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  1. The draft will take place just over 50 days from now. Unlike most other drafts, seven-plus weeks is just too far away to forecast with any certainty how the draft is going to go. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try! 1.) Orioles - Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly - This just seems like the most Orioles-type pick they could make. A college talent who can hit and plays a premium position. Oh, and he’s probably more likely to save them a few dollars for later than the higher-profile prospects. 2.) Diamondbacks - Druw Jones, OF, Georgia HS - I would imagine this is the ideal scenario for the Diamondbacks and their fans. 3.) Rangers - Jackson Holliday, SS, Oklahoma HS - My mind says “college bat,” but this is too early to go there (with the exception of Lee). My heart says “Jackson Holliday is just a four-hour trip up I-35” and that’s fun for Rangers fans. I do think Holliday to Colorado or St. Louis would be a great story… that’s not getting written. 4.) Pirates - Cole Young, SS, Pennsylvania HS - If you’ve only been following the draft here, this is a new name. If you saw Law’s last mock, you saw Young to the Twins at 8. The Pirates need help and maybe going the local route can help eventually ignite a spark between Ke’Bryan Hayes and Nick Gonzales. 5.) Nationals - Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech - Where there is smoke, there is fire. And there’s plenty of smoke with the Nationals and Parada. 6.) Marlins - Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy - Green could certainly go earlier, but the swing-and-miss in his game has his trajectory going the wrong way. There’s still time to turn it around. 7.) Cubs - Termarr Johnson, 2B, Georgia HS - The fifth prep bat to go is largely considered the best hitter in this class. If only he had a true defensive position. 8.) Twins - Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC - The Twins love a few things more than others: bloodlines, analytics and advanced hitters. The son of a former major leaguer, Collier’s young for JC and impressing with the bat. It seems to just make a lot of sense. 9.) Royals - Brock Porter, RHP, Michigan Prep - The first pitcher off the board. I think there are a couple of names that we’ll see later that could push their way up into this spot 10.) Rockies - Jacob Berry, DH, LSU - Berry dropping to 10 might have more to do with my personal preference to have him not be a Twin than any industry sentiment. I guess if I was running a team, I’d be less inclined to draft a guy without a defensive home. But there’s a reason I’m not running a team. 11.) Mets - Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech - Jung, for me, is similar to Berry, but does have some flexibility in that he could maybe man a corner if not second base. 12.) Tigers - Daniel Susac, C, Arizona - Susac or Gavin Cross is where I have the Tigers if the board played out like it has. Either would be good gets for Detroit. 13.) Angels - Connor Prielipp, RHP, Alabama - Fresh off his first bullpen, I think Prielipp keeps moving up the board. The Angels are all-in on pitching. 14.) Mets - Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech - Ultimately, I think the Mets take one hitter and one pitcher with their two high picks. And they could get creative with their bonus pool to get someone to drop to 11. (Green?) But Cross just seems like too good of value to pass on at this point. 15.) Padres - Dylan Lesko, P, Georgia HS - The Padres aren’t averse to taking a risk or spending money, so this just makes a ton of sense. 16.) Guardians - Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison - DeLauter is injured, but would be a good value pick by Cleveland. DeLauter’s value has dropped some in the last couple of months. 17.) Phillies - Brandon Berriera, RHP, Florida prep - The Phillies are a team considered most-likely to draft a prep pitcher and Berriera had improved his stock before shutting it down for the season. 18.) Reds - Justin Crawford, OF, Nevada HS - Carl’s kid is a high-ceiling prospect and the Reds fan base can use some excitement. 19.) A’s - Zach Neto, SS, Campbell - Sometimes when you fill out a mock you see a team and a prospect and just say, “Yep, that makes sense.” 20.) Braves - Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga - Hughes could go earlier for sure, but the Braves have gone college pitching for a few years, so Hughes’ slide ends here. 21.) Mariners - Blake Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee - Mariners go the right-handed college pitching route for the fourth time in five years. 22.) Cardinals - Robby Snelling, LHP, Nevada HS - Prep pitchers always have a huge range of possibilities. Snelling has a LSU commitment and helium, so who knows what his price tag will be. 23.) Blue Jays - Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida - Thompson has been impressive this year and if there’s one thing the Blue Jays need it’s more hitters. (Please sense the heavy sarcasm.) 24.) Red Sox - Jett Williams, SS, Texas Prep - The Red Sox have had success with tiny infielders before, haven’t they? 25.) Yankees - Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State - Which stud will the Yankees acquire when they trade Hjerpe? 26.) White Sox - Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee - When an AL Central team comes on the clock, I mostly follow the “which player would I least like to see them pick?” pattern. Beck seems like a player would could take off in pro ball. 27.) Brewers - Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt/Indy ball - Rocker could make a lot of sense for almost any team. I debated between Brock Jones and Carson Whisenhunt at this point, but considering how creative the Brewers are in using their pitchers, drafting Rocker and putting him on the fast-track makes a lot of sense. 28.) Astros - Jud Fabian, OF, Florida - This is another one of those fits that just seems to make too much sense. 29.) Rays - Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina - The Rays have a way and Whisenhunt, who is suspended for the year, would be a perfect fit for them and their way with pitchers. 30.) Giants - Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas - Pallette would be off the board already if it weren’t for January Tommy John surgery. Compared a lot to Walker Buehler, the Giants look to get their own version of the current Dodger stud. MOCK DRAFTS / PROSPECT BOARDS Baseball America - v3.0 (4/28/22) / (v2.0 (4/1/22) / v1.0 (2/10/22) / Top 300 (4/27/22) / Staff Draft v.1.0 (4/20/22) MLB.com - Mayo Mock Draft (5/18/22) / Callis Mock Draft (5/11/22) / Mock Draft (4/27/22) / Callis - Top 10 (12/15/21), Mayo - Top 20 (7/20/21) / Top 150 (4/25/22) The Athletic - Law Mock Draft (5/19/22) / Law Top 100 (5/5/22) / Law Top 30 (3/10/22) ESPN - Early Draft Rankings (7/26/21) ($$$ - ESPN+) / McDaniel’s Draft Rankings (2/24/22) / Draft Rankings 2.0 (4/27/22) Fangraphs - The Board / 2022 MLB Draft Rankings and Offseason List Primer (11/30/21) Prospects Live - v2.0 (4/21/22) / v1.0 (1/4/22) Just Baseball v1.0 (2/10/22) My MLB Draft (1/18/22) View full article
  2. 1.) Orioles - Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly - This just seems like the most Orioles-type pick they could make. A college talent who can hit and plays a premium position. Oh, and he’s probably more likely to save them a few dollars for later than the higher-profile prospects. 2.) Diamondbacks - Druw Jones, OF, Georgia HS - I would imagine this is the ideal scenario for the Diamondbacks and their fans. 3.) Rangers - Jackson Holliday, SS, Oklahoma HS - My mind says “college bat,” but this is too early to go there (with the exception of Lee). My heart says “Jackson Holliday is just a four-hour trip up I-35” and that’s fun for Rangers fans. I do think Holliday to Colorado or St. Louis would be a great story… that’s not getting written. 4.) Pirates - Cole Young, SS, Pennsylvania HS - If you’ve only been following the draft here, this is a new name. If you saw Law’s last mock, you saw Young to the Twins at 8. The Pirates need help and maybe going the local route can help eventually ignite a spark between Ke’Bryan Hayes and Nick Gonzales. 5.) Nationals - Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech - Where there is smoke, there is fire. And there’s plenty of smoke with the Nationals and Parada. 6.) Marlins - Elijah Green, OF, IMG Academy - Green could certainly go earlier, but the swing-and-miss in his game has his trajectory going the wrong way. There’s still time to turn it around. 7.) Cubs - Termarr Johnson, 2B, Georgia HS - The fifth prep bat to go is largely considered the best hitter in this class. If only he had a true defensive position. 8.) Twins - Cam Collier, 3B, Chipola JC - The Twins love a few things more than others: bloodlines, analytics and advanced hitters. The son of a former major leaguer, Collier’s young for JC and impressing with the bat. It seems to just make a lot of sense. 9.) Royals - Brock Porter, RHP, Michigan Prep - The first pitcher off the board. I think there are a couple of names that we’ll see later that could push their way up into this spot 10.) Rockies - Jacob Berry, DH, LSU - Berry dropping to 10 might have more to do with my personal preference to have him not be a Twin than any industry sentiment. I guess if I was running a team, I’d be less inclined to draft a guy without a defensive home. But there’s a reason I’m not running a team. 11.) Mets - Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech - Jung, for me, is similar to Berry, but does have some flexibility in that he could maybe man a corner if not second base. 12.) Tigers - Daniel Susac, C, Arizona - Susac or Gavin Cross is where I have the Tigers if the board played out like it has. Either would be good gets for Detroit. 13.) Angels - Connor Prielipp, RHP, Alabama - Fresh off his first bullpen, I think Prielipp keeps moving up the board. The Angels are all-in on pitching. 14.) Mets - Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech - Ultimately, I think the Mets take one hitter and one pitcher with their two high picks. And they could get creative with their bonus pool to get someone to drop to 11. (Green?) But Cross just seems like too good of value to pass on at this point. 15.) Padres - Dylan Lesko, P, Georgia HS - The Padres aren’t averse to taking a risk or spending money, so this just makes a ton of sense. 16.) Guardians - Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison - DeLauter is injured, but would be a good value pick by Cleveland. DeLauter’s value has dropped some in the last couple of months. 17.) Phillies - Brandon Berriera, RHP, Florida prep - The Phillies are a team considered most-likely to draft a prep pitcher and Berriera had improved his stock before shutting it down for the season. 18.) Reds - Justin Crawford, OF, Nevada HS - Carl’s kid is a high-ceiling prospect and the Reds fan base can use some excitement. 19.) A’s - Zach Neto, SS, Campbell - Sometimes when you fill out a mock you see a team and a prospect and just say, “Yep, that makes sense.” 20.) Braves - Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga - Hughes could go earlier for sure, but the Braves have gone college pitching for a few years, so Hughes’ slide ends here. 21.) Mariners - Blake Tidwell, RHP, Tennessee - Mariners go the right-handed college pitching route for the fourth time in five years. 22.) Cardinals - Robby Snelling, LHP, Nevada HS - Prep pitchers always have a huge range of possibilities. Snelling has a LSU commitment and helium, so who knows what his price tag will be. 23.) Blue Jays - Sterlin Thompson, OF, Florida - Thompson has been impressive this year and if there’s one thing the Blue Jays need it’s more hitters. (Please sense the heavy sarcasm.) 24.) Red Sox - Jett Williams, SS, Texas Prep - The Red Sox have had success with tiny infielders before, haven’t they? 25.) Yankees - Cooper Hjerpe, LHP, Oregon State - Which stud will the Yankees acquire when they trade Hjerpe? 26.) White Sox - Jordan Beck, OF, Tennessee - When an AL Central team comes on the clock, I mostly follow the “which player would I least like to see them pick?” pattern. Beck seems like a player would could take off in pro ball. 27.) Brewers - Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt/Indy ball - Rocker could make a lot of sense for almost any team. I debated between Brock Jones and Carson Whisenhunt at this point, but considering how creative the Brewers are in using their pitchers, drafting Rocker and putting him on the fast-track makes a lot of sense. 28.) Astros - Jud Fabian, OF, Florida - This is another one of those fits that just seems to make too much sense. 29.) Rays - Carson Whisenhunt, LHP, East Carolina - The Rays have a way and Whisenhunt, who is suspended for the year, would be a perfect fit for them and their way with pitchers. 30.) Giants - Peyton Pallette, RHP, Arkansas - Pallette would be off the board already if it weren’t for January Tommy John surgery. Compared a lot to Walker Buehler, the Giants look to get their own version of the current Dodger stud. MOCK DRAFTS / PROSPECT BOARDS Baseball America - v3.0 (4/28/22) / (v2.0 (4/1/22) / v1.0 (2/10/22) / Top 300 (4/27/22) / Staff Draft v.1.0 (4/20/22) MLB.com - Mayo Mock Draft (5/18/22) / Callis Mock Draft (5/11/22) / Mock Draft (4/27/22) / Callis - Top 10 (12/15/21), Mayo - Top 20 (7/20/21) / Top 150 (4/25/22) The Athletic - Law Mock Draft (5/19/22) / Law Top 100 (5/5/22) / Law Top 30 (3/10/22) ESPN - Early Draft Rankings (7/26/21) ($$$ - ESPN+) / McDaniel’s Draft Rankings (2/24/22) / Draft Rankings 2.0 (4/27/22) Fangraphs - The Board / 2022 MLB Draft Rankings and Offseason List Primer (11/30/21) Prospects Live - v2.0 (4/21/22) / v1.0 (1/4/22) Just Baseball v1.0 (2/10/22) My MLB Draft (1/18/22)
  3. With all the uncertainty surrounding the game of baseball, we can still count on high school and college seasons going on as scheduled*. And while a continued (and eventually resolved) lockout would definitely impact the 2022 MLB Draft, there are still many draft-related topics to be tackled between now and whenever that is. *Considering that weather is always a thing and COVID is, you know, still a thing. We don’t know when or where yet. We also don’t know how significantly all of the draft rules will change as the new CBA is negotiated. Things like forfeiting draft picks for signing free agents seem to be on the chopping block. Will small market teams still get compensatory picks? Will there be a lottery (or something crazier like Jayson Stark’s idea, subscription required) to determine draft order? Will we ever get to a point where teams are able to trade draft picks (besides the “competitive balance” picks)? All of these questions are going to be answered later, and we’ll have that coverage right here. In this first article leading into draft season, there will be a lot of links to other places, where you’re welcome to go and start forming your own opinions on players. (I'll get into specific players a bit next week.) Baseball America (led by Carlos Collazo) pushed out their first mock draft (subscription required) late last week. The two-headed monster of Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com have started their season with their Top 100 Prospects and Callis put out an early Top 10 picks mock draft last month and the two of them going back-and-forth through 20 picks before the draft order was settled in September. Neither ESPN (led by Kiley McDaniel) nor The Athletic (led by Keith Law) have dropped their first mocks. These sites and Fangraphs are widely considered the industry leaders in draft coverage. But there are other mock drafts out there too: Prospects Live released a mock draft early last month. My MLB Draft updated theirs on January 18th. Just Baseball put out their first mock draft last week. You can find many others as well. If you click through those mock drafts or look through prospect ratings, you’ll quickly see how they are top-heavy with hitters. But if you’ve clicked through mock drafts in previous years, you’ll also recall how opinions on players quickly evolve. In fact, Baseball America posted all of their mock drafts side-by-side after the 2021 draft. Their original #1 pick? Drafted tenth and didn’t sign. The college catcher that went first overall? They had him mocked at #21, but had a different college catcher mocked at #2 (who ended up going 67th.) All of that is just a long way to say: It’s super early… but that doesn’t make it less fun. And there will be plenty of Twins-focused coverage right here. ~~~~~ On a more personal note, I’m back! For draft coverage anyway. If you’ve been around Twins Daily for a while, you may remember me from its early years and covering the draft. (I’m pretty sure it was 2012-2017, but things all tend to run together.) I had to stop, though, when I took a job coaching basketball that required me to shift my focus. I’ve since stopped doing that, too, to spend more time watching my kids grow up and love to play sports as much as their dad did. I’ve always been enamored by drafts, in any sport. Did you know that WWE has an annual draft? I didn’t either… but when I learned they did, I started watching it. The NFL Draft is one of my favorite days of the year. Did I skip prom in high school to watch the NFL Draft? I might have. The MLB Draft, though, is so different. Very few names are household names or as the scouts say, “famous.” In no other draft does a team select someone that they don’t, won’t, or can’t sign. In no other drafts are players forced to make such a tough decision (go pro or not) after being drafted? In the middle of my original run covering the draft for Twins Daily, there was a situation where a player was drafted and agreed to sign before a physical turned up some new information. The Twins - within their rights - wanted the player to sign for less. With this potentially freed up money, they turned their sites on two other players who weren’t going to sign but could be convinced with additional bonus money. In the end, none of them ended up signing with the Twins (though they all ended up hearing their name called again). But at the time, trying to provide breaking draft coverage - and ending up in the crosshairs of a baseball agency - was more taxing than I wanted it to be. So it’s not going to be quite like that anymore. I’ll let Callis, Mayo, or whoever break the signing details. And I’ll keep readers updated here on those things. My plan is to post something weekly, probably on Tuesdays, covering the things that happened since the last update. Some posts figure to be longer than others. Some, especially those in February and March, might be much shorter (or possibly skipped if nothing noteworthy happened). And then we'll ramp it up as the draft gets closer. Heck, maybe even Aaron and John will let me back into the KFAN booth again to talk about the draft. Anyway, I’m glad you’ve come along for the ride. I hope you enjoy it. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook , or email View full article
  4. We don’t know when or where yet. We also don’t know how significantly all of the draft rules will change as the new CBA is negotiated. Things like forfeiting draft picks for signing free agents seem to be on the chopping block. Will small market teams still get compensatory picks? Will there be a lottery (or something crazier like Jayson Stark’s idea, subscription required) to determine draft order? Will we ever get to a point where teams are able to trade draft picks (besides the “competitive balance” picks)? All of these questions are going to be answered later, and we’ll have that coverage right here. In this first article leading into draft season, there will be a lot of links to other places, where you’re welcome to go and start forming your own opinions on players. (I'll get into specific players a bit next week.) Baseball America (led by Carlos Collazo) pushed out their first mock draft (subscription required) late last week. The two-headed monster of Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com have started their season with their Top 100 Prospects and Callis put out an early Top 10 picks mock draft last month and the two of them going back-and-forth through 20 picks before the draft order was settled in September. Neither ESPN (led by Kiley McDaniel) nor The Athletic (led by Keith Law) have dropped their first mocks. These sites and Fangraphs are widely considered the industry leaders in draft coverage. But there are other mock drafts out there too: Prospects Live released a mock draft early last month. My MLB Draft updated theirs on January 18th. Just Baseball put out their first mock draft last week. You can find many others as well. If you click through those mock drafts or look through prospect ratings, you’ll quickly see how they are top-heavy with hitters. But if you’ve clicked through mock drafts in previous years, you’ll also recall how opinions on players quickly evolve. In fact, Baseball America posted all of their mock drafts side-by-side after the 2021 draft. Their original #1 pick? Drafted tenth and didn’t sign. The college catcher that went first overall? They had him mocked at #21, but had a different college catcher mocked at #2 (who ended up going 67th.) All of that is just a long way to say: It’s super early… but that doesn’t make it less fun. And there will be plenty of Twins-focused coverage right here. ~~~~~ On a more personal note, I’m back! For draft coverage anyway. If you’ve been around Twins Daily for a while, you may remember me from its early years and covering the draft. (I’m pretty sure it was 2012-2017, but things all tend to run together.) I had to stop, though, when I took a job coaching basketball that required me to shift my focus. I’ve since stopped doing that, too, to spend more time watching my kids grow up and love to play sports as much as their dad did. I’ve always been enamored by drafts, in any sport. Did you know that WWE has an annual draft? I didn’t either… but when I learned they did, I started watching it. The NFL Draft is one of my favorite days of the year. Did I skip prom in high school to watch the NFL Draft? I might have. The MLB Draft, though, is so different. Very few names are household names or as the scouts say, “famous.” In no other draft does a team select someone that they don’t, won’t, or can’t sign. In no other drafts are players forced to make such a tough decision (go pro or not) after being drafted? In the middle of my original run covering the draft for Twins Daily, there was a situation where a player was drafted and agreed to sign before a physical turned up some new information. The Twins - within their rights - wanted the player to sign for less. With this potentially freed up money, they turned their sites on two other players who weren’t going to sign but could be convinced with additional bonus money. In the end, none of them ended up signing with the Twins (though they all ended up hearing their name called again). But at the time, trying to provide breaking draft coverage - and ending up in the crosshairs of a baseball agency - was more taxing than I wanted it to be. So it’s not going to be quite like that anymore. I’ll let Callis, Mayo, or whoever break the signing details. And I’ll keep readers updated here on those things. My plan is to post something weekly, probably on Tuesdays, covering the things that happened since the last update. Some posts figure to be longer than others. Some, especially those in February and March, might be much shorter (or possibly skipped if nothing noteworthy happened). And then we'll ramp it up as the draft gets closer. Heck, maybe even Aaron and John will let me back into the KFAN booth again to talk about the draft. Anyway, I’m glad you’ve come along for the ride. I hope you enjoy it. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook , or email
  5. Projecting Dillon Tate first in 2015 was incorrect. And I thought my chances of hitting on anyone was rapidly approaching 0%. But my next two projected picks - Kyle Cody and Trey Cabbage - both heard their names called by the Twins and I had my two picks correct for the second straight year. Last year, my string of two correct ended, but I did get Kirilloff and had many of the projected picks pegged near where they heard their name come off the board. This year, with one compensation pick, there will be 11 selections and 11 chances to extend my streak. To give this an as “realistic” feel as possible, I’ve used composite rankings, but that eliminates getting the correct answer at times, so I’ll be mentioning their Baseball America or MLB.com rankings, but will not hold myself to any rules regarding their rankings. ------------------------------------------------------ First overall (round 1): $7,770,700: RHP Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt. There could be plenty of strategy that comes into play between now and next Monday night. But at this point, there is no reason to believe there’s a better option to come off the board first. There could be some late steam with a few prep players, but ultimately I think the Twins draft Wright, get him signed within a few weeks and save a few hundred thousand to spend later in the draft. (BA: 2; MLB: 3) 35th overall (comp round A): $1,935,300: RHP Blayne Enlow, Louisiana prep. Enlow is a long (6’ 4”), powerful (mid-90s) right-handed pitcher who has impressed this year. I expect the Twins to draft more high-upside pitchers this year… (BA: 33; MLB: 29) 37th overall (round 2): $1,846,100: LHP Jacob Heatherly, Alabama prep. ...and wouldn’t be shocked if they went back-to-back prep arms. While Enlow comes from the pitcher-heavy area scouted by Greg Runser, Heatherly falls in Jack Powell’s area. Heatherly is not as tall (6’ 1”) but also can run it up to the mid-90s. (BA: 64; MLB: 45) 76th overall (round 3): $755,500: C Riley Adams, San Diego. Adams has the bat to play anywhere and might be able to stick behind the plate. While it’s not certain, I think we could see more bat-first players join the organization. The Twins have also used a lot of Top 10 round picks on catchers in the last handful of years and haven’t had a lot of success since drafting another college guy from the southwest: Mitch Garver. (BA: 73; MLB: 73) 106th overall (round 4): $507,000: RHP Michael Baumann, Jacksonville. I like to work in a local player and assuming Sam Carlson isn’t available at 35, drafting a Minnesota prepster who left the state to play collegiately might be the next best guess. Baumann was drafted by the Twins in the 34th round in 2014. His development at Jacksonville has been steady should hear his name called early on Day 2. 136th overall (round 5): $378,700: RHP Bryce Montes de Oca, Missouri. Montes de Oca was one of my favorites out of high school but needed Tommy John and signed with Missouri instead of turning pro. He’s got the 100 mph fastball at his disposal, but he’s still mostly projection, throwing only 69 innings over the last three years, with 61 coming this year as a starter. He struggles with control, but over time could develop into a frontline starter or a flamethrowing reliever. (BA: 147; MLB: 89) 166th overall (round 6): $283,300: LHP Seth Lonsway, Ohio prep. A late-bloomer from the midwest who has shown to be one in a shallow pool of quality prep lefties. (BA: 128; MLB: 149) 196th overall (round 7): $220,700: RHP Griff McGarry, California prep. The Twins have had a heavy presence in California over the last handful of years. Though McGarry might not be the route they go, expect that same presence again. McGarry is committed to Vanderbilt and might price himself out of signing by this point, but he has a draftable pair of pitches in his fastball and curveball. (BA: 175; MLB: NR) 226th overall (round 8): $174,400: SS Dalton Guthrie, Florida. Another re-draft and the first “bloodlines” player to be included, as his father is former Twins pitcher Mark Guthrie. The younger Guthrie will start his professional career, though he may eventually have to shift to the right side of the infield. (BA: 169; MLB: 141) 256th overall (round 9): $148,000: C J.J. Schwarz, Florida. During the Twins freefall last year, I started the #suckforSchwarz hashtag. Somehow wires got crossed and instead #Schwarzsucked. I’m still a believer in his bat and I think he’s worth still trying to develop as a catcher. (BA: 375; MLB: 172) 286th overall (round 10): $137,100: OF Reed Rohlman, Clemson. Rohlman is crushing the ball this year for Clemson (.366/.451/.549) with nearly as many walks (25) as strikeouts (32) and played a phenomenal game in the field against Vanderbilt Sunday night. Though not ranked in BA’s Top 500, he’s the leader of a very good Clemson team and looks like (a left-handed hitting version of) Jayson Werth. That’s it. 11 picks, seven pitchers, two catchers, a shortstop and an outfielder. Are four preps too many? Are seven pitchers too many? I'd anticipate a cost-saving college senior or two will be drafted as well. We’ll get answers to all these questions a week from tonight.
  6. I’ve always been a fan of mock drafts and this is my favorite exercise to do. This is my fourth annual attempt, though it’s my first attempt with the new group, led by Derek Falvey and Sean Johnson, in charge. In 2014, I hit on Nick Gordon in the first round (most would have) and landed ninth-round pick Max Murphy in the exact spot he was drafted. Because of that, I will overvalue/overrate Murphy for the rest of his career. Hitting on two of the ten picks was exactly two more correct than I expected to hit on, and I expected some regression the following year.Projecting Dillon Tate first in 2015 was incorrect. And I thought my chances of hitting on anyone was rapidly approaching 0%. But my next two projected picks - Kyle Cody and Trey Cabbage - both heard their names called by the Twins and I had my two picks correct for the second straight year. Last year, my string of two correct ended, but I did get Kirilloff and had many of the projected picks pegged near where they heard their name come off the board. This year, with one compensation pick, there will be 11 selections and 11 chances to extend my streak. To give this an as “realistic” feel as possible, I’ve used composite rankings, but that eliminates getting the correct answer at times, so I’ll be mentioning their Baseball America or MLB.com rankings, but will not hold myself to any rules regarding their rankings. ------------------------------------------------------ First overall (round 1): $7,770,700: RHP Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt. There could be plenty of strategy that comes into play between now and next Monday night. But at this point, there is no reason to believe there’s a better option to come off the board first. There could be some late steam with a few prep players, but ultimately I think the Twins draft Wright, get him signed within a few weeks and save a few hundred thousand to spend later in the draft. (BA: 2; MLB: 3) 35th overall (comp round A): $1,935,300: RHP Blayne Enlow, Louisiana prep. Enlow is a long (6’ 4”), powerful (mid-90s) right-handed pitcher who has impressed this year. I expect the Twins to draft more high-upside pitchers this year… (BA: 33; MLB: 29) 37th overall (round 2): $1,846,100: LHP Jacob Heatherly, Alabama prep. ...and wouldn’t be shocked if they went back-to-back prep arms. While Enlow comes from the pitcher-heavy area scouted by Greg Runser, Heatherly falls in Jack Powell’s area. Heatherly is not as tall (6’ 1”) but also can run it up to the mid-90s. (BA: 64; MLB: 45) 76th overall (round 3): $755,500: C Riley Adams, San Diego. Adams has the bat to play anywhere and might be able to stick behind the plate. While it’s not certain, I think we could see more bat-first players join the organization. The Twins have also used a lot of Top 10 round picks on catchers in the last handful of years and haven’t had a lot of success since drafting another college guy from the southwest: Mitch Garver. (BA: 73; MLB: 73) 106th overall (round 4): $507,000: RHP Michael Baumann, Jacksonville. I like to work in a local player and assuming Sam Carlson isn’t available at 35, drafting a Minnesota prepster who left the state to play collegiately might be the next best guess. Baumann was drafted by the Twins in the 34th round in 2014. His development at Jacksonville has been steady should hear his name called early on Day 2. 136th overall (round 5): $378,700: RHP Bryce Montes de Oca, Missouri. Montes de Oca was one of my favorites out of high school but needed Tommy John and signed with Missouri instead of turning pro. He’s got the 100 mph fastball at his disposal, but he’s still mostly projection, throwing only 69 innings over the last three years, with 61 coming this year as a starter. He struggles with control, but over time could develop into a frontline starter or a flamethrowing reliever. (BA: 147; MLB: 89) 166th overall (round 6): $283,300: LHP Seth Lonsway, Ohio prep. A late-bloomer from the midwest who has shown to be one in a shallow pool of quality prep lefties. (BA: 128; MLB: 149) 196th overall (round 7): $220,700: RHP Griff McGarry, California prep. The Twins have had a heavy presence in California over the last handful of years. Though McGarry might not be the route they go, expect that same presence again. McGarry is committed to Vanderbilt and might price himself out of signing by this point, but he has a draftable pair of pitches in his fastball and curveball. (BA: 175; MLB: NR) 226th overall (round 8): $174,400: SS Dalton Guthrie, Florida. Another re-draft and the first “bloodlines” player to be included, as his father is former Twins pitcher Mark Guthrie. The younger Guthrie will start his professional career, though he may eventually have to shift to the right side of the infield. (BA: 169; MLB: 141) 256th overall (round 9): $148,000: C J.J. Schwarz, Florida. During the Twins freefall last year, I started the #suckforSchwarz hashtag. Somehow wires got crossed and instead #Schwarzsucked. I’m still a believer in his bat and I think he’s worth still trying to develop as a catcher. (BA: 375; MLB: 172) 286th overall (round 10): $137,100: OF Reed Rohlman, Clemson. Rohlman is crushing the ball this year for Clemson (.366/.451/.549) with nearly as many walks (25) as strikeouts (32) and played a phenomenal game in the field against Vanderbilt Sunday night. Though not ranked in BA’s Top 500, he’s the leader of a very good Clemson team and looks like (a left-handed hitting version of) Jayson Werth. That’s it. 11 picks, seven pitchers, two catchers, a shortstop and an outfielder. Are four preps too many? Are seven pitchers too many? I'd anticipate a cost-saving college senior or two will be drafted as well. We’ll get answers to all these questions a week from tonight. Click here to view the article
  7. Putting together your own mock draft is a fun exercise and is always interesting to look back at later to see how you did. Putting together a 10-round mock draft for one team when the 29 other teams have their own ideas can be an exercise in futility. This is my third annual attempt at projecting the Twins top 10 rounds and is quickly becoming my favorite pre-draft thing to do each year.In 2014, I hit on Nick Gordon in the first round (most would have) and landed 9th-round pick Max Murphy in the exact spot he was drafted. Because of that, I will overvalue/overrate Murphy for the rest of his career. Hitting on two of the ten picks was exactly two more correct than I expected to hit on, and I expected some regression the following year. Projecting Dillon Tate first in 2015 was incorrect. And I thought my chances of hitting on anyone was rapidly approaching 0%. But my next two projected picks - Kyle Cody and Trey Cabbage - both heard their names called by the Twins and I had my two picks correct for the second straight year. This year, with two comp picks and no forfeited picks, I have 12 picks to try to extend my streak. To give this as “realistic” feel as possible, I found every player’s composite ranking (the average of Perfect Game, Baseball America and MLB) and couldn’t take them unless they fell after or within 10% of the pick (with the exception of the first pick). For example, to be “eligible” for me to pick at 74, the composite ranking had to be lower than 66.6. To be drafted at 93, he had to be ranked 83.7 or lower. For the last four picks, I couldn’t choose a player who was ranked in the Top 200 on each of the three lists. Round 1 (Pick 15 - $2,817,100): OF Alex Kirilloff, Pennsylvania HS. The talk all along has been on the team’s focus on “power arms”. But I don’t think there is going to be a great option available at #15. Kirilloff is one of the few bats that really seems to intrigue the Twins in the first round and though he’s been linked to many of the teams around the Twins, has a decent chance to be available. Round 2 (Pick 55 - $1,141,600): RHP Daulton Jefferies, Cal. The undersized righty missed a significant amount of time this season with a shoulder injury that was originally reported as a calf strain. He’s returned recently to the mound and pitched well. Jefferies has a three-pitch mix currently: a low-to-mid-90s fastball, an above-average changeup and a slider that’s developing. Had Jefferies been healthy, he would have gone much sooner. (Composite average: 50.7) Comp Round B (Pick 73 - $878,500): C Will Smith, Louisville. After a late-season surge, there’s a chance that this all-around catcher isn’t available in the 70s. The helium that Smith has is impressive, considering he missed Perfect Game’s Top 500, checks in at 219 for Baseball America and tops out at 110 for MLB Pipeline. Smith is a name to remember and is almost a certainty to come off the board on Day One. (Composite average: N/A) Comp Round B (Pick 74 - $865,200): SS Luis Curbelo, Florida HS. A Miami commit, Curbel, who worked out for the Twins a few weeks ago, will start his professional career at shortstop, but projects long-term as a third baseman with power and the ability to be an above-average defender. (Composite average: 93.6) Round 3 (Pick 93 - $645,600): SS Stephen Alemais, Tulane. Alemais was one of my personal favorites coming out of high school three years ago. He went undrafted and has played really well at Tulane. He has the defensive chops to stick at shortstop, though there are concerns about his bat. Alemais was the subject of an ESPN article about the Twins scouting, which probably makes the likelihood of Alemais getting drafted by the Twins pretty slim. (Composite average: 105) Round 4 (Pick 123 - $477,900): LHP Keegan Akin, Western Michigan. Akin had success in the Cape Cod League and has a three-pitch mix: a mid-90s fastball and an average slider and changeup. Akin has been moving up boards, so it wouldn’t be entirely shocking to see him go off the board earlier than the fourth round. (Composite average: 114) Round 5 (Pick 153 - $357,800): 3B/C Ulysses Cantu, Texas HS. Cantu has dabbled with catching, but has played more third base. His calling card, however, is a pure hitting ability, something the organization always seems to be lacking. (Composite average: 149) Round 6 (Pick 183 - $267,800): RHP Stephen Nogosek, Oregon. The Twins have had some recent success with both Oregon closers and converting relievers to starters. Nogosek checks both of those boxes. Armed with a fastball in the mid-90s, a “frisbee” slider and a changeup that will probably be scrapped if he stays in the bullpen, Nogosek would be an intriguing addition to the organization. (Composite average: 169.3) Round 7 (Pick 213 - $200,900): OF Dom Thompson-Williams, South Carolina. Recently on the Talking Twins Podcast, I suggested that the Twins don’t have a positional need as much as they have a need for pure athletes. Thompson-Williams is a great athlete, though he still needs to refine his baseball skills. (PG: 169; BA: 237; MLB: NR) Round 8 (Pick 243 - $178,200): RHP A.J. Bogucki, North Carolina. Bogucki was drafted by the Twins in the 31st round in 2013 out of a Pennsylvania HS, but decided to pitch collegiately and has been a dependable bullpen arm for the Tar Heels. Bogucki’s low-to-mid-90s fastball and curveball/slider combination profile best in the bullpen, but you never know. (PG: 217; BA: 262; MLB: NR) Round 9 (Pick 273 -$166,300): LHP Scott Moss, Florida. Moss underwent Tommy John surgery after redshirting his freshman year, so he hasn’t had many opportunities to showcase his ability (and he has two more opportunities to go through the draft process if he chooses). But what Moss has been able to show is a three-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, changeup) and a raw ability that scouts can dream on. Moss did have success pitching in the Northwoods League, but has really battled with command. (PG: 192; BA: NR; MLB: 191) Round 10 (Pick 303 - $156,600): RHP Curtis Taylor, U. of British Columbia. Though it’s not necessarily going to happen in the top ten rounds (nor does it have to happen at all), the Twins now have a presence in Canada with scout Walt Burrows, who knows baseball in Canada better than anyone. Could his addition to the organization pay off with the drafting of a pitcher like Taylor, another power pitcher with a fastball/slider combo?(PG: 284; BA: 115; MLB: NR) There it is. The Twins first 12 picks (over 10 rounds). Six pitchers of the college variety, a couple of potential shortstops and a couple of potential catchers along with a potential corner-OF All-Star bat. What do you think? Other draft-related articles: Local Profiles Zack Burdi Zack Collins Prep Arms Click here to view the article
  8. In 2014, I hit on Nick Gordon in the first round (most would have) and landed 9th-round pick Max Murphy in the exact spot he was drafted. Because of that, I will overvalue/overrate Murphy for the rest of his career. Hitting on two of the ten picks was exactly two more correct than I expected to hit on, and I expected some regression the following year. Projecting Dillon Tate first in 2015 was incorrect. And I thought my chances of hitting on anyone was rapidly approaching 0%. But my next two projected picks - Kyle Cody and Trey Cabbage - both heard their names called by the Twins and I had my two picks correct for the second straight year. This year, with two comp picks and no forfeited picks, I have 12 picks to try to extend my streak. To give this as “realistic” feel as possible, I found every player’s composite ranking (the average of Perfect Game, Baseball America and MLB) and couldn’t take them unless they fell after or within 10% of the pick (with the exception of the first pick). For example, to be “eligible” for me to pick at 74, the composite ranking had to be lower than 66.6. To be drafted at 93, he had to be ranked 83.7 or lower. For the last four picks, I couldn’t choose a player who was ranked in the Top 200 on each of the three lists. Round 1 (Pick 15 - $2,817,100): OF Alex Kirilloff, Pennsylvania HS. The talk all along has been on the team’s focus on “power arms”. But I don’t think there is going to be a great option available at #15. Kirilloff is one of the few bats that really seems to intrigue the Twins in the first round and though he’s been linked to many of the teams around the Twins, has a decent chance to be available. Round 2 (Pick 55 - $1,141,600): RHP Daulton Jefferies, Cal. The undersized righty missed a significant amount of time this season with a shoulder injury that was originally reported as a calf strain. He’s returned recently to the mound and pitched well. Jefferies has a three-pitch mix currently: a low-to-mid-90s fastball, an above-average changeup and a slider that’s developing. Had Jefferies been healthy, he would have gone much sooner. (Composite average: 50.7) Comp Round B (Pick 73 - $878,500): C Will Smith, Louisville. After a late-season surge, there’s a chance that this all-around catcher isn’t available in the 70s. The helium that Smith has is impressive, considering he missed Perfect Game’s Top 500, checks in at 219 for Baseball America and tops out at 110 for MLB Pipeline. Smith is a name to remember and is almost a certainty to come off the board on Day One. (Composite average: N/A) Comp Round B (Pick 74 - $865,200): SS Luis Curbelo, Florida HS. A Miami commit, Curbel, who worked out for the Twins a few weeks ago, will start his professional career at shortstop, but projects long-term as a third baseman with power and the ability to be an above-average defender. (Composite average: 93.6) Round 3 (Pick 93 - $645,600): SS Stephen Alemais, Tulane. Alemais was one of my personal favorites coming out of high school three years ago. He went undrafted and has played really well at Tulane. He has the defensive chops to stick at shortstop, though there are concerns about his bat. Alemais was the subject of an ESPN article about the Twins scouting, which probably makes the likelihood of Alemais getting drafted by the Twins pretty slim. (Composite average: 105) Round 4 (Pick 123 - $477,900): LHP Keegan Akin, Western Michigan. Akin had success in the Cape Cod League and has a three-pitch mix: a mid-90s fastball and an average slider and changeup. Akin has been moving up boards, so it wouldn’t be entirely shocking to see him go off the board earlier than the fourth round. (Composite average: 114) Round 5 (Pick 153 - $357,800): 3B/C Ulysses Cantu, Texas HS. Cantu has dabbled with catching, but has played more third base. His calling card, however, is a pure hitting ability, something the organization always seems to be lacking. (Composite average: 149) Round 6 (Pick 183 - $267,800): RHP Stephen Nogosek, Oregon. The Twins have had some recent success with both Oregon closers and converting relievers to starters. Nogosek checks both of those boxes. Armed with a fastball in the mid-90s, a “frisbee” slider and a changeup that will probably be scrapped if he stays in the bullpen, Nogosek would be an intriguing addition to the organization. (Composite average: 169.3) Round 7 (Pick 213 - $200,900): OF Dom Thompson-Williams, South Carolina. Recently on the Talking Twins Podcast, I suggested that the Twins don’t have a positional need as much as they have a need for pure athletes. Thompson-Williams is a great athlete, though he still needs to refine his baseball skills. (PG: 169; BA: 237; MLB: NR) Round 8 (Pick 243 - $178,200): RHP A.J. Bogucki, North Carolina. Bogucki was drafted by the Twins in the 31st round in 2013 out of a Pennsylvania HS, but decided to pitch collegiately and has been a dependable bullpen arm for the Tar Heels. Bogucki’s low-to-mid-90s fastball and curveball/slider combination profile best in the bullpen, but you never know. (PG: 217; BA: 262; MLB: NR) Round 9 (Pick 273 -$166,300): LHP Scott Moss, Florida. Moss underwent Tommy John surgery after redshirting his freshman year, so he hasn’t had many opportunities to showcase his ability (and he has two more opportunities to go through the draft process if he chooses). But what Moss has been able to show is a three-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, changeup) and a raw ability that scouts can dream on. Moss did have success pitching in the Northwoods League, but has really battled with command. (PG: 192; BA: NR; MLB: 191) Round 10 (Pick 303 - $156,600): RHP Curtis Taylor, U. of British Columbia. Though it’s not necessarily going to happen in the top ten rounds (nor does it have to happen at all), the Twins now have a presence in Canada with scout Walt Burrows, who knows baseball in Canada better than anyone. Could his addition to the organization pay off with the drafting of a pitcher like Taylor, another power pitcher with a fastball/slider combo?(PG: 284; BA: 115; MLB: NR) There it is. The Twins first 12 picks (over 10 rounds). Six pitchers of the college variety, a couple of potential shortstops and a couple of potential catchers along with a potential corner-OF All-Star bat. What do you think? Other draft-related articles: Local Profiles Zack Burdi Zack Collins Prep Arms
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