve got more work to do the next two days - but getting two guys in the barn that you love is a good feeling.” Ten picks after taking Petty, the Twins selected shortstop Noah Miller with the 36th pick, the final pick of Competitive Balance Round A and the final pick of the night. Miller is a shortstop from Ozaukee High School in Wisconsin. His brother Owen made his MLB debut with Cleveland earlier this year. Johnson said, “You can just see the competitiveness in him that he got from his brother, and his family and being in that environment.” Players don’t get selected this high in the draft without incredible baseball tools and talent, but it’s clear that the Twins really the character of both of their Day 1 picks. However, let’s start with Miller’s skill set. Johnson noted, “It’s rare anymore to see a player you believe has hit skills from both sides of the plate. Switch-hitters are pretty rare anymore. He has a great swing from both sides. We think that he will have power from both sides. He’s extremely instinctive as a defender. He’s not the fastest shortstop in the world, but we think that has a chance to stay there for a long time. He’ll profile whether he plays short forever or not. Great hands. Great feet. Great clock. It’s all the things you want to see. He’s super advanced, more advanced than a lot of the college guys you see.” Johnson added, “I’m glad we got him. One of our favorites. You walk into the draft room and there’s certain guys that you don’t want to miss on. And Noah Miller, after the first round, was a guy we did not want to miss on. To get him today was a great feeling.” Joe Bisenius was the Twins area scout and he got to know him really well. The Twins (and likely other teams) benefited from the draft moving from early June to mid-July. Miller didn’t play in the Area Code Games last summer. The Twins were aware of him and liked him, but the extra five to six weeks gave the Twins plenty of time to play catch up. Johnson said, "It doesn't take long to realize that Noah Miller is a rock star." The Twins selected high school players with their first two picks in the draft for the first time since 2016 when the Twins selected four high school hitters with their first four picks in Deron Johnson’s final draft as Scouting Director. Before that, Johnson selected Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios with the team’s first two picks in 2012’s draft. It was a long day for the Twins scouting department. They got to Target Field about noon and then after Day 1 was complete, they continued to work. Starting at noon on Monday, Day 2 begins. Second through tenth round picks will be made. Johnson said, “We’re going to plan scenarios. We’ll come up with some ideas. Some guys may have become signable. Some guys may have fallen short of and decided to go to college, that slipped out of the first round. A lot of conversations with agents, advisors, and with players and get a feel for what our board is going to look like so we are ready to go with our next pick.” What will the Twins do on Day 2? Find out throughout the draft and discuss in the Day 2 Thread. View full article
  12. With their first round pick, the Twins took a high upside high school pitcher in Chase Petty who has a 100+ MPH fastball. The Twins had to wait until pick 26 to make their first selection, but they wound up with a guy that has the upside to eventually be one of the best players in the entire draft class. Chase Petty is a high school right-handed pitcher from Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey. He is consider by many to be a high-risk, high-reward prospect that if all goes well could one day shine at the front of the Twins starting rotation. I had Petty ranked as the 20th best prospect in the draft. Here is what I wrote about him prior to the draft. "New Jersey prep pitcher Chase Petty is most well-known for his incredible fastball that has been clocked as high as 102 MPH. That pitch is not only my highest graded fastball of any pitcher in this draft, but it is tied for the highest graded pitch thrown by any pitcher in this class. However, Petty is not just a one pitch pitcher, as he also features an above average slider, and occasionally throws a changeup that has a lot of promise as he develops it further. The hang-up with Petty is his command, as he is still a very raw product and can get wild out of the strike zone at times. Petty is also the classic case of a right-handed power pitcher that is very exciting, but tends to fall in the draft, usually due to a high asking price, developmental concerns or a combination of both. If he does fall, the college route would not be a bad option for him, as the University of Florida has built a reputation for developing pitchers in recent years." If you want to get to know Chase Petty even further, I would highly suggest watching this feature of No Days Off that was done on him. Let us know you throughts on the pick. Do you like the potential high upside pitcher the Twins got late in the 1st round, or would you rather have seen them go in a different direction? View full article
  13. The Twins had to wait until pick 26 to make their first selection, but they wound up with a guy that has the upside to eventually be one of the best players in the entire draft class. Chase Petty is a high school right-handed pitcher from Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey. He is consider by many to be a high-risk, high-reward prospect that if all goes well could one day shine at the front of the Twins starting rotation. I had Petty ranked as the 20th best prospect in the draft. Here is what I wrote about him prior to the draft. "New Jersey prep pitcher Chase Petty is most well-known for his incredible fastball that has been clocked as high as 102 MPH. That pitch is not only my highest graded fastball of any pitcher in this draft, but it is tied for the highest graded pitch thrown by any pitcher in this class. However, Petty is not just a one pitch pitcher, as he also features an above average slider, and occasionally throws a changeup that has a lot of promise as he develops it further. The hang-up with Petty is his command, as he is still a very raw product and can get wild out of the strike zone at times. Petty is also the classic case of a right-handed power pitcher that is very exciting, but tends to fall in the draft, usually due to a high asking price, developmental concerns or a combination of both. If he does fall, the college route would not be a bad option for him, as the University of Florida has built a reputation for developing pitchers in recent years." If you want to get to know Chase Petty even further, I would highly suggest watching this feature of No Days Off that was done on him. Let us know you throughts on the pick. Do you like the potential high upside pitcher the Twins got late in the 1st round, or would you rather have seen them go in a different direction?
  14. With the 36th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins Selected Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI). The Twins selected New Jersey RHP Chase Petty with the 26th overall pick. You can read more on the high risk, high reward, high school pitcher with the electric fastball from Andrew Thares here. With their compensatory first round pick, the Twins selected Wisconsin prep SS Noah Miller. HT: 6’0 WT: 180 B/T: B-R Commitment: Alabama Age: 18 Overall Grade: 50 Hit: 45 Power: 40 Run: 50 Field: 60 Arm: 55 The Twins significantly broke from their draft tendencies in the Falvey Levine era, drafting two high school prospects with their first two picks. It’s also notable that they addressed their two biggest deficits with their first two picks, drafting a starting pitcher and a middle infielder. In addition to adding Chase Petty with the 26th overall pick, the Twins elected WI prep SS Noah Miller with the 36th overall pick. Noah Miller is a switch hitting shortstop whose brother recently made his MLB debut in the Cleveland organization. The 18 year old is an impressive athlete and outstanding defensive SS with a strong sense of anticipation and reading of the game. Despite his defense being his most impressive tool, Miller also shows strong offensive skills. Miller is the top ranked prospect from Wisconsin and showcases a short, simple swing with effective bat to ball skills. Miller shows gap to gap line drive power from the left side but better pull power from the right hand side of the plate. Despite facing limited competition, Miller has dealt with opposing pitching successfully, consistently showcasing the ability to drive the ball the other way. While Miller doesn’t have any one truly stand out tool, he has a high offensive and defensive floor which should allow him to stick at SS and be an impactful hitter at the MLB level.
  15. With the 36th overall pick, the Minnesota Twins select SS Noah Miller, Ozaukee HS (WI). With the 36th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins Selected Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI). The Twins selected New Jersey RHP Chase Petty with the 26th overall pick. You can read more on the high risk, high reward, high school pitcher with the electric fastball from Andrew Thares here. With their compensatory first round pick, the Twins selected Wisconsin prep SS Noah Miller. HT: 6’0 WT: 180 B/T: B-R Commitment: Alabama Age: 18 Overall Grade: 50 Hit: 45 Power: 40 Run: 50 Field: 60 Arm: 55 The Twins significantly broke from their draft tendencies in the Falvey Levine era, drafting two high school prospects with their first two picks. It’s also notable that they addressed their two biggest deficits with their first two picks, drafting a starting pitcher and a middle infielder. In addition to adding Chase Petty with the 26th overall pick, the Twins elected WI prep SS Noah Miller with the 36th overall pick. Noah Miller is a switch hitting shortstop whose brother recently made his MLB debut in the Cleveland organization. The 18 year old is an impressive athlete and outstanding defensive SS with a strong sense of anticipation and reading of the game. Despite his defense being his most impressive tool, Miller also shows strong offensive skills. Miller is the top ranked prospect from Wisconsin and showcases a short, simple swing with effective bat to ball skills. Miller shows gap to gap line drive power from the left side but better pull power from the right hand side of the plate. Despite facing limited competition, Miller has dealt with opposing pitching successfully, consistently showcasing the ability to drive the ball the other way. While Miller doesn’t have any one truly stand out tool, he has a high offensive and defensive floor which should allow him to stick at SS and be an impactful hitter at the MLB level. View full article
  16. Come here to follow everything happening on night one of the draft and join in on the conversation. It is officially All-Star week and that means the first day of the MLB Draft is finally upon us. Unlike in years past, when the draft took place in early June, this year’s draft will take place in the All-Star game’s host city of Denver, Colorado. This year’s draft will feature just 20 rounds, instead of the usual 40. Day 1, which begins at 6 p.m. CT and can be viewed on ESPN and MLB Network, features both round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A. The Twins have two picks tonight, with the first one coming at pick number 26 overall in the first round. They will then conclude tonight’s events with the last pick in Competitive Balance Round A, which will be pick number 36 overall. The draft will then pick back up again tomorrow with round 2, starting at 12 p.m. CT. If you want a quick glimpse at who some of the top prospects are available in this year’s draft, you can take a look at the Twins Daily Top 50 Draft Prospect rankings. 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 1-10 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 11-20 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 21-30 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 31-40 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 41-50 MLB Draft Day 1 Picks Round 1 1. Pirates: Henry Davis, C, Louisville 2. Rangers: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt 3. Tigers: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (OK) 4. Red Sox: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (CA) 5. Orioles: Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State 6. Diamondbacks: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit HS (TX) 7. Royals: Frank Mozzicato, LHP, East Catholic HS (CT) 8. Rockies: Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land HS (PA) 9. Angels: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (OH) 10. Mets: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt 11. Nationals: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (GA) 12. Mariners: Harry Ford, C, Horth Cobb HS (GA) 13. Phillies: Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian HS (FL) 14. Giants: Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State 15. Brewers: Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College 16. Marlins: Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest HS (NC) 17. Reds: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA 18. Cardinals: Michael McGreevy, RHP UC Santa Barbara 19. Blue Jays: Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Ole Miss 20. Yankees: Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois 21. Cubs: Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State 22. White Sox: Colson Montgomery, SS, Southridge HS (IN) 23. Indians: Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina 24. Braves: Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest 25. Athletics: Max Muncy, SS, Thousand Oaks HS (CA) 26. Twins: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ) 27. Padres: Jackson Merrill, SS, Severna Park HS (MD) 28. Rays: Carson Williams, SS, Torrey Pines HS (CA) 29. Dodgers: Maddux Bruns, LHP, UMS Wright Prep School (AL) Compensation Picks 30. Reds: (Trevor Bauer): Jay Allen, OF, John Carroll HS (FL) Competitive Balance Round A 31. Marlins: Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS (NY) 32. Tigers: Ty Madden, RHP, Texas 33. Brewers: Tyler Black, 2B, Wright State University 34. Rays: Cooper Kinney, 2B, The Baylor Schools (TN) 35. Reds: Matheu Nelson, C, Florida State 36. Twins: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI) View full article
  17. It is officially All-Star week and that means the first day of the MLB Draft is finally upon us. Unlike in years past, when the draft took place in early June, this year’s draft will take place in the All-Star game’s host city of Denver, Colorado. This year’s draft will feature just 20 rounds, instead of the usual 40. Day 1, which begins at 6 p.m. CT and can be viewed on ESPN and MLB Network, features both round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A. The Twins have two picks tonight, with the first one coming at pick number 26 overall in the first round. They will then conclude tonight’s events with the last pick in Competitive Balance Round A, which will be pick number 36 overall. The draft will then pick back up again tomorrow with round 2, starting at 12 p.m. CT. If you want a quick glimpse at who some of the top prospects are available in this year’s draft, you can take a look at the Twins Daily Top 50 Draft Prospect rankings. 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 1-10 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 11-20 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 21-30 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 31-40 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 41-50 MLB Draft Day 1 Picks Round 1 1. Pirates: Henry Davis, C, Louisville 2. Rangers: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt 3. Tigers: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (OK) 4. Red Sox: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (CA) 5. Orioles: Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State 6. Diamondbacks: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit HS (TX) 7. Royals: Frank Mozzicato, LHP, East Catholic HS (CT) 8. Rockies: Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land HS (PA) 9. Angels: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (OH) 10. Mets: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt 11. Nationals: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (GA) 12. Mariners: Harry Ford, C, Horth Cobb HS (GA) 13. Phillies: Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian HS (FL) 14. Giants: Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State 15. Brewers: Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College 16. Marlins: Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest HS (NC) 17. Reds: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA 18. Cardinals: Michael McGreevy, RHP UC Santa Barbara 19. Blue Jays: Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Ole Miss 20. Yankees: Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois 21. Cubs: Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State 22. White Sox: Colson Montgomery, SS, Southridge HS (IN) 23. Indians: Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina 24. Braves: Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest 25. Athletics: Max Muncy, SS, Thousand Oaks HS (CA) 26. Twins: Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Regional HS (NJ) 27. Padres: Jackson Merrill, SS, Severna Park HS (MD) 28. Rays: Carson Williams, SS, Torrey Pines HS (CA) 29. Dodgers: Maddux Bruns, LHP, UMS Wright Prep School (AL) Compensation Picks 30. Reds: (Trevor Bauer): Jay Allen, OF, John Carroll HS (FL) Competitive Balance Round A 31. Marlins: Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS (NY) 32. Tigers: Ty Madden, RHP, Texas 33. Brewers: Tyler Black, 2B, Wright State University 34. Rays: Cooper Kinney, 2B, The Baylor Schools (TN) 35. Reds: Matheu Nelson, C, Florida State 36. Twins: Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee HS (WI)
  18. 10. Sal Frelick, Boston College Pos: OF | B/T: L/R | Height: 5' 9" | Weight: 175 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Hit: 60 Power: 45 Run: 65 Throw: 50 Field: 60 Overall: 55 Boston College outfielder Sal Frelick had a great start to his college career, as he slashed .367/.447/.513 and stole 18 bases in 39 games and was named a Freshman All-American by D1Baseball.com, Collegiate Baseball News and Perfect Game in 2019. After not having a great start to 2020, before the pandemic ended the season, Frelick bounced back with his best season yet, and presumably finished his college career with a .345/.435/.521 slash line. Frelick is one of the best pure hitters in this draft, though his small frame holds him back in the power department, as he hit just 12 home runs in his college career. In addition to his bat, Frelick leverages his best feature, which is his speed, in both the outfield and on the basepaths. This combination of hitting ability, defensive ability, and college production in a good conference are the reasons why he is so high up on draft boards, despite the lack of power. 9. Brady House, Winder-Barrow HS, GA Pos: SS/3B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 210 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Tennessee Scouting Grades Hit: 50 Power: 65 Run: 50 Throw: 70 Field: 55 Overall: 55 When looking at a diamond filled with the best high school players in the country, the first guy that catches your eye likely will be Brady House from Winder-Barrow HS in Georgia. House is literally a man amongst boys at the high school level and has power that only a couple of other prospects in this class (high school or college) can match. In addition to his power, House is also a decent hitter with a great approach at the plate, but he can be swing-and-miss prone at times. If he can keep that from holding him back, House should have no trouble becoming a perennial 30+ home run a year guy. In the field, House is a solid defender at shortstop, despite his size. While he is not the quickest guy out there, House can still cover ground well. However, if a move to third is in his future, House should have no troubles adapting to the position. House also has one of the strongest, if not the strongest, arm of any position player in this class, and is clocked in the mid-90s on the mound. 8. Colton Cowser, Sam Houston State Pos: OF | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 195 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Hit: 65 Power: 55 Run: 55 Throw: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 55 Colton Cowser is yet another highly ranked college prospect that comes from a rather unheralded university. However, don’t let the name on the front of the jersey fool you, Cowser is an all-around stud. Cowser had an incredible three-year run at Sam Houston State, but he undoubtedly saved his best performance for last, as in 55 games this spring, Cowser slashed .374/.490/.680 with 16 home runs and 17 stolen bases. While it might be easy to chalk up Cowser’s offensive numbers to poor competition, playing in the Southland Conference, but Cowser did impress while playing for team USA back in 2019. In addition to his performance at the plate, Cowser is also a strong defender who can hold his own in center. At this point, it is hard to tell if Cowser will remain in centerfield long-term, as that might depend on the organization he ends up in, but if he has to move to a corner, Cowser will be a plus defender there, and could always play center when called upon, in a simal role that Max Kepler plays on the Twins now. 7. Henry Davis, Louisville Pos: C | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 210 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Hit: 65 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 70 Field: 50 Overall: 60 In a draft class that lacks depth among college position players at the top, Henry Davis is likely viewed by many teams as the best college bat available, and tops off my list as well. As a catcher, Davis possesses an offensive skill set that is rarely seen at the position. After a so-so freshman season in 2019, Davis went on an offensive tear these past two seasons at Louisville, as he slashed .370/.482/.670 with 18 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 64 games. Behind the plate, Davis’s best trait is his howitzer of an arm that more than keeps base stealers in check. Despite this, Davis is not considered to be one of the better defensive catchers in the draft, as some even think a move out from catcher could be in his future. However, even if that happens Davis’s bat should still make him a viable option at less valuable defensive positions. 6. Kahlil Watson, Wake Forest HS, NC Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 5' 9" | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: North Carolina State Scouting Grades Hit: 60 Power: 50 Run: 60 Throw: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 60 While Kahlil Watson does not get the hype that a Marcelo Mayer or Jordan Lawlar get (still to come), there is not a lot that separates Watson from those two, and I would not be surprised if one day he is looked back on as the best of the group, this kid is that good. There is not one trait that Watson has that stands out from anyone else in this class, but he is above average to plus across the board and is a true five tool player. Watson does not have the size to generate a lot of power, but what he does have is an athletically explosive swing that generates a lot of bat speed to make up for that. At short, Watson can make some incredible plays at times that highlight his defensive potential, but he can be a little inconsistent at times with the routine plays. This will need to be cleaned up as he makes his way up through the minors. 5. Jackson Jobe, Heritage Hall HS, OK Pos: RHP | Height: 6’2” | Weight: 190 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Ole Miss Scouting Grades Fastball: 60 Curveball: 50 Slider: 70 Changeup: 65 Control: 50 Overall: 60 High school right-handed pitchers have had a tough time finding their way up draft boards in recent years, as team’s have noticed the relatively poor track record they have had at the top due to so much risk. In the last two drafts, none were selected in the top 10 and only Mick Able and Quinn Priester were selected in the top 20. Jackson Jobe has a chance to change that this season, as he has so much potential it is hard to imagine teams drafting later in the top 10 passing on him if he falls to them. So, what makes Jobe so special? The answer is stuff, stuff and more stuff. While many top high school pitching prospects in the past have vaulted their way up as a result of lighting up the radar gun to near, or sometimes passing, triple-digits, that is not the case for Jobe. Don’t get me wrong, Jobe has a plus fastball that sits mid-90s with life. However, that is clearly his third best pitch, as his slider and changeup are individually two of the best pitches in the entire draft class. Jobe is certainly a top 5 talent in this class, the question is, where will a team eventually pull the trigger on him? 4. Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt Pos: RHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 255 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: 38th Round, 2018 (COL) Scouting Grades Fastball: 60 Slider: 75 Changeup: 55 Control: 50 Overall: 60 Kumar Rocker was a big name coming out of high school back in 2018, as I had him ranked as the 14th best prospect in that draft. However, sign ability concerns caused teams to pass on Rocker, and he eventually was taken in the 38th round by the Colorado Rockies. Rocker went on to play ball at Vanderbilt where he had a tremendous college career. As a freshman in 2019, he helped lead Vandy to a College World Series Championship. On the way, Rocker threw a 19-strikeout no-hitter in the Super Regionals against Duke and then had a great performance in Game 2 of the championship series against Michigan with Vandy’s season on the line. For his career, Rocker had an ERA of just 2.89 and struck out 321 batters in 236 and 2/3 innings pitched. Coming out of high school, Rocker’s best pitch was arguably his fastball. However, as he has progressed, Rocker’s slider is clearly his best pitch and is without question the breaking ball in the entire draft class. Rocker has also developed a quality changeup at Vanderbilt. 3. Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt Pos: RHP | Height: 6’1” | Weight: 205 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: 20th Round, 2019 (NYY) Scouting Grades Fastball: 65 Curveball: 65 Slider: 55 Changeup: 55 Control: 50 Overall: 60 The other half of the Vanderbilt dynamic-duo at the top of their rotation is son of former MLB All-Star Al Leiter, and like Rocker was a top draft prospect coming out of high school. However, Leiter was a year behind Rocker and was my 29th ranked prospect in the 2019 draft. The narrative on Leiter has certainly changed since then, as he has more than proven me wrong when I said, “hard to imagine him ever becoming a top of the rotation starting pitcher” as he has more than shown that not to be the case in his short time at Vanderbilt. After a brief glimpse of what he could be in four appearances in 2020, Leiter put on a show this spring as he threw 110 innings across 18 starts with an ERA of just 2.13. The most impressive part, however, were the incredible 179 punchouts that tied teammate Kumar Rocker for the most in Division 1 college baseball this spring. A big reason for his leap forward was the uptick in velocity. Coming into the 2019 draft, Leiter only sat in the low-90s and occasionally touched the mid-90s. Now Leiter sits comfortably in the mid-90s and has touched as high as 98 MPH. He has also developed the rest of his repertoire, and now features potentially three plus secondary pitches that are highlighted by his curveball. 2. Jordan Lawlar, Jesuit Prep, TX Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 185 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Vanderbilt Scouting Grades Hit: 60 Power: 55 Run: 60 Throw: 60 Field: 55 Overall: 60 In a draft with no true consensus number one pick, Jordan Lawlar likely ranks as the top prospect on several teams’ boards. However, the question is, who do the Pittsburgh Pirates have ranked as their number one prospect? From a skill perspective, Lawlar is a lot like Kahlil Watson in the sense that he does not have one true standout tool but is a more well-rounded five tool player. What separates Lawlar from Watson, is his power potential, as he could easily become a 25 home run a year guy at the next level. Lawlar is also an excellent fielder at shortstop, where his athleticism and big arm give him the range and arm strength needed to play the position and stick there long-term. Lawlar has had his name near the top of 2021 draft boards for a couple years now and has done nothing but live up to that early hype. Now the question is, will Lawlar live up to that hype as a professional? 1. Marcelo Mayer, Eastlake HS, CA Pos: SS | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Southern California Scouting Grades Hit: 65 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 60 Field: 65 Overall: 60 Marcelo Mayer is an elite prospect out of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, California, the same high school that 2019 Twins first round pick Keoni Cavaco attended. As a prospect, Mayer is not quite the athlete that Jordan Lawlar is, but he is every bit the baseball player and maybe more. When it comes to looking natural on the diamond, Mayer is about as good as it gets. Mayer has a silky-smooth swing that only a left-handed hitter can have. It does not generate a lot of pop, but there is certainly some power potential in there. The only thing that looks better than Mayer’s swing is watching him play out in the field at short. While he might not have the greatest range, Mayer makes up for it with his playmaking ability. There is not a bad hop, or a tough throwing angle that he doesn’t look completely comfortable making. Rest of the 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 11-20 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 21-30 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 31-40 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 41-50
  19. Here they are, the crème de la crème of the 2021 MLB Draft Class. Pay close attention to these names, as they are likely some of the future stars of the sport. 10. Sal Frelick, Boston College Pos: OF | B/T: L/R | Height: 5' 9" | Weight: 175 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Hit: 60 Power: 45 Run: 65 Throw: 50 Field: 60 Overall: 55 Boston College outfielder Sal Frelick had a great start to his college career, as he slashed .367/.447/.513 and stole 18 bases in 39 games and was named a Freshman All-American by D1Baseball.com, Collegiate Baseball News and Perfect Game in 2019. After not having a great start to 2020, before the pandemic ended the season, Frelick bounced back with his best season yet, and presumably finished his college career with a .345/.435/.521 slash line. Frelick is one of the best pure hitters in this draft, though his small frame holds him back in the power department, as he hit just 12 home runs in his college career. In addition to his bat, Frelick leverages his best feature, which is his speed, in both the outfield and on the basepaths. This combination of hitting ability, defensive ability, and college production in a good conference are the reasons why he is so high up on draft boards, despite the lack of power. 9. Brady House, Winder-Barrow HS, GA Pos: SS/3B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 210 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Tennessee Scouting Grades Hit: 50 Power: 65 Run: 50 Throw: 70 Field: 55 Overall: 55 When looking at a diamond filled with the best high school players in the country, the first guy that catches your eye likely will be Brady House from Winder-Barrow HS in Georgia. House is literally a man amongst boys at the high school level and has power that only a couple of other prospects in this class (high school or college) can match. In addition to his power, House is also a decent hitter with a great approach at the plate, but he can be swing-and-miss prone at times. If he can keep that from holding him back, House should have no trouble becoming a perennial 30+ home run a year guy. In the field, House is a solid defender at shortstop, despite his size. While he is not the quickest guy out there, House can still cover ground well. However, if a move to third is in his future, House should have no troubles adapting to the position. House also has one of the strongest, if not the strongest, arm of any position player in this class, and is clocked in the mid-90s on the mound. 8. Colton Cowser, Sam Houston State Pos: OF | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 195 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Hit: 65 Power: 55 Run: 55 Throw: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 55 Colton Cowser is yet another highly ranked college prospect that comes from a rather unheralded university. However, don’t let the name on the front of the jersey fool you, Cowser is an all-around stud. Cowser had an incredible three-year run at Sam Houston State, but he undoubtedly saved his best performance for last, as in 55 games this spring, Cowser slashed .374/.490/.680 with 16 home runs and 17 stolen bases. While it might be easy to chalk up Cowser’s offensive numbers to poor competition, playing in the Southland Conference, but Cowser did impress while playing for team USA back in 2019. In addition to his performance at the plate, Cowser is also a strong defender who can hold his own in center. At this point, it is hard to tell if Cowser will remain in centerfield long-term, as that might depend on the organization he ends up in, but if he has to move to a corner, Cowser will be a plus defender there, and could always play center when called upon, in a simal role that Max Kepler plays on the Twins now. 7. Henry Davis, Louisville Pos: C | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 210 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Hit: 65 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 70 Field: 50 Overall: 60 In a draft class that lacks depth among college position players at the top, Henry Davis is likely viewed by many teams as the best college bat available, and tops off my list as well. As a catcher, Davis possesses an offensive skill set that is rarely seen at the position. After a so-so freshman season in 2019, Davis went on an offensive tear these past two seasons at Louisville, as he slashed .370/.482/.670 with 18 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 64 games. Behind the plate, Davis’s best trait is his howitzer of an arm that more than keeps base stealers in check. Despite this, Davis is not considered to be one of the better defensive catchers in the draft, as some even think a move out from catcher could be in his future. However, even if that happens Davis’s bat should still make him a viable option at less valuable defensive positions. 6. Kahlil Watson, Wake Forest HS, NC Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 5' 9" | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: North Carolina State Scouting Grades Hit: 60 Power: 50 Run: 60 Throw: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 60 While Kahlil Watson does not get the hype that a Marcelo Mayer or Jordan Lawlar get (still to come), there is not a lot that separates Watson from those two, and I would not be surprised if one day he is looked back on as the best of the group, this kid is that good. There is not one trait that Watson has that stands out from anyone else in this class, but he is above average to plus across the board and is a true five tool player. Watson does not have the size to generate a lot of power, but what he does have is an athletically explosive swing that generates a lot of bat speed to make up for that. At short, Watson can make some incredible plays at times that highlight his defensive potential, but he can be a little inconsistent at times with the routine plays. This will need to be cleaned up as he makes his way up through the minors. 5. Jackson Jobe, Heritage Hall HS, OK Pos: RHP | Height: 6’2” | Weight: 190 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Ole Miss Scouting Grades Fastball: 60 Curveball: 50 Slider: 70 Changeup: 65 Control: 50 Overall: 60 High school right-handed pitchers have had a tough time finding their way up draft boards in recent years, as team’s have noticed the relatively poor track record they have had at the top due to so much risk. In the last two drafts, none were selected in the top 10 and only Mick Able and Quinn Priester were selected in the top 20. Jackson Jobe has a chance to change that this season, as he has so much potential it is hard to imagine teams drafting later in the top 10 passing on him if he falls to them. So, what makes Jobe so special? The answer is stuff, stuff and more stuff. While many top high school pitching prospects in the past have vaulted their way up as a result of lighting up the radar gun to near, or sometimes passing, triple-digits, that is not the case for Jobe. Don’t get me wrong, Jobe has a plus fastball that sits mid-90s with life. However, that is clearly his third best pitch, as his slider and changeup are individually two of the best pitches in the entire draft class. Jobe is certainly a top 5 talent in this class, the question is, where will a team eventually pull the trigger on him? 4. Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt Pos: RHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 255 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: 38th Round, 2018 (COL) Scouting Grades Fastball: 60 Slider: 75 Changeup: 55 Control: 50 Overall: 60 Kumar Rocker was a big name coming out of high school back in 2018, as I had him ranked as the 14th best prospect in that draft. However, sign ability concerns caused teams to pass on Rocker, and he eventually was taken in the 38th round by the Colorado Rockies. Rocker went on to play ball at Vanderbilt where he had a tremendous college career. As a freshman in 2019, he helped lead Vandy to a College World Series Championship. On the way, Rocker threw a 19-strikeout no-hitter in the Super Regionals against Duke and then had a great performance in Game 2 of the championship series against Michigan with Vandy’s season on the line. For his career, Rocker had an ERA of just 2.89 and struck out 321 batters in 236 and 2/3 innings pitched. Coming out of high school, Rocker’s best pitch was arguably his fastball. However, as he has progressed, Rocker’s slider is clearly his best pitch and is without question the breaking ball in the entire draft class. Rocker has also developed a quality changeup at Vanderbilt. 3. Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt Pos: RHP | Height: 6’1” | Weight: 205 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: 20th Round, 2019 (NYY) Scouting Grades Fastball: 65 Curveball: 65 Slider: 55 Changeup: 55 Control: 50 Overall: 60 The other half of the Vanderbilt dynamic-duo at the top of their rotation is son of former MLB All-Star Al Leiter, and like Rocker was a top draft prospect coming out of high school. However, Leiter was a year behind Rocker and was my 29th ranked prospect in the 2019 draft. The narrative on Leiter has certainly changed since then, as he has more than proven me wrong when I said, “hard to imagine him ever becoming a top of the rotation starting pitcher” as he has more than shown that not to be the case in his short time at Vanderbilt. After a brief glimpse of what he could be in four appearances in 2020, Leiter put on a show this spring as he threw 110 innings across 18 starts with an ERA of just 2.13. The most impressive part, however, were the incredible 179 punchouts that tied teammate Kumar Rocker for the most in Division 1 college baseball this spring. A big reason for his leap forward was the uptick in velocity. Coming into the 2019 draft, Leiter only sat in the low-90s and occasionally touched the mid-90s. Now Leiter sits comfortably in the mid-90s and has touched as high as 98 MPH. He has also developed the rest of his repertoire, and now features potentially three plus secondary pitches that are highlighted by his curveball. 2. Jordan Lawlar, Jesuit Prep, TX Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 185 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Vanderbilt Scouting Grades Hit: 60 Power: 55 Run: 60 Throw: 60 Field: 55 Overall: 60 In a draft with no true consensus number one pick, Jordan Lawlar likely ranks as the top prospect on several teams’ boards. However, the question is, who do the Pittsburgh Pirates have ranked as their number one prospect? From a skill perspective, Lawlar is a lot like Kahlil Watson in the sense that he does not have one true standout tool but is a more well-rounded five tool player. What separates Lawlar from Watson, is his power potential, as he could easily become a 25 home run a year guy at the next level. Lawlar is also an excellent fielder at shortstop, where his athleticism and big arm give him the range and arm strength needed to play the position and stick there long-term. Lawlar has had his name near the top of 2021 draft boards for a couple years now and has done nothing but live up to that early hype. Now the question is, will Lawlar live up to that hype as a professional? 1. Marcelo Mayer, Eastlake HS, CA Pos: SS | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Southern California Scouting Grades Hit: 65 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 60 Field: 65 Overall: 60 Marcelo Mayer is an elite prospect out of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, California, the same high school that 2019 Twins first round pick Keoni Cavaco attended. As a prospect, Mayer is not quite the athlete that Jordan Lawlar is, but he is every bit the baseball player and maybe more. When it comes to looking natural on the diamond, Mayer is about as good as it gets. Mayer has a silky-smooth swing that only a left-handed hitter can have. It does not generate a lot of pop, but there is certainly some power potential in there. The only thing that looks better than Mayer’s swing is watching him play out in the field at short. While he might not have the greatest range, Mayer makes up for it with his playmaking ability. There is not a bad hop, or a tough throwing angle that he doesn’t look completely comfortable making. Rest of the 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 11-20 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 21-30 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 31-40 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 41-50 View full article
  20. The 2021 MLB Draft kicks off on Sunday. Read below to learn everything you need to know about this year’s MLB draft. When? This year’s MLB Draft will consist of 20-rounds that will take part over three days. Day 1 of the draft, featuring round one and Competitive Balance Round A, will air on both MLB Network and ESPN and will begin at 6 p.m. CT. The Twins have two picks on Day 1, which are the 26th and 36th overall picks. Day 2 of the draft will begin on Monday at 12 p.m. CT and can be watched on MLB.com. This day will feature rounds two through ten, along with Competitive Balance Round B that will take place between rounds two and three. The Twins have the 26th pick in round two (61st overall), and then will have the 27th pick in each subsequent round after that. The draft will conclude with Day 3 taking place on Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m. CT and can be followed on MLB.com. Day 3 will feature rounds 11-20, again with the Twins holding the 27th pick in each round. In years past, Day 3 would feature rounds 11-40, however, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the draft was shortened this year from 40 rounds down to 20. Who are the Top Prospects? If you want to dive in a little deeper on who some of the top prospects are before, or during, the draft, check out the Twins Daily Top 50 Prospect series that has been running for the last couple of weeks. 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 1-10 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 11-20 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 21-30 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 31-40 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 41-50 Possible Twins Picks to Follow If you are curious as to who are some of the names to follow for the Twins first round pick, Jamie Cameron wrote a great article earlier this week highlighting six players that the Twins may take with their first round pick. Twins Bonus Pool Allotment For those of you who follow the MLB Draft each year, you are probably well aware of the bonus pool structure by now. However, for those of you who don’t really know how that works, or need a little refresher, here is a quick breakdown of the logistics. When a team drafts a player, that team must make an offer to that player to get them to sign with their organization, which comes in the form of a signing bonus. Each team is only allotted a certain dollar amount that they must stay at or below when signing each of their picks in the first 10 rounds. This allotment number is determined by adding together each of the pick allotments which that team has in the first round, as each pick is assigned a specific value. For example, the Pittsburgh Pirates have the first overall pick in the draft, and that pick has a slot value of $8,415,300, while the Texas Rangers have the second overall pick in the draft which has a slot value of $7,789,900. If a team fails to sign one of their picks in the first 10 rounds, they do not simply get to use that money to help sign other picks, but rather that picks slot value is subtracted from the team’s total. This is where the game of the draft comes into play, as teams will often make selections based on how much it will take to sign a certain player. Additionally, for picks in rounds 11-20, if a team signs a player for more than $125,000, that money must come out of their bonus pool from the first 10 rounds. Here is a breakdown of the Twins picks in the first 10 rounds (plus their Competitive Balance Round A pick) and the slot value assigned to each pick. Round 1: $2,653,400 Comp Balance Round A: $2,045,400 Round 2: $1,129,700 Round 3: $593,100 Round 4: $442,900 Round 5: $327,200 Round 6: $253,300 Round 7: $198,500 Round 8: $164,700 Round 9: $150,500 Round 10: $142,700 Total Bonus Pool: $8,101,400 Now that you know more about how this works, you can tell fellow Twins fans who complain about the Twins being cheap in the draft that they are wrong. It is not that they are being cheap, they are just only allowed to spend so much money on these picks by MLB, and if take a guy with one of their first few picks that will sign for less that the pick value, it is because they plan on redistributing that money to sign other players later in the draft for over slot value, a strategy they have had a lot of success within recent years. View full article
  21. The 2021 MLB draft begins Sunday. Off the back of a strong 2020 season (those were fun times), the Twins first pick is at 26. The Twins also have the 36th pick as a competitive balance pick given to smaller market teams. Pick 26 slot value: $2,653, 400 Pick 36 slot value: $2,045,400 Since their first draft with the Twins, the Falvey/Levine regime has established a clear pattern in their drafting. The majority of the players they have targeted with early picks have been high floor, college bats. Royce Lewis, Landon Leach, Blayne Enlow, and Keoni Cavaco are the notable early round high school exceptions. With the late position of the Twins first round pick, it’s overwhelmingly likely they will target a college player again, probably a hitter. Drafting late in round one is a lottery, and it’s incredibly difficult to predict who the Twins might take. Here are brief profiles of six names to watch on Sunday that the Twins have been linked to through draft position, scouting, or mock drafts. Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS (NY) HT: 6’0 Weight: 200 B/T: L/R Age: 18 If the name Mack is familiar, it’s because Joe’s brother Charles is already in the Twins system. Joe is a better prospect than his brother and while he was linked with the Twins early in the process, he may come off the board sooner than 26. Mack is seen as a strong hitter who has a chance to hit for good power. Unsurprisingly, Mack isn’t a finished product defensively but made strong progress in 2020 giving him a good chance to stick behind the plate long term with a plus bat. Adrian Del Castillo, C, Miami HT: 5’11 Weight: 210 B/T: L/R Age: 21 Del Castillo was first drafted by the White Sox in the 2018 draft as a then top 200 prospect. He is now one of the better college bats in the entire draft class. Castillo hit .284/.388/.411 through 51 games this season with Miami with 3 HR, 24 walks, and 28 strikeouts. There are concerns Del Castillo will not stick long term at catcher, requiring more of his power tool. Del Castillo trained this spring with Royals catcher Salvador Perez. The Twins have a proven track record of significantly improving catcher defense (see Jeffers and Garver), so if Del Castillo can recover his power stroke from his first two seasons at Miami, he may move quickly through the organization. Ethan Wilson, OF, South Alabama HT: 6’1 Weight: 210 B/T: L/L Age: 21 Wilson catapulted himself into the spotlight when he .345/.453/.686 with 17 home runs in his 2019 season, although against mediocre competition. He was impeded by an ankle injury in the first half of 2021 and started slowly. In his second half, he recovered, hitting .319/.450/.530 with eight home runs. Wilson can drive the ball to all fields and has good control of the strike zone with strong raw power. Wilson has a lot of attributes the Twins look for in college bats, and could be a solid contender for the 26th pick. Jud Fabian OF, Florida HT: 6’2 Weight: 195 B/T: R/L Age: 20 Fabian is young draftee for a college hitter and played CF for Florida, showing outstanding defense. This spring, his bat came to life as he hit 20 home runs in 57 games which was tied for sixth in college baseball. Fabian strikes out a lot, particularly against breaking pitches, and will have to make adjustments to his swing to avoid an incredibly high K% as a professional hitter. He’s a mostly pull-side hitter with good power who will profile as a strong defensive outfielder. If he can develop his approach at the plate and control of the strike zone, Fabian could be a steal at 26. Gavin Williams, SP, East Carolina HT: 6’6 Weight: 255 B/T: L/R Age: 22 Williams is a unit at 6’6, 255lbs. The East Carolina SP is the lone college pitcher the Twins have been consistently linked to in the pre-draft process. Williams sits comfortably in the mid 90s with his fastball and can reach triple digits. He has struggled with injuries and control throughout his college career until the spring of 2021. In his first ten starts this season, he managed a 1.46 ERA and 108 Ks through 68 innings with just 18 walks (yes, you read that correctly). Williams also offers a strong curveball, a slider, and a changeup. Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois HT: 6’4 Weight: 185 B/T: L/R Age: 21 Sweeney is a strong college bat who may end up as a corner infielder. This season he hit .382/.522/.712 with 14 home runs in 48 games. Sweeney has a big leg kick to his swing (similar to early Royce Lewis) that some feel he will need to adjust to have sustained success against professional pitching. Despite playing against mostly weaker competition, Sweeney performed well against the better pitchers he faced this spring. Sweeney has been one of the most steady and consistent options the Twins have been linked with throughout his college career. Honorable mentions: Connor Norby, East Carolina 2B, Tyler Black, Wright State, 2B Which of these prospects excites you the most? What are you interested in seeing the Twins do at 26?
  22. The MLB draft kicks off on Sunday. Here are profiles of six players the Twins may target with the 26th overall pick in the first round. The 2021 MLB draft begins Sunday. Off the back of a strong 2020 season (those were fun times), the Twins first pick is at 26. The Twins also have the 36th pick as a competitive balance pick given to smaller market teams. Pick 26 slot value: $2,653, 400 Pick 36 slot value: $2,045,400 Since their first draft with the Twins, the Falvey/Levine regime has established a clear pattern in their drafting. The majority of the players they have targeted with early picks have been high floor, college bats. Royce Lewis, Landon Leach, Blayne Enlow, and Keoni Cavaco are the notable early round high school exceptions. With the late position of the Twins first round pick, it’s overwhelmingly likely they will target a college player again, probably a hitter. Drafting late in round one is a lottery, and it’s incredibly difficult to predict who the Twins might take. Here are brief profiles of six names to watch on Sunday that the Twins have been linked to through draft position, scouting, or mock drafts. Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS (NY) HT: 6’0 Weight: 200 B/T: L/R Age: 18 If the name Mack is familiar, it’s because Joe’s brother Charles is already in the Twins system. Joe is a better prospect than his brother and while he was linked with the Twins early in the process, he may come off the board sooner than 26. Mack is seen as a strong hitter who has a chance to hit for good power. Unsurprisingly, Mack isn’t a finished product defensively but made strong progress in 2020 giving him a good chance to stick behind the plate long term with a plus bat. Adrian Del Castillo, C, Miami HT: 5’11 Weight: 210 B/T: L/R Age: 21 Del Castillo was first drafted by the White Sox in the 2018 draft as a then top 200 prospect. He is now one of the better college bats in the entire draft class. Castillo hit .284/.388/.411 through 51 games this season with Miami with 3 HR, 24 walks, and 28 strikeouts. There are concerns Del Castillo will not stick long term at catcher, requiring more of his power tool. Del Castillo trained this spring with Royals catcher Salvador Perez. The Twins have a proven track record of significantly improving catcher defense (see Jeffers and Garver), so if Del Castillo can recover his power stroke from his first two seasons at Miami, he may move quickly through the organization. Ethan Wilson, OF, South Alabama HT: 6’1 Weight: 210 B/T: L/L Age: 21 Wilson catapulted himself into the spotlight when he .345/.453/.686 with 17 home runs in his 2019 season, although against mediocre competition. He was impeded by an ankle injury in the first half of 2021 and started slowly. In his second half, he recovered, hitting .319/.450/.530 with eight home runs. Wilson can drive the ball to all fields and has good control of the strike zone with strong raw power. Wilson has a lot of attributes the Twins look for in college bats, and could be a solid contender for the 26th pick. Jud Fabian OF, Florida HT: 6’2 Weight: 195 B/T: R/L Age: 20 Fabian is young draftee for a college hitter and played CF for Florida, showing outstanding defense. This spring, his bat came to life as he hit 20 home runs in 57 games which was tied for sixth in college baseball. Fabian strikes out a lot, particularly against breaking pitches, and will have to make adjustments to his swing to avoid an incredibly high K% as a professional hitter. He’s a mostly pull-side hitter with good power who will profile as a strong defensive outfielder. If he can develop his approach at the plate and control of the strike zone, Fabian could be a steal at 26. Gavin Williams, SP, East Carolina HT: 6’6 Weight: 255 B/T: L/R Age: 22 Williams is a unit at 6’6, 255lbs. The East Carolina SP is the lone college pitcher the Twins have been consistently linked to in the pre-draft process. Williams sits comfortably in the mid 90s with his fastball and can reach triple digits. He has struggled with injuries and control throughout his college career until the spring of 2021. In his first ten starts this season, he managed a 1.46 ERA and 108 Ks through 68 innings with just 18 walks (yes, you read that correctly). Williams also offers a strong curveball, a slider, and a changeup. Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois HT: 6’4 Weight: 185 B/T: L/R Age: 21 Sweeney is a strong college bat who may end up as a corner infielder. This season he hit .382/.522/.712 with 14 home runs in 48 games. Sweeney has a big leg kick to his swing (similar to early Royce Lewis) that some feel he will need to adjust to have sustained success against professional pitching. Despite playing against mostly weaker competition, Sweeney performed well against the better pitchers he faced this spring. Sweeney has been one of the most steady and consistent options the Twins have been linked with throughout his college career. Honorable mentions: Connor Norby, East Carolina 2B, Tyler Black, Wright State, 2B Which of these prospects excites you the most? What are you interested in seeing the Twins do at 26? View full article
  23. We are now just two weeks away from the start of the 2021 MLB Draft. A year after the MLB Draft was shortened from 40 rounds down to just five, as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 2021 installment is back up to a healthier 20 round draft, as organizations are still feeling the effects of the pandemic. A 20-round draft is not the only thing new with this year’s draft, as for the first time it will take place over All-Star Weekend, in the host city of Denver, beginning Sunday July 11th and finishing on Tuesday July 13th. The Minnesota Twins hold three picks on Day 1 of the draft, with those picks coming at 26, 36 and 61 overall. Which means that numerous players featured in the Twins Daily MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects list should be available for them when they make all three of their selections on Day 1. For the first installment of this year’s list, we will look at the players that I have ranked 41st-50th. 50. Ethan Wilson, South Alabama Pos: OF | B/T: L/L | Height: 6' 1" | Weight: 210 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Hit: 55 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 40 Field: 50 Overall: 50 University of South Alabama outfielder Ethan Wilson has been a name many MLB scouts have had on their radar ever since his eye-popping Freshman campaign back in 2019 where he slashed .345/.453/.686 and hit 17 home runs in 56 games. After a slightly disappointing performance in just 18 game in 2020, Wilson had another decent performance this spring as he hit .318 with an OPS of .947, all be it against much weaker competition than many other college hitters on this list, as Wilson’s South Alabama squad plays in the Sun Belt Conference. While the level of competition is a bit of a question mark for Ethan Wilson’s bat, his swing mechanics suggest that he should remain an above-average hitter when he enters pro ball. The cause for concern is what Wilson brings defensively. While Wilson isn’t exactly slow, he doesn’t have the speed needed to be a good outfielder at the MLB level. Additionally, his relatively poor arm strength will pigeonhole him to left field as a professional. With these defensive limitations, it will force teams to take a big gamble on Wilson’s bat panning out for the pick to be a success. 49. Andrew Abbott, Virginia Pos: LHP | Height: 6’0” | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 22 Previously Drafted: 36th Round, 2017 (NYY) Scouting Grades Fastball: 55 Curveball: 55 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50 If you have been following along this college baseball season, or at least any of the NCAA Tournament or College World Series, you might already be familiar with the Virginia Cavalier ace Andrew Abbott. Abbott helped lead the Cavaliers to the College World Series, where he made one gem of an appearance throwing six shutout innings, while striking out ten, against the third ranked Tennessee Volunteers. Unfortunately, that is all we got to see from Abbott in the College World Series, because after beating Tennessee in the game he started, Virginia lost each of their next two games and were eliminated before he could make his next appearance. After having success pitching out of the Cavalier bullpen his first three college seasons, Abbott got a chance to put his potential on full display in his senior season this spring as a starting pitcher, and he took full advantage of the opportunity. In 19 appearances (17 starts), Abbott posted a stellar 2.87 ERA across 106 and 2/3 innings pitched. Abbott was a strikeout machine this year, as he finished third in the nation with 162 strikeouts and was the only pitcher close to matching the Vanderbilt dynamic duo Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter (both of whom will be featured later in this series) in strikeouts. In terms of stuff, Abbott doesn’t have as much high-end stuff has other elite pitchers, but both his fastball and curveball have the potential to play up from their 55 ratings that I gave them. If that happens, Abbott has the potential to one day be a number 2 or 3 starter in an MLB rotation. If not, he is one of the safer options in this year’s class to at least be a back of the rotation starting pitcher one day. 48. Alex Mooney, St. Mary’s Prep, Orchard Lake, MI Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 1" | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Duke Scouting Grades Hit: 50 Power: 45 Run: 55 Throw: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 50 Coming out of the Michigan prep ranks, Alex Mooney is a player who’s ranking could vary across different MLB organizations. The biggest question is how teams fell about his potential offensively. Personally, I see him as a fringe-average hitter with below average power at the professional level. If Mooney can put on some more strength, and prove himself as a quality contact hitter, he has a shot to be a productive bottom of the order bat, but I don’t see his offensive ceiling being much higher than that. Defensively is where Alex Mooney excels. While he doesn’t have any loud tools, he is solidly and above-average defender at short and shouldn’t have much difficulty sticking there at the next level. If Mooney wants to one day make it as a big leaguer, he will need to continue to perform well defensively at short and provide a well-balanced game. 47. Chase Burns, Beech Senior HS, Gallatin, TN Pos: RHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 215 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Tennessee Scouting Grades Fastball: 65 Curveball: 50 Slider: 55 Changeup: 50 Control: 45 Overall: 50 Chase Burns has relied heavily on what is one of the more dominating two-pitch mixes in the high school ranks in this year’s draft. Burns’ fastball is up there with the best in the class, as he leverages his 6’4” frame well to consistently get the pitch into the upper 90s, and occasionally reaching triple digits. He then pairs that with a slider that has the potential to a second plus pitch as he learns to control it a little better. Fueled by those two pitches, Burns has high potential down the road, but that also comes with a lot of risk. Not only do high school right-handed pitchers of his profile have a poor track record, which will likely knock him down most teams’ boards, but he will also need to show that he can not only develop a third pitch, but also develop some better control to make it as a starting pitcher. If not, he should be a quality candidate to find success pitching out of the bullpen. 46. Max Muncy, Thousand Oaks HS, CA Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 1" | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Arkansas Scouting Grades Hit: 50 Power: 50 Run: 50 Throw: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 50 California prep shortstop Max Muncy (no relation) is one of the most solid across the board high schoolers in this year’s class. He has shown the potential to be at least an average hitter, with enough pop to be a 15-20 home runs a year guy. The glove is where Muncy brings the most value, as he has more than enough range and arm strength to make it at short. While Muncy doesn’t have a standout set of tools that will vault him up draft boards, he does possess a very well-rounded game, and is a solid athletic profile that will give him an opportunity to stay at short, or become a utility infielder, which is a position that is gaining more and more value as teams better understand how to utilize their full rosters. Expect him to come off the board sometime in the second round. 45. Carson Williams, Torrey Pines HS, CA Pos: SS/3B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Cal Scouting Grades Hit: 45 Power: 60 Run: 50 Throw: 60 Field: 50 Overall: 50 While Carson Williams is already the third high school shortstop featured on this list, he should not be mistaken with the two previous ones, as he has a much different toolset to off. Without question the most promising part of Williams’ game is his power potential, that is already plus and could get even better as he fills out more. However, he does come with some risk as there is plenty of swing and miss in his game as well. It is hard to imagine Williams sticking at short but expect him to make the transition to third where he has more than a strong enough arm strength to stick at the hot corner. If Williams can clean up his stroke a bit to cut down on the swing and miss, Williams has a very high ceiling, but that comes with a very big if. 44. Connor Norby, East Carolina Pos: 2B | B/T: R/R | Height: 5’10" | Weight: 187 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Hit: 60 Power: 50 Run: 50 Throw: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 50 After struggling a bit during his freshman season back in 2019, Connor Norby was showing signs that things had clicked in 2020, as he hit .403 and tacked on 6 stolen bases in 17 games before the season got cut short. He proved that breakout was for real this season as he finished the season 8th in the country with a .415 batting average and added 15 home runs, to show some power that was previously lacking in his game. Defensively, Norby has more than enough ability to be a solid defender at second base. He has enough arm strength to play short, but he does not quite possess the range needed to play the position regularly. I would expect Norby to find an everyday home at second, but he could certainly provide help at short or third if it were needed. 43. Wes Kath, Desert Mountain HS, AZ Pos: 3B | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 200 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Arizona State Scouting Grades Hit: 55 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 50 Wes Kath is another player that will have split grades across several different organizations scouting departments. Some might see his potential offensively with a smooth swing and power to boot, while others might question his ability to hit higher level pitching and produce power with a wood bat. Personally, I think there is absolutely potential for Kath to be a plus hitter with 20 plus homer power to boot. The other question with Kath is out in the field. Some will see Kath as a plug and play third basemen, while others would like to see what he can do at short before having him make the transition to third, especially if they use an early round pick on him. I would not be surprised if there was a handful of teams that like both his potential with the bat and think he will have the ability to stick at short. If that is the case, he could go off the board earlier than expected. 42. Ben Kudrna, Blue Valley Southwest HS, KS Pos: RHP | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 175 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: LSU Scouting Grades Fastball: 55 Slider: 60 Changeup: 45 Control: 50 Overall: 50 Ben Kudrna is a great example of what scouts refer to as a projectable frame. At 6’3” and only 175 pounds, Kudrna has a lot of room to develop physically, which typically correlates with an increase in velocity. Right now, Kudrna possesses above-average velocity on his fastball that typically sits in the low-to-mid 90s, but if he can add a few more ticks that pitch will become an effective swing and miss pitch. Right now, Kudrna’s best put away pitch is his slider that at times can be devastating to opposing right-handed hitters. Kudrna is still developing a changeup that he can use as an out pitch when facing lefties, and at times he can get a little loose with his command. However, these are two things that can be developed if he gets into the right system. Expect a team to take a shot on Kudrna in the second or third round, to try and get him out of his commitment to LSU, similar to what the Twins did with Blayne Enlow a few years back. 41. James Wood, IMG Academy, FL Pos: OF | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 240 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Mississippi State Scouting Grades Hit: 40 Power: 65 Run: 50 Throw: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 50 Rounding out the first installment of this series is yet another high school bat, this time it is and outfielder in James Wood. Without question the one thing that creates excitement in James Wood is the pop he possesses from the left side of the plate. At 6’7”, Wood is able to generate leverage that not many other hitters can replicate, which in turn generates a lot of bat speed. Wood also has a very long swing, which does, and will continue to create problems for him against higher levels of pitching. The swing is going to be a project for whichever team drafts him, but if they can get that squared away there is not telling how high the ceiling is for Wood with the bat. James Wood is not the prettiest of looking players in the field, as his length can be awkward for him at times, but that doesn’t mean that wood is not an effective fielder. Wood will likely find a home in right field as a professional, as his lack of top end speed will limit him to a corner, but he has more than enough arm strength to play right.
  24. 40. Matt Mikulski, Fordham Pos: LHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 205 lbs | Age: 22 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Fastball: 60 Slider: 50 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50 After so-so freshman and sophomore seasons at Fordham, lefty Matt Mikulski found his groove in the summer after his sophomore season when he put up a 1.77 ERA in 20 and 1/3 innings in the Cape Cod League. He followed that up in his junior season, as again he showed a flash of his high potential in just four starts before the season was cut short. That flash became more of a glowing light this spring, when he posted a 1.45 ERA with a strikeout rate of 16.3K/9 in 68 and 1/3 innings pitched, albeit against rather weak competition. The pitch that has intrigued so many scouts this spring has been Mikulski’s fastball, which sits in the low-to-mid 90s, but has the added benefit of deception, as he hides it behind his body well, creating a lot more swing and miss than the velocity would suggest. Mikulski also features a slider and a changeup that are both still a work in progress but should be at least average pitches at the next level. If he can develop one of those two pitches into a plus secondary offering, Mikulski could be a number three starter in an MLB rotation one day. 39. Colson Montgomery, Southridge HS, IN Pos: 3B | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 190 lbs | Age: 19 Commitment: Indiana Scouting Grades Hit: 50 Power: 60 Run: 50 Throw: 50 Field: 50 Overall: 50 Having already turned 19 back in February, Colson Montgomery is a lot older than most of the prep class in this year’s class. That could hurt him a bit in the evaluation process, as teams will not only know that means one less year of prime development from where he is currently at, but it also means he is almost a year-older than much of the competition that he has faced. All of that aside, Colson Montgomery is still one heck of a good ball player and is deserving of a look late in the first round. The tool that is most exciting about Montgomery is his power, which is already plus, and should get even better as he fills out his 6’4” frame. Expect Montgomery to make the move from short over to third, as his defensive potential is limited. Montgomery is a player to watch with the Twins first two picks at 26 & 36 overall. 38. Josh Hartle, Reagan HS, HC Pos: LHP | Height: 6’5” | Weight: 195 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Wake Forest Scouting Grades Fastball: 50 Slider: 50 Changeup: 55 Control: 60 Overall: 50 It is rare to see the type of control from a high school pitcher that Wake Forest commit Josh Hartle possesses. While many taller prep pitchers will leverage their size to rear back for eye popping velocity numbers, Hartle takes a different approach as his smooth delivery and sound mechanics allow him to locate the ball where he wants it to go consistently. While the command is a real weapon for Hartle, he still lacks the elite stuff that would send him flying up draft boards. His fastball regularly sits in the 88-91 range, which is not bad when he locates it as well as he does. Hartle’s best swing and miss pitch at the moment is his changeup, but with some work there is a chance he could one day develop his slider into a second go to strikeout pitch 37. Gage Jump, JSerra Catholic HS, CA Pos: LHP | Height: 5’10” | Weight: 175 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: UCLA Scouting Grades Fastball: 55 Curveball: 60 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50 If JSerra Catholic High sounds familiar to you, it should, as that is where Twins 2017 first overall pick Royce Lewis went to school. In addition to Jump, JSerra also has shortstop Cody Schrier, who is ranked just outside my top 50, and pitcher Eric Silva (who could potentially go in the 3rd round) also represented in this class. On the mound, Jump has a little bit of that in his fastball, despite his small frame, as the pitch regularly touches 93-94 mph. Jump’s best pitch is without question his curveball, that is already a lethal weapon and will be his go to out pitch at the professional or collegiate level, likely depending on the offer he gets by the team that drafts him. Jump can struggle with his command at times, which has scouts tentative about his future as a starter. This could cause him to fall in the draft, and ultimately make his way to UCLA. 36. Ryan Cusick, Wake Forest Pos: RHP | Height: 6’6” | Weight: 235 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: 40th Round, 2018 (CIN) Scouting Grades Fastball: 70 Slider: 60 Changeup: 45 Control: 40 Overall: 50 At 6’6” and 235, Ryan Cusick is an intimidating presence on the mound, but perhaps the most intimidating part of Ryan on the mound is not his size, but his stuff. Cusick has without question some of the best stuff in this draft class, and his fastball-slider combo is on par with the best. Cusick’s fastball sits easily in the mid 90s and has reached triple digits on numerous occasions. Additionally, the pitch generates high rpm numbers that only all to the swing-and-miss ability of that pitch. Cusick also has a nasty slider that will drop off the table right before the plate, giving him a second plus offering. The concern with Cusick is that he has reliever written all over him. Cusick still lacks a third offering that he can trust to get hitters out. He also has major control issues, as he walked 47 batters in just 88 career innings of work at the collegiate level. He will need to clear both issues up if he wants to be a starter long term. 35. Maddux Burns, UMS-Wright Prep, AL Pos: LHP | Height: 6’2” | Weight: 205 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Mississippi State Scouting Grades Fastball: 60 Curveball: 60 Slider: 60 Changeup: 45 Control: 35 Overall: 50 Maddux Burns is a player that could find himself all over different teams’ draft boards. On one side of the equation, he is a beast with three legit plus pitches that give him seemingly limitless potential. On the other hand, Burns has a lot of difficulty reigning in that beast and can be extremely erratic with command. While Burns does not show it regularly, he has the ability to pop as high as 98 mph on the gun with his fastball. He pairs that up with not one, but two plus breaking balls to keep hitters off balance. The curveball will sit in the mid-to-upper 70s and has almost straight vertical drop, while the slider is a little hard with sharp sideways bite. Burns will mix in the occasional changeup, but from what little has been seen of it, that pitch is still a work in progress. 34. Anthony Solometo, Bishop Eustace Prep, NJ Pos: LHP | Height: 6’5” | Weight: 218 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: North Carolina Scouting Grades Fastball: 55 Slider: 60 Changeup: 45 Control: 55 Overall: 50 While Anthony Solometo typically sits in the low 90s with his fastball, he has, at times, shown the ability to rear back to get that pitch up into the mid-to-upper 90s. With this flash of velocity, and his size, it is possible that one day Solometo could be consistent in the mid 90s with that pitch. However, even though it likes elite velocity, Solometo’s fastball is still an excellent swing and miss pitch, thanks to the deception created by his unique delivery. In addition to his fastball, Solometo also has a plus slider that is easily his best secondary pitch. Solometo also throws a changeup on occasion, but mostly relies on his fastball and slider to get hitters out at the prep level. Another benefit to Solometo is his control, which is up there with some of the best prep arms in the country. 33. Frank Mozzicato, East Catholic HS, CT Pos: LHP | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 175 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: UConn Scouting Grades Fastball: 55 Curveball: 65 Changeup: 45 Control: 50 Overall: 50 Frank Mozzicato ends our run on high school left-handed pitchers, as he is the fifth one of the last six prospects on this list. Like Anthony Solometo, Frank Mozzicato is a lefty that relies on a fastball-breaking ball combo that are both above-average, and with the breaking ball being the better pitch. However, instead of a slider, Mozzicato features one of the best curveballs in the entire draft class. While the curveball was highly touted last summer, what has caused him to move up draft boards this spring has been the velocity spike in his fastball, which used to sit in the upper 80s and is now in the low 90s. With still some more room to fill out, if Mozzicato continues to put on muscle that pitch could get into the mid 90s and be a second plus offering. While Mozzicato does not have much of a changeup now, that is a pitch that can certainly be developed, and if it is, it will give him a strong three pitch mix to one day become a number two or three starter in an MLB rotation, thanks in large part to that dominate curveball. 32. Gavin Williams, East Carolina Pos: RHP | Height: 6’6” | Weight: 238 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: 30th Round, 2017 (TB) Scouting Grades Fastball: 65 Curveball: 55 Slider: 45 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50 Much like Ryan Cusick, East Carolina ace Gavin Williams is an intimidating presence on the mound both physically (as he is almost the exact same height and weight as Cusick) and with his fastball that at times can reach triple-digits. Williams spent most of his first three seasons pitching out of the bullpen, as just five of his 38 appearances during those seasons were starts. That was not the case for Williams in 2021, as he excelled as a full-time starter this spring on his way to a 1.88 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 81 and 1/3 innings pitched. In addition to the heater, Williams also throws both a curveball and a slider, with the curve easily being the better pitch of the two. Williams also throws a decent changeup, which has a chance to be an average pitch. After struggling with command in his first few seasons at ECU, Williams made some big improvements in that department this spring as he had just 2.3 BB/9. If teams believe this improved command is for real, he should be in the running to be a late first round pick. 31. Izaac Pacheco, Friendswood HS, TX Pos: 3B | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 225 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Texas A&M Scouting Grades Hit: 50 Power: 60 Run: 50 Throw: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 50 Izaac Pacheco is yet another prep left-handed power bat with some question marks surrounding his overall hitting ability. While Pacheco did struggle to make consistent contact against the best high school arms last summer, the mechanics of his swing are sound, so that is something he should be able to clear up as he gets more experience facing better pitching. The one part of Pacheco’s bat that nobody questions is his power, as he has the ability to be a 30+ home run a year hitter. While Pacheco is a shortstop now, it is very hard to imagine him sticking there at the next level. That is okay though, as he has a good enough glove, and a strong enough arm to potentially be an above-average defender at third. Factoring that in with the power that he produces at the plate, will keep him from falling too far down teams draft boards. Previous Installments 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 41-50
  25. 30. Thatcher Hurd, Mira Costa HS, CA Pos: RHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 205 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: UCLA Scouting Grades Fastball: 55 Curveball: 55 Slider: 50 Changeup: 55 Control: 55 Overall: 55 There are certainly pitchers with better stuff that are ranked lower than Thatcher Hurd on this list, but few high school pitchers, or even college pitchers for that matter, are as well rounded as him. What makes Hurd’s relative polish at this point so amazing is the fact that he is still new to pitching, even compared to other high school arms. This just shows how well he has taken to the position, and that there should still be a lot more room to grow. Hurd’s best pitch is his curveball, which he is very comfortable with and has the ability to throw it for strikes. He pairs that with a fastball that does not pop, typically in the 90-92 range, but he locates it well, and is a likely candidate to gain velocity. He will also occasionally mix in both a slider and a changeup, with the latter showing more promise. 29. Peyton Stovall, Haughton HS, LA Pos: 2B | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 0" | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Arkansas Scouting Grades Hit: 65 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 40 Field: 50 Overall: 55 While it is an almost certainty that Peyton Stovall will need to move from shortstop to second base as a pro, due to his lack of arm strength, that should not be a big concern for teams, as Stovall is more than capable with the bat to handle second, as Stovall’s hit tool is without question one of the best in this entire draft class. Stovall has one of those pure looking strokes from the left side of the plate that you would not get tired of watching. He loads with a solid base, and uses a small leg kick, but he gets his front foot down plenty early to attack any pitch. Despite not being one of the biggest players out there, Stovall generates a lot of bat speed and should have above-average power at the next level. 28. Jud Fabian, Florida Pos: OF | B/T: R/L | Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 190 lbs | Age: 20 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Hit: 45 Power: 60 Run: 55 Throw: 50 Field: 60 Overall: 55 For those that follow the college game, Jud Fabian is probably a name you are quite familiar with. He has been talked about as a top draft prospect for a couple years now, thanks in part to his rare combination of power and defensive prowess in the outfield. In 132 games in his college career at Florida, Fabian has belted 32 home runs while also being one of the best defensive centerfielders at the college level. What makes that even more impressive, is Fabian is actually a year younger than his class, as he skipped his senior year of high school and enrolled in Florida a year early. After working as a catalyst for what was the number one team in the country before the pandemic ended the season in 2020, Fabian entered this season as a potential top ten pick. However, that hype has since simmered as Fabian has shown some struggles with the bat, primarily with strikeouts, this spring. While this has dropped him down boards, this could be great news for the Twins, as Fabian fits perfectly into their early round draft profile. 27. Will Bednar, Mississippi State Pos: RHP | Height: 6’2” | Weight: 229 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Fastball: 55 Curveball: 50 Slider: 60 Changeup: 50 Control: 55 Overall: 55 It is hard to think of a hotter name right now than Mississippi State pitcher Will Bednar. Not only did his Bulldog squad just win their first national championship last week, but he was a massive player in that effort, as the Bulldogs won all five of his starts during the NCAA Tournament, including the deciding game three of the College World Series Finals behind his six-shutout innings. I was tempted to move Bednar a little further up this list after that performance, but I decided to stick with the rankings that I had prior to starting this series. Despite only being a sophomore, Bednar is draft eligible as he turned 21 in June. Had the draft not been moved back from its normal early June date, Bednar would have not been able to come out this year. On the mound, Bednar has a solid four pitch mix that is highlighted by a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a dominating slider. He also mixes in a curveball and a changeup that both show some promise, but are still a work in progress. Bednar also has above-average control, as he had just 2.7 BB/9 in 107 and 2/3 career innings of work at the college level. 26. Michael McGreevy, UC Santa Barbara Pos: RHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 215 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: Never Scouting Grades Fastball: 55 Curveball: 60 Slider: 50 Changeup: 50 Control: 65 Overall: 55 It will likely be a very happy birthday for Michael McGreevy, who turns 21 just a couple days before Day 1 of the 2021 MLB Draft. McGreevy has had about as successful a college career as any pitcher in this draft. As a freshman he was named a Freshman All-American after putting up a 1.94 ERA in 60 and 1/3 innings coming out of the bullpen. As a sophomore he moved to the starting rotation, where he had a 0.99 ERA in 27 and 1/3 innings across four starts before the season was suspended. In 2021, he finally got a chance to show his stuff over a full season as a starting pitcher and he delivered, posting a 2.92 ERA over 101 and 2/3 innings. Like Bednar, McGreevy is a pitcher that lacks a truly dominant pitch, but has four average or better pitches, with a fastball and a breaking ball combo that are both above average. Unlike Bednar, it is McGreevy’s curveball, not his slider, that is his go to strikeout pitch. The best part of McGreevy’s game, however, is his command. In 189 and 1/3 career innings pitched, McGreevy has only walked 31 batters, which is a BB/9 of 1.47. To put that in perspective, in 2019, the last full MLB season, only three qualified pitchers had a lower BB/9 than McGreevy did for his entire college career. 25. Lonnie White, Malvern Prep, PA Pos: OF | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 210 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Penn State Scouting Grades Hit: 50 Power: 60 Run: 65 Throw: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 55 Lonnie White is truly a dynamic athlete. Not only does he possess the much-coveted combination of power in speed from an outfielder, but he is also a four-star wide receiver prospect who is committed to Penn State to play both football and baseball. Offensively, there are some concerns, with swing in miss, but the biggest concern for teams might be the money it will take to get White to back out of his commitment to Penn State. While White might have the build of a player destined to move to a corner outfield position, he has plenty of speed in the legs to handle centerfield at the next level. The big question might come down to how well his defensive instincts kick in at center, as it takes more than just speed to play that position. If he shows he has what it takes to stick there, White has future All-Star written all over him, if not, he should have no trouble being a plus defender in a corner outfield spot and possesses enough pop in the bat to play there as well. 24. Jaden Hill, LSU Pos: RHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 234 lbs | Age: 21 Previously Drafted: 38th Round, 2018 (STL) Scouting Grades Fastball: 55 Slider: 55 Changeup: 65 Control: 50 Overall: 55 As a result of injuries in 2019 and 2021, along with the 2020 season being shortened as a result of Covid-19, we have not gotten to see much of Jaden Hill, as he only accumulated 51 and 1/3 innings pitched in his college career, posting a 4.21 ERA over that stretch. If you take Hill’s performance, or lack thereof, at face value it can be easy to question why he is in first round consideration, but this process is all about projecting what a player could do going forward, not purely what their stats say, though they can help with that process. From what we have seen of Jaden Hill, he has potential front of the rotation starter potential written all over him. He possesses three clearly above average pitches, with his changeup being one of the best single pitches in the draft class. While both the fastball and slider play behind the changeup right now, they both have potential to play up from their current level with a little bit of work. Had Hill not had injury issues during his college career, it is possible that he could be in top ten, or even top five, consideration, his stuff is that good. However, that is not that case, and it could be a reason why a player of Hill’s talent level could slip all the way down to the Twins at pick 26. 23. Joshua Baez, Dexter Southfield HS, MA Pos: OF | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 220 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Vanderbilt Scouting Grades Hit: 45 Power: 65 Run: 50 Throw: 65 Field: 50 Overall: 55 Joshua Baez is one of the most boom-or-bust prospects in this draft. He possesses elite power with the bat, that potentially could be best in the entire draft class when he fully develops. Baez also has a cannon of an arm, which makes him a prototypical right field candidate. The main concern with Baez is whether he will ever develop the hit tool. If that doesn’t come, he will struggle to make his way up through the minor leagues. A great player comp for Joshua Baez is a slightly less athletic version of Aaron Judge, who had similar concerns about his ability to develop, despite the raw potential that he possessed, causing him to fall to the 32nd overall pick in the 2013 draft. Now, Judge certainly turned into about as much of a boom as he could have, so it is highly unlikely that Baez will ever become that caliber of a player, but he is still very young, having just turned 18 last month, so there is a lot of room to develop. 22. Bubba Chandler, North Oconee HS, GA Pos: SS/RHP | B/T: S/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 200 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Clemson Scouting Grades Hit: 45 Power: 55 Run: 55 Throw: 65 Field: 55 Overall: 55 Fastball: 60 Curveball: 55 Slider: 50 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 55 In my opinion, Bubba Chandler is the most intriguing player in this year’s draft class. Not only does he have potential to be a two-way player at both shortstop and as a pitcher, but he is also committed to play quarterback at Clemson. While Chandler is a much better baseball prospect than football prospect, the potential for him to play quarterback at a premier college football program like Clemson could make him a tough sign, especially with college athletes now being able to profit on name, image and likeness. From a baseball perspective, Chandler is an excellent athlete who shouldn’t have any troubles sticking at short as a professional. He also has a strong arm and above-average power that give him high potential down the road. The issue with Chandler offensively is his hit tool, as there are mechanical issues with his swing that will need work, and if are not addressed properly could halt his progression. While there is a lot of potential in Bubba Chandler’s future as a shortstop, it is viewed by many that he will more than likely end up as a pitcher long-term. While he is not as strong of a pure pitching prospect as other pitchers in the area of the draft, he still has more than enough ability on the mound to potentially be in late first round consideration, even for teams that see him as just a pitching only prospect. 21. Will Taylor, Dutch Fork HS, SC Pos: OF | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 0" | Weight: 180 lbs | Age: 18 Commitment: Clemson Scouting Grades Hit: 55 Power: 50 Run: 70 Throw: 60 Field: 55 Overall: 55 Just like Bubba Chandler, Will Taylor is also a commit to the University of Clemson as both a baseball player and a football player. However, Taylor’s prominence as a football recruit is not as high as Chandler’s, so it might be easier to sign Taylor out of his commitment to college than Chandler. Taylor is an exceptional all-around athlete, with speed that could match almost anyone else in the class. He also has a plus arm and good instincts in the outfield, that make him a very likely candidate to stick in centerfield long term. With the bat, the hit tool is where he shines, as he did not struggle at all facing some of the top high school arms in the country last summer. The power is still a little behind, but Taylor has a great physical base to build off, thanks in large part to his wrestling career, and should not have issues adding more pop to his bat. However, even if that fails to progress much, Taylor should still be an impact player as a plus defender in center and a solid bat to back it up. MLB Draft Prospect Rankings 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 31-40 2021 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 41-50
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