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  1. There are a lot of pressures that come with having the draft’s first pick and that pressure was felt by the newly hired front office duo of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Multiple names were in the conversation for first overall pick and two of the top-five picks have already made their big-league debuts. Let’s see what the Twins passed over to take Lewis. Royce Lewis, Pick 1- Minnesota Twins Lewis is out for all of 2021 after needing to undergo ACL surgery this spring. That being said, he is only 22 years old, and his future still looks promising. When he was last on the field, he won MVP honors in the Arizona Fall League after hitting .353/.411/.565 (.975) with 12 extra-base hits in 22 games. This was on the heels of a 2019 season that saw him reach Double-A, but he also struggled offensively as he combined for a .661 OPS. He entered the 2021 season as a top-35 prospect on all three major national rankings. At Twins Daily, he was ranked as the organization’s number two overall prospect behind Alex Kirilloff. Hunter Greene, Pick 2- Cincinnati Reds Leading into the draft, Greene was on the cover of Sports Illustrated comparing him to Lebron James and Babe Ruth. No pressure, right? As a teenager, he could hit over 100 mph so there was plenty to be excited about. His first two professional seasons didn’t exactly go perfectly as he struggled with command while striking out a ton of batters. Then an elbow injury struck, and he underwent Tommy John surgery which means this year was his first back on the mound since 2018. At Double-A this season, Greene is almost four years younger than the average age of the competition. He’s also living up to his high draft status for the first time. In six starts (35 innings), he has a 2.31 ERA with a 51 to 10 strikeout to walk ratio. Greene has yet to face a batter younger than himself and he has held hitters to a .541 OPS. MLB.com was the only major prospect ranking to include Greene coming into the season and that will likely change heading into 2022. MacKenzie Gore, Pick 3- San Diego Padres Gore didn’t make the cover of Sports Illustrated as an amateur, but he might wind up being the best high school pitcher taken in 2017. Entering the 2021 season, Gore was considered a top-12 prospect in baseball by all three major rankings. In his last full season (2019), he split time between High-A and Double-A. For the season, he posted a 1.69 ERA with a 0.83 WHIP while striking out 12 batters per nine innings. So far in 2021, he has made four starts at Triple-A and there have been some struggles as he has allowed 11 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings. He’s also dealing with a blister issue that has kept him from making all his turns in the rotation. It’s early in the season and he is a 22-year-old getting his first taste of Triple-A. His future still looks bright. Brendan McKay, Pick 4- Tampa Bay Rays McKay was an intriguing amateur as he was a two-way player during his collegiate career at Louisville. When it came to the draft, some teams saw him as a pitcher and other’s saw him as a hitter. As the draft approached, he was interested in going to an organization that would continue to allow him to continue be a two-way player. There have been some mixed results, so far in his professional career. As a hitter, he has combined for a .679 OPS throughout his minor league career. At the big-league level, he has gone 2-for-10 with a home run and a walk. McKay was a powerful hitter in college as he posted a .966 OPS in three collegiate seasons, so his bat hasn’t lived up to the hype. As a pitcher, he has posted a 1.78 ERA with a 0.84 WHIP with 226 strikeouts in 172 minor league innings. His big-league appearances (13 games) have resulted in a 5.14 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. He has yet to make a pitching appearance this season after having season-ending shoulder surgery in August 2020. Obviously, it is going to take years to know if Lewis was the right pick. With the Twins pitching struggles, some of the other arms look intriguing in retrospect. Twins fans can hope that Lewis ends up being a multi-time All-Star that is the face of the franchise. If you could go back and make the pick, would Lewis be your first choice? 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
  2. It’s been nearly four seasons since the Twins had the number one pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. As time passes, more players from this draft are starting to debut, so did the Twins make the right pick? There are a lot of pressures that come with having the draft’s first pick and that pressure was felt by the newly hired front office duo of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Multiple names were in the conversation for first overall pick and two of the top-five picks have already made their big-league debuts. Let’s see what the Twins passed over to take Lewis. Royce Lewis, Pick 1- Minnesota Twins Lewis is out for all of 2021 after needing to undergo ACL surgery this spring. That being said, he is only 22 years old, and his future still looks promising. When he was last on the field, he won MVP honors in the Arizona Fall League after hitting .353/.411/.565 (.975) with 12 extra-base hits in 22 games. This was on the heels of a 2019 season that saw him reach Double-A, but he also struggled offensively as he combined for a .661 OPS. He entered the 2021 season as a top-35 prospect on all three major national rankings. At Twins Daily, he was ranked as the organization’s number two overall prospect behind Alex Kirilloff. Hunter Greene, Pick 2- Cincinnati Reds Leading into the draft, Greene was on the cover of Sports Illustrated comparing him to Lebron James and Babe Ruth. No pressure, right? As a teenager, he could hit over 100 mph so there was plenty to be excited about. His first two professional seasons didn’t exactly go perfectly as he struggled with command while striking out a ton of batters. Then an elbow injury struck, and he underwent Tommy John surgery which means this year was his first back on the mound since 2018. At Double-A this season, Greene is almost four years younger than the average age of the competition. He’s also living up to his high draft status for the first time. In six starts (35 innings), he has a 2.31 ERA with a 51 to 10 strikeout to walk ratio. Greene has yet to face a batter younger than himself and he has held hitters to a .541 OPS. MLB.com was the only major prospect ranking to include Greene coming into the season and that will likely change heading into 2022. MacKenzie Gore, Pick 3- San Diego Padres Gore didn’t make the cover of Sports Illustrated as an amateur, but he might wind up being the best high school pitcher taken in 2017. Entering the 2021 season, Gore was considered a top-12 prospect in baseball by all three major rankings. In his last full season (2019), he split time between High-A and Double-A. For the season, he posted a 1.69 ERA with a 0.83 WHIP while striking out 12 batters per nine innings. So far in 2021, he has made four starts at Triple-A and there have been some struggles as he has allowed 11 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings. He’s also dealing with a blister issue that has kept him from making all his turns in the rotation. It’s early in the season and he is a 22-year-old getting his first taste of Triple-A. His future still looks bright. Brendan McKay, Pick 4- Tampa Bay Rays McKay was an intriguing amateur as he was a two-way player during his collegiate career at Louisville. When it came to the draft, some teams saw him as a pitcher and other’s saw him as a hitter. As the draft approached, he was interested in going to an organization that would continue to allow him to continue be a two-way player. There have been some mixed results, so far in his professional career. As a hitter, he has combined for a .679 OPS throughout his minor league career. At the big-league level, he has gone 2-for-10 with a home run and a walk. McKay was a powerful hitter in college as he posted a .966 OPS in three collegiate seasons, so his bat hasn’t lived up to the hype. As a pitcher, he has posted a 1.78 ERA with a 0.84 WHIP with 226 strikeouts in 172 minor league innings. His big-league appearances (13 games) have resulted in a 5.14 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. He has yet to make a pitching appearance this season after having season-ending shoulder surgery in August 2020. Obviously, it is going to take years to know if Lewis was the right pick. With the Twins pitching struggles, some of the other arms look intriguing in retrospect. Twins fans can hope that Lewis ends up being a multi-time All-Star that is the face of the franchise. If you could go back and make the pick, would Lewis be your first choice? 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 View full article
  3. Happy MLB Draft Day 1, Twins fans! Since it became clear that the Minnesota Twins had the #1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, which happened fairly early last September, the fandom has been very excited about who the Twins might be able to add at the top of the draft. That day has come. This purpose of this article is to be a place for several draft-related resources and links, and a place for fans to keep updated of rumors and rumblings throughout the day. We ask that if you see an article online or a tweet with a rumor or nugget, that you post it in the comments below. At 6:00 central time, the draft will officially start. Moments later, the Twins will make their much-anticipated draft selection. But that won’t be it for the night. The Twins also have the 35th and 37th overall picks as well. Twins Daily will post articles about those draft picks moments after they are made. Note also that we will have Day 2 and Day 3 articles. In those articles, we will post the Twins picks made those days. Those articles will be updated throughout those two days. Rounds 3 through 10 are on Tuesday, and Rounds 11 through 40 will take place on Wednesday.As you know, there will be a lot of rumors even throughout the day. It’s obviously a moving target. The reality is that there are likely a handful of people who know who the Twins will take at 1.1. At some point on Monday, they’ll have their decision. It will be based on a number of factors. First and foremost, it will be based on talent. The Twins will acquire a player with the first overall pick who has the potential and ability to be an all-star caliber player. That doesn’t always happen, of course, but the player will have the tools and such to become that. The Twins have likely seen each of the players in consideration for the top pick dozens upon dozens of times. The scouts, cross-checkers, and front office types are fully aware of what those players are as a player and as a person. They’ve had conversations with those players, their families, friends, teammates, coaches and others. For the college players, it’s likely they’ve been watching them for four to six years. The trick of course is looking at the player and all of the information on him and trying to project what that player will be in five to ten years. That is the part that isn’t a science, at least not yet. But science and technology has become more a part of the process. Many of the college programs have Trackman systems installed. Even some high schools are starting to get those. There is so much more information available. But the teams are also trying to figure out who can stay healthy. Drafting a pitcher comes with a bigger injury risk than drafting a hitter for obvious reasons. And, of course, dollars also come into play. It’s a strategy that has been used since the slotting system has been in the MLB draft. Most famously, the Astros were able to convince SS Carlos Correa to take millions less than the slot value for the #1 pick in 2012, and because of it, they were able to take RHP Lance McCullers and IF Rio Ruiz with their next two picks. As Jeremy has pointed out, the new draft slotting instituted this year makes it a bit more difficult to manipulate the draft, and since there are a handful of teams that have a second selection before the Twins, it could be difficult. THE NAMES At this stage, we pretty well know the names of the players the Twins are considering with the top pick. Louisville 1B/LHP Brendan McKay. Vanderbilt RHP Kyle Wright. Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA) SS/RHP Hunter Greene. In my opinion, all three of these guys are "safe" picks, but for different reasons. McKay legitimately has two paths to big league success. He can be a top-of-rotation starting pitcher, or he could be a middle-of-the-lineup bat. Could he possibly be both? Kyle Wright, in my opinion, is the safest pick for starting pitchers because of his stuff and his size and his makeup and more. How is Hunter Greene a safe pick? Well, he's the guy that everyone seems to believe is the best prospect. If the Twins took him and he didn't make it, most in the industry would say that the Twins were still right in shooting for the moon with such an elite talent. The bold pick, in my opinion, would be taking MacKenzie Gore. Many believe he is the best prep pitcher, with a mid-90s fastball and good secondary pitches. Most believe that those three are the guys most in consideration for the Twins first pick. However, if guys like MacKenzie Gore or Royce Lewis are willing to accept less money, they could still fit into the equation. While those two have not been talked about as much as the three listed above, they are both very talented. They are also both Scott Boras guys. Normally that might mean they’re guys to stay away from. However, Boras wants to maximize what his clients can get, so if they can make a little more than what they believe they will get by falling in the draft, maybe something could be worked out. MOST RECENT PERFORMANCES With both Louisville and Vanderbilt playing in Super Regionals, they pitched on Saturday. Here are their final lines: Brendan McKay (vs Kentucky): 6 IP, 8 hits, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts. Fastball was 89-94, with impressive curveball, slider, and cutter too. Kyle Wright (vs Oregon State): 6.2 IP, 8 hits, 7 earned runs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts. Fastball was 90-95, with an impressive curveball and changeup. He mixes those pitches well also. Hunter Greene hasn’t played lately (and hasn't pitched for a month or more), but he did come to Target Field on Friday for a workout. As you would expect, he was quite impressive. He is clearly the guy who would show up highest on prospect rankings because of the fastball and his athleticism and makeup. While the Twins had people at all of those performances, it’s important to remember that each performance is just one data point on a chart that likely has 100s of dots on it. In other words, just because Wright’s line looked bad (and was bad), it isn’t likely to sway the Twins brass either way. TWINS DAILY DRAFT CONTENT Draft Profiles: MacKenzie Gore, Hunter Greene, Royce Lewis, Brendan McKay, Pavin Smith, Kyle Wright, and potential Minnesotans in the Draft. Jeremy provided a Draft Preview in which he discussed the slot values of each pick and overall. He wrote about the possibility of the Twins taking advantage of the slotting system to acquire more high-end talent. Seth caught up with ESPN’s Keith Law about the names at the top of the first round. Cody wondered if not drafting Hunter Greene could come back to haunt them. Nick wrote why Kyle Wright might be The Wright Fit for the Twins, considering his timeline. TWINS DAILY PREDICTIONS Here are some quick thoughts from Twins Daily writers: Seth Stohs: Personal Top 5 Rankings (as prospects): 1.) Hunter Greene, 2.) Kyle Wright, 3.) MacKenzie Gore, 4.) Royce Lewis, 5.) Brendan McKay Who Would You Take? Probably Kyle Wright. Who Do You Think The Twins Will Take? Brendan McKay I'd love to see the Twins get creative and find a way to save seven figures on their #1 pick. Hunter Greene is the most intriguing. Kyle Wright is probably the safest pitcher to pick. I'd be very curious to see if Derek Falvey would truly let McKay hit and pitch on his way up the ladder to really possibly be a big league two-way player. If he can do that, I'm all on board. I also really, really like Gore and Lewis and if the Twins can convince Boras to cut back a couple million from slot, I'd have no problem with them either. Nick Nelson: What is the definition of a "safe pick"? On the one hand, you could easily apply that description to someone like Kyle Wright or Brendan McKay – collegiate superstars and prototypical top-of-draft talents. On the other hand, isn't Hunter Greene the safest pick when you really think about it? He ranks first on almost every analyst's board. He's a media sensation and will generate tremendous buzz for the franchise. If he fizzles out, the Twins aren't going to look silly; they made the choice most people in the industry viewed as obvious. But that will be of little consolation if his development stalls exactly as they foresaw in their evaluations. I guess at the end of the day, there really is no safe pick. My Top Five: 1. Hunter Greene 2. Kyle Wright 3. MacKenzie Gore 4. Brendan McKay 5. Royce Lewis Cody Christie: Personal Top 5 Rankings: 1.) Hunter Greene, 2.) Royce Lewis, 3.) Kyle Wright, 4.) MacKenzie Gore, 5.) Brendan McKay Who Would You Take? Hunter Greene Who Do You Think The Twins Will Take? Kyle Wright I’ve always put a higher value on younger players with a ton of potential. That was one of the reasons I had Miguel Sano number one on my prospect list while he was still playing in the rookie leagues. Greene has impressed me every step of the way. The more I hear about him, the more I want him to be part of the Twins organization. Lewis is also a raw talent that the Twins could develop over the next decade. He could be a mainstay in their line-up for years to come. Wright is the safest and I think that’s the direction the club will go. Tom Froemming: Personal Top 5 Rankings (as prospects): 1) Hunter Greene, 2) MacKenzie Gore, 3) Kyle Wright, 4) Brendan McKay, 5) Royce Lewis Who Would You Take? Greene Who Do You Think Will The Twins Take? Greene Have you seen a single big board that didn’t have Hunter Greene on top? I’ve heard all the rumors saying the Twins are going another direction, but I’m not buying it. Greene is the best athlete and has the highest ceiling. Sure, that comes with a scary floor/bust potential, but the opportunity to acquire a talent like this isn’t going to come around every year. On the other hand, I look at those top five names and don’t see a single bad pick. I’ll understand if the Twins pass on Greene, especially if that means they net more talent with the 35th and 37th picks. NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE Here are some of the most recent draft player rankings and some mock drafts. ESPN’s Keith Law updated his mock draft on Sunday morning.MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo writes about two favorites, two high school players and two dollar savers.MLB.com’s Friday mock draft. 12 hours later, he changed the Twins pick from Kyle Wright to Brendan McKay.John Manuel’s Baseball America Mock Draft 4.0 (from Friday). (UPDATE - on Monday, they updated with version 4.5)FanGraphs Mock Draft (June 5).MLB.com’s Top 200 Draft Prospects.Baseball America’s Top 100 Draft ProspectsBaseball America’s Top 500 Draft Prospects.KATOH’s Top 250 Draft-Eligible College Players (fangraphs).DOLLARS AND SENSE Here the slot values for the Twins picks in the top ten rounds. 1st overall (Round 1): $7,770,700 35th overall (Comp Round A): $1,935,300 37th overall (Round 2): $1,846,100 76th overall (Round 3): $755,500 106th overall (Round 4): $507,000 136th overall (Round 5): $378,700 166th overall (Round 6): $283,300 196th overall (Round 7): $220,700 226th overall (Round 8): $174,400 256th overall (Round 9): $148,000 286th overall (Round 10): $137,100 ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE Until the Twins officially make their announcement, it’s hard to know with complete certainty what the Twins will do. Consider six weeks ago, everyone assumed that Hunter Greene was the easy choice at #1. Starting about a month ago, people believed that Kyle Wright was the top choice. Then suddenly on Friday, about 12 hours after writing that Wright would go #1, mlb.com’s Jim Callis posted a new mock draft in which he said the Twins were planning to take McKay with the top pick. That’s why this Day 1 thread is here. We want the comments to be filled with everything that’s out there as things are subject to change even throughout the day. Again, moments after the Twins make their first pick, we’ll have an article, and we can discuss the player that the Twins take (and presumably many will write about the players the Twins did not take) with the first overall pick. Click here to view the article
  4. As you know, there will be a lot of rumors even throughout the day. It’s obviously a moving target. The reality is that there are likely a handful of people who know who the Twins will take at 1.1. At some point on Monday, they’ll have their decision. It will be based on a number of factors. First and foremost, it will be based on talent. The Twins will acquire a player with the first overall pick who has the potential and ability to be an all-star caliber player. That doesn’t always happen, of course, but the player will have the tools and such to become that. The Twins have likely seen each of the players in consideration for the top pick dozens upon dozens of times. The scouts, cross-checkers, and front office types are fully aware of what those players are as a player and as a person. They’ve had conversations with those players, their families, friends, teammates, coaches and others. For the college players, it’s likely they’ve been watching them for four to six years. The trick of course is looking at the player and all of the information on him and trying to project what that player will be in five to ten years. That is the part that isn’t a science, at least not yet. But science and technology has become more a part of the process. Many of the college programs have Trackman systems installed. Even some high schools are starting to get those. There is so much more information available. But the teams are also trying to figure out who can stay healthy. Drafting a pitcher comes with a bigger injury risk than drafting a hitter for obvious reasons. And, of course, dollars also come into play. It’s a strategy that has been used since the slotting system has been in the MLB draft. Most famously, the Astros were able to convince SS Carlos Correa to take millions less than the slot value for the #1 pick in 2012, and because of it, they were able to take RHP Lance McCullers and IF Rio Ruiz with their next two picks. As Jeremy has pointed out, the new draft slotting instituted this year makes it a bit more difficult to manipulate the draft, and since there are a handful of teams that have a second selection before the Twins, it could be difficult. THE NAMES At this stage, we pretty well know the names of the players the Twins are considering with the top pick. Louisville 1B/LHP Brendan McKay. Vanderbilt RHP Kyle Wright. Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA) SS/RHP Hunter Greene. In my opinion, all three of these guys are "safe" picks, but for different reasons. McKay legitimately has two paths to big league success. He can be a top-of-rotation starting pitcher, or he could be a middle-of-the-lineup bat. Could he possibly be both? Kyle Wright, in my opinion, is the safest pick for starting pitchers because of his stuff and his size and his makeup and more. How is Hunter Greene a safe pick? Well, he's the guy that everyone seems to believe is the best prospect. If the Twins took him and he didn't make it, most in the industry would say that the Twins were still right in shooting for the moon with such an elite talent. The bold pick, in my opinion, would be taking MacKenzie Gore. Many believe he is the best prep pitcher, with a mid-90s fastball and good secondary pitches. Most believe that those three are the guys most in consideration for the Twins first pick. However, if guys like MacKenzie Gore or Royce Lewis are willing to accept less money, they could still fit into the equation. While those two have not been talked about as much as the three listed above, they are both very talented. They are also both Scott Boras guys. Normally that might mean they’re guys to stay away from. However, Boras wants to maximize what his clients can get, so if they can make a little more than what they believe they will get by falling in the draft, maybe something could be worked out. MOST RECENT PERFORMANCES With both Louisville and Vanderbilt playing in Super Regionals, they pitched on Saturday. Here are their final lines: Brendan McKay (vs Kentucky): 6 IP, 8 hits, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts. Fastball was 89-94, with impressive curveball, slider, and cutter too. Kyle Wright (vs Oregon State): 6.2 IP, 8 hits, 7 earned runs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts. Fastball was 90-95, with an impressive curveball and changeup. He mixes those pitches well also. Hunter Greene hasn’t played lately (and hasn't pitched for a month or more), but he did come to Target Field on Friday for a workout. As you would expect, he was quite impressive. He is clearly the guy who would show up highest on prospect rankings because of the fastball and his athleticism and makeup. https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/873296225642176513 While the Twins had people at all of those performances, it’s important to remember that each performance is just one data point on a chart that likely has 100s of dots on it. In other words, just because Wright’s line looked bad (and was bad), it isn’t likely to sway the Twins brass either way. TWINS DAILY DRAFT CONTENT Draft Profiles: MacKenzie Gore, Hunter Greene, Royce Lewis, Brendan McKay, Pavin Smith, Kyle Wright, and potential Minnesotans in the Draft. Jeremy provided a Draft Preview in which he discussed the slot values of each pick and overall. He wrote about the possibility of the Twins taking advantage of the slotting system to acquire more high-end talent. Seth caught up with ESPN’s Keith Law about the names at the top of the first round. Cody wondered if not drafting Hunter Greene could come back to haunt them. Nick wrote why Kyle Wright might be The Wright Fit for the Twins, considering his timeline. TWINS DAILY PREDICTIONS Here are some quick thoughts from Twins Daily writers: Seth Stohs: Personal Top 5 Rankings (as prospects): 1.) Hunter Greene, 2.) Kyle Wright, 3.) MacKenzie Gore, 4.) Royce Lewis, 5.) Brendan McKay Who Would You Take? Probably Kyle Wright. Who Do You Think The Twins Will Take? Brendan McKay I'd love to see the Twins get creative and find a way to save seven figures on their #1 pick. Hunter Greene is the most intriguing. Kyle Wright is probably the safest pitcher to pick. I'd be very curious to see if Derek Falvey would truly let McKay hit and pitch on his way up the ladder to really possibly be a big league two-way player. If he can do that, I'm all on board. I also really, really like Gore and Lewis and if the Twins can convince Boras to cut back a couple million from slot, I'd have no problem with them either. Nick Nelson: What is the definition of a "safe pick"? On the one hand, you could easily apply that description to someone like Kyle Wright or Brendan McKay – collegiate superstars and prototypical top-of-draft talents. On the other hand, isn't Hunter Greene the safest pick when you really think about it? He ranks first on almost every analyst's board. He's a media sensation and will generate tremendous buzz for the franchise. If he fizzles out, the Twins aren't going to look silly; they made the choice most people in the industry viewed as obvious. But that will be of little consolation if his development stalls exactly as they foresaw in their evaluations. I guess at the end of the day, there really is no safe pick. My Top Five: 1. Hunter Greene 2. Kyle Wright 3. MacKenzie Gore 4. Brendan McKay 5. Royce Lewis Cody Christie: Personal Top 5 Rankings: 1.) Hunter Greene, 2.) Royce Lewis, 3.) Kyle Wright, 4.) MacKenzie Gore, 5.) Brendan McKay Who Would You Take? Hunter Greene Who Do You Think The Twins Will Take? Kyle Wright I’ve always put a higher value on younger players with a ton of potential. That was one of the reasons I had Miguel Sano number one on my prospect list while he was still playing in the rookie leagues. Greene has impressed me every step of the way. The more I hear about him, the more I want him to be part of the Twins organization. Lewis is also a raw talent that the Twins could develop over the next decade. He could be a mainstay in their line-up for years to come. Wright is the safest and I think that’s the direction the club will go. Tom Froemming: Personal Top 5 Rankings (as prospects): 1) Hunter Greene, 2) MacKenzie Gore, 3) Kyle Wright, 4) Brendan McKay, 5) Royce Lewis Who Would You Take? Greene Who Do You Think Will The Twins Take? Greene Have you seen a single big board that didn’t have Hunter Greene on top? I’ve heard all the rumors saying the Twins are going another direction, but I’m not buying it. Greene is the best athlete and has the highest ceiling. Sure, that comes with a scary floor/bust potential, but the opportunity to acquire a talent like this isn’t going to come around every year. On the other hand, I look at those top five names and don’t see a single bad pick. I’ll understand if the Twins pass on Greene, especially if that means they net more talent with the 35th and 37th picks. NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE Here are some of the most recent draft player rankings and some mock drafts. ESPN’s Keith Law updated his mock draft on Sunday morning. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo writes about two favorites, two high school players and two dollar savers. MLB.com’s Friday mock draft. 12 hours later, he changed the Twins pick from Kyle Wright to Brendan McKay. John Manuel’s Baseball America Mock Draft 4.0 (from Friday). (UPDATE - on Monday, they updated with version 4.5) FanGraphs Mock Draft (June 5). MLB.com’s Top 200 Draft Prospects. Baseball America’s Top 100 Draft Prospects Baseball America’s Top 500 Draft Prospects. KATOH’s Top 250 Draft-Eligible College Players (fangraphs). DOLLARS AND SENSE Here the slot values for the Twins picks in the top ten rounds. 1st overall (Round 1): $7,770,700 35th overall (Comp Round A): $1,935,300 37th overall (Round 2): $1,846,100 76th overall (Round 3): $755,500 106th overall (Round 4): $507,000 136th overall (Round 5): $378,700 166th overall (Round 6): $283,300 196th overall (Round 7): $220,700 226th overall (Round 8): $174,400 256th overall (Round 9): $148,000 286th overall (Round 10): $137,100 ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE Until the Twins officially make their announcement, it’s hard to know with complete certainty what the Twins will do. Consider six weeks ago, everyone assumed that Hunter Greene was the easy choice at #1. Starting about a month ago, people believed that Kyle Wright was the top choice. Then suddenly on Friday, about 12 hours after writing that Wright would go #1, mlb.com’s Jim Callis posted a new mock draft in which he said the Twins were planning to take McKay with the top pick. That’s why this Day 1 thread is here. We want the comments to be filled with everything that’s out there as things are subject to change even throughout the day. Again, moments after the Twins make their first pick, we’ll have an article, and we can discuss the player that the Twins take (and presumably many will write about the players the Twins did not take) with the first overall pick.
  5. Aaron and John talk about the Twins trying to decide on Hunter Greene, Brendan McKay, or Kyle Wright for the no. 1 pick, Nik Turley's debut, Eddie Rosario walking onto thin ice, the bullpen being both bad and not as bad as it looks, and Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios versus the rest of the rotation. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link.http://traffic.libsy...3?dest-id=74590 Click here to view the article
  6. While Lewis isn't the household name that Hunter Greene, Brendan McKay and Kyle Wright were to most fans, he has been a huge prospect for quite some time. He has played with Hunter Greene, as he noted, on USA teams 15U and 18U tournaments. In fact, earlier in the day, Lewis called Greene (who went second to the Reds) and Jordan Adell (who went 10th to the Angels) to wish them luck. Lewis is a bright young man. He graduated a couple of weeks ago and acknowledged that he gets 'A's and B's." He's a very confident kid. When asked if he emulated or patterned his game around any players, he named some pretty impressive shortstops. "For sure, I had a couple. Carlos Correa is one. Derek Jeter and Francisco Lindor. If you put those three guys together, I feel like you'd get a mixture of Royce Lewis." He continued, "But I know that I'm a very different player than all those guys, and I expect to play differently and act differently than those guys." I remember sitting at the Cedar Rapids Kernels press conference before their first game as a Twins affiliate in 2013. Byron Buxton was asked about his weaknesses. He sat and thought, and thought. A bit later, Travis Harrison responded, "He does a lot of things really well." Likewise, Royce Lewis does a lot of things well. He's got tremendous speed, and should develop some power as well. Asked about his weaknesses, Lewis said, "As far as weaknesses go, I feel like I don't have any at this point." Honesty. But he did add more to the comment. "It's just about perfecting. Of course, every kid thinks highly of himself." Speed is probably his biggest tool at this point. "Speed can be used for everything. Defensively. Offensively. It helps with range. It helps you get a couple of extra base hits when you hit if off the end of the bat. Speeds been there since Day 1. That's my favorite tool because it's always there and it never leaves you." Asked about his power potential, he said, "That's kind of like a little tidbit. I haven't even grown into my man strength yet. I just turned 18 last week. Being young like this, it's pretty amazing to know that I still have a lot of potential to tap into. He has a lot of heart. His first comments to the media involved his goal being for his team to win. They came up just short in their season-ending tournament, but winning is a big part of his game. "As Draymond Green says, 'Heart wins over anything.' At the end of the day, I feel like I have more heart than many of the kids and players out there." Lewis also talked about his mental approach of the game. "I'm looking at four to five plays ahead. The approach at the plate is changing pitch to pitch. For me, it's maturity. My mom says it a lot, I'm a lot older than most kids." And Lewis is also a leader: "Treating everyone equally. We're all equal, no matter who is better at what sport, or who is the smarter kid in the classroom. As a leader, I try to treat everyone equal. I'm not above or below anyone. We have a lot of fun. For me, I try to lead by example. With all my teammates, we have so much fun together. We compete hard together, and I can't wait to meet my new teammates in Minnesota. Lewis has never been to Minnesota and says, "I hear it's pretty cold, sometimes. We'll see when I get there. I can handle the weather no matter what." Lewis has a commitment to UC-Irvine, a school and coaching staff that was impressive to him. When asked if college was out of the question, he responded by saying, "No, not at all. I mean, I don't know what's going to go on. I'm just going to let Mr. Boras and the guys up in Minnesota handle that. We'll see what happens. I do know that I'm locked in either way. It's a win-win for me, so I'm happy." One Twins employee told me recently (about Lewis), "His makeup is everything a fan base could wish for out of their franchise talent." Royce Lewis is immensely athletic, a trait the Twins have had tremendous success with developing. He's got room to grow, but he also has some of those intangibles that can't be measured. In other words, he's the complete package. Next steps? Get him signed and let him start the long process toward the big leagues.
  7. As news (or rumors) trickled in that the Minnesota Twins would select high school shortstop Royce Lewis with the first overall pick in the 2017 draft, it was met with some surprise. Lewis said, 'I had nothing going in at all in mind. I just know that the draft is crazy, and looking back at years past, it's been hectic and you never know what's going to happen.' However, he wasn't all that surprised. 'For me, I wasn't caught off guard as much, but I am very excited and very appreciative of the opportunity.'While Lewis isn't the household name that Hunter Greene, Brendan McKay and Kyle Wright were to most fans, he has been a huge prospect for quite some time. He has played with Hunter Greene, as he noted, on USA teams 15U and 18U tournaments. In fact, earlier in the day, Lewis called Greene (who went second to the Reds) and Jordan Adell (who went 10th to the Angels) to wish them luck. Lewis is a bright young man. He graduated a couple of weeks ago and acknowledged that he gets 'A's and B's." He's a very confident kid. When asked if he emulated or patterned his game around any players, he named some pretty impressive shortstops. "For sure, I had a couple. Carlos Correa is one. Derek Jeter and Francisco Lindor. If you put those three guys together, I feel like you'd get a mixture of Royce Lewis." He continued, "But I know that I'm a very different player than all those guys, and I expect to play differently and act differently than those guys." I remember sitting at the Cedar Rapids Kernels press conference before their first game as a Twins affiliate in 2013. Byron Buxton was asked about his weaknesses. He sat and thought, and thought. A bit later, Travis Harrison responded, "He does a lot of things really well." Likewise, Royce Lewis does a lot of things well. He's got tremendous speed, and should develop some power as well. Asked about his weaknesses, Lewis said, "As far as weaknesses go, I feel like I don't have any at this point." Honesty. But he did add more to the comment. "It's just about perfecting. Of course, every kid thinks highly of himself." Speed is probably his biggest tool at this point. "Speed can be used for everything. Defensively. Offensively. It helps with range. It helps you get a couple of extra base hits when you hit if off the end of the bat. Speeds been there since Day 1. That's my favorite tool because it's always there and it never leaves you." Asked about his power potential, he said, "That's kind of like a little tidbit. I haven't even grown into my man strength yet. I just turned 18 last week. Being young like this, it's pretty amazing to know that I still have a lot of potential to tap into. He has a lot of heart. His first comments to the media involved his goal being for his team to win. They came up just short in their season-ending tournament, but winning is a big part of his game. "As Draymond Green says, 'Heart wins over anything.' At the end of the day, I feel like I have more heart than many of the kids and players out there." Lewis also talked about his mental approach of the game. "I'm looking at four to five plays ahead. The approach at the plate is changing pitch to pitch. For me, it's maturity. My mom says it a lot, I'm a lot older than most kids." And Lewis is also a leader: "Treating everyone equally. We're all equal, no matter who is better at what sport, or who is the smarter kid in the classroom. As a leader, I try to treat everyone equal. I'm not above or below anyone. We have a lot of fun. For me, I try to lead by example. With all my teammates, we have so much fun together. We compete hard together, and I can't wait to meet my new teammates in Minnesota. Lewis has never been to Minnesota and says, "I hear it's pretty cold, sometimes. We'll see when I get there. I can handle the weather no matter what." Lewis has a commitment to UC-Irvine, a school and coaching staff that was impressive to him. When asked if college was out of the question, he responded by saying, "No, not at all. I mean, I don't know what's going to go on. I'm just going to let Mr. Boras and the guys up in Minnesota handle that. We'll see what happens. I do know that I'm locked in either way. It's a win-win for me, so I'm happy." One Twins employee told me recently (about Lewis), "His makeup is everything a fan base could wish for out of their franchise talent." Royce Lewis is immensely athletic, a trait the Twins have had tremendous success with developing. He's got room to grow, but he also has some of those intangibles that can't be measured. In other words, he's the complete package. Next steps? Get him signed and let him start the long process toward the big leagues. Click here to view the article
  8. Believe it or not, there are good reasons for the Twins to pass on Greene (as noted recently by Nick Nelson in his excellent profile). Most seem to be concerned with his injury potential and while that may be one of them, we have to remember that almost all pitchers are a high injury risk to some degree. A study from 2016 that links the usage of fastballs (rather than velocity) may make Greene’s reliance on his fastball a slightly higher risk for Tommy John. One of the more common criticisms levied against Greene is the relatively weak set of secondary offerings to go along with his hundred mile per hour fastball. He throws a curve, slider and changeup but none of them stand out in reports. The Pioneer Press’s Charley Walters echoed this in a recent column saying "despite a fastball that reaches 100 mph, [Greene] has little concept of a breaking ball.” Is that right? Little concept? In his senior season Greene has flashed signs that he has some concept of a breaking ball as you can see on this little ditty below. https://twitter.com/parkerhageman/status/873898806819139586 Of course, that specific pitch may have been a rare one-off, well-executed bender for him. Plus, he is squaring off against high school competition that is doing everything possible to just touch the elite velocity pitch. Anything other than the fastball thrown is likely going to induce a big miss. Nevertheless, If we are to take the consensus at its face, scouting reports have been consistent in that criticism about Greene. In May MLB.com’s Jim Callis said that some scouts have rated his curveball as well-below average. While his secondary offerings may not be in the same universe as, say, Josh Beckett’s or Kerry Wood’s curveball coming out of high school, the point is, that depth, tilt and location is evidence that Greene has *some* concept of a breaking ball and that may be a significant factor in the decision whether or not to draft Hunter Greene number one overall. In terms of the tools Greene possesses as a pitcher, the most touted is his ability to reach triple-digits heat as a 17-year-old. That, in and of itself, is a big reason why he has garnered national attention. If you pop the glove at that type of speed at that age, you will be swarmed by men in bucket hats and polo shirts carrying radar guns all summer long. Having said that, the super hard throwing high school pitcher club is not the exclusive fraternity that it once was. There are 14-year-olds shoving 92 in Alabama (by comparison, Greene was hitting 83 as a freshman in high school). Elite velocity still gets hitters out at a high clip at the major league level but almost all pitchers need a wrinkle to mix in and scouts have felt Greene’s secondary offerings have average potential at best. The curveball has become a weapon du jour of analytics teams. Tom Verducci wrote an article about the revival of the pitch in major league baseball, noting the rise of Houston’s Lance McCullers and his reliance on his unhittable deuce as the reason for his big season. In the profile Verducci remarked that “[o]rganizations have learned that if someone does not show an aptitude to spin a baseball as an amateur, it’s foolish to expect him to acquire the skill.” Houston’s general manager Jeff Ludlow did not disagree. In short, if you don’t already have a snapdragon bender that spins at 2,900-plus rpm by the time you are drafted, chances are it will never come. The ability the spin a ball depends on years of release point feel, it's not like a slider or changeup that pitchers can learn in the ranks. With that in mind, it is somewhat concerning that evaluators lack confidence in Greene’s curveball and this might give an organization pause before pulling the trigger at 1-1. In the draft room, Twins staff must be contemplating this and balancing that with the fact that both Vanderbilt’s Wright and Louisville’s McKay already have curves that have been described as plus pitches. Baseball America said that Wright’s curve has been “showing tight spin and late vertical break early and often...the pitch has plus potential.” MLB.com’s draft profile said that McKay’s was “a consistent plus pitch”. The Twins war room will have to weigh this carefully. There is no doubting his makeup and talent. The real question is, do the Twins have enough confidence in Greene to develop a secondary pitch, anything to take pressure off of throwing his fastball all day long?
  9. If you are following baseball’s upcoming draft, you have undoubtedly heard the name Hunter Greene - the two-way hard-throwing kid from a Los Angeles-area prep school. If you somehow missed it, Sports Illustrated offered a glowing profile of a kid with plus makeup and off the charts attitude. After reading it, you come away certain this is a can’t miss, surefire Hall of Famer. To drive the point home, on the cover the magazine asked “Baseball’s Lebron or the next Babe?” In less than 24 hours we will know which direction Derek Falvey, Thad Levine and company have decided to lead the Minnesota Twins. Will they go with the sky-high ceiling of prep school graduate Hunter Greene or target a “safer” college pitcher like Kyle Wright or Brendan McKay, two arms that are further along the development timeline, or, hell, even a position player like Royce Lewis or Pavin Smith? If you are basing your reaction off the SI article, you will be sadly disappointed when and if the Twins decide to go another direction. Here’s one reason why the Twins might be vindicated on the decision to pass on baseball’s Lebron.Believe it or not, there are good reasons for the Twins to pass on Greene (as noted recently by Nick Nelson in his excellent profile). Most seem to be concerned with his injury potential and while that may be one of them, we have to remember that almost all pitchers are a high injury risk to some degree. A study from 2016 that links the usage of fastballs (rather than velocity) may make Greene’s reliance on his fastball a slightly higher risk for Tommy John. One of the more common criticisms levied against Greene is the relatively weak set of secondary offerings to go along with his hundred mile per hour fastball. He throws a curve, slider and changeup but none of them stand out in reports. The Pioneer Press’s Charley Walters echoed this in a recent column saying "despite a fastball that reaches 100 mph, [Greene] has little concept of a breaking ball.” Is that right? Little concept? In his senior season Greene has flashed signs that he has some concept of a breaking ball as you can see on this little ditty below. Of course, that specific pitch may have been a rare one-off, well-executed bender for him. Plus, he is squaring off against high school competition that is doing everything possible to just touch the elite velocity pitch. Anything other than the fastball thrown is likely going to induce a big miss. Nevertheless, If we are to take the consensus at its face, scouting reports have been consistent in that criticism about Greene. In May MLB.com’s Jim Callis said that some scouts have rated his curveball as well-below average. While his secondary offerings may not be in the same universe as, say, Josh Beckett’s or Kerry Wood’s curveball coming out of high school, the point is, that depth, tilt and location is evidence that Greene has *some* concept of a breaking ball and that may be a significant factor in the decision whether or not to draft Hunter Greene number one overall. In terms of the tools Greene possesses as a pitcher, the most touted is his ability to reach triple-digits heat as a 17-year-old. That, in and of itself, is a big reason why he has garnered national attention. If you pop the glove at that type of speed at that age, you will be swarmed by men in bucket hats and polo shirts carrying radar guns all summer long. Having said that, the super hard throwing high school pitcher club is not the exclusive fraternity that it once was. There are 14-year-olds shoving 92 in Alabama (by comparison, Greene was hitting 83 as a freshman in high school). Elite velocity still gets hitters out at a high clip at the major league level but almost all pitchers need a wrinkle to mix in and scouts have felt Greene’s secondary offerings have average potential at best. The curveball has become a weapon du jour of analytics teams. Tom Verducci wrote an article about the revival of the pitch in major league baseball, noting the rise of Houston’s Lance McCullers and his reliance on his unhittable deuce as the reason for his big season. In the profile Verducci remarked that “[o]rganizations have learned that if someone does not show an aptitude to spin a baseball as an amateur, it’s foolish to expect him to acquire the skill.” Houston’s general manager Jeff Ludlow did not disagree. In short, if you don’t already have a snapdragon bender that spins at 2,900-plus rpm by the time you are drafted, chances are it will never come. The ability the spin a ball depends on years of release point feel, it's not like a slider or changeup that pitchers can learn in the ranks. With that in mind, it is somewhat concerning that evaluators lack confidence in Greene’s curveball and this might give an organization pause before pulling the trigger at 1-1. In the draft room, Twins staff must be contemplating this and balancing that with the fact that both Vanderbilt’s Wright and Louisville’s McKay already have curves that have been described as plus pitches. Baseball America said that Wright’s curve has been “showing tight spin and late vertical break early and often...the pitch has plus potential.” MLB.com’s draft profile said that McKay’s was “a consistent plus pitch”. The Twins war room will have to weigh this carefully. There is no doubting his makeup and talent. The real question is, do the Twins have enough confidence in Greene to develop a secondary pitch, anything to take pressure off of throwing his fastball all day long? Click here to view the article
  10. LAST CALL Saturday was monumental for Brendan McKay and Kyle Wright. Each collegiate hurler took the hill as starting pitcher for his team in a critical Super Regionals game. Both were televised on ESPN. And on top of all that, the draft prospects know they were making their closing arguments for the distinction (and signing bonus) of becoming the first player taken Monday. For their teams and for them personally, the stakes could not have been higher for McKay and Wright. McKay rose to the occasion in a big way, leading his Louisville Cardinals to a series-clinching victory over Kentucky with 6 2/3 scoreless innings. His impressive performance came on the heels of this report from MLB.com's Jim Callis: "Though the teams selecting behind the Twins think they're leaning toward Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright, I started hearing whispers Thursday night that Minnesota prefers Louisville two-way star Brendan McKay. That noise is getting louder Friday, and I now believe the Twins will take McKay No. 1, as a left-handed pitcher rather than a first baseman, unless California high school righty Hunter Greene overwhelms them in his visit to Target Field on Friday afternoon." Did Greene overwhelm them? Will McKay's final impression push him over the edge? And how did Wright's Saturday evening go in an elimination game against a daunting opponent? The latest on all three, below (click names for full in-depth profiles): Brendan McKay: LHP/1B, Louisville While cruising through his outing against Kentucky, McKay didn't flash the kind of velocity that catches your eye, but showed immense polish. He struck out nine and walked none, looking much like a guy who could go out and get it done on a big-league mound right now. McKay peppered the zone with good breaking balls, and is putting the finishing touches on a two-way collegiate career for the ages. Though he went 0-for-5 at the plate, his abilities at the plate as a lefty-hitting first baseman are well established. That would be less useful in the American League but there's a real possibility he could be a pinch-hitting option between starts, a la Madison Bumgarner. McKay's jump to the head of the pack, if the Callis report is accurate, comes after weeks of speculation that Wright was the favorite. Kyle Wright: RHP, Vanderbilt Wright had his work cut out for him, guiding his unranked Commodores against the nation's No. 1 team, Oregon State. He battled 6 2/3 innings, and while the numbers don't impress – he was charged with seven earned runs, three coming on a big homer in the third inning – he threw pitches with a ton of life while showing smooth and consistent mechanics. It's hard to hold the way he finished against him; Wright loaded the bases and walked in a run before being pulled at 122 pitches (two more would score afterward, adding to his ledger). He was laboring but answering the call as the ace of a team on the brink of elimination. There was plenty to like about the righty's outing, in which he struck out eight and threw some truly filthy sliders. Mike Berardino's comparison to a young Kevin Brown seems apt in many ways. Wright has everything you look for in a prospective frontline starting pitcher, and he could speed through the minors. As I wrote last week, his potential for rapid ascent would be a nice timeline fit for a team that appears to be at the front end of its contention window. Despite the recent steam for McKay, I still see Wright as the most likely pick. It's this simple: the Twins need fast-tracked pitching and he is pretty clearly the best college arm in the country. Historically, those are fairly safe picks. McKay, by the admission of his own coach at Louisville, may not be the best pitcher or hitter in college baseball (he places the two-way star "top three to five" in both categories). In contrasting the clear-cut top two collegiate talents in the nation, the choice seems fairly clear to me. But then there's Greene, who makes as strong a case to be taken first overall as any prep right-handed pitcher has in history. And he put it all on display during a Friday workout in Minneapolis late last week. Hunter Greene: RHP/SS, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA) As expected, and as usual, Greene wowed onlookers during a session at Target Field on Friday. He reportedly hit 101 MPH from the mound and put on show at the plate, launching four home runs. The 17-year-old oozes potential, and a level of upside that few draft prospects in recent history could match. It feels like, if the Twins pass on him, we will be doomed to a future of "what-ifs." We'll follow his progression closely, lamenting every fast promotion and extraordinary achievement. Of course, on the flip side, if they pass and Greene doesn't work out, the front office ultimately comes away looking really, really good. This kid has a set of skills and tools rarely seen on the diamond. He gave the Twins a final reminder of that on Friday. If they choose to go another direction, it's on them, for better or worse. OTHER POSSIBILITIES? There remains a distinct chance that Minnesota could pass on all three of the names above. If they're not enamored with McKay, Wright or Greene as a true No. 1 talent, then they could aim to strike a deal with someone slightly lower on the board to save pool money on one of their ensuing picks. Jeremy Nygaard explained how this might work in his latest edition of The Scouting Skinny, which went out to newsletter subscribers last week. Basically, we keep hearing that that the Twins have six players on their radar for the first pick, not just the three mentioned above. The idea is that by signing someone like MacKenzie Gore or Pavin Smith, who wouldn't normally be under consideration at the top, the Twins could sign that player below slot and then have more money available for bonuses at, say, No. 35 or No. 37. This was the approach Philadelphia took last year, signing No. 1 pick Mickey Moniak for about $3 million under slot and then luring their second pick, prep righty Kevin Gowdy, away from a UCLA commitment by offering almost double the slotted amount at No. 42. This turns our attention toward a subject we haven't yet broached in this primer: Minnesota has two more picks within the Top 40, and those also figure to be of enormous importance. It gets cumbersome to preview and break down those selections, because the number of realistic candidates goes from a handful to several dozen, but there is one name in particular that people around the Twins Cities will be following very closely. LOCAL ANGLE He is not in consideration to go first overall, but it sounds like the Twins would be more than happy to grab Burnsville's Sam Carlson if he makes it back to them at 35. This seems unlikely. The big right-hander ranks 15th on MLB.com's board and 21st on Baseball America's. He's in the conversation for best high school arm in the country, and reports suggest many teams are eyeing him in the first round. But Carlson has a scholarship from the University of Florida in his pocket, so money talks. For Minnesota to have a realistic shot at Carlson, it would require him slipping – probably due to signability concerns – and the Twins having extra cash in hand from cutting a deal at No. 1 to alleviate such concerns. Something to keep an eye on. LATEST PREDICTIONS Here's what the most recent mocks from major prospect publications are projecting for Monday: Baseball America Mock Draft 4.0 Twins #1 pick: Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderbilt) Twins #35 pick: Brent Rooker, 1B (Mississippi State) Keith Law (ESPN) Mock Draft 3.0 Twins #1 pick: Brendan McKay, LHP/1B (Louisville) Bleacher Report Twins #1 pick: Brendan McKay, LHP/1B (Louisville) CBS Sports Twins #1 pick: Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderbilt) Jeremy Nygaard/Twins Daily Twins #1 pick: Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderbilt) Twins #35 pick: Blayne Enlow, RHP (LA prep) Twins #37 pick: Jacob Heatherly, LHP (AL prep) Twins #76 pick: Riley Adams, C (University of San DIego) Twins #106 pick: Michael Baumann, RHP (Jacksonville University) Twins #136 pick: Bryce Montes de Oca, RHP (University of Missouri) Twins #166 pick: Seth Lonsway, LHP (OH prep) Twins #196 pick: Griff McGarry, RHP (CA prep) Twins #226 pick: Dalton Guthrie, SS (University of Florida) Twins #256 pick: J.J. Schwarz, C (University of Florida) Twins #288 pick: Reed Rohlman, OF (Clemson University) MORE TWINS DAILY COVERAGE Check out Jeremy Nygaard's 10-round Twins mock draft to learn more about the players listed above. Previous Draft Profiles: Draft Profile: Hunter Greene, SP/SS by Nick Nelson Draft Profile: Kyle Wright, SP by Jeremy Nygaard Draft Profile: Brendan McKay, SP/1B by Cody Christie Draft Profile: MacKenzie Gore, LHP by Steve Lein Draft Profile: Royce Lewis, SS/OF by Nick Nelson Draft Profile: Pavin Smith, 1B by Tom Froemming
  11. On Monday evening, the Minnesota Twins will make the No. 1 selection in the MLB Draft for the first time since 2001. By all accounts, their choice comes down to three main names, with a few outside possibilities in play. This primer will get you completely up to speed on all the latest news, rumors and rumblings as we head toward a pivotal moment for the franchise. LAST CALL Saturday was monumental for Brendan McKay and Kyle Wright. Each collegiate hurler took the hill as starting pitcher for his team in a critical Super Regionals game. Both were televised on ESPN. And on top of all that, the draft prospects know they were making their closing arguments for the distinction (and signing bonus) of becoming the first player taken Monday. For their teams and for them personally, the stakes could not have been higher for McKay and Wright. McKay rose to the occasion in a big way, leading his Louisville Cardinals to a series-clinching victory over Kentucky with 6 2/3 scoreless innings. His impressive performance came on the heels of this report from MLB.com's Jim Callis: "Though the teams selecting behind the Twins think they're leaning toward Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright, I started hearing whispers Thursday night that Minnesota prefers Louisville two-way star Brendan McKay. That noise is getting louder Friday, and I now believe the Twins will take McKay No. 1, as a left-handed pitcher rather than a first baseman, unless California high school righty Hunter Greene overwhelms them in his visit to Target Field on Friday afternoon." Did Greene overwhelm them? Will McKay's final impression push him over the edge? And how did Wright's Saturday evening go in an elimination game against a daunting opponent? The latest on all three, below (click names for full in-depth profiles): Brendan McKay: LHP/1B, Louisville While cruising through his outing against Kentucky, McKay didn't flash the kind of velocity that catches your eye, but showed immense polish. He struck out nine and walked none, looking much like a guy who could go out and get it done on a big-league mound right now. McKay peppered the zone with good breaking balls, and is putting the finishing touches on a two-way collegiate career for the ages. Though he went 0-for-5 at the plate, his abilities at the plate as a lefty-hitting first baseman are well established. That would be less useful in the American League but there's a real possibility he could be a pinch-hitting option between starts, a la Madison Bumgarner. McKay's jump to the head of the pack, if the Callis report is accurate, comes after weeks of speculation that Wright was the favorite. Kyle Wright: RHP, Vanderbilt Wright had his work cut out for him, guiding his unranked Commodores against the nation's No. 1 team, Oregon State. He battled 6 2/3 innings, and while the numbers don't impress – he was charged with seven earned runs, three coming on a big homer in the third inning – he threw pitches with a ton of life while showing smooth and consistent mechanics. It's hard to hold the way he finished against him; Wright loaded the bases and walked in a run before being pulled at 122 pitches (two more would score afterward, adding to his ledger). He was laboring but answering the call as the ace of a team on the brink of elimination. There was plenty to like about the righty's outing, in which he struck out eight and threw some truly filthy sliders. Mike Berardino's comparison to a young Kevin Brown seems apt in many ways. Wright has everything you look for in a prospective frontline starting pitcher, and he could speed through the minors. As I wrote last week, his potential for rapid ascent would be a nice timeline fit for a team that appears to be at the front end of its contention window. Despite the recent steam for McKay, I still see Wright as the most likely pick. It's this simple: the Twins need fast-tracked pitching and he is pretty clearly the best college arm in the country. Historically, those are fairly safe picks. McKay, by the admission of his own coach at Louisville, may not be the best pitcher or hitter in college baseball (he places the two-way star "top three to five" in both categories). In contrasting the clear-cut top two collegiate talents in the nation, the choice seems fairly clear to me. But then there's Greene, who makes as strong a case to be taken first overall as any prep right-handed pitcher has in history. And he put it all on display during a Friday workout in Minneapolis late last week. Hunter Greene: RHP/SS, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA) As expected, and as usual, Greene wowed onlookers during a session at Target Field on Friday. He reportedly hit 101 MPH from the mound and put on show at the plate, launching four home runs. The 17-year-old oozes potential, and a level of upside that few draft prospects in recent history could match. It feels like, if the Twins pass on him, we will be doomed to a future of "what-ifs." We'll follow his progression closely, lamenting every fast promotion and extraordinary achievement. Of course, on the flip side, if they pass and Greene doesn't work out, the front office ultimately comes away looking really, really good. This kid has a set of skills and tools rarely seen on the diamond. He gave the Twins a final reminder of that on Friday. If they choose to go another direction, it's on them, for better or worse. OTHER POSSIBILITIES? There remains a distinct chance that Minnesota could pass on all three of the names above. If they're not enamored with McKay, Wright or Greene as a true No. 1 talent, then they could aim to strike a deal with someone slightly lower on the board to save pool money on one of their ensuing picks. Jeremy Nygaard explained how this might work in his latest edition of The Scouting Skinny, which went out to newsletter subscribers last week. Basically, we keep hearing that that the Twins have six players on their radar for the first pick, not just the three mentioned above. The idea is that by signing someone like MacKenzie Gore or Pavin Smith, who wouldn't normally be under consideration at the top, the Twins could sign that player below slot and then have more money available for bonuses at, say, No. 35 or No. 37. This was the approach Philadelphia took last year, signing No. 1 pick Mickey Moniak for about $3 million under slot and then luring their second pick, prep righty Kevin Gowdy, away from a UCLA commitment by offering almost double the slotted amount at No. 42. This turns our attention toward a subject we haven't yet broached in this primer: Minnesota has two more picks within the Top 40, and those also figure to be of enormous importance. It gets cumbersome to preview and break down those selections, because the number of realistic candidates goes from a handful to several dozen, but there is one name in particular that people around the Twins Cities will be following very closely. LOCAL ANGLE He is not in consideration to go first overall, but it sounds like the Twins would be more than happy to grab Burnsville's Sam Carlson if he makes it back to them at 35. This seems unlikely. The big right-hander ranks 15th on MLB.com's board and 21st on Baseball America's. He's in the conversation for best high school arm in the country, and reports suggest many teams are eyeing him in the first round. But Carlson has a scholarship from the University of Florida in his pocket, so money talks. For Minnesota to have a realistic shot at Carlson, it would require him slipping – probably due to signability concerns – and the Twins having extra cash in hand from cutting a deal at No. 1 to alleviate such concerns. Something to keep an eye on. LATEST PREDICTIONS Here's what the most recent mocks from major prospect publications are projecting for Monday: Baseball America Mock Draft 4.0 Twins #1 pick: Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderbilt) Twins #35 pick: Brent Rooker, 1B (Mississippi State) Keith Law (ESPN) Mock Draft 3.0 Twins #1 pick: Brendan McKay, LHP/1B (Louisville) Bleacher Report Twins #1 pick: Brendan McKay, LHP/1B (Louisville) CBS Sports Twins #1 pick: Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderbilt) Jeremy Nygaard/Twins Daily Twins #1 pick: Kyle Wright, RHP (Vanderbilt) Twins #35 pick: Blayne Enlow, RHP (LA prep) Twins #37 pick: Jacob Heatherly, LHP (AL prep) Twins #76 pick: Riley Adams, C (University of San DIego) Twins #106 pick: Michael Baumann, RHP (Jacksonville University) Twins #136 pick: Bryce Montes de Oca, RHP (University of Missouri) Twins #166 pick: Seth Lonsway, LHP (OH prep) Twins #196 pick: Griff McGarry, RHP (CA prep) Twins #226 pick: Dalton Guthrie, SS (University of Florida) Twins #256 pick: J.J. Schwarz, C (University of Florida) Twins #288 pick: Reed Rohlman, OF (Clemson University) MORE TWINS DAILY COVERAGE Check out Jeremy Nygaard's 10-round Twins mock draft to learn more about the players listed above. Previous Draft Profiles: Draft Profile: Hunter Greene, SP/SS by Nick Nelson Draft Profile: Kyle Wright, SP by Jeremy Nygaard Draft Profile: Brendan McKay, SP/1B by Cody Christie Draft Profile: MacKenzie Gore, LHP by Steve Lein Draft Profile: Royce Lewis, SS/OF by Nick Nelson Draft Profile: Pavin Smith, 1B by Tom Froemming Click here to view the article
  12. Twins Daily Draft Preview: Jeremy, the Twins Daily Draft Guru, kicked off the coverage by looking at the Twins's draft pool, which players were under consideration for the top pick, and some potential draft strategies. There are lots of factors impacting an organization as the draft gets closer. Draft Player Profiles Royce Lewis, SS/OF: While a lot of the draft focus has been on the big three (Wright, McKay, and Greene), the Twins are considering other players for the top spot. Lewis might be the best hitter in this draft class. Baseball America calls him "arguably the best position player prospect in this year's class." With that type of praise, the Twins certainly have to consider him. Pavin Smith, 1B: Smith might be one of college's most polished players. His advanced approach at the plate has helped him to have more home runs (12) than strikeouts (9). For a player with power hitting ability, that is quite a shift away from the norm. Baseball America thinks he is the best college hitter in the draft. He might not have the upside of other potential picks but his floor could be higher. Brendan McKay, SP/1B: If the draft was happening earlier this spring, McKay might have been the Twins' most likely first pick. He has crushed the ball at the plate and shown some strong ability on the mound. Unfortunately, his stock has slipped a little as his fastball velocity dropped. MLB.com columnist Jim Callis said McKay might be the best two-way player since Dave Winfield. He's one of the big three at the top of the draft but it would be a little surprising for the Twins to take him. Hunter Greene, SP/SS: Greene has been at the front of the national draft coverage for most of the spring. Sports Illustrated featured him on their cover and called him "the star baseball needs." He hasn't pitched in some time and there is talk of him wanting to end up with San Diego at the number three pick. Greene could end up being the best player in the draft but he could also fail to develop and end up as a bust. The Twins can't afford for that to happen but they also have to hope Greene won't haunt them. Kyle Wright, SP: Fans have heard Wright be called the "right pick". While McKay and Greene might have lost some steam as the spring progressed, Wright has only solidified his place at the top of the draft. McKay and Greene have been two-way players while Wright has been focusing solely on his pitching. He is more polished and could move quickly through the Twins system. Most national writers expect Wright to be the Twins' choice with the first overall pick. MacKenzie Gore, SP: Gore has been gaining a ton of steam as draft day approaches. He's left-handed and has advanced command for his age. He can mix in four different pitches and he might be the most complete high school pitcher in the draft. Would the Twins surprise the baseball world and select the lesser known of the top-two high school arms? Other MLB Draft Coverage Twins 10-round mock draft: Jeremy does his best every year to try to select the players Minnesota will be focusing on through the first 10-rounds. Sometimes this can be an exercise in futility but he has gotten multiple players correct when doing this for previous drafts. The Multi-Pick Gambit: As mentioned before, the Twins have the biggest pool in the draft. Will they be able to cut a deal with the number one pick so they have other money to spend on later selections? It's tougher than one might think. Will Hunter Greene Haunt The Twins?: He could be a once in a generation player. What happens if the Twins decide to go in a different direction? Keith Law On The Twins And The 2017 Draft: Law, ESPN's prospect writer, did an interview with Seth where he look ahead to the draft and speculated on the names Minnesota is considering at the top. The Wright Fit?: Kyle Wright could end up in Minnesota. Why is he the right pick for this organization? The Scouting Skinny: Kyle Wright: He probably has the best chance to go first overall. What do scouts have to say about Wright and his ascension to the top? Sam Carlson Q&A: Part 1 Sam Carlson Q&A: Part 2: Carlson, a Burnsville High School player, has a good chance of being taken in the mid-to-late first round. While he might not be in play for the Twins, it's interesting to hear about the draft process for a player in the midst of a life-changing event. Even after the Twins make their selection on Monday, check back at Twins Daily for all of your MLB draft related coverage.
  13. Minnesota has been on the clock since late last season. They knew this day was coming. A parting gift from the 2016 team for accumulating the worst record in franchise history. The 2017 MLB draft could be a franchise altering event. For better or for worse, the Twins new front office could be defined by the choices they make in the coming days. As fans already know, the Twins will make the first overall selection on Monday. The organization also has two other picks in the top-40. Because of these high picks, Minnesota will have the draft's highest bonus pool which is almost half a million more than the next closest team. This gives the organization a financial advantage but this advantage is less than it has been in previous years. Hopefully, Twins Daily has been your first stop for all of your MLB Draft related coverage but you might have missed something along the way.Twins Daily Draft Preview: Jeremy, the Twins Daily Draft Guru, kicked off the coverage by looking at the Twins's draft pool, which players were under consideration for the top pick, and some potential draft strategies. There are lots of factors impacting an organization as the draft gets closer. Draft Player Profiles Royce Lewis, SS/OF: While a lot of the draft focus has been on the big three (Wright, McKay, and Greene), the Twins are considering other players for the top spot. Lewis might be the best hitter in this draft class. Baseball America calls him "arguably the best position player prospect in this year's class." With that type of praise, the Twins certainly have to consider him. Pavin Smith, 1B: Smith might be one of college's most polished players. His advanced approach at the plate has helped him to have more home runs (12) than strikeouts (9). For a player with power hitting ability, that is quite a shift away from the norm. Baseball America thinks he is the best college hitter in the draft. He might not have the upside of other potential picks but his floor could be higher. Brendan McKay, SP/1B: If the draft was happening earlier this spring, McKay might have been the Twins' most likely first pick. He has crushed the ball at the plate and shown some strong ability on the mound. Unfortunately, his stock has slipped a little as his fastball velocity dropped. MLB.com columnist Jim Callis said McKay might be the best two-way player since Dave Winfield. He's one of the big three at the top of the draft but it would be a little surprising for the Twins to take him. Hunter Greene, SP/SS: Greene has been at the front of the national draft coverage for most of the spring. Sports Illustrated featured him on their cover and called him "the star baseball needs." He hasn't pitched in some time and there is talk of him wanting to end up with San Diego at the number three pick. Greene could end up being the best player in the draft but he could also fail to develop and end up as a bust. The Twins can't afford for that to happen but they also have to hope Greene won't haunt them. Kyle Wright, SP: Fans have heard Wright be called the "right pick". While McKay and Greene might have lost some steam as the spring progressed, Wright has only solidified his place at the top of the draft. McKay and Greene have been two-way players while Wright has been focusing solely on his pitching. He is more polished and could move quickly through the Twins system. Most national writers expect Wright to be the Twins' choice with the first overall pick. MacKenzie Gore, SP: Gore has been gaining a ton of steam as draft day approaches. He's left-handed and has advanced command for his age. He can mix in four different pitches and he might be the most complete high school pitcher in the draft. Would the Twins surprise the baseball world and select the lesser known of the top-two high school arms? Other MLB Draft Coverage Twins 10-round mock draft: Jeremy does his best every year to try to select the players Minnesota will be focusing on through the first 10-rounds. Sometimes this can be an exercise in futility but he has gotten multiple players correct when doing this for previous drafts. The Multi-Pick Gambit:As mentioned before, the Twins have the biggest pool in the draft. Will they be able to cut a deal with the number one pick so they have other money to spend on later selections? It's tougher than one might think. Will Hunter Greene Haunt The Twins?: He could be a once in a generation player. What happens if the Twins decide to go in a different direction? Keith Law On The Twins And The 2017 Draft: Law, ESPN's prospect writer, did an interview with Seth where he look ahead to the draft and speculated on the names Minnesota is considering at the top. The Wright Fit?:Kyle Wright could end up in Minnesota. Why is he the right pick for this organization? The Scouting Skinny: Kyle Wright: He probably has the best chance to go first overall. What do scouts have to say about Wright and his ascension to the top? Sam Carlson Q&A: Part 1 Sam Carlson Q&A: Part 2: Carlson, a Burnsville High School player, has a good chance of being taken in the mid-to-late first round. While he might not be in play for the Twins, it's interesting to hear about the draft process for a player in the midst of a life-changing event. Even after the Twins make their selection on Monday, check back at Twins Daily for all of your MLB draft related coverage. Click here to view the article
  14. The hype is real for Hunter Greene. At age 17, he has already attained legendary status, gracing a Sports Illustrated cover with the magazine hailing him as the star baseball needs. Baseball's LeBron James or the new Babe Ruth? Those comparisons aren't made lightly. It would seem that Greene, a two-way phenom who throws 100 MPH on the mound and dominates at shortstop, is a no-brainer at No. 1 overall. But he's not. Far from it.Who Is He? We have been following Greene for a long time here on Twins Daily. Ever since the 2016 season ended and Minnesota officially claimed the top pick in this June's draft, he has fronted the list of candidates to become their selection. Many months later, he remains in the high esteem of scouts and analysts. Baseball America has him at the top of their board. So does MLB.com. The reasons are evident. As a pitcher, Greene has the makings of a generational stud. His fastball has been clocked at triple digits many times, and he routinely maintains high-90s velocity deep into games. What's more, he brings this heat with an easy motion that doesn't raise alarms about mechanical issues down the line. In his prep career with Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA, Greene posted a 1.62 ERA over 121 innings. As a senior he struck out 41 percent of the batters he faced. He belongs in the conversation for best high school right-hander ever. And then there is the other side of his game. Greene is also a smooth defensive shortstop, one who obviously has the arm to make every throw. He swings hard and generates a ton of power. There's a general belief that he could easily be an all-star as a position player, even if he doesn't stick at short. However, in that capacity Greene is more first-round pick material than first pick material. Here are some highlights via LA Daily News from his 2017 debut for Notre Dame, in which he blew several hitters away from the hill and ripped a grand slam at the plate: Greene has a commitment to UCLA but it's highly unlikely he'll honor it, unless things go awry and he falls out of the top three. Why The Twins Will Pick Him I mean, how do you pass this up? The Twins could desperately use an elite pitching prospect in their pipeline, and Greene has a chance to become THE elite pitching prospect very quickly. If he maintains his purported ability to work in the upper 90s with good command throughout entire starts, and he develops his secondary offerings at all, he can transform into an MLB rotation-fronter in fairly short order. You miss on that, and go with a safer collegiate option who proves to be merely good (or not even), and it's a mistake that haunts for many years to come. These are the stakes for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, just nine months into the job. They recognize this, and their scouts have been all over Greene every step of the way. He has been analyzed from every angle, by numerous sets of eyes. If the Twins, through their rigorous evaluations, agree with the widely held opinion that Greene is essentially a can't-miss – particularly with the fallback as a talented position player should pitching not work out – then they will take him. Why The Twins Will Not Pick Him Unless we're getting smokescreens, it would appear the Twins are in fact not reaching that conclusion. In mid-May, USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale tweeted that the Twins were "leaning toward passing on" Greene. Ten days later, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported this more firmly, "barring a late change." If true, it's not clear what would happen to reverse their mindset at this stage, other than someone else on the board getting hurt. Here's the thing: Greene is really, really risky. And with the aforementioned stakes at play, it may just be too much risk to handle at this pick. No right-handed prep pitcher has ever gone first overall, and there is a reason for it: they are really difficult to project from this stage. Kohl Stewart was considered the best high school hurler in the nation when the Twins took him fourth overall in 2013. His stuff never developed enough to dominate in the pros, however, and four years later he's completely off the prospect radar. The following year, Tyler Kolek – a Texas HS righty who, like Greene, was known for his eye-popping velocity as a teen – went second overall to Miami. He required Tommy John surgery at the age of 20, and is still now rehabbing. When he has pitched, the numbers haven't been good. Greene is on a higher plane than either, to be sure, but the cautionary tales still resonate. And like any high school player, he has question marks. Opinions differ on whether his secondary pitches are up to par. Commanding the zone at his level of competition is vastly different from doing so against professional hitters. And while he is well built physically, with relatively sound mechanics, you cannot help but wonder how throwing hundreds of 95-plus MPH pitches at such a young age is cumulatively affecting his arm. The Twins, and other organizations, haven't seen that arm in action since mid-April, when Greene was shut down for precautionary reasons. There's simply a lot more data available on guys like Kyle Wright and Brendan McKay. This new front office likes data. Then again, everyone likes triple-digit heat and seemingly endless potential. Will Greene's uniquely high ceiling rule out? Or have the Twins seen enough in their extensive examinations to scare them away? Reports suggest the latter, but we shall see how it plays out on Monday. Make sure to check out Jeremy Nygaard's 10-round Twins mock draft. He's been known to get a few right in the past. Previous Draft Profiles: Brendan McKay, SP/1B by Cody Christie Royce Lewis, SS/OF by Nick Nelson Pavin Smith, 1B by Tom Froemming Click here to view the article
  15. Who Is He? We have been following Greene for a long time here on Twins Daily. Ever since the 2016 season ended and Minnesota officially claimed the top pick in this June's draft, he has fronted the list of candidates to become their selection. Many months later, he remains in the high esteem of scouts and analysts. Baseball America has him at the top of their board. So does MLB.com. The reasons are evident. As a pitcher, Greene has the makings of a generational stud. His fastball has been clocked at triple digits many times, and he routinely maintains high-90s velocity deep into games. What's more, he brings this heat with an easy motion that doesn't raise alarms about mechanical issues down the line. In his prep career with Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA, Greene posted a 1.62 ERA over 121 innings. As a senior he struck out 41 percent of the batters he faced. He belongs in the conversation for best high school right-hander ever. And then there is the other side of his game. Greene is also a smooth defensive shortstop, one who obviously has the arm to make every throw. He swings hard and generates a ton of power. There's a general belief that he could easily be an all-star as a position player, even if he doesn't stick at short. However, in that capacity Greene is more first-round pick material than first pick material. Here are some highlights via LA Daily News from his 2017 debut for Notre Dame, in which he blew several hitters away from the hill and ripped a grand slam at the plate: Greene has a commitment to UCLA but it's highly unlikely he'll honor it, unless things go awry and he falls out of the top three. Why The Twins Will Pick Him I mean, how do you pass this up? The Twins could desperately use an elite pitching prospect in their pipeline, and Greene has a chance to become THE elite pitching prospect very quickly. If he maintains his purported ability to work in the upper 90s with good command throughout entire starts, and he develops his secondary offerings at all, he can transform into an MLB rotation-fronter in fairly short order. You miss on that, and go with a safer collegiate option who proves to be merely good (or not even), and it's a mistake that haunts for many years to come. These are the stakes for Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, just nine months into the job. They recognize this, and their scouts have been all over Greene every step of the way. He has been analyzed from every angle, by numerous sets of eyes. If the Twins, through their rigorous evaluations, agree with the widely held opinion that Greene is essentially a can't-miss – particularly with the fallback as a talented position player should pitching not work out – then they will take him. Why The Twins Will Not Pick Him Unless we're getting smokescreens, it would appear the Twins are in fact not reaching that conclusion. In mid-May, USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale tweeted that the Twins were "leaning toward passing on" Greene. Ten days later, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported this more firmly, "barring a late change." If true, it's not clear what would happen to reverse their mindset at this stage, other than someone else on the board getting hurt. Here's the thing: Greene is really, really risky. And with the aforementioned stakes at play, it may just be too much risk to handle at this pick. No right-handed prep pitcher has ever gone first overall, and there is a reason for it: they are really difficult to project from this stage. Kohl Stewart was considered the best high school hurler in the nation when the Twins took him fourth overall in 2013. His stuff never developed enough to dominate in the pros, however, and four years later he's completely off the prospect radar. The following year, Tyler Kolek – a Texas HS righty who, like Greene, was known for his eye-popping velocity as a teen – went second overall to Miami. He required Tommy John surgery at the age of 20, and is still now rehabbing. When he has pitched, the numbers haven't been good. Greene is on a higher plane than either, to be sure, but the cautionary tales still resonate. And like any high school player, he has question marks. Opinions differ on whether his secondary pitches are up to par. Commanding the zone at his level of competition is vastly different from doing so against professional hitters. And while he is well built physically, with relatively sound mechanics, you cannot help but wonder how throwing hundreds of 95-plus MPH pitches at such a young age is cumulatively affecting his arm. The Twins, and other organizations, haven't seen that arm in action since mid-April, when Greene was shut down for precautionary reasons. There's simply a lot more data available on guys like Kyle Wright and Brendan McKay. This new front office likes data. Then again, everyone likes triple-digit heat and seemingly endless potential. Will Greene's uniquely high ceiling rule out? Or have the Twins seen enough in their extensive examinations to scare them away? Reports suggest the latter, but we shall see how it plays out on Monday. Make sure to check out Jeremy Nygaard's 10-round Twins mock draft. He's been known to get a few right in the past. Previous Draft Profiles: Brendan McKay, SP/1B by Cody Christie Royce Lewis, SS/OF by Nick Nelson Pavin Smith, 1B by Tom Froemming
  16. Taking A Chance There has never been a right-handed high school pitcher taken with the first overall pick. Greene could become the first but there are so many factors that come into developing a high school arm. He is a raw product whose edges would need to be refined over the next 4-5 seasons in the Twins farm system. Organizationally, the Twins haven't had the best track record when it comes to developing pitchers. Kohl Stewart and Tyler Jay have both been taken with high first round picks since 2013. Jay was supposed to develop into a top flight starter but the Twins have already moved him to the bullpen. Stewart has shown flashes of being strong but his ERA is north of 5.00 at Double-A. One of the reasons Falvey was hired by the Twins was to revamp the pitching staff. "He made it his, probably his passion, to understand pitching and the delivery," Indians manager Terry Francona told the Star Tribune. "We go to him a lot with questions. If he doesn't have the answer, he'll go find it." When asked if there was a temptation of taking Greene, Falvey said, "We want to line it up and take the best player that has the best possibility to affect us long term, and sometimes that will be a high school player and sometimes it will be a college player." Falvey could want the challenge of developing Greene or he might have seen enough of him this spring to know that taking a chance isn't the right move. West Coast Kid Greene has grown up and played almost exclusively on the West Coast. With the Padres sitting with the number three pick, rumors have been swirling about Greene wanting to stay close to home. Baseball America reported, "The rumors of he and his family attempting to maneuver his way to the No. 3 pick with the Padres are a poorly kept secret." Baseball America also stated, "The Padres' throwing program is more in line with Greene's program." Every young kid is going to want play near his friends and family. The weather in southern California would be a little more pleasant than the in the upper midwest. He'd also be part of a National League organization where he'd still have the opportunity to bat on a regular basis. If Greene's family really doesn't want him playing in Minnesota, they could pressure the Twins with some high demands that might persuade the club into taking a college option. Weighing The Cost Because the Twins have the first pick and other high picks, they have the largest bonus pool in the draft. The Twins' top draft slot is set at $7,770,700 which is roughly $1.25 million less than what the Philles were slotted for with the top pick in last year's draft. Baseball switched over to the current slotting rules five years ago. Dansby Swanson has been the only top pick to receive the highest signing bonus. In 2012, the Twins gave out the highest bonus to Byron Buxton after the Astros worked a deal with Carlos Correa. Houston was able to use the savings to take Lance McCullers and Rio Ruiz with some of their other early picks. Since he is a high school player, Greene is going to want the highest bonus in the draft. Minnesota could do something similar to what Houston did in 2012. By signing McKay or Wright to a smaller bonus than Greene, the Twins could use that savings to go over slot on the 35th and 37th picks. However, the Twins might believe Greene is the best available player and take him no matter the cost. What are your feelings as the draft moves closer? Is Greene going to haunt the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  17. In the fourth and final installment of a conversation with Keith Law, we discussed what goes into the thinking when a team has the #1 overall pick in the draft. What factors would he use if he was the scouting director for the team with the top selection? I think his response speaks very well to the fact that it is not an easy decision this year. Law’s comments about the options remind us that there are choices at number one, that it’s not a slam dunk choice. One more reminder, tonight at 6:30, Keith Law will appear with fellow baseball authors Peter Schilling, Jr., and Michael Fallon for a book reading, discussion and signing. Head to Moon Palace Books in southeast Minneapolis to be a part of this event. Get your copy of Smart Baseball signed by Keith Law. We all know the catch phrase that teams like to use when talking about early draft picks. “Best Player Available” is the popular, and correct, thing to do. Who will be the best player in the minds of your scouting department? That is the player you want. However, there are many factors that a scouting department will consider in determining who they will select and invest millions of dollars.I asked Keith Law for his general thoughts on what a team should consider when making the #1 overall pick. “My personal philosophy… The history of the #1 pick, you are more likely to get a generational talent or an all-world sort of player than any other spot. It’s a rare opportunity. Of course, you never want to pick there again.” The top player on Law’s board is the top player on most people’s board right now, though even now that is subject to change. “If you look at Hunter Greene, the 17-year-old high school right-handed pitcher/shortstop from Southern California, he’s first on my rankings, and I believe he’s first on MLB.com’s too. I think he has a chance to be an absolute superstar. I would take him recognizing the risk, but you want to roll the dice on a chance to get a franchise-defining sort of player. However, that is simply my philosophy, and it isn’t my money so it’s pretty easy for me to say that.” Money is a factor. While the draft slots have changed a bit this year, teams at the top - those with the most slotted money available to use - can still be creative. The best example in recent years was the Astros selecting Carlos Correa first overall in 2012 and signing him for well under slot value. They then used the extra slot money to select Lance McCullers and Rio Ruiz later. Could the Twins consider that strategy? Should they? “And money is always a factor. If Hunter Greene wants $8 million and Kyle Wright of Vanderbilt says he’ll sign for $5 million, you might be able to do great things with that $3 million in savings.” Law continued, “Taking Wright, even if you don’t believe he’s the best player, may be the better choice because of the value. They have one extra pick and another at the top of the second round, you can overpay guys later and get more talent in total.” With the Twins farm system lacking the high-end talent (as we discussed in Part 3), adding three high-quality prospects in the draft certainly sounds appealing. We don’t know what Greene or Wright or McKay or others would ask. Those discussions will start occurring in the coming weeks. But the strategy is sound.” With the #1 overall pick, you simply cannot take a guy who busts completely. Ceiling is great, but floor likely comes into play as well. Law explains, “There is another philosophy that says if you pick first, you don't want to zero out on that. Hunter Greene is a high school right-hander. No high school right-hander has ever gone first overall. It’s risky. Maybe you take Wright, who’s at Vanderbilt, who’s the best college pitcher in the class for me. He’s been pitching out of his mind the last month. He’s got size. He’s got stuff. He’s got command. I mean, Vanderbilt is as good of pedigree as you can get for a pitcher. So maybe you say, we know that guy’s a big league starter. He’s at least a three, probably a two, and he might be a one. That’s good. You would take that. Especially the Twins. They’ve struggled to develop good young starting pitcher. You would take that.” In summary, Law agrees that Greene presents the highest ceiling. However, he comes with a lot of risk. Wright has a high ceiling, though not as high as Greene, but his floor is most likely significantly higher too. “Would you take that if I told you that in passing on Hunter Greene, there’s a 30% chance you’re passing on Bob Gibson. Maybe Hall of Famer is a bit much, but a multiple-time All-Star, a Cy Young contender in Greene. He might be that.” Law recently had the opportunity to see Greene and talk with him for an upcoming story. He came away incredibly impressed. “He might get to the big leagues by 20. He’s 17, and I got to interview him a couple of weeks ago. This is an impressive person. It’s an impressive body. You don’t see kids like that. I see kids all the time for the job. I don’t see many kids build like that, athletic like that, loose like that, still projectable and already throwing in the upper-90s.” With the Twins having so many young players in their pre-arbitration and pre-free agency years, maybe there is a goal to get someone who can help more quickly. “At the same time, do you want to wait 3-5 years for a high school pitcher, or do you want to take the college pitcher who could be in your rotation in 12 months?” These are all factors and considerations that Twins first-year Scouting Director Sean Johnson has likely thrown around in his head, and thrown off of all of the area scouts, and thrown off of Derek Falvey, Thad Levine and others. Simply, there isn’t an easy #1 overall choice in the 2017. There isn’t a Stephen Strasburg, there there isn’t a Bryce Harper. Making it even more difficult, Law acknowledges there are likely more than just the two players (Greene and Wright). “I could go back and forth, and I could make a good case for either side. Those are just two of them. You will hear Brendan McKay’s name though he’s falling off at this point. But he may still be a strong consideration at one. There are other names in this group because there’s not a hitter. There’s not a Bryce Harper where you look and say that’s a sure thing. The bat plays and he’s got power. I can check off a bunch of things that are virtual guarantees. We’re talking about pitchers, and pitchers are scary. I’ve been in draft rooms with Toronto where we took pitchers and we were sure of what we were getting, and we didn’t get that.” I mentioned to Law that I had just done a radio spot and when asked who I would take with the #1 pick, I surprised the show’s hosts by saying Kyle Wright. Law made me feel better about my (admittedly hypothetical) selection. “You’re not wrong. I guess there are wrong answers, but Kyle Wright is not a wrong answer. I don’t know if there’s really one right answer this year.” McKay’s name has surfaced with the Twin and the top overall pick. Those voices have seemingly quieted of late. And it’s because of the things scouts (and fans) have seen the last couple of weekends. “When I saw him in February, he was 90-95. We’ve had reports from the last two weekends where he’s been upper-80s and topping out at (91 or 92). That’s a little concerning. He was never overpowering. He’s going to live by command, by mixing his pitches. Now you’re telling me it’s an average fastball? It’s not a high school kid's where you’ve projecting it to get better. It’s a college arm thinking this is probably what it is. That would worry me. He’s still a good pitcher, but at this point, if I were in Falvey’s shoes, I’d say we’re not doing that at one. So what do you think? There are a lot of ways to think about who the Twins should draft with the first overall pick. All of them make sense. Things to consider include: CeilingFloorLikelihood of reaching ceilingFinancial creativity (can you get two of three high-level talents by signing someone for less at one?)TimelinesI would really like to thank Keith Law for spending some time talking to me the other day about a variety of topics. It was a nice conversation that felt like it could have gone much longer. One more time, you’ve got the opportunity tonight to rub elbows with Keith Law, hear a reading of his new book Smart Baseball, listen to some baseball discussion and get autographs. 6:30 tonight at Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis. If you missed any of the previous article, here they are: Part 1 - Keith Law On Smart Baseball Part 2 - Keith Law On Derek Falvey And The 2017 Twins Part 3 - Keith Law On The Twins Minor Leagues Click here to view the article
  18. I asked Keith Law for his general thoughts on what a team should consider when making the #1 overall pick. “My personal philosophy… The history of the #1 pick, you are more likely to get a generational talent or an all-world sort of player than any other spot. It’s a rare opportunity. Of course, you never want to pick there again.” The top player on Law’s board is the top player on most people’s board right now, though even now that is subject to change. “If you look at Hunter Greene, the 17-year-old high school right-handed pitcher/shortstop from Southern California, he’s first on my rankings, and I believe he’s first on MLB.com’s too. I think he has a chance to be an absolute superstar. I would take him recognizing the risk, but you want to roll the dice on a chance to get a franchise-defining sort of player. However, that is simply my philosophy, and it isn’t my money so it’s pretty easy for me to say that.” Money is a factor. While the draft slots have changed a bit this year, teams at the top - those with the most slotted money available to use - can still be creative. The best example in recent years was the Astros selecting Carlos Correa first overall in 2012 and signing him for well under slot value. They then used the extra slot money to select Lance McCullers and Rio Ruiz later. Could the Twins consider that strategy? Should they? “And money is always a factor. If Hunter Greene wants $8 million and Kyle Wright of Vanderbilt says he’ll sign for $5 million, you might be able to do great things with that $3 million in savings.” Law continued, “Taking Wright, even if you don’t believe he’s the best player, may be the better choice because of the value. They have one extra pick and another at the top of the second round, you can overpay guys later and get more talent in total.” With the Twins farm system lacking the high-end talent (as we discussed in Part 3), adding three high-quality prospects in the draft certainly sounds appealing. We don’t know what Greene or Wright or McKay or others would ask. Those discussions will start occurring in the coming weeks. But the strategy is sound.” With the #1 overall pick, you simply cannot take a guy who busts completely. Ceiling is great, but floor likely comes into play as well. Law explains, “There is another philosophy that says if you pick first, you don't want to zero out on that. Hunter Greene is a high school right-hander. No high school right-hander has ever gone first overall. It’s risky. Maybe you take Wright, who’s at Vanderbilt, who’s the best college pitcher in the class for me. He’s been pitching out of his mind the last month. He’s got size. He’s got stuff. He’s got command. I mean, Vanderbilt is as good of pedigree as you can get for a pitcher. So maybe you say, we know that guy’s a big league starter. He’s at least a three, probably a two, and he might be a one. That’s good. You would take that. Especially the Twins. They’ve struggled to develop good young starting pitcher. You would take that.” In summary, Law agrees that Greene presents the highest ceiling. However, he comes with a lot of risk. Wright has a high ceiling, though not as high as Greene, but his floor is most likely significantly higher too. “Would you take that if I told you that in passing on Hunter Greene, there’s a 30% chance you’re passing on Bob Gibson. Maybe Hall of Famer is a bit much, but a multiple-time All-Star, a Cy Young contender in Greene. He might be that.” Law recently had the opportunity to see Greene and talk with him for an upcoming story. He came away incredibly impressed. “He might get to the big leagues by 20. He’s 17, and I got to interview him a couple of weeks ago. This is an impressive person. It’s an impressive body. You don’t see kids like that. I see kids all the time for the job. I don’t see many kids build like that, athletic like that, loose like that, still projectable and already throwing in the upper-90s.” With the Twins having so many young players in their pre-arbitration and pre-free agency years, maybe there is a goal to get someone who can help more quickly. “At the same time, do you want to wait 3-5 years for a high school pitcher, or do you want to take the college pitcher who could be in your rotation in 12 months?” These are all factors and considerations that Twins first-year Scouting Director Sean Johnson has likely thrown around in his head, and thrown off of all of the area scouts, and thrown off of Derek Falvey, Thad Levine and others. Simply, there isn’t an easy #1 overall choice in the 2017. There isn’t a Stephen Strasburg, there there isn’t a Bryce Harper. Making it even more difficult, Law acknowledges there are likely more than just the two players (Greene and Wright). “I could go back and forth, and I could make a good case for either side. Those are just two of them. You will hear Brendan McKay’s name though he’s falling off at this point. But he may still be a strong consideration at one. There are other names in this group because there’s not a hitter. There’s not a Bryce Harper where you look and say that’s a sure thing. The bat plays and he’s got power. I can check off a bunch of things that are virtual guarantees. We’re talking about pitchers, and pitchers are scary. I’ve been in draft rooms with Toronto where we took pitchers and we were sure of what we were getting, and we didn’t get that.” I mentioned to Law that I had just done a radio spot and when asked who I would take with the #1 pick, I surprised the show’s hosts by saying Kyle Wright. Law made me feel better about my (admittedly hypothetical) selection. “You’re not wrong. I guess there are wrong answers, but Kyle Wright is not a wrong answer. I don’t know if there’s really one right answer this year.” McKay’s name has surfaced with the Twin and the top overall pick. Those voices have seemingly quieted of late. And it’s because of the things scouts (and fans) have seen the last couple of weekends. “When I saw him in February, he was 90-95. We’ve had reports from the last two weekends where he’s been upper-80s and topping out at (91 or 92). That’s a little concerning. He was never overpowering. He’s going to live by command, by mixing his pitches. Now you’re telling me it’s an average fastball? It’s not a high school kid's where you’ve projecting it to get better. It’s a college arm thinking this is probably what it is. That would worry me. He’s still a good pitcher, but at this point, if I were in Falvey’s shoes, I’d say we’re not doing that at one. So what do you think? There are a lot of ways to think about who the Twins should draft with the first overall pick. All of them make sense. Things to consider include: Ceiling Floor Likelihood of reaching ceiling Financial creativity (can you get two of three high-level talents by signing someone for less at one?) Timelines I would really like to thank Keith Law for spending some time talking to me the other day about a variety of topics. It was a nice conversation that felt like it could have gone much longer. One more time, you’ve got the opportunity tonight to rub elbows with Keith Law, hear a reading of his new book Smart Baseball, listen to some baseball discussion and get autographs. 6:30 tonight at Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis. If you missed any of the previous article, here they are: Part 1 - Keith Law On Smart Baseball Part 2 - Keith Law On Derek Falvey And The 2017 Twins Part 3 - Keith Law On The Twins Minor Leagues
  19. HUNTER GREENE Let's talk about everyone's favorite prospect first. On Wednesday the newest edition of Sports Illustrated will hit the shelves. On the cover... you guessed it. Greene. Next to his picture are phrases like: "Baseball's LeBron or the New Babe?" and proclaiming Greene as the star "baseball needs." Read the article but be warned, you're going to like Greene even more. Greene has also been the focus of rumors that he's trying to force his way down the draft to his hometown Padres at #3. Those rumors have been floating around in the Twitter-sphere for a bit. In a recent conversation with Greene, he addressed the internet issues, simply saying they're "not true." And to be honest. I don't care if they are or if they aren't. We all have jobs and those jobs are - more than likely - in places that we choose to work. He's grown up on the west coast, worked his tail off on the west coast, and if his preference is to be baseball's next star on the west coast, would you blame him? With all that being said, as of today, I think these internet rumors have been way overblown. On another note, Greene's next start hasn't been scheduled. And no one knows if it will happen again this season or not. I'm still leaning that it will. BRENDAN MCKAY So if Greene isn't the guy, it's gotta be the best pitcher in college baseball right? Or will it be the best power hitter in college baseball? It could be both. On Tuesday, McKay, who one scout told me might be the greatest college baseball player of all time, hit four home runs. The feeling for quite some time is that McKay is a pitcher who could debut in the major leagues in 2018 and fit in the top half of the rotation for years to come. But how do you ignore the bat? With a bat as good as his is, do you dare to get creative and continue to let him hit? You can't completely dismiss that possibility. But how realistic that is remains to be seen. I think the temptation then would be to think that either of Greene or McKay could be two-way guys. But McKay has the leg up there because it would be easier to DH his bat (or play it at first base) than to have Greene play shortstop in between starts. The likely reality, though, is that you can't do that. With either. When you draft either of these guys, you're drafting a pitcher. I was asked today what I would do. If things are equal, I'd take Greene. But what if, through negotiations, you realize you could draft McKay and sign him for $500k less than what Greene wants? What if that number is $750k? What if there is a third player that you like almost as much that will sign for $1.5 million less? This is the question the Twins will have to ask themselves. And answer.
  20. The draft is quickly approaching (but still seems like a lifetime away). Twins Daily's draft coverage is being mapped out. But as of today, there are two major players as candidates for the first overall pick in June's draft and both of those players have made headlines.HUNTER GREENE Let's talk about everyone's favorite prospect first. On Wednesday the newest edition of Sports Illustrated will hit the shelves. On the cover... you guessed it. Greene. Next to his picture are phrases like: "Baseball's LeBron or the New Babe?" and proclaiming Greene as the star "baseball needs." Read the article but be warned, you're going to like Greene even more. Greene has also been the focus of rumors that he's trying to force his way down the draft to his hometown Padres at #3. Those rumors have been floating around in the Twitter-sphere for a bit. In a recent conversation with Greene, he addressed the internet issues, simply saying they're "not true." And to be honest. I don't care if they are or if they aren't. We all have jobs and those jobs are - more than likely - in places that we choose to work. He's grown up on the west coast, worked his tail off on the west coast, and if his preference is to be baseball's next star on the west coast, would you blame him? With all that being said, as of today, I think these internet rumors have been way overblown. On another note, Greene's next start hasn't been scheduled. And no one knows if it will happen again this season or not. I'm still leaning that it will. BRENDAN MCKAY So if Greene isn't the guy, it's gotta be the best pitcher in college baseball right? Or will it be the best power hitter in college baseball? It could be both. On Tuesday, McKay, who one scout told me might be the greatest college baseball player of all time, hit four home runs. The feeling for quite some time is that McKay is a pitcher who could debut in the major leagues in 2018 and fit in the top half of the rotation for years to come. But how do you ignore the bat? With a bat as good as his is, do you dare to get creative and continue to let him hit? You can't completely dismiss that possibility. But how realistic that is remains to be seen. I think the temptation then would be to think that either of Greene or McKay could be two-way guys. But McKay has the leg up there because it would be easier to DH his bat (or play it at first base) than to have Greene play shortstop in between starts. The likely reality, though, is that you can't do that. With either. When you draft either of these guys, you're drafting a pitcher. I was asked today what I would do. If things are equal, I'd take Greene. But what if, through negotiations, you realize you could draft McKay and sign him for $500k less than what Greene wants? What if that number is $750k? What if there is a third player that you like almost as much that will sign for $1.5 million less? This is the question the Twins will have to ask themselves. And answer. Click here to view the article
  21. According to various reports, Greene sat at 98-99 with his fastball. Some radar guns even flashed triple digits. Throughout his 91-pitch, 13-strikeout, complete-game outing, his fastball never dipped below 95. Greene also flashed a devastating slider. You can see Green throw one pitch, with the Twins crew in the background below: Greene has become the darling of the draft. He's helped the poor by doing a sock drive, collecting socks in exchange for autographed cards. (And I missed the deadline... but he still sent the cards.) He's gone through hard family times as his younger sister dealt with leukemia. He's shown his personality through his social media. On the field, he's proven to be, perhaps, the most unique prep right-handed pitcher in recent memory (or ever?) and strives to make history as the first ever high school right handed pitcher to go first overall. He's also a pretty darned good shortstop. In a draft that doesn't include any top notch college stars, Greene continues to shine brightly and is becoming a cult hero in Twins Territory. --- Check back for updates.
  22. Friday night didn't only signify the first time a Twins club started a season 4-0 since 1987. It also signified the first time CBO Derek Falvey got to see high school prep pitching phenom Hunter Greene in person. Falvey was one of five people representing the Twins organization, which also included scouting director Sean Johnson.According to various reports, Greene sat at 98-99 with his fastball. Some radar guns even flashed triple digits. Throughout his 91-pitch, 13-strikeout, complete-game outing, his fastball never dipped below 95. Greene also flashed a devastating slider. You can see Green throw one pitch, with the Twins crew in the background below: Greene has become the darling of the draft. He's helped the poor by doing a sock drive, collecting socks in exchange for autographed cards. (And I missed the deadline... but he still sent the cards.) He's gone through hard family times as his younger sister dealt with leukemia. He's shown his personality through his social media. On the field, he's proven to be, perhaps, the most unique prep right-handed pitcher in recent memory (or ever?) and strives to make history as the first ever high school right handed pitcher to go first overall. He's also a pretty darned good shortstop. In a draft that doesn't include any top notch college stars, Greene continues to shine brightly and is becoming a cult hero in Twins Territory. --- Check back for updates. Click here to view the article
  23. Hunter Greene, RHP, California prep. Greene made his regular-season debut on Saturday and lived up to the hype. He struck out seven batters in five innings. He allowed two walks on the day and two runs on two hits (and a balk) in the first inning. His fastball was reportedly clocked as high as 97 mph. The highlight of the day, though, was when Greene hit a grand-slam to give his team a 5-2 lead. He finished the 10-3 win playing shortstop. You can follow Greene throughout the spring right here at Twins Daily. Judging by his team’s schedule, he will likely throw again next Saturday. The Twins were definitely in attendance on Saturday, though I was unable to confirm who was scouting the game. Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt. You might say that Wright has been up-and-down-and-then-back-up so far this season. In inning one of game one last week, Wright was mid-to-high 90s for an inning. But then he dropped to the low 90s for the next four innings, walking (three) more than he struck out (two). His outing was done after five frames and he didn’t show any sort of breaking ball. Friday night was a different story. Over 93 pitches in six innings, Wright struck out seven, allowing a run on four hits (but no walks). He worked in the low-to-mid 90s, touching 97 mph and showing a plus curveball. Wright has the stuff #1 overall draft picks (and front-end pitchers) are made of. For me, Wright is the leader in a very tightly-contested college pitching class. Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt. Kendall started off his weekend with a bang: a 436' bomb to centerfield. He added a hustle-double later in the game and finished 2-for-5. Saturday’s game highlighted the biggest issue that Kendall has: he struck out four times (twice looking, twice swinging) and was intentionally walked in his fifth plate appearance. On Sunday, Kendall went 0-for-5 with an extra-inning strikeout. He also failed to bunt successfully earlier in the game. Kendall was asked to bunt last week and ended up bunting into the air, causing a game-ending double-play. Kendall’s speed, arm strength and pretty left-handed stroke along with his potential to hit home runs and play center field make him a five-tool prospect. But those tools come with a few question marks that were highlighted over the last three games. Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida. On a similar path as Wright - Faedo struggled in a 4.2 inning, four-run showing in his debut - game two was a bounce-back. Against rival Miami, Faedo was one out short of a complete game, allowing only two hits and striking out eight. He was replaced in the ninth inning after a two-out error was followed by a full-count walk, his first and only walk of the game. He threw 119 pitches. Though I couldn’t connect with anyone who was at the game, there are reports that he had “full command” of “nasty” arsenal, which includes a low-to-mid 90s fastball with movement, a very good slider and a developing change-up. Royce Lewis, SS, California prep. The JSerra Catholic High School athlete will begin answering questions about whether he can stick at shortstop when his season kicks off on March 11. --- Though there is no official “board” anywhere in any Twins front office member’s office, Greene’s name sits atop the unofficial board I’ll be updating over the next few months. I’d put both Faedo and Wright slightly in front of Kendall. Lewis remains a bit of a dark horse until he starts to play, but the Twins are high on his potential. Hunter Greene Kyle Wright Royce Lewis Alex Faedo Jeren Kendall How does your board look? -- Hrbowski also posted on some draft prospects this weekend.
  24. Despite the snow that hit parts of the midwest and the return to winter for many of the rest of the reading area, baseball is back alive and well. As the Twins kicked off their exhibition season, many colleges and high schools around the nation also started (or continued) their seasons. That means draft season has officially kicked off. How did the top draft prospects do?Hunter Greene, RHP, California prep. Greene made his regular-season debut on Saturday and lived up to the hype. He struck out seven batters in five innings. He allowed two walks on the day and two runs on two hits (and a balk) in the first inning. His fastball was reportedly clocked as high as 97 mph. The highlight of the day, though, was when Greene hit a grand-slam to give his team a 5-2 lead. He finished the 10-3 win playing shortstop. You can follow Greene throughout the spring right here at Twins Daily. Judging by his team’s schedule, he will likely throw again next Saturday. The Twins were definitely in attendance on Saturday, though I was unable to confirm who was scouting the game. Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt. You might say that Wright has been up-and-down-and-then-back-up so far this season. In inning one of game one last week, Wright was mid-to-high 90s for an inning. But then he dropped to the low 90s for the next four innings, walking (three) more than he struck out (two). His outing was done after five frames and he didn’t show any sort of breaking ball. Friday night was a different story. Over 93 pitches in six innings, Wright struck out seven, allowing a run on four hits (but no walks). He worked in the low-to-mid 90s, touching 97 mph and showing a plus curveball. Wright has the stuff #1 overall draft picks (and front-end pitchers) are made of. For me, Wright is the leader in a very tightly-contested college pitching class. Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt. Kendall started off his weekend with a bang: a 436' bomb to centerfield. He added a hustle-double later in the game and finished 2-for-5. Saturday’s game highlighted the biggest issue that Kendall has: he struck out four times (twice looking, twice swinging) and was intentionally walked in his fifth plate appearance. On Sunday, Kendall went 0-for-5 with an extra-inning strikeout. He also failed to bunt successfully earlier in the game. Kendall was asked to bunt last week and ended up bunting into the air, causing a game-ending double-play. Kendall’s speed, arm strength and pretty left-handed stroke along with his potential to hit home runs and play center field make him a five-tool prospect. But those tools come with a few question marks that were highlighted over the last three games. Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida. On a similar path as Wright - Faedo struggled in a 4.2 inning, four-run showing in his debut - game two was a bounce-back. Against rival Miami, Faedo was one out short of a complete game, allowing only two hits and striking out eight. He was replaced in the ninth inning after a two-out error was followed by a full-count walk, his first and only walk of the game. He threw 119 pitches. Though I couldn’t connect with anyone who was at the game, there are reports that he had “full command” of “nasty” arsenal, which includes a low-to-mid 90s fastball with movement, a very good slider and a developing change-up. Royce Lewis, SS, California prep. The JSerra Catholic High School athlete will begin answering questions about whether he can stick at shortstop when his season kicks off on March 11. --- Though there is no official “board” anywhere in any Twins front office member’s office, Greene’s name sits atop the unofficial board I’ll be updating over the next few months. I’d put both Faedo and Wright slightly in front of Kendall. Lewis remains a bit of a dark horse until he starts to play, but the Twins are high on his potential. Hunter GreeneKyle WrightRoyce LewisAlex FaedoJeren KendallHow does your board look? -- Hrbowski also posted on some draft prospects this weekend. Click here to view the article
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