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Minnesota Twins Draft Report Card

By David Rawnsley

Best Debut: 3B Matt Scanlon (8), a University of Minnesota product, hit .354-6-48 and was named the Rookie-level Appalachian League’s all-star third baseman before being promoted to the Class A Midwest League.

Best Athlete: OF Ricky Manning (22) is playing both professional baseball and college football. He is starting at cornerback and returning kicks as a true freshman at UCLA. OF B.J. Garbe (1) is the only quarterback in Washington prep history to rush and pass for more than 1,000 yards in the same season.

Best Hitter: Garbe has the bat speed and level, line-drive swing to win batting championships. He hit .316-3-32 at Elizabethton; his power should develop later.

Best Power: C Justin Morneau (3), the first Canadian drafted, broke his thumb the first day after reporting and missed two months. He hit .302 with no homers in 53 at-bats in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, but the Twins think he has 25-30 home run potential from the left side.

Fastest Runner: Manning isn’t a blazer in the 60-yard dash, but he has excellent first-step quickness. The well-named OF Barry Quickstad (18), a local product, can cover the 60 in 6.6 seconds.

Best Defensive Player: C Rob Bowen (2) has solid defensive tools and a strong, durable body. Garbe’s defensive tools are average to above-average across the board.

Best Fastball: RHP Jason Richardson (35) has the best present velocity at 92-93 mph, but LHP Jeff Randazzo (4) and RHP Brian Wolfe (6) are a pair of high school picks who should pass those speeds.

Most Intriguing Background: Manning is considered future NFL material, but says he’s just as serious about baseball. RHP Willie Eyre (23) and unsigned SS Joey Monahan (36) have brothers with big league experience in Scott Eyre and Shane Monahan.

Closest to the Majors: RHP Brent Schoening (5), who had minor elbow surgery to remove bone chips at the end of the season, has major college experience at Auburn. The rest of this draft class is high school-dominated.

The One That Got Away: Minnesota failed to sign its picks from round seven and rounds nine through 15.

Best Non-Draft Sign: OF Bobby Kielty, the MVP of the 1998 Cape Cod League, signed with the Twins prior to the 1999 season for a $600,000 bonus. He battled eye and hamstring problems before finishing strong in the Midwest League to hit .294-13-43 overall.

Summary: The Twins gambled on a number of young players with questionable signability, and they may have come up big with Garbe, Manning, Randazzo and Wolfe. This should be a solid draft in the rebuilding of the organization.

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