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  • Twins Draft Preview: Mock Draft v.1.0

    The people have spoken. If it's mock drafts you want... well, that's what you're going to get.

    1. Houston - Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State - The Astros have employed two very different strategies the last two years: They drafted Carlos Correa who wasn't perceived to be the top prospect to save money to draft guys who dropped later. Last year they took the #1 talent in Mark Appel. If they choose to go with the talent - which they should because the drop off to get savings is significant - Rodon is the answer.

    Every weekday for the next three weeks, Twins Daily will be previewing the June draft.
    2. Miami - Brady Aiken, LHP, California prep - Aiken is a fine consolation prize for a team which had hoped to draft Rodon. Aiken is the safer of the two high school picks and could ascend through the minors much like Dylan Bundy did recently.

    3. Chicago White Sox - Tyler Kolek, RHP, Texas prep - This pick was a slam-dunk before Jeff Hoffman got hurt. Now the White Sox are left to choose between Kolek and Alex Jackson. For now, it's Kolek.

    4. Chicago Cubs - Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina - Stay with me here. The Cubs desperately want a pitcher. But why a pitcher that's out for a year? Hoffman still might be the guy that provides front-of-the-rotation ability the soonest (and by that I mean 2017). Tyler Beede might enter the discussion, based on the history he has with their minor league pitching coordinator.

    5. Minnesota - Alex Jackson, C/OF, California prep - The Twins stay true to their board and take Jackson. For the record, I currently have their board as 1) Rodon 2) Aiken 3) Jackson 4) Kolek 5) Gordon. Jackson will likely tie up the entire slot ($3.851m). I would also anticipate the Twins having Jackson continue to catch a few times a week while also playing RF in Cedar Rapids next year.

    6. Seattle - Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU - Nola's not going to be a front-end guy, but he'll move quickly. So give him a year or so and he'll make a nice #3 behind King Felix and Taijuan Walker.

    7. Philadelphia - Nick Gordon, SS, Florida prep - While it seems silly to take a prep shortstop in consecutive drafts (especially after hitting on J.P. Crawford last year), Gordon is the exact type of player (see: crazy athletic) that the Phillies love.

    8. Colorado - Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville - Freeland could be in play at #7 - the Phillies did draft him out of high school. Freeland grew up in Denver, so no doubt there is some familiarity both ways.

    9. Toronto - Trea Turner, SS, NC State - Turner seems like a relatively safe pick here for a team that comes back on the board at #11.

    10. New York Mets - Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford - Newcomb has solidified his spot in the Top 15 and the Mets are in need of a pitcher. But, they also need hitting and that could lead them to Michael Conforto or Bradley Zimmer.

    11. Toronto - Touki Toussaint, RHP, Florida prep - Touki might not be the easiest guy to sign, but when you flash $3m at him. I bet he takes it.

    12. Milwaukee - Grant Holmes, RHP, South Carolina prep - The Crew could go many directions, but Holmes is the choice over Beede and Finnegan.

    13. San Diego - Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State - The Padres would likely prefer a player with a higher-ceiling, but getting a guy who has been rumored as high as #6 is not a bad second choice.

    14. San Francisco - Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt - It would be such a Giants thing to do to get a polarizing figure like Beede and turn him into Cy Young.

    15. LA Angels - Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State - This might turn out to be the steal of the draft.

    16. Arizona - Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU - How far does the short lefty drop? For today, it's to Arizona.

    17. Kansas City - Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco - Zimmer could go higher (or lower) but going to KC would be cute for the Zimmer parents.

    18. Washington - Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV - The Nats go ahead and snap up an injured pitcher because they have stock in cadaver ligament companies or because they are good at rehabbing pitchers back to health.

    19. Cincinnati - Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Florida prep

    20. Tampa Bay - Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana

    21. Cleveland - Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville

    22. LA Dodgers - Derek Hill, OF, California prep

    23. Detroit - Michael Chavis, 3B, Georgia prep

    24. Pittsburgh - AJ Reed, 1B, Kentucky

    25. Oakland - Monte Harrison, OF, Missouri prep

    26. Boston - Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia

    27. St. Louis - Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Hawaii prep

    Next Thursday, I will project the Top 34 picks. And the morning of the draft, I will go through the top 46.

    If you'd like a taste of other mock drafts, check out Baseball America, Scout.com, MLB.com and ESPN. If you do compare my final mocks to those that are more prominent, please come up with a scoring system so you can tell me how I rank when it's all said and done.

    Rip apart, discuss, debate... or do all of them.
    Comments 40 Comments
    1. Lonestar's Avatar
      Lonestar -
      16. Arizona - Brandon Finnegan, RHP, TCU - How far does the short righty drop? For today, it's to Arizona.
      Lefty? [Did you use crawford's cross-checker] And if he doesn't regain some luster in the college post season, he will drop farther than that after this weekend's start.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Whoops. What's worse is that I was looking at a picture of him when I wrote that. (And coincidentally, finished my last drink of the night right around that point.)
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      I think the Cubs go Jackson, leaving the Twins with Gordon. I would be shocked if Hoffman is took in the top 5.

      How did Toronto get 9 & 11?
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      How much under slot do you think the Cubs (or the Twins) could go in signing Hoffman?
    1. The Wise One's Avatar
      The Wise One -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      I think the Cubs go Jackson, leaving the Twins with Gordon. I would be shocked if Hoffman is took in the top 5.

      How did Toronto get 9 & 11?
      Bickford I think did not sign last year so Toronto gets a pick this year for that one.
    1. benji21's Avatar
      benji21 -
      I think the wisest thing for the Twins to do would be to peg Hoffman with the pick. He has nearly as much upside as anyone in this draft and we're unlikely to be in this position again any time soon. Bonus: he'll already have TJ out of the way! I'm not overwhelmed by Jackson or Gordon by any means. It's said that Gordon projects to have an average bat with great athletecism. Does that excite any of you? And where have we seen that combo before? Oh that's right, every year at short for the twins. I digress, thoughts on Hoff at 5?
    1. mk's Avatar
      mk -
      Benji, I agree about the added bonus for Hoffman. Even with TJ he still probably reaches the majors before a high school SS or P. My dream is for Kolek to somehow fall to 5. But, I think Gordon is the guy. I've read/heard of an advanced plate approach, added muscle for better power, and a lock to stick at short with good instincts and a plus arm. A great consolation for a team searching for their first SS to go to multiple all-star games since Zoilo Versalles in 1965.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      I was asked on Twitter last night was Gordon's ceiling and floor were. Defensively, he's going to be a plus-defender. There are more questions about his offense.

      So maybe his ceiling is .285/.340/.400 or something Andrelton Simmons-like.
      His floor is probably more .225/.280/.310 or something Pedro Florimon-like.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      I was asked on Twitter last night was Gordon's ceiling and floor were. Defensively, he's going to be a plus-defender. There are more questions about his offense.

      So maybe his ceiling is .285/.340/.400 or something Andrelton Simmons-like.
      His floor is probably more .225/.280/.310 or something Pedro Florimon-like.
      That floor scaes me when you are drafting #5 overall.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
      That floor scaes me when you are drafting #5 overall.
      As it should, but it's a reminder that there are no guarantees. It could even be lower. Florimon was in the major leagues. Matt Bush and Tim Beckham (both #1s) never made it.
    1. markos's Avatar
      markos -
      Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
      That floor scaes me when you are drafting #5 overall.
      The floor of every HS player is scary. Christopher Crawford just reviewed some of the top draft prospects of the past 10 years. http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/mlb-draft/post?id=1674
      Three past busts were very scary regarding some of the players in this year's class:

      1) "considered a canít-miss prep bat coming out of high school, as a right-handed hitter with tremendous bat speed and enough strength to project to have a plus-plus hit and power tool. Though he was a below-average athlete, he had quality hands and a plus arm, and he looked like a mainstay at the hot corner."
      Sounds similar to Alex Jackson, but this was Josh Vitters. Drafted #3 in 2007, he has spent 8 years in the Cubs minor league system. He managed to rack up an impressive -1.4 WAR in just 108 PAs in 2012 for the Cubs. Career minor league walk rate of just 5.3%.

      2) "in terms of pure stuff, few if any prep left-handers have shown better pitches and command in the last 10 years. He touched 95 mph with his fastball, and he also featured a filthy slider that could cause lefties and righties to swing and miss. Add in an above-average curveball, an average changeup from a clean delivery, along with an advanced ability to throw strikes, and you have a prospect who, on paper, seemed like a can't-miss star."
      Brady Aiken? Nope, Tyler Matzek, who has yet to have a BB/9 less that 4.5.

      College players aren't immune, either.
      3) "left-hander with a fastball that touched 96 mph and a slider that flashed plus-plus with hard, late tilt, many thought he would be an ace."
      Rodon? Nope, Andrew Miller, who only found success in the majors as a left-handed specialist after failing as a starter.

      If Gordon's floor is Florimon, then Jackson's floor is Vitters, which might be worse.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by markos View Post
      The floor of every HS player is scary. Christopher Crawford just reviewed some of the top draft prospects of the past 10 years. http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/mlb-draft/post?id=1674
      Three past busts were very scary regarding some of the players in this year's class:

      1) "considered a canít-miss prep bat coming out of high school, as a right-handed hitter with tremendous bat speed and enough strength to project to have a plus-plus hit and power tool. Though he was a below-average athlete, he had quality hands and a plus arm, and he looked like a mainstay at the hot corner."
      Sounds similar to Alex Jackson, but this was Josh Vitters. Drafted #3 in 2007, he has spent 8 years in the Cubs minor league system. He managed to rack up an impressive -1.4 WAR in just 108 PAs in 2012 for the Cubs. Career minor league walk rate of just 5.3%.

      2) "in terms of pure stuff, few if any prep left-handers have shown better pitches and command in the last 10 years. He touched 95 mph with his fastball, and he also featured a filthy slider that could cause lefties and righties to swing and miss. Add in an above-average curveball, an average changeup from a clean delivery, along with an advanced ability to throw strikes, and you have a prospect who, on paper, seemed like a can't-miss star."
      Brady Aiken? Nope, Tyler Matzek, who has yet to have a BB/9 less that 4.5.

      College players aren't immune, either.
      3) "left-hander with a fastball that touched 96 mph and a slider that flashed plus-plus with hard, late tilt, many thought he would be an ace."
      Rodon? Nope, Andrew Miller, who only found success in the majors as a left-handed specialist after failing as a starter.

      If Gordon's floor is Florimon, then Jackson's floor is Vitters, which might be worse.
      Sure, every player can flame out and not make the big show. Absolutely, nobody is can't miss. Delmon Young was can't miss. Brandon Wood was a top prospect. Andy Marte. But the reason Gordons floor scares me is that he offensive ceiling is Simmons. Simmons is not a good hitter. In over 900 at bats, his OPS is .710.

      Jackson has been described as the highest likelihood to consistently hit 35 HR a year.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Jackson, Gordon, or Touki (can't recall how to spell the last name) are my preferences. "best breaking ball" is a good tool to have.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Jackson, Gordon, or Touki (can't recall how to spell the last name) are my preferences. "best breaking ball" is a good tool to have.
      My 3 are Freeland, Jackson, and Touki in order.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      I think Gordon probably makes the most sense. A lot of draft rankers have him in the 4-7 range, he's very likely to stick at short, which is a organizational weakness. Very likely the BPA when they pick and he'll likely sign for a little less than others so they save money.

      (That said, if one of the other four (Aiken, Rodon, Kolek or Jackson) fall, I'd hope we grab them.)

      But Gordon isn't really a sexy pick and it'll be years before he makes the majors so it's a bit boring. I'd be ok with either of the two college arms - Nola/Freeland - or if the Twins went a little risky with Touki.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      From what I've read, Gordon should move quickly for a HSer. "very advanced approach" is the quote I recall.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
      But the reason Gordons floor scares me is that he offensive ceiling is Simmons. Simmons is not a good hitter. In over 900 at bats, his OPS is .710
      Simmons was a pop-up guy who spent one year at a JC and got less than 1000 minor league ABs. He's only 24 and has less than 1000 MLB plate appearances. There's still projection left. I don't see either as .300 hitters, but a little below.

      Heck, the easy comp to make is Dee Gordon, who's playing out of his mind, and only has a .750 OPS. Granted, Nick will have more pop and Dee will have more speed. Though it won't be big-time home run power and I'd think Dee's speed probably allows him to take extra bases and it might all even out in the end anyway.
    1. LewFordLives's Avatar
      LewFordLives -
      I'd like to see the Twins go with one of the college arms that will be available to them (Nola, Freeland, Beede). I still think pitching is a weakness for this organization. At AAA and AA we have Meyer and then a bunch of guys who don't project to be front of the rotation starters. Of the guys at A ball or Rookie, (Berrios, Stewart, Lee, Gonsalves, Thorpe)....the reality is that some will get hurt and others will have difficulty adjusting to higher competition. The Twins rolled the dice on a prep arm last year. Outside of Rodon, they should have their pick of the top college pitchers this year.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      There are more holes in this system than can be counted. The MLB is starting SS in the OF because they have no OF in Minnesota or AAA or AA right now. There are no SS anyone loves in the system. BPA.....
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      Simmons was a pop-up guy who spent one year at a JC and got less than 1000 minor league ABs. He's only 24 and has less than 1000 MLB plate appearances. There's still projection left. I don't see either as .300 hitters, but a little below.

      Heck, the easy comp to make is Dee Gordon, who's playing out of his mind, and only has a .750 OPS. Granted, Nick will have more pop and Dee will have more speed. Though it won't be big-time home run power and I'd think Dee's speed probably allows him to take extra bases and it might all even out in the end anyway.
      I do agree that Simmons has a little project left hut even if Simmons doesn't advance any more he was worth 6.9 WAR last year (baseball reference) and finished 14th in NL MVP voting. He would have been the best player on the Twins last year. 100 MPH pitchers and 30HR middle of the order batters are sexy but not more valuable.

      One other thing to note is while Dee is faster he has now been moved to second base because of his poor feel for the position/poor arm. Gordon won't have either of those problems.
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