• Twins Go to 'Pen Early and Often on Day 2

    The second round opened with the Twins selecting LHRP Mason Melotakis out of Northwestern State. Unlike Bard before him, who will get a chance to be a starter, Melotakis will most likely start in the bullpen. He sold himself with an excellent performance in the Cape Cod League. Melotakis is a mid-90s power arm that will probably pitch some rookie-ball innings and then join the Beloit bullpen this summer.

    Nine picks later (and with Mitchell Brown still available!), the Twins took another college relief pitcher, J.T. Chargois (from Rice). Chargois compares similarly to Melotakis, throwing in the mid-90s and can run it up to the high-90s, though he has had some control issues. Chargois, however, has not had the opportunity to focus strictly on pitching, as he's played a lot of first base. I thought Chargois had a chance to go a little higher, so it will be interesting to see his bonus amount. There is a chance that he could join the Fort Myers bullpen, but it's more likely that his final destination in 2012 is Beloit. Chargois has a chance to join the Twins bullpen by 2014.

    The Twins deviated from their path to take a right-handed power bat in Adam Brett Walker out of Jacksonville. While he has drawn comps to Giancarlo Stanton, I would compare him to Josh Willingham. He is currently listed as a RF, but his future is going to either be at 1B or LF. The interesting fact about Walker is that he grew up in Wisconsin and his dad played professional football for the Minnesota Vikings. I see Walker as a guy that could sign quickly and report to low-A ball to play in front of family and friends.

    Back to college relievers, the Twins selected Zachary Jones out of San Jose State. Jones will more than likely spend his summer in Elizabethton's bullpen throwing a mid-to-high-90s fastball and a pretty good slider.

    Look for the Twins to draft T.J. Oakes, a catcher, some high school arms and a middle infielder yet in the first ten rounds.



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    UPDATE 2:17 p.m.

    The Twins added another right-handed pitcher from Rice in the 5th round - Tyler Duffey. Duffey currently shares the closer distinction with 2nd round pick J.T. Chargois. While Chargois was the higher-rated prospect, Duffey had the better numbers. Duffey, however, is not the power-pitcher that Chargois is, but will probably be given a chance to start given his ability to throw a low-90s fastball, a slider and a change-up. If the change-up doesn't come around, he'll be shifted back to the bullpen; if it does, we could be looking at an Anthony Swarzak-type pitcher. Upon signing, Duffey will probably head to Elizabethton.

    The Twins went the prep route in Round 6 to draft LHP Andre Martinez out of Archbishop McCarthy HS in Florida. An FSU commit, we're looking at the first draftee that has a signability question. Martinez projects as a starter with a deceptive delivery. If the Twins pay overslot to sign him, he would start his career with the GCL Twins.

    The Twins have to start adding some infielders at some point, right?

    EVENING UPDATE

    The Twins took their first non-pitcher or outfielder in the 7th Round when they selected Puerto Rican catcher Jorge Fernandez. Although it's not uncommon for the team to select guys off of the island, they took a guy with a lot of projection instead of their typical "Puerto Rican bat tool". Fernandez is long and skinny and a long ways away, but it sounds as though they're going to give him every opportunity to catch. Look for the Twins to get Fernandez in camp soon, so he can get as much instruction as possible while playing for the GCL Twins.

    P Christian Powell, drafted in the 8th Round from the College of Charleston, definitely looks the part of a pitcher. He is a big body who will be given every opportunity to start. He needs to learn how to pitch, but if he does, he could be a steal at this point. Upon signing, Powell will most likely start for the E-Twins.

    2B L.J. Mazzilli, son of Lee Mazzilli, was drafted out of UConn in Round 9. Mazzilli has a great bat and I was surprised he was still on the board. Though I don't necessarily see where he fits in the organization (Beloit would be the most logical choice), adding a right-handed bat at a position without great depth isn't a bad idea.

    The Twins rounded out their "valued" slots by taking a typical pitch-to-contact pitcher D.J. Baxendale out of Arkansas. Baxendale had an up-and-down year and may be a tough guy to sign. His younger brother, Blake, is heading to Arkansas next year to catch. Baxendale's ceiling is at the end of a rotation and he could find himself in the bullpen, despite not having an overpowering fastball.

    The Twins took LP Taylor Rogers in the 11th round out of Kentucky. They've gone to the left-handed well in Kentucky a few times with similar-type pitchers - Logan Darnell and Andrew Albers - and I'm sure they're looking for similar results. He will go to the Appy League if he can come to terms with the Twins.

    The Twins drafted P Alex Muren out of CS-Northridge in the 12th round. He is a good sleeper prospect who still lacks the feel for pitching, but he could make for a decent prospect in time.

    P Erich Knab, a prep righty, was drafted in the 13th round. He's committed to a junior college, so there is a good chance the Twins can get him signed. He has a high ceiling, most likely as a power-reliever, but he will more than likely, if signed, start his pro career in the GCL Twins rotation.

    14th round pick, OF Jake Proctor, is part of the new breed of Twins prospect. Injured during this past season, Proctor is a right-handed hitter with raw power. That's right, like Travis Harrison last year and Adam Brett Walker earlier today, Proctor offers a bat that could someday play well in Target Field. Proctor has a year of eligibility left and could stand to improve his draft-stock with a healthy year of baseball.

    The Twins concluded their day by taking someone that I'd been waiting all day for them to take: a college senior. LP Jarret Leverett figures to add organizational depth as a cheap, left-handed relief pitcher. Out of Georgia Southern's bullpen this year, he struck out over a hitter per inning.

    So after 18 picks, the Twins have added 13 pitchers (four lefties). Only five prepsters were selected, which is similar to their numbers last year.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Add Bullpen Arms (and a Bat) started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Good stuff. I think that High School arms (and bats) are unsignable now. JC and College only next.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Yeah, you're probably right. This is usually the time to pop a $5,000 college senior infielder. I thought Pat Cantwell (Stony Brook catcher) would be a good pick for the Twins, bummed to see him go. Pretty typical to grab a catcher sometime today though. Waiting for that Puero Rican bat to go too!
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I suspect that a certain SP from the U of MN is coming up soon for the Twins
    1. TwinsGuy55422's Avatar
      TwinsGuy55422 -
      Thanks for the draft updates and analysis. Good stuff. They are certainly going heavy on the pitchers.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Thrylos, did you track your Top 22 (+ Brown) and where and when they were drafted? Any still available?
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Good job going for relief. It's a known fact that starters can never become relievers, so it's better to find those guys who even colleges don't want to start or who don't have more than one good pitch. And they have late-inning experience. Just like Capps.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Sorry, I'm cranky. And the Twins have jaded me.
    1. J-Dog Dungan's Avatar
      J-Dog Dungan -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinstalker View Post
      Good job going for relief. It's a known fact that starters can never become relievers, so it's better to find those guys who even colleges don't want to start or who don't have more than one good pitch. And they have late-inning experience. Just like Capps.
      Just like the best pitcher the Twins currently have. Who is that again? Oh yeah, its Glen Perkins, WHO WAS A STARTER coughcoughcoughcoughcough and is now a reliever who is making a killing
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      While I cannot really think of anyone at the moment who was a reliever in college and who became a starter in the bigs (not just for the Twins . . . . but in baseball . . . . someone needs to research this!), I think there might be a bit of a misunderstanding about why certain pitchers are relievers in college. First, often times college teams don't specialize their relievers nearly as much (or as stupidly, in my view) as teams have done in the majors. Relievers often come in for multiple innings at a time. Second, sometimes relievers are relievers in college simply because they are better as relievers than other pitchers on the team, but that says nothing about how they compare as starters. Purdue's best pitcher this year, by far, was Nick Wittgren. He is, by far, the only one likely to make the majors on the staff, and there is a 50/50 chance that it will be as a starter if he does make it. He was the team's closer (though that sometimes meant three innings).

      I am not defending the strategy, but there may be something to the idea that the Twins don't want overused arms. They have obviously had some injury issues with starting college pitchers lately. They can sign these college relievers and give them a bunch of innings this year without too much worry. And they aren't generally taking any old reliever . . . they are taking hard throwers.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      I was surprised that Deron Johnson favorably compared Melotakis' delivery to Terry Mulholland. I assumed they would try to change Melotakis' delivery-- he will never be a hard-throwing starting pitcher the way he works now. My guess is that they have no long-term starting plans for any of the college guys other than Bard.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by shanewahl View Post
      While I cannot really think of anyone at the moment who was a reliever in college and who became a starter in the bigs (not just for the Twins . . . . but in baseball . . . . someone needs to research this!), I think there might be a bit of a misunderstanding about why certain pitchers are relievers in college. First, often times college teams don't specialize their relievers nearly as much (or as stupidly, in my view) as teams have done in the majors. Relievers often come in for multiple innings at a time. Second, sometimes relievers are relievers in college simply because they are better as relievers than other pitchers on the team, but that says nothing about how they compare as starters. Purdue's best pitcher this year, by far, was Nick Wittgren. He is, by far, the only one likely to make the majors on the staff, and there is a 50/50 chance that it will be as a starter if he does make it. He was the team's closer (though that sometimes meant three innings).

      I am not defending the strategy, but there may be something to the idea that the Twins don't want overused arms. They have obviously had some injury issues with starting college pitchers lately. They can sign these college relievers and give them a bunch of innings this year without too much worry. And they aren't generally taking any old reliever . . . they are taking hard throwers.
      Not necessarily college pitchers but plenty of starters were relievers at one point in their career. Texas has Ogando and Feliz starting. Lance Lynn with the Cards is doing well as a starter. Sale with the White Sox was a reliever, now a decent starter. These are all first year starters, perhaps the league will catch on to what they do. Career wise notable for coming in from the pen was Dave Stewart, Derek Lowe and David Wells. Specifically college relievers would take a little time. The bigger question with all of these pitchers is do they have a good enough coach in the minors to teach them the third and fourth pitches they will need. These players show some skill and success at the college level. As none have that wow factor then they would have to be taught skills.
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