Draft Series - Part 4: Five for 45
by, 05-14-2014 at 09:01 PM (361 Views)
This is the fourth in a series of (somewhat) weekly installments leading up to the June 5th through 7th draft. The focus is intended to be very Twins-specific.
Part 1: Locals
Part 2: The Top
Part 3: What's New?
While you may read the title and think I’m referring to a 10-game Pedro Florimon stretch, I’m actually going to spotlight a handful of players that could be in play when the Twins go on the clock with the 45th overall pick.
Forecasting these possibilities is far from easy and the reasons are obvious. It’s hard to predict who the top five players who go off the board will be; it’s impossible to predict who the 44 guys will be that aren’t available for the Twins to choose from.
It is my personal conjecture that the avenue the Twins go with their first round pick will have an effect on how they use their second pick. For example, if the Twins take SS Nick Gordon at #5, they would be less likely to take another shortstop in the second round. While the Twins could conceivably go back-to-back pitchers (or even prep pitchers), it’s not a common path they’ve taken (though it was the path chosen in 2013).
LHP Mac Marshall (Lilburn, GA): Marshall’s value seemed to spike early as he performed exceptionally at the Perfect Game National Showcase at the Metrodome. He showed more velocity and more raw tools than he ever had previously and he made a case to be a mid- to late-first round pick. In their most recent rankings, both Baseball America and Perfect Game have Marshall rated as the 53rd-best draft prospect, which would put him right in line with the Twins 2nd-round pick.
The pitcher that Marshall is now is a three-pitch guy. The lefty typically sits in the 88-91 range, but can reach back and hit as high as 94. Professionally, his best results are going to come when he’s in the high-80s range. Marshall’s best pitch is his 80 mph change-up. Perfect Game calls the pitch the best any draft-eligible lefty throws and also ranks it the 3rd best among all prep pitchers. Rounding out his repertoire, Marshall also throws a curveball with true downhill break. It has the potential to be above-average and it’s best when he’s throwing it in the mid-70s.
The young lefty evokes comparisons to current Ray Matt Moore (6-3, 200) and they are about the same size (Marshall is 6-2, 185).
LHP Cody Reed (Athens, AL): Reed is being vastly undervalued. Baseball America has Reed ranked #44, while Perfect Game has him all the way down at #81. You can throw those rankings out the window, though, the Twins have this southpaw ranked much, much higher. Reed pitched this summer at 220 with a fastball that barely broke 90. Six months - and apparently 40 pounds of Southern-style cookin’ later - Reed is 260 and pumping mid-90s gas. This Vanderbilt commit is no one-trick pony though. His change-up is a work in progress, but both of his breaking balls (slider and curve) are coming along nicely.
Reed has been completely dominant in his final high school season and, according to Baseball America, has recorded 84% of his outs this year via strikeout. He also has a 21-strikeout game to his record. It goes without saying that the conditioning will need to be monitored closely, ain’t nobody want CC Sabathia walking through that door. Only we do. We want the fat CC…. and his Cy Youngs.
RHP Michael Cederoth (San Diego St): Cederoth was one of the first names in this draft class that people started to hear about. The reason was that Cederoth was touching 100 mph the fall before his sophomore year. Cederoth has struggled with his control and has found himself in a relief role where his fastball plays up and he can concentrate more on throwing just that and his slider.
Baseball America ranks Cederoth #46 and Perfect Game has him at #63. It will be interesting to see which team thinks they can successfully convert the college hard-thrower into a starter, a move the Twins have attempted to make a number of time in the recent past. The knock on Cederoth is that he’s got a violent delivery, one that might be best suited for short stints.
SS Ti’Quan Forbes (Columbia, MS): If the Twins end up with Nick Gordon high on their board in the first round and miss, Forbes would be a more-than-adequate consolation prize. Forbes doesn’t come without question marks; in fact, he comes with a toolshed full of them. But the Twins have always been drawn to guys with lots of tools and Forbes has a lot of same qualities that Niko Goodrum did coming out of high school.
Forbes is currently 6-4, 180 and, like Goodrum, the perception is that his future position is anywhere but shortstop. His qualities - in both his hands and his balance point - suggest the infield is a reasonable destination. His arm, though, is not the arm you’d want to put deep in the hole.
Both Baseball America (55) and Perfect Game (60), rank Forbes as a potential 2nd rounder. Could he be a match for the Twins?
OF/RHP Dylan Davis (Oregon State): Davis is gradually turning into one of my “personal cheeseballs”. Not because I think he’s going to turn into the best player from this class, but simply because he’s very unique. Davis was a very highly regarded pitcher coming out of high school. He was throwing mid-90 gas and only a strong commitment to Oregon State kept him from getting drafted. As it turns out, Davis made his contributions first as a hitter and through two rounds in the Cape Cod - a league which churns out Twins draftees at a very high rate - further solidified his status as a future outfielder.
But here’s the rub: Davis is up to 97 and has a potentially wipeout slider. But before you turn around and call him a pitcher, remember he’s got, arguably, the most right-handed raw power of any player in this draft.
So what the heck do you do? Well, the most likely scenario is that a team drafts him and calls him an outfielder. Maybe a team likes him and tries to make him a starter. Or… maybe a team drafts him as a right fielder and still lets him relieve once or twice a week. I mean, the Twins do love versatility. This would bring the versatility game to a whole new level.
So, what do you think?