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Keith Law's Top 50 and his thoughts on potential Twins Draft picks...

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Keith Law of ESPN Scouts Inc. came out with the first edition of his Top 50 (Insider required) draft prospects, and had an interesting take that differed from just about every other site I have seen. The top player on his board was Georgia High School OF Byron Buxton, who I reviewed here, saying he has the “potential for five above-average or plus tools” and also echoing the comparisons to the Upton brothers I have heard elsewhere. Buxton does defiantly fit the Twins preferred draft mold as an athletic, toolsy high school OF and I think he is very in the mix for them when they draft #2 if he were available.

More after the jump
Another surprise was Law ranking High School RHP Lucas Giolito at #2 above Stanford righty Mark Appel saying Giolito has, “size, velocity, an out-pitch breaking ball, and a repeatable delivery”. Earlier this week, Law posted he thought Giolito could potentially be the first high school RHP ever taken 1st in the MLB draft, and was obviously impressed with him after watching him make his first start of 2012. He noted that, in that start, Giolito showed better fastball control and more aggressiveness attacking hitters than Law had seen from him previously. He also praised Giolito’s mechanics and compared him to Jameson Taillon, another big high school RHP who was drafted by the Pirates in 2010. He thinks Taillon has the edge on pure stuff with Giolito showing more polish with better mechanics, and think they would be a “toss-up” as to who the better prospect is (Taillon was #16 on Law’s Top 100 prospects).
Appel, who made his first start last weekend as well, showed big velocity early on (up to 97) but tired in the later innings. He thought Appel’s slider was “inconsistent, but when he threw it in the 82-84 range it had some tilt and could project as an above-average pitch”. Appel also showed a solid change up, but Law thought he fell in love with it for a part of the game writing Appel was to the point where he was pitching backwards (throwing off-speed stuff first to set up the fastball) something strange for a power pitcher to do. Law’s biggest concerns with Appel are the continuing lack of K’s his major stuff produces (only 5 in 7 inn. against a young Vanderbilt lineup) and the ability of college hitters to consistently square up his fastball. If the slider doesn’t become more consistent and really turn into a plus bat missing pitch, Appel could struggle in the pros despite his big fastball.
This was the first week for all these guys so there is a lot of time for players to raise or lower their stock in the coming months and I look forward to tracking each.
A couple of other interesting notes from Law:
*Missing from his top 50, and who was rated fairly highly everywhere else, is lefty Andrew Heaney from Oklahoma State and who I wrote about here.
*Law was also a lot higher on Zach Eflin, who I pegged as a solid option for the Twins at #63, ranking him #23 overall so it will be interesting to follow his progress this spring as well.
I plan to try to have regular updates of the prospective draft pick’s I’ve covered on this blog, and others that appear to be on the Twins radar, as we go through the spring and up to draft day.

This was orginally posted at http://thetwinsarmchairgm.blogspot.com/

Comments

  1. Thrylos's Avatar
    Giolioto is number one in my book. This kid can be MLB-ready in 1-2 years. One of the best high school pitching prospects this millennium
  2. twinsarmchairgm's Avatar
    The more I read on Giolito and Appel the more I lean towards Giolito, even if takes longer to be ready. I think 1 to 2 years would be extremely quick even for a guy like Giolito. I think realistically if he is up in 3-4 and that would be tremendous and a testament to what type of player he is
  3. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
    The Twins just have to take an arm. Whoever the Astros don't take has to be the guy. If the Astros mess up and don't take a pitcher... well, then I'm not sure who I like more...
  4. jtrinaldi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98
    Giolioto is number one in my book. This kid can be MLB-ready in 1-2 years. One of the best high school pitching prospects this millennium
    If he was in College, maybe. No way he makes it to the majors within 2 years. The twins keep their higschoolers and Younger signees in the low levels for a long time.
  5. twinsarmchairgm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jnygaard
    The Twins just have to take an arm. Whoever the Astros don't take has to be the guy. If the Astros mess up and don't take a pitcher... well, then I'm not sure who I like more...
    I dont know if we have to take an arm, I agree we have a desperate need for high end pitching prospects, but I think we have to take the best player available at #2 and whether that is is Giolito, Buxton, or Appel will be determined this spring. In my opinion, I would rank those three Giolito, Buxton, Appel and would be thrilled if the Twins land any of them.
  6. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
    I'm with thrylos on this one, I want Giolioto with that pick if he's still on the board... we have plenty of toolsy OF prospects, so taking a year off and going after a guy that could anchor the rotation for the next 6 or so years would be wise... I'm not sure, however, that he can be in the bigs in 2 years... he is a highschool prospect. That said, he definitely would deepen the farm system quite a bit.
  7. Steve Lein's Avatar
    Has a high school draftee ever made it to the majors in 1-2 years? Fastest moving player I can remember was Ken Griffey Jr., and he made his MLB debut in his 3rd season. With the Twins way of player development, I think this scenario is impossible.
  8. twinsarmchairgm's Avatar
    A-Rod was drafted in 93' and made his debut in'94
  9. Steve Lein's Avatar
    Thanks for bringing up A-Rod, kinda mad I forgot about him as I actually saw him play in A-Ball for the Appleton Foxes when I was a kid. He still didn't stick until '96 though.
  10. clutterheart's Avatar
    Many people have been down on Appel these days. But I still think the twins will take him. That 97 MPH will tough for them to pass up.
  11. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart
    Many people have been down on Appel these days. But I still think the twins will take him. That 97 MPH will tough for them to pass up.
    The reports I've read on Appel, and probably the reason that people are "down" on him, is that his results don't match up with his stuff. If last night is any indication, it looks like the results are starting to catch up - took a shutout into the eighth, scattered three hits and three walks, struckout a career-high 10 batters. If he keeps it up, I think there will be very little debate about who goes 1-1. At that point are the Twins left choosing between a high school arm (been burned by that at this spot before) and a toolsy high-school outfielder? Or do they take another highly rated college pitcher like Gausman?

    It's not that I don't like the thought of having an "Upton-type" in the outfield. I just like the thought of having a "Verlander-type" on the mound every fifth day.
  12. twinsarmchairgm's Avatar
    I agree if Appel continues this for the spring he is 1-1, at that point the Twins have to choose who ever they believe the best talent is. Whether that is Giolito, Buxton, Marrero, or someone else, they just have to take whoever they believe has the highest ceiling.
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