Twins Draft Report Card
|The Twins don't often get a shot at elite college pitchers such as Gibson picking lower in the draft. Getting Bashore, Bullock and Tootle injected four quality arms into a system well-versed in developing pitchers but somewhat lacking in power arms.
BEST PURE HITTER:
: 2B Derek McCallum (4) hit just .241 in his debut but was gassed after carrying Minnesota to a 40-19 season. He's got a short, strong swing and surprising strength for his 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame. >> BEST POWER HITTER:
: Sophomore-eligible OF Steve Liddle has a short, direct swing now but has good size (6 feet, 210 pounds) and has raw power potential. >> FASTEST RUNNER:
: The Twins didn't sign a burner. OF Nick Freitas (33) is a slightly above-average runner. He has interesting tools, including bat speed and a plus ram, but he remains raw after four years of college split between Miami's bench and Southern Utah. >> BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
SS Brian Dozier (8) profiles better at second base, but his instincts and excellent hands could keep him on the left side of the diamond. He has solid arm strength and just enough range to go with good infield actions.
RHP Ben Tootle (4) reached 98 mph consistently in the Cape Cod League in 2008 and sat in the 93-96 range prior to a bout of tendinitis this summer, which followed a difficult, illness-plagued spring. RHP Billy Bullock (2) sat at 93-95 mph all summer. >> BEST SECONDARY PITCH:
RHP Kyle Gibson (1) has an 82-85 mph slider with power, tilt and feel. It's such an out pitch that at times he relied on it too much as an amateur, but he can pitch at 91-92 mph with his heavy sinking fastball as well. LHP Matt Bashore (1s) also has a plus curveball.
ODDS AND ENDS
BEST PRO DEBUT:
Dozier finished second in the Appalachian League batting race with Rookie-level Elizabethton, finishing at .353/.417/.431. OF Chris Herrmann (6) hit .297/.391/.453 on the same team and is working out at catcher in instructional league. He has good hitting tools and the strength to hit for power. >> BEST ATHLETE:
Dozier and Freitas are the best of a below-average crop by Twins standards. >> MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:
: Liddle's father Steven had an eight-year minor league playing career and is the Twins' big league bench coach. SS Nick Lockwood (9) signed with the Twins, while his older brother Nick, an outfielder at South Florida, didn't sign as a 39th-round pick of the Athletics. >> CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS:
Bullock could outpace Gibson because he's in the bullpen, but a healthy Gibson-who had a forearm stress fracture crop up just before the draft-should move quickly. >> BEST LATE-ROUND PICK:
RHP Dakota Watts (16) is strictly a reliever but has size (6-foot-5, 210 pounds) and a big fastball at 93-95 mph. >> THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY:
The Twins wanted SS Ronnie Richardson (11), an explosive 5-foot-6 Chone Figgins clone who was the best athlete they drafted. They couldn't keep him from headlining Central Florida's recruiting class.