2012 Draft Report Cards: Minnesota Twins

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See also: Draft Report Card Index

Despite their need for pitching, the Twins couldn't pass up Buxton with the second overall pick. They used much of the draft's largest bonus pool to stock up on power arms, with Barrios and Bard the key picks.
Bonus Spending: $12.6 million
Best Pure Hitter: OF Byron Buxton (1) has a loose, easy swing and should be a line-drive machine. A top-of-the scale runner, he'll also leg out plenty of infield and bunt hits to boost his batting average. Best Power Hitter: OF Adam Brett Walker (3) hits them far and frequently. He'll always have some swing-and-miss issues, but Twins scouts thought he had the best raw power in the draft. Buxton has at least plus raw power. Fastest Runner: Buxton is a true burner, posting sub-4.0-second times from the right side of the plate to first base. His speed plays on the bases and in center field. Best Defensive Player: Buxton has everything needed to be a Gold Glover, including a top-shelf arm that delivered 94 mph fastballs off the mound in high school.


Best Fastball: Velocity was a focus for Minnesota. RHP Zack Jones (4) hit 100 mph in instructional league. RHP J.O. Berrios (1s) pitches at 92-95 mph as a starter, while relievers such as LHP Mason Melotakis (2) and RHP J.T. Chargois (2), taken nine spots apart, both reach 97. Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Luke Bard (1s) showed one of the draft's best sliders, an 86-88 mph breaker with tilt. He missed the second half of the spring with a torn lat muscle and a minor setback cut short his instructional league.


Best Pro Debut:Including two playoff starts that helped Elizabethton win the Appalachian League championship, Berrios went 4-0, 0.88 with a 63-9 K-BB ratio in 41 innings between two Rookie leagues. LHP Taylor Rogers (11) reached low Class A Beloit and went 4-3, 2.27 with 74 strikeouts in 63 innings. Walker tied for the Appy League home run title with 14, then hit three more in the playoffs. Jones (2.25 ERA, 15.3 K/9), Melotakis (1.88 ERA, 12.8 K/9) and RHP D.J. Baxendale (10; 0.96 ERA, 15.0 K/9) all dominated and joined Rogers in Beloit. Best Athlete: Buxton had the best combination of power, speed and baseball ability in the entire draft. Most Intriguing Background: Unsigned OF Timmy Robinson's (31) half-brother Alex Burnett pitches for the Twins. Bard's brother Daniel and OF Jonathan Murphy's (19) brother Daniel are also active big leaguers. Unsigned 2B L.J. Mazzilli's (9) father Lee played and managed in the majors. Walker's family ties include his father Adam Brett, a former NFL replacement player; his mother Glynis, a college national champion in the high jump; and cousin Damion Easley, a big league all-star. Closest To The Majors: Relievers Chargois, Jones and Melotakis will compete with each other, with Jones taking a lead by making progress on his slider in instructional league. Best Late-Round Pick: Rogers fits the Twins' pitchability mold. The One Who Got Away: Mazzilli, who returned to Connecticut as a senior, and RHP James Marvel (37), who honored his Duke commitment despite a coaching change.