Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Draft Board v.2.0 (3/13)

    As we sit around three months from draft day there have been many risers and fallers around the draft world. Some larger than others. Obviously, there is still a lot of time for things to happen, but this is how I would stack the Twins Draft Board if it were up to me.
    The first installment of my draft board featured a top 4 as well as some other names to watch. The following list has stayed the same at the very top, but has seen many changes around it. It's also expanded to a top 8.


    (photo from WVLA NBC33 | Baton Rouge News, Weather and Sports | Baton Rouge News)

    As I mentioned last month: 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.)

    1) Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford

    WHY HE STILL MAKES SENSE: Appel has been nothing short of dominant so far this season.
    WHY THE TWINS COULD PASS: Scott Boras. Because of Appel's inclusion in the draft pool, it's going to be hard for anyone to project. He's a wild card.
    MY TWO CENTS: Appel has been good enough that, as the #1 guy on my board, I take him and cut money from Rounds 2-10 to give him as much as possible. The stickier part of this situation is that, as a college senior, the signing deadline wouldn't apply. So unless you give up on him before the deadline, you can't rely on "fallback options", that you took in the later rounds.
    PRICE TAG: We know it's going to be high. That's a given.


    2) Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State

    WHY HE STILL MAKES SENSE: Though he hasn't been as "lights-out" as he was this summer, he's still been good and projects to be a top-of-the-rotation type pitcher. And he's a lefty. The Twins would do good to add him, even though he'll need more minor league time to develop than Appel would.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: I think Manaea - even more so than Appel - has solidfied his spot in the top 5. If I had to bet, I'd say the Twins won't get the chance to draft (or pass on) Manaea.
    MY TWO CENTS: I'm hoping to make it to Friday night's game at the Metrodome to see Manaea in person. I would guess my suspicions will be verified.
    PRICE TAG: Manaea would be smart to take slot money and get signed as quickly as possible.


    3) Clint Frazier, OF, Georgia HS

    WHY HE'S ON THE BOARD: Frazier is the top-rated high school player in the nation. And then he goes and hits two home runs in the Frazier/Meadows showdown yesterday. He's going to be a top 5 pick. The Twins love prep outfielders.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: The Twins should pass because they need to pass. Baseball is about pitching, and even though Frazier has a cannon, he's not standing on a mound when he's showing it off.
    MY TWO CENTS: Frazier has some experience in the infield. As a prospect, though, he didn't take off until he moved to the outfield. If I was convinced Frazier can become a star, I'm using his versatility as my crutch. Would you feel differently if instead of drafting a prep OF, the Twins took a prep 3B? I'm not sure how the transition would go, but the Twins have tried to make the OF to INF switch with Rosario. It would be a very expensive gamble.
    PRICE TAG: Like Buxton, Frazier will probably sign for near-slot.


    4) Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma

    WHY HE'S ON THE BOARD: If you're a low-to-mid-90s guy, you're a prospect, as Gray was coming into the season. When you're a mid-to-high-90s guy, you're an very good prospect. When you touch 100 and have the feel to spin a ball, you're an elite part of the draft.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS: Are you buying the hype? Gray is full of helium. His arm is fresh now but what happens as the season progresses? Is he still throwing 100? Is he more susceptible to injury? So far reports check out. But for as quickly as he's risen, he's got three months to stay on top.
    MY TWO CENTS: Twins fans, this is the guy to keep an eye on. He has really taken off. Viewed as a potential first-rounder before the season, he has climbed up draft boards with every start. If Manaea doesn't improve and Appel's demands remain a question mark, Gray may not stop climbing until he's #1.
    PRICE TAG: As another junior pitcher, he probably won't have any unreasonable demands (hopefully).


    5) Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas

    WHY HE'S DROPPED: Despite coming into the season being mentioned in the same sentence as Manaea and Appel, Stanek has had a disappointing first month of the season. He isn't lasting late into games and he isn't missing many bats.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD STILL CONSIDER HIM: Stanek still has the conference schedule to impress the scouts; if he can get it done against the best conference in baseball, his stock will rise.
    MY TWO CENTS: At the very least, Stanek is one of four (or more) college pitchers that are viable options for the Twins at #4.
    PRICE TAG: You have to worry a little bit about guys that come into the season hyped as a potential #1 pick and begin to drop.


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

    WHY HE'S DROPPED: Smith was in the news for the wrong reasons earlier this month. Long story short: Smith was ejected from a game and subsequently suspended for the following game. In an effort to not hurt his draft stock, scouts were told that he wasn't at the game because he was sick. Well, the truth came out and now Smith and his school look bad.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD STILL CONSIDER HIM: Despite what could be considered a make-up/character issue, Smith is still a premium prospect and offers standout defense (albeit at first base) to a team that emphasizes defense.
    MY TWO CENTS: Someone to keep on the radar, but probably not someone that will make the top 4 at any point.
    PRICE TAG: It should be mentioned that the Astros banked a lot of their pool by taking a prep player and paying him less than slot.


    7) Bobby Wahl, RHP, Mississippi

    WHY HE'S ON THE BOARD: Wahl is appearing on the list as a pitcher that doesn't have a tremendous ceiling, but is already nearly a finished product. He offers a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a low-80s slider that misses bats. His changeup is also coming around. By the time June rolls around Wahl may possess three pitches that are currently in the 55-60 range. Not likely to be an ace, he could still be a very serviceable #3. And soon.
    WHY THE TWINS SHOULD PASS:
    When you're drafting at #4, you should be shooting for the stars. Not taking a guy because he's close to his ceiling.
    MY TWO CENTS:
    The Twins could do "safe". Wahl would be safe. If Wahl continues to impress and moves up the board, I'd be okay with safe. If he's a borderline top-10 prospect... I'd rather take a shot on someone with more upside.
    PRICE TAG:
    I would guess Wahl will sign for slot (or if drafted higher, cut a deal) and sign quickly.


    8) Austin Meadows, OF, Georgia HS

    WHY HE'S #8:
    I won't rule out anything at this point and Meadows is highly-regarded. I'm interested to see what Meadows does after Frazier so obviously stole the show yesterday. Your move, Austin.

    Others to watch:

    Chris Anderson, Jacksonville, has probably taken a bigger leap than any other college pitcher. Once viewed as a 3rd-5th round pick, he's moved up in the first round conversation. He's still moving up. I don't see him entering the top 10, much less the top 5, but he's got time on his side. Scouts love him and as a Minnesota prep, so do the locals. (Some have suggested taking him #4 and paying him like a late 1st rounder. That isn't necessarily my style, but I can assure you that the Twins brass will leave no stone unturned.)

    Jonathan Crawford
    , Florida, is throwing it in the high-90s, but he's lacking success. Like Stanek, he'll have plenty of time to build his status back up. It's not helping that Florida can't catch a break.

    I'll leave Minnesota LHP Tom Windle and prep OF Ryan Boldt grouped together again. I would guess the Twins would love for Windle to fall to the 2nd round, but I don't see it happening. Boldt has probably solidified himself as a mid-1st rounder strictly on his play last summer.

    Though the Twins rarely go to the "college position players well", there are two 3B that should be mentioned: Kris Bryant, San Diego and Colin Moran, North Carolina. I prefer Bryant's right-handed power (even though he will probably end up in the OF or at 1B), but I don't see the Twins going this route.

    As long as I'm mentioning avenues that aren't taken, I'll name a prep pitcher who enamors me: Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Tennessee HS. Sheffield is a hard-thrower, but also very intelligent. There is a strong belief already that he'll be a tough sign, so if the Twins do something to save money early, maybe Sheffield - a first-round talent - could be one of those options later.

    Feel free to discuss.
    This article was originally published in blog: Draft Board v.2.0 (3/13) started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 83 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Thanks Jeremy....two have them pretty much in the same spot, but most have Buxton higher. That's awesome. They still have no pitcher in their system as good as Appel or gausmann. We all just disagree, that is cool with me.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Everyone, especially front office people, know the twins need top of the rotation pitchers sooner rather then later. Their jobs are on the line, not ours. Knowing this they still take Buxton. What does that tell you about how they valued Buxton and/or viewed the college arms last year? This isn't rocket science people. Do people really think Terry Ryan and the rest of the scouts don't understand we need pitching?

      Right now I have Appel, Manaea, Bryant, Fraizer, and then everyone else well behind. Obviously there is plenty of time but I'm not jumping on the helium college arm bandwagon. I rather have a star than an average player.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Manaea, who if you've read anything about him, appears to be a goofball, just tweeted a picture of himself jumping on a hotel bed. I told him to get comfy in Minneapolis and his response was that it is 'actually pretty sweet here'. Not that it changes the fact I think he'll go before #4, but still neat that he'll interact with baseball fans on Twitter.
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      What is BPA, though? How big a difference does there need to be to take another toolsy OFer, that is 5 years away, between that OFer and the best pitcher? How do you propose getting a pitcher, if you don't ever draft them at the top of the draft? And yes, there are now two people in the thread saying they'd pass on college arms for HS hitters.
      Trade for them?

      I still think it is a mistake to pass on a better prospect to take a position of need for players that will take a couple of years to make their debut. In two years the Twins system could look quite different and the needs could easily change. There is no reason to leave value on the table and reach for a specific position, especially this high in the draft. Always take the best player available.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Like predicting BPA is so easy....if it is not obvious, should need not play at all?
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Like predicting BPA is so easy....if it is not obvious, should need not play at all?
      Well yes, that is true. If all things are equal, I would have no issue with the Twins taking a pitcher over a position player. My point would be that I don't want the Twins taking a pitcher no matter what. If they like an outfielder more than the best available pitcher, I would want them to take the player they think will be the better player.
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Like predicting BPA is so easy....if it is not obvious, should need not play at all?
      When professional scouts have been watching and evaluating players for months before the draft, when the time comes, they absolutely know who they consider the best player available at the time they pick. It's kind of the whole point of their job.
    1. Oxtung's Avatar
      Oxtung -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      You can't get an ace or even a number 2 w/o picking high in the draft, generally.
      This was a very interesting statement for me so I looked up the top 10 pitchers in ERA each year for the last 5 years. This gave me a pretty good idea who the "Aces" were. I then looked at their draft position.

      There have been 19 pitchers ranked in the top 10 of ERA in 2+ seasons. 6 of those pitchers were NOT drafted in the first round. Of those 2 were international signings (Santana and Hernandez) and 4 were "late round" picks. Of the first round picks only 2 were top 5 overall picks and 3 others were top 10 overall picks (not including the 2 top 5 picks). The average draft position of 1st round picks was 14th overall.

      So recap:
      "Ace pitchers" are most likely to come from the 1st round but are most often found outside of the top 10 draft picks.

      Disclaimer and other thoughts
      This certainly isn't a comprehensive finding. I only went back 5 years. Also I didn't look at how many pitchers were drafted in the 1st round and were busts. I also didn't look at the distribution of where pitchers were drafted in the 1st round (all pitchers not just "Aces".) It is possible hitters are taken more frequently than pitchers with the top picks. Finally it is unbelievable to me how dominant Halladay has been and comparably how little hype he has gotten.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Well, the law of numbers would say that most are taken out of the top 5 or 10....the key would be to look at percentages of those taken in the top part, vs those taken in the latter part of the first round....because there are a lot less players taken in the top 5 than the next 2000 picks, right?

      But, it is great that you did the work. I'd have to look at it also to be more certain......but then, you are making a different point. It IS possible to get good players later in the draft, refuting the argument made here daily that the Twins minors were bad because they picked "too late" in round 1 to get good players......
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      I think what Keith Law said in the chat yesterday is correct. The strength of the draft is pitching and the top Twins need is also pitching. That is good when that lines up. However, imagine a scenario where there are three pitchers they really like and the rest of their top 5/6 are position players and then the top three picks are the three pitchers that they like. It would be a mistake to jump to their 6th/7th/8th rated player just to get a pitcher. The example he used was the Royals in 2011, who wanted a pitcher and picked 6th. They had 5 pitchers they liked and they all went so they took Bubba Starling instead of reaching for another pitcher that was further down their board.

      Yes, all things being equal they should target a pitcher but they can't jump a bunch of spots in their draft order just to do so. If a position player falls they should take them and then load up on arms in the rest of the draft and hope that 1 or 2 emerge (kind of like last year).
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Why would it be a mistake automatically? What if that 8th best player is a number 2 pitcher, or even a number 3 pitcher? That is a bad thing?

      Because while you might think the hitter is going to be awesome, you don't really know that for sure. We don't know the future for sure at all.....

      As for last year's arms, I think everyone is jumping to a lot of conclusions after zero innings in A ball for a starter so far.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      However, the same could be said about the pitcher you want. Who is to say the number 2 starter would automatically be a number 2 starter?
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      That's my point, we don't know.....but if you never draft pitching early, you are unlikely to have good pitching. Otherwise, people are arguing that early picks are not more likely to be good than later picks, and I don't think anyone really means to argue that.

      But I can promise you, if a SP is ranked number 8 ovearall, that people think they are a number 2/3 type pitcher in the future....right? If you literally have no number 1 or 2 in your entire system, and maybe have 3 number threes, in your entire system, what is more valuable, a future number 2/3, or a future really good OFer?
    1. FrodaddyG's Avatar
      FrodaddyG -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      what is more valuable, a future number 2/3, or a future really good OFer?
      What asset should bring you a greater return five years down the road: Justin Upton or Rick Porcello?
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      That's my point, we don't know.....but if you never draft pitching early, you are unlikely to have good pitching. Otherwise, people are arguing that early picks are not more likely to be good than later picks, and I don't think anyone really means to argue that.

      But I can promise you, if a SP is ranked number 8 ovearall, that people think they are a number 2/3 type pitcher in the future....right? If you literally have no number 1 or 2 in your entire system, and maybe have 3 number threes, in your entire system, what is more valuable, a future number 2/3, or a future really good OFer?
      I'm really not sure what else people can say here. Many have said that the BPA is the best route to go and that the professional ranking guys seem to have supported the Buxton pick. I don't think anyone is saying that earlier picks don't (generally) lead to better players but it works for both pitchers and hitters. As good as Hicks is supposed to be, Buxton is better. I'd rather have Matt Kemp than Anibel Sanchez. While no one knows who the best player will become, teams devote lots of energy trying to figure that out. The Twins will probably heavily scout at least 12 guys for consideration for the #4 pick, maybe more. They'll send cross checkers and interview coaches, teachers and others to learn as much as they can. They'll obsess over mechanics and make up and make a list. Remember the Twins were the only team that mentioned concerns over Prior's mechanics before he got injured, although some said it was just BS to cover the Mauer pick. So far the consensus is that the Twins have drafted well. We'll see.

      We were able to trade for guys like Liriano, Boof, Nathan, May, Worley and Meyer b/c we had depth at catcher and outfield. The Twins still have depth in the OF so they could flip a guy like Willingham for a prospect or, more daring, do a prospect trade and move Arcia for pitching. I think the Twins will draft a pitcher b/c that's the main depth of this class but what if SD's Kris Bryant pulls a Zunino this year and is a third baseman who could be in the majors by late 2014 while the top 3 pitching guys are gone? I certainly wouldn't be against that pick.

      The future of this team's pitching staff looks like it will be some grouping of Gibson (late first rounder who fell due to injury), Meyer (late first rounder who fell b/c of salary concerns, traded for), May (4th round pick, traded for), Berrios (supp pick), Hendriks (international signing), Worley (MLer, traded for), Diamond (rule V pick, traded for) and most likely this years #4 pick.

      The best two recent Twins teams - 06 and 10 - starting rotations were made up of Santana (rule v), Silva (traded for), Radke (8th rnd pick), Liriano (traded for), Boof (traded for), Baker (2nd rd pick), Pavano (traded for, resigned), Blackburn (29th rd), Slowey (2nd rd) and Duensing (3rd rd). Health and a strong bullpen help a lot. As does a little luck in later rounds which Johnson has not had in his drafts but it's still a bit early to condemn his drafts.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrodaddyG View Post
      What asset should bring you a greater return five years down the road: Justin Upton or Rick Porcello?
      You left off the whole part of context before that, where they system, imo, is barren of number 1/2 starters....in a vaccuum, the OFer is better....but they don't live in a vacuum.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      gunn....how good would a hitter ahve to be to be up with the Twins in a year, but I do get your point....as for the best Twins teams, they were good teams, not great teams, imo. And what would have made them great was even very good starting pitching.

      again, I'm not going to change your minds, and you aren't going to change mine....as long as we are all cool having a conversation, I'm cool continuing, I just don't want to push so hard people start getting mad....
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      I agree that drafting for need CAN be a bad strategy, but the problem with BPA is that is so incredibly subjective that unless you are looking at Strasburg/Harper type talent, there is no such thing as a clearcut BPA. The lists here prove that. People don't universally rank Buxton ahead of everyone else (just look at Sickle's list), and Gausman/Zimmer are flipped around too. All are very good prospects. All have very high ceilings. But this idea that Buxton was somehow clearly better is odd. He's not, and that is where need comes into things. Gausman and Zimmer will be collecting major leage pay checks in 2 years and Buxton will be lucky to sniff AA... Given his rookie league status, I wouldn't be expecting him to light things up in Cedar Rapids. Here's to hoping I'm wrong on that. But when the players are very close, need must be considered.

      I'm not trying to denigrate Buxton as a prospect, but I am pointing out one of the huge flaws in this system. People get all googley eyed over the tools and then start brandishing completely subjective terms around such as BPA and ignore the results and the organizational needs, and for all the love of sabermetrics around here, I find that incredibly odd.

      No one here knows if Buxton was the BPA of that draft. He had plenty of question marks going into it and those still remain today. You don't pass on a similarly good player at a position of need in that case.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      great post, diehard.....much more clear than some of mine....
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      I agree that drafting for need CAN be a bad strategy, but the problem with BPA is that is so incredibly subjective that unless you are looking at Strasburg/Harper type talent, there is no such thing as a clearcut BPA. The lists here prove that. People don't universally rank Buxton ahead of everyone else (just look at Sickle's list), and Gausman/Zimmer are flipped around too. All are very good prospects. All have very high ceilings. But this idea that Buxton was somehow clearly better is odd. He's not, and that is where need comes into things. Gausman and Zimmer will be collecting major leage pay checks in 2 years and Buxton will be lucky to sniff AA... Given his rookie league status, I wouldn't be expecting him to light things up in Cedar Rapids. Here's to hoping I'm wrong on that. But when the players are very close, need must be considered.

      I'm not trying to denigrate Buxton as a prospect, but I am pointing out one of the huge flaws in this system. People get all googley eyed over the tools and then start brandishing completely subjective terms around such as BPA and ignore the results and the organizational needs, and for all the love of sabermetrics around here, I find that incredibly odd.

      No one here knows if Buxton was the BPA of that draft. He had plenty of question marks going into it and those still remain today. You don't pass on a similarly good player at a position of need in that case.
      However, the reality is that Gausman and Zimmer could be struggling in the minors or out with injuries as well and Buxton could be killing AA pitching. No team ever really knows who the best player available is. Just go to baseballreference.com and sort their draft columns by WAR or whatever stat you like. It never works out the way players were drafted.

      My overall point is that the Twins should take the player they think is the best fit for their organization. If that means taking a college pitcher or a HS outfielder, I don't care. I just don't want them passing up better players to fill needs. There are better ways to fill immediate needs than through the draft.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.