Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Twins Draft Thoughts
Twins Minor League Reports
Good morning to everyone! Happy 06/06/06.
Well, the Twins were in Seattle for another late West Coast game. The minor league teams played and Kevin Slowey had another incredible start. And the Twins made 19 draft picks. So, it was a busy day. I will have just a couple of brief thoughts on each of the topics and be short today. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me or Comment below.
Well, in Round 2, it was King Felix who out-dueled Francisco Liriano as the Mariners beat the Twins 3-1. Hernandez was dominant getting a lot of ground ball outs. Liriano was very good himself. A couple of weak singles by Ichiro and solid drives by Khenji Jhojima and Mike Morse and the Mariners did just enough to beat the Twins.
Luis Castillo was put into the leadoff spot in the lineup. Really, that is the right choice. The argument could be made that he should have been leading off the whole time. But, if he struggles in the spot, I'm guessing Gardy will come up with something to say he can't bat leadoff. Of course, he has not hit for two or three weeks and that's probably more telling than what his spot in the lineup means.
Joe Mauer continues to rake. He had a single in his first at bat and followed that up with two doubles. He had a single up the middle, a double down the right field line and a double down the left field line. Who could ask for anything more? Oh, an eighth inning single off of lefty Eddie Guardado and a 4-4 night? Sure, no problem! That .368 batting average sure looks good! How about a stolen base? Sure, no problem.
Jason Kubel does appear to be much more comfortable now. He's getting hits to all fields and isn't lunging and making quite as many bad swings as he had previously. The eighth inning homer against Eddie Guardado was a line shot. It was the first homer by a lefty off of Guardado on the season.
Kubel three hits. Mauer four hits. As the Twins pre-game animation at the Dome said, "The Future is Now!"
Do you have any thoughts on the Twins, the Mariners, or anything else? If so, send me an e-mail, or post some Comments below.
TWINS DRAFT THOUGHTS
Here are just
some real brief comments on some of the Twins draft picks taken
yesterday. In previous years, they have lost potential free agents to
other teams and received several compensation picks for them. This year,
the only free agent they lost was Jacque Jones, and the team got
only a 4th round pick for him. That is because the Cubs also signed
higher ranking free agents like Scott Eyre and Bob Howry.
As I mentioned yesterday, it is impossible to really rank the draft
picks on anything other than predictions and guesses. The true grades
can not be given for five, ten or really even fifteen years. Not until
after they have all been given a shot to get to the major leagues (or
not) and how long their careers can last. But, we can still make a few
comments based on general beliefs, so that is what I will do.
On interesting way to watch the draft is to do a shadow draft. John Sickels watched the draft and since the Twins are his favorite team, every time it was their pick, he would write down who he would take in that spot and compare it to who the team actually took.
1st Round - 20th overall - Chris Parmalee - Left-Handed hitting high school outfielder
I have seen Parmalee rated as high as the 4th best high school hitter in the draft. He sounds like a corner outfielder, but one of those natural hitters. I said take the best available, and from what I've seen Parmalee would seem to be a great pick here. Of course, as a high schooler, the odds are that he would not get to the big leagues for about five years, but you never know. This Sports Illustrated article talks about his batting practice shows for scouts with 450 foot home runs. Of course, that means absolutely nothing. Those of you who collected baseball cards back in the early '90s will remember that Willie Ansley was drafted by the Astros in the first round and much was made about a 550 foot home run he hit. So, I would guess he'll start at Elizabethton and we will see how he progresses.
2nd Round - William Benson - High School Catcher/Outfielder
From the sounds of it, he has a very strong arm and is solid defensively, but he is a better hitter. That is a good thing. I know the general thought is that they don't need a catcher in the draft because they have Joe Mauer. Well, there does have to be a contingency plan for just-in-case. Should Mauer get hurt again, or what if something inexplicable happens and they lose him via free agency. Also, the Twins just do not have a lot of high quality catching prospects in the system. And finally, if Mauer is around, and this guy is the athlete that they say he is, he could move to a corner infield or outfield position at that time.
3rd Round - Tyler Robertson - left handed high school pitcher
Another high school pitcher, which I don't have a problem with at all. Robertson is 6-5 and 220 pounds making him "projectable", the term we hear so frequently at this time of the year. Yes, the Twins have strong depth at starting pitcher, but it is good to have at least two or three solid pitching prospects at each level, including the low levels.
4th Round Pick #1 - Whitney Robbins - College 1B
I rarely do this with a draft, but I do not understand this pick at all. Robbins was a 4th year college player, and he bats left handed and plays first base. Now, look at the Twins system and their depth at 1B. Morneau, Jones, Matienzo, Peterson, Woodard, Lis and Sanchez. Four of those guys are lefties. Also, Erik Lis was a junior when the Twins took him a year ago making him the same age as Robbins. Are the two going to compete? Is this pick for depth? Does it mean they have given up on Woodard? Robbins may be great, but I just don't understand the pick. Georgia Tech is an excellent program though.
4th Round Pick #2 - Garrett Olson - College 3B
Another college guy, but at least he is from a Division II college, so maybe less known. I found it interesting to learn that his conference in college went with wood bats, so that is a great thing for scouts to see. I don't mind this pick because the team may need depth at 3B, and also because he has shown some versatility meaning he is probably a decent athlete. Also, he is a right handed hitter, something that I don't think that the Twins draft enough of sometimes.
5th Round Pick - Devin Shepherd - High School Outfielder
He is already 6-3 and 225 pounds as a high school kid. He could get bigger and really develop into a power threat. Reports say he has a right fielder's arm too which is always good. I do like that the team is going for some high ceiling high school outfielders like he and Parmalee. Good athletes who are big and strong and athletic. I also believe that the team really needs to develop some quality outfield prospects, and this is the way to do it.
6th Round Pick - Jeff Christy - college catcher
No, not the former Vikings center. The Cornhusker catcher is another solid pick, although maybe a little early for him. Again, in time the Twins will continue to need a #2 catcher behind Mauer, and someone who is competent. Last year, the Twins took high school catcher Greg Yersich and college catcher Caleb Moore in the top ten rounds. This is a good plan, and I think that they hope that just one of the four pans out.
7th Round Pick - Jonathan Waltenbury - HS 1B
Yes, he is also listed as an OF, but again, why another left-handed hitting 1B. Seriously? Don't they have enough? So, is this going to be the lefty who platoons in the future with Henry Sanchez, or will he play at the level beneath that? I just don't understand this pick at all. I understand that they need to fill the short-season rosters, but wow.
8th Round Pick - Brian Dinkelman - college 2B
Small college guy probably starts at E-Town.
9th Round Pick - Sean Land - College Pitcher
Another left-handed college pitcher from the Big 12 conference. At 6-5 and 230, he too is projectable and left-handed meaning he fits the Twins draft mold. It's not a bad thing.
10th Round Pick - Jared Mitchell - High School Outfielder
I had read in some places that Mitchell could be taken as high as the late first round, so to get a pick like this in the 10th round is a real steal. However, he has a full ride football scholarship to LSU, and that is what made him fall this far. The fact is that the Twins are unlikely to sign him, and he will play football. However, because he signed the football letter of intent, any signing bonus that the Twins would try to sign him to could be spread over five years. That may give them enough leeway to be more creative with their offers. Reports say that he has amazing speed and plays a great CF, but his hitting potential is a question mark. I still like the pick at this point.
11th Round Pick - Steve Singleton - College Shortstop
I advocated the team drafting a college shortstop in the early rounds, maybe someone to compete for the starting job in the next two years. The 11th round is early, but not early enough. Odds are the Singleton starts at E-Town and is one of those one level per year guys.
12th Round Pick - Kevin Harrington - High School Outfielder
First thing I noticed was that he is 6-6 so my assumption was that he was a pitcher, but according to mlb.com, he is an outfielder. I don't know enough about him to really say anything, but I am liking all the picks being used on high school outfielders. The first couple should start in E-Town and the others should start at GCL. But again, depth is not a bad thing at all.
13th Round Pick - Aaron Senne - High School Outfielder
The Rochester Minnesota native fills a couple of roles. The Twins have to pick some local player somewhat early, and again, more outfielders! That is good. If nothing else, they can keep him in the organization a few years and bring him in to sign autographs at Twins Fest as a Twin!
14th Round Pick - Jeff Manship - College pitcher
This is an interesting pick to me. He went to Notre Dame, but before he threw for them, he had Tommy John surgery. He really didn't pitch much the first two years there, but had a very nice junior year. First, Tommy John guys take a couple of years to come back to full strength. Second, he's already had the surgery. Third, he hasn't had to throw the last few years a lot, so he could become strong, and I'm sure that the Twins will take good care of him. Brian Duensing had Tommy John surgery in college and he has been excellent this year for the Twins.
15th Round Pick - Marc Dolenc - College Outfielder
Another local product, Dolenc went to Minnesota State - Mankato. He is another outfielder, but he also has three years on the high school kids taken meaning he should start at E-Town and should do well. His test will come next season at Beloit.
16th Round Pick - Shayne Willson - High School Outfielder
Another high school outfielder. Something to remember at this point is that the Twins will not sign all of their 50 draft picks. The last couple of years, they have made an attempt to sign the Top 12-15 rounders and a few others that trickle in and are willing to sign for the right amount. There are also many high school kids who get drafted and the team asks them to go to a junior college where they can play next spring. The become draft and follow guys, and they can sign up to a week before next year's draft. Many after this point will fall into that category. I believe the Twins signed three guys under this scenario this year.
17th Round Pick - Andrew Oliver - High school pitcher
Oliver may be a perfect draft-and-follow candidate. First, he is 6-4. But his scouting report says that he throws hard, but his velocity is inconsistent. Also, he has two other pitches, but does not have consistency with them. He could go to a JuCo and get consistent innings. Or, he could sign and work fully under the tutelage of Twins instructors.
18th Round Pick - Chris Anderson - High school pitcher
Another tall lefty high school pitcher. The Twins are pretty consistent with that wish.
So, the themes on Day 1 seem to be:
High School Outfielders
High School Left-Handed Pitchers
One High School and One College Catcher
A couple of left-handed hitting 1B for some reason.
So, there you have my thoughts on Day 1 of the Twins portion of the MLB draft. Like I said, I realize this all means little to nothing, but it is still fun to project. Also, because I enjoy following the Twins minor league system so much, it is important for me to remember that most of these guys will start in either the Gulf Coast League or at Elizabethton. Then they will all try to work their way up the system. It is always fun to watch that process. Do you have any thoughts on the Twins draft so far, or the draft process in general? Send me an e-mail, or leave Comments below.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE NOTES
SethSpeaks Player of the Day - Jason Bartlett, Rochester Red Wings
SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day - Kevin Slowey, Ft. Myers Miracle
If you have any thoughts on the Twins system, please e-mail me.
Tuesday - Red Wings 9, Durham 7 – Jason Bartlett was the offensive hero for the Red Wings for the second straight day. He went 3-5 with his third triple. Chris Heintz went 2-3 with his sixth double and four RBI. Garrett Jones went 2-4 with his eighth home run, four RBI and his second stolen base. Jason Tyner went 2-5 with his third triple. Mike Smith started and got the win. He went five innings and gave up three unearned runs on five hits and three walks. He did strike out nine. Henry Bonilla gave up a run in two innings. Beau Kemp came in for a shutout inning. But then Bobby Korecky came in and gave up three runs on four hits including two home runs in just 1/3 of an inning. Jason Miller came in and walked the lone batter he faced. That meant Pat Neshek had to come in for the final two outs. He gave up a hit, but struck out two hitters for his 12th save.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Tuesday - Rockcats – No Games Scheduled in Eastern League.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Tuesday - Miracle 3, Tampa 0 – Kevin Slowey had yet another excellent start, and this time he actually got a Win out of it. The righty went eight innings and gave up no runs on four hits. He walked none and struck out five. Tim Lahey threw the final inning for his third save. Matt Tolbert and Brock Peterson were each 2-4 with an RBI.
Tuesday - Snappers 7, Clinton 1 – Oswaldo Sosa had a nice start and improved to 4-5 on the year. In his six innings, he gave up an unearned run on four hits and two walks. He struck out five. Jose Lugo threw two shutout innings before Jose Cordero made his first Snappers appearance with a shutout frame. Paul Kelly went 2-4 with a walk, his 14th double and two RBI. Tarrence Patterson went 2-5 with an RBI. Edward Ovalle went 2-5 with his 11th double.
Do you have any further thoughts on any Twins prospects, minor leaguers, or these summaries? I would love any input, or ideas to make it better. Thanks! E-mail me, or also feel free to leave comments below.
That is it for today! Have a great day!|
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