2011 Draft Report Card: Minnesota Twins
BEST PURE HITTER:
|An organization in need of power arms got an infusion while adding a pair of high-ceiling hitters. A full return to health for Michael could give the Twins a much-needed middle-infield bat.
Bonus Spending: $5.9 million
The Twins signed just 10 position players, a total that includes top picks SS Levi Michael (1) and 3B/1B Travis Harrison (1s). Michael has a polished approach, having walked more than he struck out in his final two seasons at North Carolina, and has a sound swing from both sides of the plate. Harrison has present strength and a pure feel for hitting. BEST POWER HITTER:
Harrison's swing lacks loft, but the Twins see so much hard contact that they think he'll have plus home run power down the line. FASTEST RUNNER:
Michael struggled with groin inflammation and hip issues all spring, muting his bat and plus speed. He was still 15-for-16 stealing bases this spring. BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
The Twins believe in Michael's above-average defensive tools at short. SS Tyler Grimes (5) has a 7 arm on the 2-to-8 scale and could stick at short if he learns to slow the game down and play a bit more under control.
The Twins need power arms and drafted several power RHPs in Madison Boer (2), Hudson Boyd (1s) and Matt Summers (4), who all sit in the low 90s, with Summers touching 97 in shorter bursts. Boyd has the best combination of velocity, durability and control. LHP Corey Williams (3) pitches at 93-94 mph out of the bullpen with sink and tailing action. BEST SECONDARY PITCH:
Boyd's power curveball scrapes 80 mph and has sharp, late break. Williams' slider also can be plus, at times reaching 84-85 mph with cutter action.
ODDS AND ENDSBEST PRO DEBUT:
The Twins intend for Boer to start in 2012, but he stood out as a reliever this summer, posting a 43-3 strikeout-walk ratio in 25 innings with 11 saves and reaching low Class A Beloit. Summers was similarly dominant at Rookie-level Elizabethton, going 1-1, 0.87 with a 36-5 K-BB ratio in 21 innings. BEST ATHLETE:
Michael has strength, quickness and excellent body control. MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:
OF Dereck Rodriguez (6) is the son of future Hall of Famer Ivan. Unsigned RHP T.J. Oakes (41) is the son of University of Minnesota pitching coach Todd. CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS:
The trio of relievers—Boer, Summers and Williams—will race each other to Minnesota. Boer may be slowest of the three if starting takes hold. BEST LATE-ROUND PICK:
RHP Trent Higginbotham (26), who signed for $195,000, has touched 94 mph, has a solid delivery and clean arm. He's shown a solid breaking ball, nothing like the 12-to-6 power curve of RHP Josh Burris (17). The converted catcher also throws in the low 90s and has touched 95 in instructional league. THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY:
The Twins badly wanted OF James Ramsey (22), whom they compare to Jason Kipnis, but he spurned their reported $500,000 offer. Injuries helped push LHP Adam McCreery (14), now at Arizona State, out of the draft's single-digit rounds.