|Jim Callis' Quick Take|
|The Twins pulled the biggest surprise in the first round, taking Kentucky high school outfielder Ben Revere at No. 28. He's one of the fastest players in the draft, though he's not big nor a sure bet to hit. I thought Minnesota's second-rounder, Florida high school catcher/first baseman Danny Rams, might have gone before Revere. Rams has huge power and arm strength.|
MINNEAPOLIS--Ben Revere, a high school outfielder from Lexington, Ky., was ranked by Baseball America as the 135th-best prospect in Thursday's draft. So when the Twins took Revere with their first pick, 28th overall, the prep star best known for his footspeed was happily surprised.
"They said (the day before the draft) they could draft me in the first round or maybe in the second round. When they called my name, I was just shocked," said the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Revere, who was named the Gatorade player of the year in Kentucky. "I just never thought I would go in the first round. And when the moment it came, well, it's just been a blessing, definitely."
This season at Lexington (Ky.) Catholic High he hit .516 with 10 doubles, five triples, nine home runs, 41 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. In four years of prep baseball he hit 39 doubles and 27 triples. He hit .487 in his career with only 19 strikeouts in 433 at-bats.
"I think the rest of the baseball world is a little surprised," said Twins scouting director Mike Radcliff. "He was most likely not going to be picked for another 30, 40, 50 picks, somewhere into the second round. But this is a pick that we gained conviction on over the course of the spring. And in the last few weeks, we realized that we were going to put this guy up into the first round."
The Twins are in love with Revere's speed, saying he might be the fastest player in the draft. They see him as a strong center fielder who can have an impact at the plate.
"He's a leadoff candidate, a run scorer, a catalyst," Radcliff said. "And just like a power guy hitting in the middle, that's a lineup position that's hard to find in this market."
Revere has been compared with Denard Span, the Twins' first-round pick in 2002. The Twins believe Revere might be further along in his development than Span was coming out of high school.
Revere became a Twins fan by watching Kirby Puckett.
"It's an honor to be drafted by the Minnesota Twins," he said. "They've been my team since I was younger, and I'm really excited. During the high school baseball they came to most of my games, more than any other major league team."
Revere said he expects no long delays in signing a contract.
"Right now I'm getting focused because I know it's a big step for me," he said. "I'm a first-round draft pick and they're looking me to become a leader and a big-time player, so I have to start acting that way now. It's going to be tough but I think I'm ready for it."
• The Twins also took high school players with their second through fourth picks. The No. 2 pick, 6-2, 220-pound catcher Danny Rams from Miami was selected to the AFLAC All-American Baseball Classic.
• Fifth-round pick Nathan Striz, a pitcher from Santa Fe, N.M., has a fastball that has been clocked at 94 mph. He is a strong high school draftee who could end up either as a starter or a reliever.