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2016 Draft Report Card: Minnesota Twins

BEST PURE HITTER: The son of a hitting coach, OF Alex Kirilloff (1) had a batting cage at his house and it shows in his advanced feel for hitting. Kirilloff stays balanced at the plate, uses the entire field and has a bat that stays in the zone for quite a while. SS Jose Miranda (2s) has an advanced approach and good feel for controlling the barrel, although he struggled in the Gulf Coast League.

BEST POWER HITTER: Kirilloff hasn’t grown into his strength yet, but with his size (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) and strength the Twins believe he could end up a 20-25 home run hitter in his prime. OF Shane Carrier (8) has plus raw power.

FASTEST RUNNER: OF Akil Baddoo (2s) is a plus runner who turns in times between 4.0 and 4.1 to first from the left side. OF Matt Albanese (7) doesn’t run as well as Baddoo, but runs very well for his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame.

BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: C Ben Rortvedt (2) was drafted as a well-rounded high school catcher with power potential to go with solid defense. He moves well and his arm produces average to slightly above-average pop times.

BEST FASTBALL: RHP Griffin Jax (3) sat at 92-93 mph and touched 95 in the spring for Air Force. He threw only 8.2 innings this summer as a pro as the Twins let him rest after he threw 105 innings for the Falcons this spring.

BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Jax’s changeup earns plus grades from some scouts, although others see it as consistently average. RHP Tyler Benninghoff (11) showed a potentially plus curveball but has to regain the feel for it post-Tommy John surgery.

BEST PRO DEBUT: Kirilloff was named the Appalachian League’s player of the year. He was hitting .361 as late as Aug. 10 before a late slump cut more than 50 points from his batting average.

BEST ATHLETE: Baddoo has grown nearly two inches over the past year, offering a hint that the now 6-foot-2 outfielder could end up as a power/speed left fielder. With his plus speed, though, there is reason to see if he can improve his routes to stick in center field.

MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Jax’s father Garth played seven years in the NFL, primarily as a backup linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals.

CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: RHP Thomas Hackimer (4) could move quickly as a submarine righthanded reliever. He made it to low Class A this year and likely will start next year in high Class A.

BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Benninghoff was a top pitching prospect with an 89-91 mph fastball and reasonably advanced changeup and breaking ball, although he threw only one inning last spring and had Tommy John surgery immediately after the Twins signed him.

THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: C T.J. Collett (40) was considered one of the best high school catchers in the draft class, but was known to be a tough sign away from his Kentucky commitment. The Twins also knew Louisiana State infielder Greg Deichmann (26) was going to be a tough sign as a draft-eligible sophomore.

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