• Draft Board v.1.0 (2/17)

    Though we are nearly four months away from the draft – and there is still much baseball to be played – it’s an event that is very significant and may stay very much on some of our minds as we progress through the spring and into summer.

    I don’t know how often I’ll make changes to this – but this is my first installment of “Jeremy’s Small Board.” “Small” because only 1-4 matter, though I would anticipate having something more like a “Top 10” as the season progresses.
    In the last 20 years, the Twins have had 24 1st round draft picks (not counting supplemental picks). Of those 24 picks, 11 have been prep position players and eight have been college pitchers. The other two groups: college position players (4) and prep pitchers (1) have been much less represented.

    The Twins first pick (fourth overall) will come with an approximate $4.5m price tag.

    (Keep in mind, please, that this is not a “mock draft”. This is not a reflection of my top players. This is my attempt at stacking a “Twins Draft Board”, based on a number of things.)

    1a) Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford

    WHY HE MAKES SENSE: On talent alone, he was #1 on a lot of boards last year (and probably #2 on the Twins board). In what’s predicted to be a similarly weak draft, Appel has held the top spot since deciding not to sign with the Pirates last July.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: Scott Boras. Even though Appel might be a guy you can plug into the top of the rotation almost immediately, is that worth the price of dealing with Scott Boras, who will suck every last penny out of an organization who has opened up their wallet once… ever? (Note: Mike Pelfrey is a Boras-client. Chris Parmelee may be too.)
    MY TWO CENTS: If Appel is available at #4 and there is enough confidence in the draft room that Appel will come at a reasonable enough price as to not cripple the rest of the draft, I say go for it.
    PRICE TAG: Boras thought Appel was worth $7.2m last year and not a dollar less. This year’s #1 will be worth 6-8% more, so we’re talking $7.6-7.8m. The Twins entire draft pool will be around $8.2m.

    Appel (right) with Colts QB Andrew Luck (photo from ESPN.com)

    1b) Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State

    WHY HE MAKES SENSE: Manaea tore up the Cape Cod League last summer and the Twins have had a history of selecting guys who have had successful runs in that league. And it’s not like he was just successful either. He struck out 85 in 51.2 innings… in a year that was considered abnormally “offensive”.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: Manaea has been good - not dominant - in two college season and started off his junior year getting beat by Indiana University/Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IFPW). I don’t know if that’s enough reason to pass, but enough to not call him a “slam-dunk”… yet.
    MY TWO CENTS: The Twins will be very much in on Manaea and will be heavily-attending his March 15th tilt at the Metrodome.
    PRICE TAG: Last year’s 4th overall pick, Kevin Gausman, was able to squeeze an extra $120,000 out of the Orioles as a draft-eligible sophomore. The 5th pick, Kyle Zimmer, took half-a-million less than slot from the Royals.

    3) Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas

    WHY HE MAKES SENSE: If the other two pitchers are off the board, Stanek is the next best pitcher. He’s considered to be a step below Manaea and Appel stuff-wise, but he’s been very good all the while competing against the nation’s best in the SEC.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: If either Appel or Manaea are still on the board, or if Stanek’s demands are unreasonable. Otherwise, he’s a solid #3 option.
    MY TWO CENTS: Stanek provides a nice fall-back option and can be considered "best available" as well as fill a need.
    PRICE TAG: He just missed being a draft-eligible sophomore last year and is considered similar to Kevin Gausman. If Gausman got $4.32m last year, I’d start there with Stanek this year.

    4) Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, California HS

    WHY HE MAKES SENSE: Smith may not be the most well-known prep at this moment, but he’s got a great bat, a great arm and a great feel to play first. He could play either corner OF position, but is said to have a very high defensive-ceiling if he ends up at 1B. Though 1B is considered a landing-place for many prospects with defensive inefficiencies – for those inside the organization presently, as well – Smith would offer legitimate versatility.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: They need pitching. But like it will always come back to: Should the Twins take “Best Available” or “Best Available Pitcher”? Oh, the Twins are also light on catching prospects and middle infield prospects.
    MY TWO CENTS: The Twins could do worse, obviously. Is Smith’s D at 1B good enough to overcome for Sano’s shortcomings at 3B? And potentially Rosario’s D at 2B? He’s not a magician (that I’m aware of), but if Smith’s defensive prowess can make up for lesser defenders at 2B and 3B, sign me up.
    PRICE TAG: It’s hard to peg prep guys, but maybe you could bank a couple hundred thousand dollars taking a guy whose perceived value is a little bit lower, sort of like what the Astros did last year with the 1st overall pick and Carlos Correa.

    Others to watch:
    Bobby Wahl, Mississippi, is a pitcher that could really improve his draft stock with a solid college season. He started off his college season with a dominating performance against TCU and is considered to be close to a “finished product”.

    Jonathan Crawford, Florida, is a flamethrower that fits the mold the Twins were into last year. A rocky opener and a belief he’s best-suited to close, not start, games keeps him out of the top tier.

    Are you into “toolsy outfielders”? The Twins are and Clint Frazier (Loganville, GA) is one of the highest-rated players in his class, as is Austin Meadows (also from Loganville, different high schools). Frazier has been called a “redheaded Mike Trout” (to a lesser extent, obviously) and Meadows has been compared to Jay Bruce. Both figure to come off the board in the Top 10 picks, but neither, today, are the “toolshed” that Byron Buxton was at this point last year.

    Minnesota RHP Tom Windle and prep OF Ryan Boldt both figure to go off the board sometime between the Twins first and second picks. At this point in time, it’s difficult to picture either being drafted by the Twins, simply because of their draft position.

    Bonus watch:
    While the Twins scouted Jacksonville U. last year before drafting both Adam Walker and Jonathan Murphy, they no doubt were also aware of RHP Chris Anderson, now a junior, who hails from Centennial (MN) HS. If the draft were today, it’s unlikely you’d hear his named called in the first few rounds. But if he continues to pitch like he did in his season debut – 7 IP, H, 13 K, BB, while throwing in the mid-90s and featuring four pitches– it’s hard to say how high he could rise before June.

    Feel free to discuss.
    This article was originally published in blog: Draft Board v.1.0 (2/17) started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 46 Comments
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
      Quoting John Sickles today; "With a Stanford education and his family background, Appel could walk away from baseball and it wouldn’t impact his quality of life. He’s never going to have to work at McDonald’s or wonder how he’s going to pay the rent."
      Obviously there's lots of non-baseball jobs that will offer him $5M before he works a day for them.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
      While I'm not a huge Boras fan lets not act like the Billionaire, with a B, owners weren't the ones who pushed for a amateur spending cap into the CBA. Poor billionaire owners who tried to limit the amount of money 17-22 year old kids could make comes back to bite them in the butts. I feel so bad for them I might cry.
      I don't feel bad for the owners either, I could care less if they make a dime, but the fact is they will and they aren't going to let signing baseball players cut into their profit margins. Can the owners afford these huge contracts that have come about the last 15 years because of agents like Scott Boras (mostly Scott Boras)? Of course but they're just passing the buck and marking up ticket/concession/memerobelia prices and rates they charge advertisers and broadcasting companies. The broadcasting companies of course won't take the hit so they pass the buck to the consumer too. Boras isn't bad for the owners because at the end of the day everyone just passes the check to the low man on the totem poll; us. Boras is bad for baseball.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      let's not blame player salaries for high ticket prices. Those prices are going to be whatever people are willing to pay, regardless of what the players make... The only thing the CBA is doing is capping their expenses.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      let's not blame player salaries for high ticket prices. Those prices are going to be whatever people are willing to pay, regardless of what the players make... The only thing the CBA is doing is capping their expenses.
      This. I was on a riff the other day about scalpers pocketing the difference in street price versus face value, or the owners getting more via their new pricing policies. I could have made my post even longer by observing that the money is there for the taking, regardless of who ends up getting it. We're not being priced out of Twins tickets because of greedy owners or greedy players. We're being priced out by schmuck stock brokers and anyone else with large disposable income who can bid up the price regardless of what I'm willing to pay. Baseball is only the collective middleman.
    1. maxisagod's Avatar
      maxisagod -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      Obviously there's lots of non-baseball jobs that will offer him $5M before he works a day for them.
      cmb0252 is referring to the comment section of this link:
      You right not many will offer you 5M or 100,000 dollars; that would set you up with a great windfall for the rest of your life. The point Sickels seems to be making is if you already have a large fiscal safety net in the form of a well off family,and a Sanford eduction, and then you turn down millions from the Pirates it may not just be because your agent is greedy, there may be an element of pride. What if all the questions and photos of him with Andrew Luck makes him feel his value is much higher than the team who drafts him? There are lots of professional athletes who after being offered a large payday might feel responisable or compelled to take it in order to support and give back to family and friends who have very little. Appel may not have that sense of responisablity knowing there a good chance he'll be able to provide for himself and others no matter what.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      The point isn't that the money is not available from owners. The point is that it handcuffs the rest of your draft. Not only does it handcuff you, it sounds like it could be impossible to sign Appel. The Pirates shifted as much money around as they could and still could not pay the bonus demands without losing next years pick. I think most owners would ok with giving him his above slot bonus, but GM's would have to draft a bunch of college seniors with no upside to be able to sign him. Now the question will soon become, do you punt on the rest of your draft to sign this guy...

      If you think Appel is a sure fire top of the rotation guy, maybe you do. How often do you actually get multiple major leaguers out of a draft? I think TR (or whomever signs off on draft day) would have to consider coming away from the draft with one top 25 prospect in all of the minors and no other players.
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