Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quick Evaluation of 2010 Draft

It may be tough for the Twins to live up to what they did in the 2009 draft. Among their first 4 picks they took at least 2 guys who are going to be major contributors to the Major League team within the next 1 to 2 years. Obviously Kyle Gibson has established himself quickly as the best pitching prospect in the system and 2nd rounder Billy Bullock is also quickly building up a resume as a future power reliever. Although 3rd rounder Ben Tootle and supplemental pick Matt Bashore have had their seasons cut short due to elbow injuries, I am still high on these two guys.

As for 2010, we all know the Twins had 0 compensation picks. I am going to not go too crazy about some of the picks the Twins made. But their are some points where I feel they could have made a better selection.

1st Rd, 21st Selection; RHP, Alex Wimmers, Ohio State: Wimmers was at the top of the Twins draft board and it seems like they were happy that the Co Big 10 pitcher of the year fell to them. Like most Minnesota prospects they usually get the comparison to Brad Radke. To be honest I think Wimmers draws the biggest comparison. He has a some what wild delivery, but still only runs his velocity to 89 to 92 MPH, but he has 2 off speed pitches; a curve and a change up that are both above average and close to plus pitches. Rumors said that Wimmers can be a quick sign and a fast riser to the majors. If that is the case then great. It would be nice to see him either sent to the Appalachian League or Midwest league to get is pro career kicked off.

Who They Might Have Missed: Zack Cox was a projected top 10 pick. Cox (3B or 2B) was there for the Twins at pick 21. His bat will hit for average and decent power. Has a cannon arm but overall defense may not be good for hot corner.

2nd Rd, 71st selection; Cartier "Niko" Goodrum, SS, Fayette County High School, Fayetteville, GA: High risk high reward is an under statement for Goodrum. It should be super high risk, high reward. Goodrum has some super tools. Plus speed, very good defensively, and bat has some raw, raw power. Goodrum is not a great, maybe not even a good hitter. He has trouble making contact which will be a process in his development. He has played most of his high school career as a shortstop. Minnesota drafted him as a shortstop. But all sings are pointing to center field which just confuses me why the Twins would even bother. But hey. This is the Twins strategy. Take the toolsy kid and develop him. Its brought out guys like Kirby Puckett, Torii Hunter and Denard Span. And the last time we doubted a Twins pick it turned into Ben Revere.

Rd 3, 102n selection: Pat Dean, LHP, Boston College: Dean was a solid lefty in a very good ACC conference. Dean has similar size and stuff to guys like Brian Duenseng and Glen Perkins. Dean may has seemed like a safe pick at the time following up the high risk pick of Goodrum and that may be true. His fastball is 89 to 90 with a sweeping slider in low 80s and slow curve ball 73 to 75 MPH.

Guys who were still on the board at 71 and 102:

AJ Cole, RHP Oviedo High School, Florida: Some scouts had AJ Cole as one of the top 2 or 3 high school arms behind number 2 overall pick Jameson Taillon. Cole is very projectable at 6 feet 4 with a low 90s fastball and wipe out curve ball. Cole fell to the Nationals at pick 116 but their are high odds he will not sign because of the record setting contract Bryce Harper will get from Washington.

James Paxton, LHP, No School: Paxton was a supplemental first rounder out of Kentucky did not sign with the Blue Jays in '09. He was also not invited back to college. He had to take some time off and has pitched some in the independent league but not enough for talent observers to be fully convinced he was the same guy in 2009. The one who was able to throw mid 90s from the left side. Paxton fell to Seattle at pick 132. Their will be extra time for him to sign because he is not coming out of college or high school.

If there is one guy who is expected not to sign it is DeAndre Smelter. A very raw high school pitcher from Macon, George and is committed to Georgia Tech. His mechanics need a lot of work but he features a 95 MPH fastball as well as a slider and a change up. Again, Smelter fell the the 14th round so unless the Twins are willing to pay way above slot, there is little chance we will be seeing Smelter in the Twins system.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Minnesota Twins Draft Options Part 2

In part 2 of this I thought I would touch on some of the dos and don'ts in Monday's draft. As everyone knows the Twins only have one pick (21st overall) on day one and in the top 70 picks. This puts more pressure on Bill Smith and the talent evaluators to get this pick right. It is important that Minnesota does not pay attention to the helium balloons on certain prospects as well as needs and make sure they get the best player available. Also in my opinion I think the Twins should try to ignore the signability of the high prices guys. The Twins have tended to stick by their guy with slot money, mainly because they usually have multiple picks in the first couple rounds and they need to allocate their money up for each of them. They do not have this problem with the one pick. In addition to that the Twins have spent more money now due to the addition to Target Field so the approaching $100 million dollar pay roll should be an indacation that more money can be spent through talent development. Case in point the roughly $5 million dollars given to Miguel Sano, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco.

Players To Be High On:

*Dylan Covey RHP, Maranatha HS, Pasadena, Calif.: High school arms are not usually in the Twins mold but but very few fit the Twins strategy as much as Covey at the top of the board. Its rare to see an 18 year old who already has a good feel for pitching. At 6'2", 200 pounds Covey does not have much more projection in terms of size but he already has a 3 pitch mix that makes him the most polished of the high school arms and some of the college guys. I have seen some drafts where Covey falls and others where he goes as high as 9th. Either way this is a guy the Twins should keep an eye on because he has Tim Hudson potential.

*Brandon Workman RHP, Texas: Workman is a perfect name for a bull dog pitcher. He brings a low to mid 90s fastball with a lot of late life as well as a good curve ball. Workman is 6'5" and has number 2 starter potential. Most drafts have him going at the end of round one and sources have said that Workman is a candidate to be selected by Minnesota.

Guys I Am On the Border With:

*Alex Wimmers RHP Ohio State: Wimmers has been on the Twins draft minds all season. He pitches in the Big 10, has great control and has potential to be the next Mike Leake as some scouts have said. But I have also read conflicting reports about Wimmers, mainly the one about his velocity. Some have him as a guy in the low to mid 90s, other have him as a guy who sits 88 to 92 and that will drop as he gets to an every 5th day schedule. All I am saying is Wimmers may be a guy who might now transition well the the pro game.

Just Does Not Make Sense:

*Mike Kvasnicka, OF/C, Minnesota: I am sure why people like the idea of this pick. Taking the local kid who has some very good potential and the switch hitting ability. But if Kvasnicka was not from Minnesota would you really be this high on him. He is on helium watch right now because and is soaring up draft boards. Mainly because if his future ability to catch. But the Twins do not need a catcher or an outfielder and if they were interested in one they are better off taking one out of high school so they do not have to be pressured in development. If the Twins take Kvasnicka they will go through a process that could take 3 to 4 years by which he could be 25 years old before being Major League ready.

*Kolbrin Vitek, 2B, Ball State: I was a fan of Vitek a couple weeks ago, but now I am backing off. Mainly because it sounds like he will not be able to stay at 2B. He has a very good bat, but hits for average with little power and the move for him immanently seems to be to center field. The Twins have a 1st rounder with that mold that they took in 2007 who is doing quit well.