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  1. Happy Halloween Twins fans! To “celebrate” the culmination of Spooky Season, I’ve chosen to creep you all out with the scariest scenarios for the Twins’ near future. Beware! Falvine Strike Out on Starting Pitchers With José Berríos in Toronto and Kenta Maeda out for at least the first half of 2022, Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan are the only likely 2022 rotation pieces that are actually on the roster right now. Michael Pineda seems somewhat likely to come back into the fold but that’s no guarantee, and even then, the Twins would need a top-end arm to get the rotation even close to competitive. Cody Christie wrote a compelling argument last week that Falvey and Levine need to cut a big check for a starter, and I tend to agree that without one of the big-money guys, this rotation could look pretty gory, and not in a good way. I guess this is only really scary if you believe the Twins offense can be competitive—as I believe they can—because a young, learning-on-the-job rotation isn’t a bad thing if the team wouldn’t be good anyway. But this team can be good with a solid rotation, so it’d be best not to miss out. Miguel Sanó Never “Figures It Out” Of all the scenarios in this article, this is perhaps the most likely. Miguel Sanó isn’t a bad player. He’s a beast with exit velocity and hard-hit percentage numbers. However, as Twins fans, we seem to struggle to accept that those benefits are always going to come with one of the worst strikeout rates in the league. We seem to think that, someday, something will click and the strikeouts will stop, his average will creep up towards .250, and his OPS will rise to .900+. What if that never happens? What if this is who he always is? Again, he’s not bad, but if who he is now is what he’ll always be, then we have a bad defensive first baseman who strikes out a lot out of the six hole in the lineup, and is borderline unplayable when he’s in a slump. Are the 30 homers a year worth that trouble? That’s a question for more analytical minds than mine to figure out, but I think that type of reality is one we have to come to terms with as the expectation for Sanó’s career, as scary as that may be. Andrelton Simmons Being on the 2022 Roster The Twins signed Simmons last January after reportedly missing out late on Marcus Semien. Then, Semien hit 45 bombs, and Simmons was one of the least impressive hitters in all of baseball, so we’ve already lived this nightmare. Simmons is a free agent again this winter, and he’ll be available for a lot less money than the front office spent for him last winter. And, given how committed the team was to putting his useless bat in the lineup almost every night last season, it doesn’t take much imagination to see them bringing him back in. The Twins certainly can’t trot him out as the Opening Day shortstop (talk about nightmare), but I don’t want the stink of his 2021 campaign anywhere close to the 2022 squad, even if it’s just as a backup utility infielder. The Next Wave of Prospects Falls Short About a year ago, the Twins’ plan seemed clear: the current core was fresh off two straight division titles and was poised to transition perfectly into the years of Alex Kirilloff, Royce Lewis, Ryan Jeffers, and Trevor Larnach. However, 2021 didn’t go well for either the current stars of the team or for those pegged to be next up. The current Twins fell well short of their playoff expectations, Lewis lost his season, Kirilloff was good-not-great and had surgery, and Larnach and Jeffers couldn’t stay up in the big leagues. Now, Kirilloff and Larnach gave us signs that there is real reason for optimism for the next wave of talent, but it often seems that, with prospects, blind optimism is the norm. And I’m not saying it’s worth a whole lot of concern, but there is a scary scenario out there where these guys just don’t live up to the lofty expectations we’ve given them. Byron Buxton Leaves Okay, so I saved the scariest scenario surrounding this team for last. The Byron Buxton extension talks have been well-documented because he’s the most-talented Twin since Joe Mauer and when healthy, plays something like pre-steroid-era Barry Bonds. Obviously, the concern is his constant injury problems, as he hasn’t played 100 games in a season since 2017. But, though it’s hard to commit a $17 million-a-year extension to a guy who may not be in the lineup half the time, the alternative is worse. Think of what Eddie Rosario is doing right now for Atlanta, except that happens all the time and it’s for the Yankees or some other crazy rich club. That’s the nightmare scenario we’re trying to avoid. And, based on the Twins’ history with former players popping off after leaving the club, Buxton may never get injured again if Derek and Thad let him walk. Did I scare you enough? Let me know in the comments! View full article
  2. Falvine Strike Out on Starting Pitchers With José Berríos in Toronto and Kenta Maeda out for at least the first half of 2022, Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan are the only likely 2022 rotation pieces that are actually on the roster right now. Michael Pineda seems somewhat likely to come back into the fold but that’s no guarantee, and even then, the Twins would need a top-end arm to get the rotation even close to competitive. Cody Christie wrote a compelling argument last week that Falvey and Levine need to cut a big check for a starter, and I tend to agree that without one of the big-money guys, this rotation could look pretty gory, and not in a good way. I guess this is only really scary if you believe the Twins offense can be competitive—as I believe they can—because a young, learning-on-the-job rotation isn’t a bad thing if the team wouldn’t be good anyway. But this team can be good with a solid rotation, so it’d be best not to miss out. Miguel Sanó Never “Figures It Out” Of all the scenarios in this article, this is perhaps the most likely. Miguel Sanó isn’t a bad player. He’s a beast with exit velocity and hard-hit percentage numbers. However, as Twins fans, we seem to struggle to accept that those benefits are always going to come with one of the worst strikeout rates in the league. We seem to think that, someday, something will click and the strikeouts will stop, his average will creep up towards .250, and his OPS will rise to .900+. What if that never happens? What if this is who he always is? Again, he’s not bad, but if who he is now is what he’ll always be, then we have a bad defensive first baseman who strikes out a lot out of the six hole in the lineup, and is borderline unplayable when he’s in a slump. Are the 30 homers a year worth that trouble? That’s a question for more analytical minds than mine to figure out, but I think that type of reality is one we have to come to terms with as the expectation for Sanó’s career, as scary as that may be. Andrelton Simmons Being on the 2022 Roster The Twins signed Simmons last January after reportedly missing out late on Marcus Semien. Then, Semien hit 45 bombs, and Simmons was one of the least impressive hitters in all of baseball, so we’ve already lived this nightmare. Simmons is a free agent again this winter, and he’ll be available for a lot less money than the front office spent for him last winter. And, given how committed the team was to putting his useless bat in the lineup almost every night last season, it doesn’t take much imagination to see them bringing him back in. The Twins certainly can’t trot him out as the Opening Day shortstop (talk about nightmare), but I don’t want the stink of his 2021 campaign anywhere close to the 2022 squad, even if it’s just as a backup utility infielder. The Next Wave of Prospects Falls Short About a year ago, the Twins’ plan seemed clear: the current core was fresh off two straight division titles and was poised to transition perfectly into the years of Alex Kirilloff, Royce Lewis, Ryan Jeffers, and Trevor Larnach. However, 2021 didn’t go well for either the current stars of the team or for those pegged to be next up. The current Twins fell well short of their playoff expectations, Lewis lost his season, Kirilloff was good-not-great and had surgery, and Larnach and Jeffers couldn’t stay up in the big leagues. Now, Kirilloff and Larnach gave us signs that there is real reason for optimism for the next wave of talent, but it often seems that, with prospects, blind optimism is the norm. And I’m not saying it’s worth a whole lot of concern, but there is a scary scenario out there where these guys just don’t live up to the lofty expectations we’ve given them. Byron Buxton Leaves Okay, so I saved the scariest scenario surrounding this team for last. The Byron Buxton extension talks have been well-documented because he’s the most-talented Twin since Joe Mauer and when healthy, plays something like pre-steroid-era Barry Bonds. Obviously, the concern is his constant injury problems, as he hasn’t played 100 games in a season since 2017. But, though it’s hard to commit a $17 million-a-year extension to a guy who may not be in the lineup half the time, the alternative is worse. Think of what Eddie Rosario is doing right now for Atlanta, except that happens all the time and it’s for the Yankees or some other crazy rich club. That’s the nightmare scenario we’re trying to avoid. And, based on the Twins’ history with former players popping off after leaving the club, Buxton may never get injured again if Derek and Thad let him walk. Did I scare you enough? Let me know in the comments!
  3. Here is some background on the draft rules before getting into the results. There were 16 rounds in the draft with the draft order being randomly selected prior to starting. Players had to be picked at their primary position but if a player had 15 or more games at a position, they could be selected for that position as well. All players must have “prospect” or “rookie” status to be draft eligible. Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher. (Please note that comments under the picks were made by the person making the selection. After reading this, be sure to also click on some of the available links on each player for more on each.) Round 1 Seth Stohs - Royce Lewis, SS #1 spot, have to go with the #1 prospect, right? Teams want to be strong up the middle, and whether Lewis plays shortstop or center field, I feel good about having him on this roster. He’ll likely hit first, second or third for me too. (The Defensive Future of Royce Lewis) (Royce Lewis Is Putting It All On Display) Steve Lein - Alex Kirilloff, 1B I'll start with the best pure hitter in the organization, and also likely one of the best in the minor leagues. I'm going to play him at 1B for now because I think impact outfielders will be easier to come by. (Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Learning From Past Mistakes) (Alex Kirilloff Should Make his Twins Debut in 2020) Ted Schwerzler - Jordan Balazovic, RHSP Although I like that a clone of the second pick is available here, I think anchoring the rotation with a potential ace works out. (Have The Twins Fixed Their Velocity Problem?) (How MLB’s Delayed Start Could Impact Minnesota’s Rotation) Cody Christie - Trevor Larnach, OF I think I have the easiest pick in the draft. I’m happy with whomever Ted left for me. But please, let it be the player I want. Alex Kirilloff’s clone is available. I’ll take Trevor Larnach as the player that I think could have been the first pick in this draft and he could be the Twins best position player over the next 10 years. (Pending Prospects: Which Outfielder Will Be Called up First?) (Trevor Larnach Homers in First MLB Spring At-Bat) Jeremy Nygaard - Jhoan Duran, RHSP For me, there were five prospects in the top tier, and I was going to take whichever one fell. Getting arguably the top pitching prospect at this point is fine with me as I feel there is more position player depth than frontline pitching. (Get to Know Twins RHP Prospect Jhoan Duran) (Jhoan Duran Headlines Twins Roster Additions) Matt Braun - Ryan Jeffers, C A bit annoyed that I missed out on the guys who I believed to be truly elite, but Jeffers is no slouch. Not only will he be by far the best catching prospect available, his offense and defense both have trended upward since being drafted and he’ll look to potentially grow in the future. (Get to Know Ryan Jeffers) Round 2 Matt Braun - Lewis Thorpe, LHSP While there were a few other solid pitching options, Thorpe provides the immediate upside that few can match. His strikeout potential appears to be immense and the fact that he held his own at the major league level gives me great hope. (5 Questions with Twins Pitcher Lewis Thorpe) (What’s Next for Lewis Thorpe?) Jeremy Nygaard - Gilberto Celestino, OF I hoped that Jeffers would fall, and maybe that would have been the wiser pick at #5 considering Matt may not have taken two pitchers, but I stuck to my board. This pick was more difficult because there were a number of different trains of thought: Do I take the best prospect? Do I take the best player at a position of scarcity? At the end, though, I thought it would be smartest to take someone who could fill premium defensive (CF) and offensive (leadoff) positions. (Could Gilberto Celestino or Royce Lewis Cover Center if Byron Buxton Gets Injured?) Cody Christie - Blayne Enlow, RHSP I wanted a starting pitcher with this pick, and I’ve been high on Enlow for multiple years. I think he has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter. The Twins don’t have a ton of players that fit that mold and I wanted to make sure I had a player that could anchor my pitching rotation. (For Enlow and Other Minor Leaguers, “No One Is Safe” At Trade Deadline) Ted Schwerzler - Matt Canterino, RHSP Might as well stick with pitching here. Canterino was a 2nd round pick in 2019 and immediately made an impact on the pro mound. He’s got a quirky delivery, but there’s a bunch of strikeouts on the way and I think the ceiling is very high. (Matt Canterino: Pitcher and Problem Solver) (Q&A with Matt Canterino) Steve Lein - Randy Dobnak, SP This may be the first pick that surprises, but it shouldn't. Dobnak has been the most consistent starter in the Twins organization since May 16th...of 2018. In that time he has a near 2.00 ERA and hasn't given up more than 4 runs in ANY outing, from A-ball to the majors. (5 Questions with Twins Pitcher Randy Dobnak) (Randy Dobnak Is Better Than You Think) Seth Stohs - Brent Rooker, OF You love getting to draft first, but then it’s a long wait while a lot of great players and prospects are taken. I thought I would take some pitching here, but instead, I’m going to just mash. Rooker put up some great numbers for nearly two months in Rochester in 2019 (May/June) before his season came to an early end. He’s also nearly big-league ready. (5 Questions with Twins Prospect Brent Rooker) (Brent Rooker Is ‘Ready to Go’ For a ‘Big’ Year) Round 3 Seth Stohs - Matt Wallner, OF Continuing the theme, I’ll take a Minnesota kid who was the Twins Competitive Balance pick in 2019. Wallner was Mr. Minnesota, drafted by the Twins as a pitcher (2016), went to Southern Mississippi, became an All-American outfielder with great power. (Get to know Matt Wallner) Steve Lein - Edwar Colina SP I may regret not taking a position player at this point, but after taking a rock for the rotation I'll go upside here. I watched Colina hit 100 MPH on the gun at Spring Training before baseball got shut down, and he has a good slider as well. (Triple-Digit Shoes to Fill) Ted Schwerzler - Keoni Cavaco SS This feels like a steal at where we are in the draft. Cavaco didn’t debut well in his first pro season, but he’s both young and raw while having immense tools. I’ll gamble on the upside here. (Cali Connection Jumps Draft Boards: Q&A with Keoni Cavaco) Cody Christie - Ben Rortvedt, C Catcher is a tough position to fill and I thought it was a great time to get the second-best catcher in the system. His AFL experience from last year will help him in the years ahead. Some might think it was a reach at this point, but I wanted to fill an up the middle position with one of the team’s top prospects. (Prospect Spotlight Video: Ben Rortvedt) Jeremy Nygaard - Devin Smeltzer LHSP My target list for this spot was wiped out with the previous picks, with the exception of Smeltzer. So I'll stick with my theme of 2018 Deadline acquisitions and complete my 1-2 Righty/Lefty punch. (Get to know Devin Smeltzer and his story) Matt Braun - Jose Miranda 3B This is kind of a weird portion of the draft now where I have to go with my gut. I love Miranda’s offensive upside and the fact that there are a limited number of other great third baseman available in the Twins’ system. (Get to Know Jose Miranda) Round 4 Matt Braun - Cole Sands RHSP Much like Miranda, there are a number of other great choices for a pitcher with solid upside. Sands is still somewhat of an unknown but he was a strike-throwing machine when healthy and could move quickly because of his status as a college arm. Jeremy Nygaard - LaMonte Wade Jr LF Had a hard time deciding what direction I wanted to go here. With Celestino and Wade locked into two outfield spots, I know I'm going to be giving up a power position, but Wade's ability to get on base was too much to pass on. Not sure with one of my outfielders will lead off now, but really like both of their ability to impact the game from the top of the lineup. (Get to Know LaMonte Wade, Jr.) Cody Christie - Misael Urbina, CF Much like my catcher pick earlier in the draft, I’m going for an up-the-middle player with this pick. Adding him with Larnach in the outfield could be a fun pair to watch. Urbina might have some of the highest upside of any player in the organization and he has all the tools to be an impact player. (Twins Tied to Misael Urbina, Expected to be “Aggressive” Internationally) Ted Schwerzler - Travis Blankenhorn 2B Up the middle should now be covered on my team by adding a guy that could debut for the Twins in 2020. Blankenhorn has positional flexibility, good bat skills, and should hit for doubles power at worst. (Get to Know Travis Blankenhorn) (5 Questions with Travis Blankenhorn) Steve Lein - Nick Gordon SS I was focusing on Gordon or Blankenhorn here, happy to get the one that can play SS. When healthy, he's also been a good hitter I can have set the table from the top of the lineup. Seth Stohs - Dakota Chalmers RH SP Chalmers completed his Tommy John rehab after coming to the Twins in an August 2018 deal. He possesses a big arm with upper-90s velocity. He's also got the makings of a couple of plus secondary pitches. Needs innings and time, but he has a high ceiling. (Get to Know Dakota Chalmers) We are hoping to do some fun things with the finalized rosters in the weeks ahead. After four rounds, who has the best roster so far? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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