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.