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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. twinsfanstreif's Avatar
      twinsfanstreif -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      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.
      I believe this too, it reminds me so much of the Andrew Heaney situation, he was the most dominate pitcher in college that year but his velocity was in the 90-93 range and many said he had no projection left (I liked him but We definitely made the right choice with Buxton). In the minors he bumped up to 94-96 and he's the most dominate lefty in the minors with 3-4 plus offerings. Nola could do the same, I'm starting to believe that with a great weekend he could get a huge bump (I'm torn on this, I'm on the Nola bandwagon but I'm also a University of Houston grad so I'm really hoping he doesn't face us)
    1. Macneil4025's Avatar
      Macneil4025 -
      I'm totally on the Aaron Nola Bandwagon!! He pitches in the best college conference and dominates, that should say everything!! Look at his production compared to Carlos Rondon, Nola is a better pitcher!! Just think Brad Radke, and smile!!
    1. Ozziedavisfan's Avatar
      Ozziedavisfan -
      You would be unhappy with zumaya in his prime? think more Matt Andreson.all I'm saying is if he has work to do let him do that work for the twins if he is available.
    1. twinsfanstreif's Avatar
      twinsfanstreif -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ozziedavisfan View Post
      You would be unhappy with zumaya in his prime? think more Matt Andreson.all I'm saying is if he has work to do let him do that work for the twins if he is available.
      I would totally be unhappy with Zumaya in his prime, first he was a reliever, we should get a starter with #5, secondly Zumaya was very hitable even with his 100+ FB, he had no movement and mlb hitters could pick it up. Zumaya was a set up guy who was always injured, that would be an awful pick
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Kolek could be the next Roger Clemens. I would love it if he slipped through.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Macneil4025 View Post
      I'm totally on the Aaron Nola Bandwagon!! He pitches in the best college conference and dominates, that should say everything!! Look at his production compared to Carlos Rondon, Nola is a better pitcher!! Just think Brad Radke, and smile!!
      I do think of Brad Radke and smile. I don't think of aiming for a Brad Radke at #5 overall and smile.

      It's like aiming for another division title knowing it has next to no chance of turing into a World Series title.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      "It's like aiming for another division title knowing it has next to no chance of turing into a World Series title" All division titles have a fair chance at turning into a WS title. Just because it didn't turn that way for the Twins the assumption is that it couldn't have. I agree that Radke shouldn't be the goal. Santana or Liriano or Verlander should be the goal but if you shoot for Verlander and he ends up producing like Radke that is ok since there are very few Verlanders out there and Radke wasn't bad.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      " Santana or Liriano or Verlander should be the goal but if you shoot for Verlander and he ends up producing like Radke that is ok since there are very few Verlanders out there and Radke wasn't bad.
      Yeah, Radke wasn't bad. Since 1972, among AL pitchers, Radke is 25th in fWAR.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      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.
      I'm gonna look into lack of scouting claim. If that true, very interesting.

      I believe he's far from "off their board".
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Law was at the last Nola performance and he noted in his write up the white Sox, cubs, marlins, and Twins were well represented. He also came back with a different point of view this fof Nola than Aaron Fitt. Here is what Law said:

      "I don't see No. 1 or No. 2 starter upside with Nola -- what you see here is what you'll get. But I also think you could sign him, run him right out to Double-A and get him on your major league roster by next April. "

      Interesting two experts saw the same performance and have such different views of Nola.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by tarheeltwinsfan View Post
      We need a SS more than we need a middle of the rotation guy (Nola). If we don't select Gordon, where will our future SS come from? Santana and Gordon have equal chances of becoming a competent major league SS and I predict Gordon will be the better of the two.
      I am not sure about the last sentence, but I think the answer to your question is Polanco, Vielma or Escobar in decreasing probability order.

      Gordon has Levi Michael written all over him for some reason.
    1. amjgt's Avatar
      amjgt -
      What is Gordon's upside?

      Starting ML Shortstop with an OK hit tool, not much power, and not as much speed as his brother?

      I'm sure I'm selling him short, but someone tell me where.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I liked last week's mock much better

      Jackson is the gem of this draft...
    1. amjgt's Avatar
      amjgt -
      If Nola going above us means we get Jackson, then I am all for it, but I've got a seat booked on the Nola bandwagon.
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Soooo torn as to my preference.

      Hate to state the obvious but Aiken and Rodon hands down, either one. If my arm were twisted, I'd go with Rodon because of his maturity and ability to rise quicker. But, of course, there is probably only something like a 5% chance of either of them sliding to us.

      I liked Kolek initially, early in the season. But I have lessened my opinion on him as the season has ground down, and I've read more reports on him. A mid to high 90's FB that can hit a 100 is very intriguing to state the obvious. But a lack of control and questions surrounding all of his secondary pitches concerns me. I'm afraid he could end up as a tease. No question the potential is outstanding, and he as a good, large frame that would seem to indicate the velocity is real and can be maintained. But there is a litany of really hard throwers who remain just that over the course of years of baseball prospects. And am I the only one who worries about an 18 y.o. arm already throwing that hard consistently.

      Jackson, if he's really the hitting prospect he's reported to be, especially if he sticks at C is a great option. No offense to Pinto, but another top offensive C in the system, at least a few years away, is not only not a bad thing, but it's one of those premium positions where it's hard to find a real quality 2-way player. Again, I just don't think there is much of a chance of him lasting to pick 5.

      I don't think you gamble at #5 on Hoffman and a complete recovery. But it is tempting. Freeland is very tempting with his stuff and being LH. But there are some questions about delivery and follow through. I believe Nola is my choice if we go pitcher. He's been a top and clutch performer in a major conference on major stages his whole career. He's gotten better each year. Not only that, but it appears he's even getting better as THIS season has gone along.

      If Jackson is gone as expected, that leaves Gordon and Turner as the top position players available. Gordon is reported to be a potentially excellent defensive player. That's important. However, I'm not thrilled by the scouting grades I'm seeing. Perhaps I'm being naive, but for the 5th pick in the draft, do you make the move on a young man who seems to grade 60-65 in his categories? Think about the grades on Buxton and Sano for instance, even though Sano was an amateur signing and not an actual draft choice. Does Gordon at 5, even projectable, compare?

      Two months ago, Turner was figured to be a top 3 pick who all Twins fans were hoping and praying could somehow slip to 5. A very good season, then a great season, but followed by a good season this year has had him sliding. He rates, or has rated, as a plus hitter and OB performer with plus-plus speed and SB ability.
      If he can be a good, solid defensive SS, he has real top of the order potential. At worse, a nightmare at the bottom of the order to opposing teams.

      All this being said, my choices are Nola if we go pitcher, Turner if we go position player. These are real talents, with projectable ability, with college age and experience on big stages in quality leagues.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      IIRC, when Nolan Ryan was first promoted to the Mets (age 19 I think!!), he was considered: raw, wild, only has a fastball, and in general dismissed. I would be more afraid of missing out on the next Nolan Ryan than on the next Brad Radke.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by amjgt View Post
      What is Gordon's upside?

      Starting ML Shortstop with an OK hit tool, not much power, and not as much speed as his brother?

      I'm sure I'm selling him short, but someone tell me where.
      Upside? A true SS prospect with All star/top 5 SS. Maybe people are still stuck on the early season ranks but he is in almost all top 5s. His bat has definitely progressed this year.
    1. markos's Avatar
      markos -
      Quote Originally Posted by amjgt View Post
      What is Gordon's upside?

      Starting ML Shortstop with an OK hit tool, not much power, and not as much speed as his brother?

      I'm sure I'm selling him short, but someone tell me where.
      I have seen some scouts give him a future power grade of 55 to go with 50 hit. That would project him hitting .260-.280 with 15-20 HRs and lots of doubles. If he walks enough, his OPS is between .750 and .800. Combined with above-average defense at SS, and he is a 4-6 Win player. If all that pans out, then I think his upside is Jimmy Rollins with a little less speed, which is a pretty dang good player. Granted there are a lot of hopes and dreams involved with that projection, but then again every HS kid is wrapped in hopes and dreams right now.
    1. SDTwinsFan's Avatar
      SDTwinsFan -
      I think there are a ton of studs in this draft. The anticipation is killing me. I'll be happy with any of the consensus top 5, with maybe a little extra excitement on Jackson, and extra worry with Kolek. Nola seems pretty legit to me, though, as he appears to have been labled a "soft-tosser/control-artist" prematurely. Touki (spelling?) would also be cool--I saw someone post earlier about how top-rated curveballs in pitchers tend to do the best with draft prospects.
      Anyway, in a week, we will all be discussing this in a different way. Excited.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Not a huge fan of Nola, given his delivery and the strain it puts on his elbow. I'd rather have Gordon.
      I disagree. Aaron Nola's delivery transfers power correctly in sequence from push, then turn, then flip. His flip is out front of his right shoulder, so there is no strain to his rotator cuff and little strain in his elbow. He is generating velocity from a rhythmic progression from drive leg to torso to arm, much like the MLB pitcher he most resembles, Jared Weaver. It's a very arm-friendly motion because the majority of the power isn't coming from his arm.

      My only worry about Nola is holding runners. His delivery seems a bit leisurely, which may allow fast guys to steal his lunch money. Nola may need to vary the timing of his set to keep runners from getting a big jump.
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