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  • Twins Draft Preview: Mock Draft v.2.0

    This is the second go-around at putting a mock draft together. The final installment will come on draft-day morning.

    In this installment, you will see that I also included where the players were listed in last week's mock draft (version 1.0). Please feel free to comment and ask questions below.

    1. Houston - Brady Aiken, LPH, California prep - It’s becoming more apparent that the Astros are looking to save some cash here. If they can do that and get the top pitcher in the draft, great. If they can do that and not take a pitcher, that might be better. But for now, it’s Aiken. (Last week: Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State)

    2. Miami - Alex Jackson, C/OF, California prep - There’s some belief that the decision may be made solely by the owner - and that it will be Carlos Rodon - I’m going to stick with smarter heads prevailing. (Last week: Brady Aiken, LHP, California prep)

    3. Chicago White Sox - Tyler Kolek, RHP, Texas prep - I’ve been back and forth on this one. Either way, White Sox are in a good position. (Last week: No change)

    4. Chicago Cubs - Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State - This would be a coup for the Cubs. The possibility remains that they could work a deal on the cheap and steal someone later. (Last week - Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina - which I still believe is a real possibility, if Rodon goes to the Marlins)

    5. Minnesota - Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU - Nola is everything the Twins love in a pitcher. There’s also a ton of safety in the pick. While “Top 5” shouldn’t be a safe pick, this is a situation where it just makes sense. (Last week: Alex Jackson, C/OF, California prep)

    6. Seattle - Nick Gordon, SS, Florida prep - (Last week: Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU)

    7. Philadelphia - Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford - (Last week: Nick Gordon, SS, Florida prep)

    8. Colorado - Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville - (Last week: No change)

    9. Toronto - Trea Turner, SS, NC State - (Last week: No change)

    10. New York Mets - Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State - (Last week: Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford)

    11. Toronto - Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina - (Last week: Touki Toussaint, RHP, Florida prep)

    12. Milwaukee - Grant Holmes, RHP, South Carolina prep - (Last week: No change)

    13. San Diego - Touki Toussaint, RHP, Florida prep - (Last week: Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State)

    14. San Francisco - Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt - (Last week: No change)

    15. LA Angels - Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State - (Last week: No change)

    16. Arizona - Monte Harrison, OF, Missouri prep - (Last week: Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU)

    17. Kansas City - Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Florida prep - (Last week: Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco)

    18. Washington - Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco - (Last week: Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV)

    19. Cincinnati - Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana - (Last week: Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Florida prep)

    20. Tampa Bay - AJ Reed, 1B, Kentucky - (Last week: Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana)

    21. Cleveland - Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV - (Last week: Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville)

    22. LA Dodgers - Derek Hill, OF, California prep - (Last week: No change)

    23. Detroit - Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville - (Last week: Michael Chavis, 3B, Georgia prep)

    24. Pittsburgh - Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU - (Last week: AJ Reed, 1B, Kentucky)

    25. Oakland - Ti’quan Forbes, SS, Mississippi prep - (Last week: Monte Harrison, OF, Missouri prep)

    26. Boston - Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia - (Last week: No change)

    27. St. Louis - Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Hawaii prep - (Last week: No change)

    28. Kansas City - Jacob Gatewood, 3B, California prep

    29. Cincinnati - Spencer Adams, RHP, Georgia prep

    30. Texas - Jack Flaherty, RHP, California prep

    31. Cleveland - Jacob Lindgren, LHP, Mississippi State

    32. Atlanta - Michael Gettys, OF, Georgia prep

    33. Boston - Luis Ortiz, RHP, California prep

    34. St. Louis - Justus Sheffield, LHP, Tennessee prep
    Comments 69 Comments
    1. nfisch22's Avatar
      nfisch22 -
      Im a bigger fan of Freeland than I am Nola. Mostly because I prefer the LHP, I think they are both very good college arms that can help the twins sooner than later.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      I don't think anyone has said Nola has a FLOOR of a #3 pitcher, only a ceiling of a #3. There has never been a pitcher in the history of ever that has had a floor of a #3. That's basically a zero percent chance that he will bust.

      The guy throws 91-92 mph and no wipeout breaking pitch. That means he has less margin of error than a guy who is able to miss bats. He might be a good MLB pitcher, but the odds aren't going to be much, if any, better than it is for the other top arms. Anyway, I could care less if this team had another "Mike Leake." Even the Twins could afford a "Mike Leake" on the free agent market. With a top 10 pick, the goal should be to get someone you otherwise would have a hard time affording. As for the 'quick to the MLB' talk, even if it's true (cough cough Wimmers cough cough) so what? What's with the instant gratification? I don't want quick to the majors, I want All-Star, Cy Young and World Series MVP.

      Either way, the Twins haven't been down to see Nola in a month but are all over most of the other top projected guys. I'm feeling pretty good that he's off the board.
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      Nola's upside is being downplayed. People are so afraid of the word safe given the FO history there's overreaction to Nola being tagged with the term "safe". I'd put his upside higher than Gibson who I view as a solid 2 in the future.

      How great would it be if they took Nola & Hoffman fell to their 2nd pick.
    1. twinsfanstreif's Avatar
      twinsfanstreif -
      Quote Originally Posted by tarheeltwinsfan View Post
      So we don't draft Kolek because he throws the ball too fast?
      No the worry on Kolek is that he ONLY throws fast, he's really not much more than the 100+ fastball and he has control issues! Seth's point was that very few in history have been able to maintain that and without his FB he quickly becomes a bullpen guy
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsfanstreif View Post
      No the worry on Kolek is that he ONLY throws fast, he's really not much more than the 100+ fastball and he has control issues! Seth's point was that very few in history have been able to maintain that and without his FB he quickly becomes a bullpen guy
      I would not be too worried about Kolek for a few reasons. First, he is 18 and throws 100. He is not the first guy with command issues or questions about his secondary offerings at that age. With improved command and an other pitch to emerge, you could have a front line starter. You just can't teach that kind of velocity.

      If he needs Tommy John eventually and loses some velocity, 96-97 is OK too.
    1. Dman's Avatar
      Dman -
      Quote Originally Posted by nfisch22 View Post
      Im a bigger fan of Freeland than I am Nola. Mostly because I prefer the LHP, I think they are both very good college arms that can help the twins sooner than later.
      I kind of like Freeland as well. I guess Newcomb and TT might have more upside but I like how Freeland attacks the zone, has good velocity and is a lefty who can miss bats. The competition he up against isn't as good but they said the same thing about Buxton. I like Freeland at #5 a lot, but then again I like almost any pitcher at #5.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trevor0333 View Post
      Nola's upside is being downplayed. People are so afraid of the word safe given the FO history there's overreaction to Nola being tagged with the term "safe". I'd put his upside higher than Gibson who I view as a solid 2 in the future.

      How great would it be if they took Nola & Hoffman fell to their 2nd pick.
      I think it's the opposite, actually, Nola's floor is being upplayed. I like Gibson, but he's not going to be a #2 pitcher with a 5.0-6.0 K/9 rate. He doesn't have the stuff to miss bats and it doesn't appear Nola does either. These guys at best look to be middle of the rotation guys and at #5 you can and should shoot for better than that.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      People hated how the Twins always drafted control pitchers in the past but now want Freeland or Nola? I don't get it. Are people just looking at the current big league rotation and want a quick fix? This isn't the NBA or NFL.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsfanstreif View Post
      No the worry on Kolek is that he ONLY throws fast, he's really not much more than the 100+ fastball and he has control issues! Seth's point was that very few in history have been able to maintain that and without his FB he quickly becomes a bullpen guy
      Correct, and that he doesn't appear to have anything else.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
      People hated how the Twins always drafted control pitchers in the past but now want Freeland or Nola? I don't get it. Are people just looking at the current big league rotation and want a quick fix? This isn't the NBA or NFL.
      Nola sits 92-93 and hit 95 and 96 when the Twins saw him last week in the tournament. He has a ton of movement on his pitches. Has three pitches that people believe will be above average big league pitches. He can miss bats. He has good control. What's not to like?

      Like I said, I don't know enough about Gordon to say he wouldn't be a better pick, and I'm assuming Aiken, Rodon, and Jackson will be gone.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Can someone explain to me why Tyler Kolek is not Colt Griffin?
    1. Ozziedavisfan's Avatar
      Ozziedavisfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
      Can someone explain to me why Tyler Kolek is not Colt Griffin?
      A. kolek has been pitching longer. b griffin was sort of sleeper he jumped up the draft board late. c. he was picked by the royals who are wonderful judges of talent.
    1. Ozziedavisfan's Avatar
      Ozziedavisfan -
      Scouting Grades: Fastball: 80 | Slider: 65 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 65
      The latest in a long line of Texas high school fireballers, Kolek missed much of his junior season at Shepherd High after he broke his left arm in an infield collision while playing first base. He made a dramatic return to the mound in June, hitting 99 mph with his fastball at an Area Code Games tryout and peaking at 97 at the Perfect Game National Showcase. He pitched at 93-96 mph for most of the summer and hit 99 again at the Perfect Game All-America Classic in August.
      Kolek has pushed his fastball to 100 mph and above several times this spring, even out of the stretch. He throws both a 12-to-6 curveball and a sharp slider, and though the slider is newer to him, it has more upside. He rarely uses a changeup, but it has the potential to become an average offering. The only real knock on Kolek is that his control and command have yet to catch up to his premium stuff. That still hasn't prevented him from becoming a contender to go No. 1 overall to the nearby Astros. His younger brother Stephen, a right-hander who can run his fastball into the low 90s, could be an early-round pick in 2015. this what MLB says about him. he has one great pitch and two average to above average pitches. and he 18 so his control could improve. and just on a aside I hear constinatly that the twins don't have anyone that strike anyone out. so if he did slide to the twins would anyone really complain. personally I think that the pick is either going to be jackson or gordon. more likely gordon.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Nola sits 92-93 and hit 95 and 96 when the Twins saw him last week in the tournament. He has a ton of movement on his pitches. Has three pitches that people believe will be above average big league pitches. He can miss bats. He has good control. What's not to like?

      Like I said, I don't know enough about Gordon to say he wouldn't be a better pick, and I'm assuming Aiken, Rodon, and Jackson will be gone.
      I believe he only hit 95/96 in the first inning and after that stat in the 91-94 range.

      He is 6'1 and throws from an awkward arm slot. While he repeats his delivery well it is something to note. Also, he misses bats because of his control not over powering stuff. That's not what you normally picture top 5 picks to be. Maybe he turns out to be a #2 but I personally see a #3.

      Here is a questions for you Seth. You have followed the Twins minor league system as much as anyone and have you ever seen the Twins start a player in AA? I ask because after Law saw Nola's last start he suggested a team could draft him, put him in AA, and have him start in April for the big league club in spring.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ozziedavisfan View Post
      Scouting Grades: Fastball: 80 | Slider: 65 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 65
      The latest in a long line of Texas high school fireballers, Kolek missed much of his junior season at Shepherd High after he broke his left arm in an infield collision while playing first base. He made a dramatic return to the mound in June, hitting 99 mph with his fastball at an Area Code Games tryout and peaking at 97 at the Perfect Game National Showcase. He pitched at 93-96 mph for most of the summer and hit 99 again at the Perfect Game All-America Classic in August.
      Kolek has pushed his fastball to 100 mph and above several times this spring, even out of the stretch. He throws both a 12-to-6 curveball and a sharp slider, and though the slider is newer to him, it has more upside. He rarely uses a changeup, but it has the potential to become an average offering. The only real knock on Kolek is that his control and command have yet to catch up to his premium stuff. That still hasn't prevented him from becoming a contender to go No. 1 overall to the nearby Astros. His younger brother Stephen, a right-hander who can run his fastball into the low 90s, could be an early-round pick in 2015. this what MLB says about him. he has one great pitch and two average to above average pitches. and he 18 so his control could improve. and just on a aside I hear constinatly that the twins don't have anyone that strike anyone out. so if he did slide to the twins would anyone really complain. personally I think that the pick is either going to be jackson or gordon. more likely gordon.

      And this is the reason to hope that Kolek falls to us at #5. But if all he ends up with is fastball control, than maybe he's Aroldis Chapman. If he's there at #5, I hope we take him but he is a risky pick.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      If you feel like you can't be convinced that Aaron Nola could be a stud, go watch the BA Hangout where Aaron Fitt talks about him.

      Also, since posting the mock, I talked to someone who is en route to the Cities to put the final board together. I asked how much Nola could help himself with a good NCAA tournament and he basically said, now that's he's throwing 92-94, there's nothing else for him left to do. Basically, people are starting to question if he's "just" a mid-rotation guy. At now that his velo's bumped (even after 100ish innings), there's good reason to believe there's more in the tank.

      I'll be honest. I wouldn't be shocked if the Astros are starting to strongly considering Nola at 1.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
      Here is a questions for you Seth. You have followed the Twins minor league system as much as anyone and have you ever seen the Twins start a player in AA? I ask because after Law saw Nola's last start he suggested a team could draft him, put him in AA, and have him start in April for the big league club in spring.
      Gibson had 7 starts in A+ before being moved up to AA, Garza had 8 and Slowey had 14. All three were promoted in the same year they debuted.

      Maybe a reliever debuted in AA but my guess is that the Twins, and most teams, give college guys a tune up in A+ first. Appel, Gray, Gausman, Zimmer - all recent college picks - all started at A+ or lower. (Some started in rookie ball).
    1. twinkiesfan11's Avatar
      twinkiesfan11 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SarasotaBill View Post
      Take BAA.

      If Gordon is not BAA, then spend the whole 2014 Int'l Pool Money if necessary on the top Int'l SS.
      Except those don't exactly grow on trees either and from all indications most of the top 2014-2015 int'l talent already have prearranged verbal agreements in place. Out of BA's projected top 10 bonus recipients, only one (Christopher Torres) is listed as projected to remain at shortstop and it sounds like he's already locked in with the Yankees. It seems like even in the int'l market true shortstops who project to hit are very rare.

      Again, not a reason in and of itself to draft Gordon but further reinforces how valuable shortstops are. Assuming The top three pitchers are gone Gordon gets my vote.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      I'll be honest. I wouldn't be shocked if the Astros are starting to strongly considering Nola at 1.
      I would love for Nola, or Gordon for that matter to go top 4.
    1. twinsfanstreif's Avatar
      twinsfanstreif -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ozziedavisfan View Post
      Scouting Grades: Fastball: 80 | Slider: 65 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 65
      The latest in a long line of Texas high school fireballers, Kolek missed much of his junior season at Shepherd High after he broke his left arm in an infield collision while playing first base. He made a dramatic return to the mound in June, hitting 99 mph with his fastball at an Area Code Games tryout and peaking at 97 at the Perfect Game National Showcase. He pitched at 93-96 mph for most of the summer and hit 99 again at the Perfect Game All-America Classic in August.
      Kolek has pushed his fastball to 100 mph and above several times this spring, even out of the stretch. He throws both a 12-to-6 curveball and a sharp slider, and though the slider is newer to him, it has more upside. He rarely uses a changeup, but it has the potential to become an average offering. The only real knock on Kolek is that his control and command have yet to catch up to his premium stuff. That still hasn't prevented him from becoming a contender to go No. 1 overall to the nearby Astros. His younger brother Stephen, a right-hander who can run his fastball into the low 90s, could be an early-round pick in 2015. this what MLB says about him. he has one great pitch and two average to above average pitches. and he 18 so his control could improve. and just on a aside I hear constinatly that the twins don't have anyone that strike anyone out. so if he did slide to the twins would anyone really complain. personally I think that the pick is either going to be jackson or gordon. more likely gordon.
      I saw this scouting report too from MLB.com and I find it a bit fishy. If those are future grades then sure I could see that but as a current grade there's no way. His Slider and curve are very raw offering in which he has very little feel and control for. Current ratings for those pitches should be more like 50-55 tops, currently he does not have 3 plus offerings it's more like 1. 80 rating for FB is solely focused on velocity and not on movement, the velocity is impressive but 100+ has been hitable in the past with no movement! Kolek has some but it gets flat at times, 80 grade would mean it's perfect, I would knock it down a few notches to 70-75 for that reason. The change grade is based on speculation because I'm not sure he has one yet, I haven't seen any videos in which he throws one. Kolek has the highest ceiling of any prospect in this class due to his size, mechanics, and velocity but he has quite a bit of work to do, he could end up being Nolan Ryan or Randy Johnson, or he could be Joel Zumaya.
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