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Minnesota Twins 2022 MLB Draft Report Card

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Best Pure Hitter: Many scouts viewed SS Brooks Lee (1) as the best pure hitter in the 2020 draft class, and he earned 70-grade hit tool reviews from many evaluators. After hitting .351/.389/.451 throughout his college career with Cal Poly, Lee pushed his way to Double-A Wichita in his pro debut this summer. While he only logged two games at the level, his overall production in the minors between the Florida Complex League, High-A Midwest League and Texas League was impressive: .303/.389/.451 with four home runs, an 11.5% walk rate and 14.4% strikeout rate.

Best Power Hitter: The Twins exclusively drafted up-the-middle position players in 2022, so there aren’t any obvious hulking sluggers to choose for this category, so Lee (1) is again the pick. He posted back-to-back double-digit home run seasons, but he also played in a big park and hit plenty of doubles (53 in 115 games) so some evaluators think those will turn into home runs in pro ball. Lee’s 90th percentile exit velocity (101 was among the best in Minnesota’s draft class, along with SS Dalton Shuffield (10).

Fastest Runner: SS Ben Ross (5) is a plus runner who stole 15 bags in 18 tries (83%) this spring with Notre Dame (Ohio). Following the spring season, Ross went to the Northwoods League where he went 17-for-19 (89%) in stolen base attempts.

Best Defensive Player: The Twins have a number of shortstop-now prospects who look like they could move to other positions and Lee (1) is one of those. He makes all the plays he can get to, with sound hands and a good throwing arm, but some scouts think he will be better served at third base or second base in the long run because of his range. SS Tanner Schobel (2s) was praised for his plus instincts and was another reliable, but not flashy college defender at the position. SS Omari Daniel (14) is more of a projection candidate, but he was praised for his flashy defensive ability, above-average glovework and plus arm strength and speed.

Best Fastball: LHP Connor Prielipp (2) was looking like a potential 1-1 candidate when he was healthy as an underclassman, but Tommy John surgery cut his college career short. At his best he threw a mid-90s fastball from the left side that generated whiffs at a solid clip and during May bullpen sessions prior to the draft after his recovery, Prielipp was touching 93-94 mph. His velocity should continue to return as he gets further away from surgery. 

Best Secondary Pitch: While Prielipp’s (2) fastball is impressive, it was his slider that earned “wipeout” descriptions and 70-grade evaluations. The pitch is an extremely high-spin breaking ball and when he was healthy he used it to generate whiffs 50% of the time in college. It has real out-pitch potential.

Best Pro Debut: It is difficult to not choose Lee (1) for this category as he pushed himself to Double-A, where he was more than two and a half years younger than the league average hitter. However, Shuffield (10) was also pushed aggressively as a 23-year-old draftee and played 14 games with Triple-A St. Paul, where he more than held his own, slashing .271/.314/.542 with two home runs, two triples and three doubles. That takes him from being a very old player for the class to a hitter more than three years younger than the average player at a level where he produced.

Best Athlete: Ross (4) is the winner in this category thanks to his speed, and he also brings an above-average arm with him to the field.

Most Intriguing Background: Lee’s (1) father Larry was his head coach at Cal Poly and helped him become such a polished, high-IQ player. Ross (4) was the highest-drafted player from the Division II level.

Closest To The Majors: Lee (1) has the tools and skill set to be one of the fastest-moving hitters in the 2022 draft class overall, let alone Minnesota’s specific class. He has bat-to-ball skills, a sound approach and should be able to do enough defensively in the infield to hold his own at a few positions.

Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): Daniel (14) had the potential to be an early day two selection, but he got hurt during the spring and had Tommy John surgery. His defensive game is exciting now and he has shown some power in batting practice, but his swing needs more consistency and scouts want to get a better feel for his overall hit tool. 

The One Who Got Away: OF Korbyn Dickerson (20) ranked as the No. 188 prospect on the BA 500 and the Twins likely picked him in the 20th round knowing he was headed to Louisville. Still, in a 20-round draft he is the most notable prospect and only one of two (along with RHP Garrett McMillan (19)) who the Twins didn’t sign.

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