Wednesday, September 5, 2007
A Look Back:
The Twins 2004 Draft
Good morning! The Twins had a rough loss to Cleveland again last night despite some really good performances. I do have some thoughts on the game down below, but again today, I preferred to discuss another Twins draft and review it. So today, I will be looking at the players that the Twins drafted in the 2004 draft. It certainly isn't as impressive from top to bottom as the 2005 list, but this group has plenty of guys taken out of high school that really have a lot of upside. So again, time will tell just how good this draft was. Maybe you can read into it and draw some conclusions already. If so, please let me know. Let's get to the list.
1st - Trevor Plouffe - High School Hitter - After getting off to rough starts in the past two years in Low A and High A ball, Trevor Plouffe put together an excellent 2007 season that included 37 doubles. Arguably the Twins top hitting prospect right now.
1st - Glen Perkins - College Pitcher - Another college pitcher who was fast tracked through the Twins system. Made his big league debut in 2007. Was quickly called up to the Twins in 2007 and pitched out of the bullpen. Hurt much of the 2007 season.
1st - Kyle Waldrop - High School Pitcher - A great start in 2006 in Beloit earned him a promotion to Ft. Myers. A great start in Ft. Myers in 2007 earned him a promotion to New Britain where he struggled some and was sent back to the Miracle.
Supp 1st - Matt Fox - College Pitcher - Fox had been a 2001 6th round pick of the Diamondbacks. He went to Central Florida. In 2004, he went 14-2 with a 1.85 ERA. In 111.2 innings, he had 125 strikeouts. However, since being drafted, he has fought arm injuries. He had Tommy John surgery, and in 2006 came back with the E-Twins. He started this year at Extended Spring Training before quickly being moved up to Beloit where he was OK, but well over the age to still be considered a prospect. Unlikely to be added to the 40 man roster, and less likely to be selected by another team.
Supp 1st - Jay Rainville - High School Pitcher - Rainville was terrific in his first full season, 2005. He started in Beloit, only because of injuries, and moved up to Ft. Myers where he continued to succeed. He missed all of 2006 because of a nerve injury in his his shoulder. He came back this year and did very well for himself at Ft. Myers. I think that the organization used him wisely and his upside is tremendous.
2nd - Anthony Swarzak - High School Pitcher - Swarzak was the high schooler from this draft that moved up the quickest. Certainly one of the top Twins pitching prospects, which is saying a lot. He began the season at New Britain, but his 50 game suspension cost him some time. When he came back, they started him back at Ft. Myers, but he was quickly returned to New Britain where he pitched very well and reclaims his spot as a top Twins pitching prospect.
3rd - Eduardo Morlan - High School Pitcher - It was always said that of all the high school pitchers taken by the Twins in the 2004 draft, Morlan might have the best stuff, or the highest ceiling, but he may take the longest to move up the system. Well, maybe not. Morlan started this season as the closer for the Miracle, and he saw his share of ups and downs. He got a late-season promotion to New Britain. Future closer.
4th - Mark Robinson - High School Hitter - The outfielder spent one year with the GCL Twins and one year with in Elizabethton. In 2006, he hit .178 in limited time with the Snappers. This year, he hit .132/.146/.158 in 12 games with the Snappers before being released.
5th - Jeff Schoenbachler - High School Pitcher- Never advanced beyond the Twins GCL team. Pitched in 2004, 2005, and then one game in 2006 before being let go.
6th - Patrick Bryant - High School Pitcher - Had a football scholarship as a QB to play football at Alabama. Signed with Twins. Spent 2004 and 2005 with the GCL team. In 14 games with Elizabethton in 2006, he went 0-1 with a 6.61 ERA. He was released this spring.
7th - John Williams - College Pitcher - Pitcher from Middle Tennessee State, he went right to E-Town where he went 3-1 with a 5.40 ERA. He struck out 50 hitters in 38.1 innings. He moved up to Beloit in 2005 and went 2-3 with a 4.54 ERA, but he was let go.
8th - Jay Sawatski - College Pitcher - Drafted out of Arkansas, he has moved quite a bit in his time with the Twins. In 2006, he started at New Britain, went back to Ft. Myers to get some innings, and then came back up to New Britain. The lefty has split this season between New Britain and Rochester. I think that he will be added to the 40 man roster.
9th - JP Martinez - College Pitcher - Righty reliever pitched for Randy Bush at the University of New Orleans. In 2005, he earned 20 saves for Beloit. In 2006, he saved 13 games for Ft. Myers. 2007 has been a frustrating year for him, I'm sure. He started at New Britain and pitched well. He was then promoted to Rochester because of injuries and promotions and struggled. Went back to the Rockcats and really struggled. Recently, he was demoted back down to Ft. Myers where he ended his season. I don't think he would be added to the 40 man roster, but I know some of your disagree.
10th - Jeremy Pickrel - College Hitter - Had a better sophomore year at Illinois State than his junior year which caused him to fall to the 10th round. Hit .277/.370/.450 with 18 doubles, seven triples, 12 homers, 65 RBI and 15 Stolen Bases for Beloit in 2005. He moved up to Ft. Myers in 2006. There he hit .231/.309/.367 with 11 doubles, ten triples, four homers, 36 RBI and 12 stolen bases. Not great numbers, but when he was one of the last players released before the start of the 2007 season, it was quite surprising.
11th - Kyle Aselton - College Pitcher - Aselton went to Oregon State after teaming with Brock Peterson in high school. He spent 2005 in Beloit and the last two seasons in Ft. Myers. He has struggled with two things. First, he needs to stay healthy. Second, despite great strikeout rates, he has really struggled with his control. Could be added to the 40 man roster, but I don't think that is necessary.
12th - Shane Boyd - College Pitcher - He did not sign, choosing to continue playing baseball, and his football career as a QB at Kentucky, backing up Jared Lorenzen before starting for a year. He has been trying to play in the NFL, appearing in camps with the Titans and the Steelers. The Twins had taken him in the 13th round in 2000 out of high school.
13th - Walter Patton - Comm. College Pitcher - Draft and Follow signed and spent 2005 with the GCL Twins where he walked 24 and struck out 20 in 23 innings. In 2005, also in the GCL, he pitched in three games. He gave up eight walks and seven hits in just 2/3 of an inning. He was let go.
14th - Javi Sanchez - College Hitter - Signed quickly and spent '04 with the E-Twins and 2005 with Beloit. He missed all of the 2006 season with injuries. He started the 2007 season with the Miracle and played in 31 games. And then he retired to become a coach at LSU.
15th - Juan Portes - High School Hitter - Portes has moved up one level each year, something you have to be happy about with a 15th rounder out of high school. The question has never been his hitting, but instead what position he should play. Three-plus years later, I don't think we have that answer yet as he has played three infield positions and two outfield positions. He also has missed time in previous years with injury, but he stayed injury-free this year and showed again that he is a solid offensive prospect.
16th - Matt Tolbert - College Hitter - Signed out of the University of Mississippi where he was a solid, but unspectacular hitter. Hit .308 for E-Town in 2004. Moved all the way up to Ft. Myers in 2005 and hit .266. 2006 was a big year for him. He started at New Britain and struggled. He moved back to Ft. Myers where he figured something out. He moved back to New Britain and hit well the rest of the year, earning an invite to the Arizona Fall League. It continued at Rochester in 2007 where he hit great, especially during the first half of the season. Should be added to the 40 man roster and may become a utility infielder type.
17th - Eamon Portice - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign -
18th - Josh Rose - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign -
19th - Tate Casey - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign - Played tight end at Florida.
20th - Tim Lahey - College Hitter - Signed as a catcher out of Princeton. After catching for the E-Twins in 2004, he was moved to pitcher in 2005 and stayed in Elizabethton. Jumped to Ft. Myers in 2006 where he struggled some, but he has shown improvement. He spent most of the 2007 season in New Britain before a late-season call up to Rochester where he got into two games and recorded one save. He should be added to the 40 man roster and given some time to continue to get innings.
21st - Joe Abellera - High School Hitter - The Hopkins (MN) High School grad signed with the Twins and spent 2004 and 2005 with the GCL Twins where he hit a combined .179/.220/.186 before the team let him go.
22nd - Vincent Scarduzio - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign. He was the Angels 29th round pick in 2005.
23rd - Tim Arnold - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign -
24th - Garrett White - JC Pitcher - Did Not Sign - instead, the lefty went to Mississippi. In 2006, he went 3-1 with a 3.39 ERA. He had 69 strikeouts in 58.1 innings. He signed after the 2007 season as a non-drafted free agent by the Dodgers. He was 1-4 with a 3.33 ERA in 23 games for Great Lakes of the Midwest League.
25th - Joe Walsh - JC Pitcher - He had been drafted in the 40th round in 2003 by the Orioles. He did not sign in this draft either and instead went to Toledo where he pitched in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, he went 0-10 with a 6.72 ERA in 15 games. He walked and struck out 47 hitters. In 2006, he was 4-7 with a 4.96 ERA in 13 games. He walked 44 and struck out 39. He was the 32nd round pick of the Nationals in 2006, and he signed. Played this year for Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League where he was 2-2 with a 4.62 EAR in 26 games. In 37 innings, he had 21 walks (only?) and 27 strikeouts.
26th - Deacon Burns - College Hitter - Drafted out of Northern State University, Burns signed and quickly made an impression. He was called "Little Puck." In 2004 with Elizabethton, he had 36 extra base hits in 255 at bats. In 2005 in Beloit, he had 61 extra base hits (36 doubles, 13 triples, 12 homers) in 527 at bats. The promotion to Ft. Myers proved difficult in 2006. He hit just .228/.289/.322 with 25 extra base hits in 404 at bats. He was released at the end of spring training this year along with Pickrel.
27th - Landon Burt -College Hitter - Signed quickly out of San Diego State and was Elizabethton's leadoff hitter. He hit .241/.306/.289 with Beloit in 2005 before being released after the season.
28th - Aaron Craig - High School Pitcher - Drafted out of Rochester (MN) Century high school. He did not sign and went to Grayson County Junior College. But after the 2005 season, he signed as a draft-and-follow and reported to the GCL Twins. Moved up to E-Town in 2006. Spent most of the 2007 season with Beloit where he went 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 29 games.
29th - Ricky Prady - High School Hitter - Went 7-34 (.206/.308/.412) in 2005 with the GCL Twins, but was then released. Played a year of Independent League ball.
30th - Dan Berg - JC Hitter - Another draft-and-follow, Berg is from Australia. He spent 2005 with the GCL Twins. He moved up to the E-Twins in 2006, and spent nine games with Beloit. This year at Beloit, he hit .210/.296/.297.
31st - Jason Laird - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign.
32nd - Nolan Mulligan - CC Pitcher - Had been the 25th round pick of the Giants in 2003. He did not sign with the Twins either. He instead went to High Point where he pitched in just four games in 2006. He was drafted by the Phillies in the 26th round in 2007 and pitched for the GCL Phillies.
33rd - Sean Kalman - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign
34th - Rene Tosoni - High School Hitter - Did Not Sign. Went to Chipola, where Russell Martin and Adam Loewen went as well. As you know, he was again taken by the Twins in the 2005 draft and signed in 2006 as a draft and follow. He had a monster 2007 season with Elizabethton, and ends the season with the Snappers.
35th - Jeff Mousser - College Pitcher - He signed out of Arizona State. He went 2-0 with a 4.63 ERA in 18 games for the 2004 Elizabethton Twins. He struck out 22 in 23.1 innings, but he also walked 11. He was released after the season.
36th - John Theis - CC Pitcher - Did Not Sign - He went to Missouri. In ten games in 2006, he went 1-1 with an 8.16 ERA. He struck out 18 in 14.1 innings. He pitched in just two games for Missouri in 2007.
37th - Greg D'Oleo - High School Hitter - Did Not Sign -
38th - Josh Land - JC Hitter - Land had been taken in the 21st round in 2003 by the Angels. He played for the E-Twins in 2005, and then split time in 2006 between the E-Twins (where he hit .203) and Beloit (where he hit .207 in 18 games).
39th - Danny Santiesteban - CC Hitter - Had been taken by the Mariners in the 42nd round of the 2003 draft. He didn't sign with the Twins right away, but he was a draft-and-follow, signing with the Twins before the 2005 season. He spent '05 with the GCL team and 2006 with Elizabethton. He has hit .208/.271/.328 with 8 homers and 12 stolen bases for the Beloit Snappers. Has the talent to be a five tool type of player, but will need to start putting up the numbers.
40th - Justin Otto - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign - The Twins took him in the 50th round of the 2005 draft, and he again didn't sign.
41st - Eric Sweeney - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign - Attended Cal State - Northridge.
42nd - Greg Schilling - CC Pitcher - Did Not Sign - Had been the Red Sox 31st round pick in 2003.
43rd - Robbie Hebert - College Pitcher - Signed out of Nicholls State and went to the GCL. In 2004, he was 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 games. In 13.2 innings, he struck out 13. He was let go and in 2005, he played for Pensacola of the Independent Central League.
44th - Tony Joiner - High School Hitter - Did Not Sign. Played football at the University of Florida (Safety).
45th - Lance Lofton - High School Hitter - Did Not Sign.
46th - Matt Rizzotti- High School Hitter - Here is a guy that I'm thinking that the Twins wish they had now. He didn't sign out of Archbishop Malloy in NYC. The 6-5, 235 pound lefty 1B went to Manhattan where he dominated. In 2005, he hit .416/.530/.694 with 21 doubles and nine homers. In 2006, he hit .340/.469/.576 with 15 doubles and nine homers. In 2007, he hit .352/.502/.588 with 10 doubles and 11 homers. In each season, he had more walks than strikeouts. He was taken in the 2007 draft in the 6th round by the Phillies. He was hitting .256/.337/.398 with 17 doubles and two homers in 50 games.
47th - Chris Petrie - CC Hitter - Did Not Sign. Instead he went to the University of Florida. In 2006, he his .241/.262/.328 in 42 games. This year, he greatly improved to .299/.374/.427 in 48 games.
48th - Ryne Nelson - High School Pitcher - Did Not Sign. Went to West Carolina where in 2007 he walked 19 and struck out 17 in 12 games.
49th - Nicholas Bleau - Comm. College Pitcher - Did Not Sign - Had been drafted by the Twins in the 32nd round in 2003.
50th - Taylor Cameron - JC Pitcher - Did Not Sign - He was drafted by the Pirates in the 31st round in 2007. At Low A, he went 2-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 16 games. In 25 innings, he had 17 walks and 17 strikeouts.
So, what do you think? This was an important draft for the Twins because they had the extra early picks because of the losses of Eddie Guardado and LaTroy Hawkins. They did great with high school pitchers in the early rounds although knowing just how good they did wont' happen for 3-4 more years when they have had a chance to get up to the big club. Any other thoughts on the Twins Draft of 2004? Of course, if we were to look at this list in another two years or five years, we will be better able to grade it.
If you have any further thoughts on this draft class, questions, comments or ideas, please e-mail me or leave Comments below.
Wednesday - Twins 5, Cleveland 7 (11)
What a strange game! The Twins fell behind, and then got a big hit from Justin Morneau to take the lead. They just weren't able to do anything to increase their lead. The bullpen bent but didn't break until Joe Nathan, as reliable as it gets, gave up a two out homer to Travis Hafner after getting the first two outs easily. And the Redmond injury. And Mauer getting one pitch. And, And, And... another Twins loss. What a weird game!
As you can imagine, I was happy to see Luis Rodriguez in the lineup, and ecstatic to see him get hits in his first three at bats. The man simply takes good at bats, puts the ball in play, and generally hits the ball hard somewhere. Defensively he is solid. I understand he is not a regular, but as a role player, he is just fine.
Justin Morneau also had three hits including a bases-clearing double to center that gave the Twins the lead early. I realize that he has been struggling of late, particularly with power numbers, but quietly, he is sitting at 99 RBI.
Kevin Slowey did well last night. I know he gave up another home run. That was just a pitch that missed to Travis Hafner (who is great no matter what the stats tell us this year) and he absolutely unloaded one into the upper deck. I remember when I was playing ball, I would frequently hear pitchers say, "Hey, if you're going to give them up, might as well be a good one." The other run Slowey allowed was unearned. He went five innings of two-run ball which is very solid against Cleveland. He threw just 89 pitches and maybe could have gone another inning, but since he was pitching on three days rest, the pitch count makes a lot of sense. Of course, you could ask why a team outside of the pennant race would throw one of their better pitching prospects on three days rest in the first place. Either way, Slowey came through.
Carmen Cali is Dennys Reyes light. Dude has no control. That said, in the situation, the 7th inning with Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez coming up, I do believe that Gardy made the right choice in bringing Cali in. Again, the Twins aren't in contention, and Cali is the lone lefty in the bullpen, and the situation called for a lefty. Gardy can't be blamed for Cali's ineptitude.
Gardy can, however, be blamed for a few things. In the 11th inning, Nick Punto led off by striking out. Gardy then had Brian Buscher pinch hit for Alexi Casilla. On the surface, not a big deal. However, why would you not have Buscher bat for Punto? At least Casilla has a chance. And why is Buscher not playing?
Also, in his post-game press conference, Gardy made a special point to note that Julio DePaula got a ground ball, but "we didn't get a good jump on it." Another not-so-subtle bashing of Alexi Casilla by Gardy. It's really a daily occurrence. From replays, I don't think Casilla got a bad jump. he went all out and dove to keep the ball in the infield, saving a run for the time being. That play/effort should be lauded, not scrutinized. Just another case of Gardy keeping the rookies down, and doing so through the media. He's done the same with Jason Kubel and Matt Garza this year. He did it to Michael Cuddyer for a few years. It just makes no sense for a manager whose team depends so much on young players to be so horrible in this manner.
Mike Redmond is tough, no doubt about that! With him likely out for a little while, how can the Twins not bring Jose Morales into the clubhouse to play.
Does the media even really research things they say? Dick Bremer, Bert Blyleven, Marney Gellner and others commented on a few occasions that Chris Heintz was catching Slowey because they had worked together throughout the season in Rochester and that Slowey had pitched to him on a number of occasions. Well, maybe they worked together, but according to what Slowey told us about Jose Morales last week, Morales caught all but one of Slowey's AAA games. It's like these people don't realize that when Heintz is with the Rochester Red Wings, he doesn't catch, at least not much.
Happy Birthday to Pat Neshek yesterday who looked dominant again in his perfect 1.1 inning performance!
Jason Kubel went 2-4 with doubles in his first two at bats. He now has a six game hitting streak during which time he is 8-20 (.400). He is 14-34 in his last 10 games (.412). \
Noon game today with Scott Baker going against Fausto Carmona.
That is it for today. Have a wonderful day!|
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