• 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.

    JEREMY’S SMALL BOARD
    (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. Otwins's Avatar
      Otwins -
      Boras does not have the leverage he did last year. What is Appel going to do go to graduate school? He will sign for slot value. That being said he may be the 1st pick and get his money. If he is available at #4 and the twins like him they should draft him.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      thanks Jeremy , nice read
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      Dont touch the guy. Boris is an ass. U dont want to waste the number 4 pick on a guy who is asking for over a million over slot. Plus how many 200 inning games does he have
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Otwins View Post
      Boras does not have the leverage he did last year. What is Appel going to do go to graduate school? He will sign for slot value. That being said he may be the 1st pick and get his money. If he is available at #4 and the twins like him they should draft him.
      I've stopped thinking any system can beat Scott Boras at his game. I don't know what Appel would do, but if he's in a situation to sign for "slot", which is less than what he turned down last year... I don't think he'll sign.

      The irony is that #1 is going to be Boras v. Houston again and last year it didn't work out for Boras. Houston also had a great draft. I bet they're happy with they decision they made (and might make it again).
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Good write up, Jeremy. It'll be interesting to follow college baseball this year. I guess I'm really hoping Appel falls to the Twins. I'd also like to see the Twins take a chance with their second pick on someone like Florida pitcher Karstan (I think is his name) who got hurt but had top 10 stuff. He didn't take 2m as a high schooler. Now with an injury and falling draft stock, maybe he'll want to start his pro career and get some money.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      I don't know what the CBA explicitly prohibits, but would Boras take slot in return for a handshake agreement that Appel gets called up in September, thus getting a (delayed) head start on service time and free agency? Or would he take slot with the parameters of a major-league contract worked out even though it can't be signed? I would consider both. I would worry, though, that Boras is a snake (he is) and would turn around and try to get the MLB to void whatever agreement was signed, to make Appel a free agent.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      Good write up, Jeremy. It'll be interesting to follow college baseball this year. I guess I'm really hoping Appel falls to the Twins. I'd also like to see the Twins take a chance with their second pick on someone like Florida pitcher Karstan (I think is his name) who got hurt but had top 10 stuff. He didn't take 2m as a high schooler. Now with an injury and falling draft stock, maybe he'll want to start his pro career and get some money.
      Thanks to those leaving compliments.

      I am under the impression that Whitson will redshirt (still would be eligible for the draft) and return for his junior year next year. Considering it's a shoulder deal and the likelihood is that he won't be able to throw before the draft, I would bet that Whitson doesn't go in the Top 10 rounds (those tied to money), but goes later so that teams could a) spend money the saved on him and b) hopefully see him throw before July 15. Smart money says the Twins won't even kick those tires.
    1. nfisch22's Avatar
      nfisch22 -
      Right now there is no way I have Smith in my top 10 if I'm the Twins. We need Pitching, Catching and a SS. Smith is very good hitting OF or 1B which if you look at our farm system we don't need. I would have Frazier or Meadows way ahead of Smith. The other guy to watch would be Trey Ball from a HS in Indiana. He's a tall and projectable LHP. He's 6'6" and throws in the low 90's. Give him a few years to add some muscle and you may be looking at a very good pitching prospect for the Twins.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Great post Jeremy, and great follow ups.
    1. Celebrity Weddings!'s Avatar
      Celebrity Weddings! -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Twerp View Post
      Plus how many 200 inning games does he have
      Zero?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      There's no question, Jeremy is the expert on the draft here at Twins Daily. Be sure to follow in him twitter and check back frequently for his articles on the draft! Great stuff!

      And, frankly, I don't think that the Twins would be afraid to take Appel at all, if they believed he was the best guy available. I'd be surprised if Appel didn't sign this year. There is less leverage. His options are certainly more limited. And the Twins aren't afraid to go a little over-slot to get him or anyone. They've shown that before. It may mean taking a couple of college seniors in the next 10 picks, but that's OK.
    1. markos's Avatar
      markos -
      I'm a big fan of this new idea!

      Did you consider any of the prep shortstops for your list? JP Crawford, Oscar Mercado, Jan Hernandez and Chris Rivera have all been mentioned on various first round lists, though they each have significant fielding or hitting questions. If they are able to put it all together in the spring, they may move up quickly.

      I'm looking forward to following your updates throughout the spring.
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      I'd stay away from Appel, Boris is a bloodsucker, besides Manaea is a lefty, and that's something we're short on in starters. Hadn't realized that Parmelee was a Boris guy. By the by, the only reason Boris had Pelfrey sign here was on specific instructions from Pelfrey. Apparently his wife has family here and he told Boris to get him a contract with the Twins.
    1. edavis0308's Avatar
      edavis0308 -
      What exactly did not signing last year leave Appel for options this year? What happens if he doesn't sign again this year? I've never heard of such a thing happening.
    1. darin617's Avatar
      darin617 -
      Quick question for you Jeremy, how did last years predictions compare with the actual results? I am in no way trying to be a pain. I was just curious how things turned out compared to predictions.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by edavis0308 View Post
      What exactly did not signing last year leave Appel for options this year? What happens if he doesn't sign again this year? I've never heard of such a thing happening.
      Look up two very different results of Boras having players hold out... 1.) JD Drew, 2.) Matt Harrington.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      People really need to stop with the Boras stuff. Just because he is the best known agent doesn't mean he does stuff that other agents don't do or won't do.

      He's a good agent with great knowledge of the market and CBA but he still ultimately works for his client.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      http://twinsdaily.com/entry.php?b=1209My mock was better than I remembered.

      I also recall - it's on a thread somewhere that I couldn't find - projecting Walker to the Twins. I thought Mitch Brown would be a Twin, liked Berrios (as you can see in the link), but didn't anticipate the college relievers.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Consider that if Appel is the guy, the Twins will be largely pinning their hopes for future rotation stabbility on Appel and Alex Meyer, two Boras clients. If they succeed, it's likely 6 years and out unless they are traded earlier. They're not going to be getting any pre-arbitration contract extensions with either of them, Boras doesn't do that.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by markos View Post
      I'm a big fan of this new idea!

      Did you consider any of the prep shortstops for your list? JP Crawford, Oscar Mercado, Jan Hernandez and Chris Rivera have all been mentioned on various first round lists, though they each have significant fielding or hitting questions. If they are able to put it all together in the spring, they may move up quickly.

      I'm looking forward to following your updates throughout the spring.
      To my knowledge, the Twins view Mercado and Crawford as 1st rounders. Mercado may be more likely to stick at SS. A team that believes in Crawford at SS will take him before the Twins select in the 2nd round. Hernandez's draft stock will change until the Excellence Tournament. Don't have a great feel on Rivera yet.

      Obviously opinions can change daily.
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