Minnesota Twins MLB Draft History And Projections
As we approach the 2018 MLB Draft on June 4, we’ll break down each major league team’s recent draft history, picking out tendencies where applicable, highlighting the team’s 2018 draft pool and also touching on the organization’s most successful recent draft picks.
Additionally, each team is listed with potential draft targets. These players either fit the typical modus operandi of the organization or are players who have been specifically linked or rumored as fits with a team throughout the spring. Baseball America will continue to add and subtract players from the potential draft target section as we continue to gather information in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Players are listed with a line of skinny to get a quick idea of who they are, but our full scouting reports will give a more complete picture of a player.
It’s also worth pointing out that while in some cases a team might appear to have a clear tendency with certain demographics (i.e., high school pitchers or college hitters), the sample we are looking at is small enough that teams could simply be following a best player available strategy and the results are showing something that’s not an overarching scouting philosophy. It’s more likely that tendencies can be discovered at the extremes, rather than slight apparent preferences in the last five years.
Here is a breakdown of the recent MLB Draft history of the Minnesota Twins:
General Manager: Thad Levine
Scouting Director: Sean Johnson
2018 Bonus Pool (Rank): $5,933,000 (26th)
2018 MLB Draft Order:
1st Round: 20th
2nd Round: 59th
Supplemental 2nd Round: (Traded 74th pick and Phil Hughes to Padres for Janigson Villalobos)
4th-40: 20th in each round.
First Round Picks Since 2013:
2017: Royce Lewis (1st)
2016: Alex Kirilloff (15th)
2015: Tyler Jay (6th)
2014: Nick Gordon (5th)
2013: Kohl Stewart (4th)
Best Recent Pick (2010-2017 Drafts):
OF Byron Buxton (second round, 2012) might be baseball’s most dynamic center fielder and he won a gold glove in 2017 as evidence. Buxton brings value to any team for his defense and speed alone—he went 41-for-46 through his first three seasons in stolen bases—and if he figures out the offensive side in the next few years he should be a legitimate All-Star candidate every year. Until then, the Twins will take solace in the plethora of runs he saves them defensively in center field.
Recent Tendencies (Last Five Years/Top Five Rounds):
The Twins have been pitcher heavy in recent years in the top five rounds, taking 17 arms out of 28 picks since 2011. That mark is good enough for a 60.7 percentage, which is the sixth-highest in baseball behind only the Braves, Cubs, Tigers, Rockies and White Sox.
Minnesota has shown no strong tendencies in regards to high school versus college prospects, selecting 13 prep players, 14 players out of four-year universities and one junior college prospect.
In the first round that’s a bit different, as the Twins have taken high school players with four of their last five first round picks, including the No. 1 overall player taken in the 2017 draft, Royce Lewis.
Twins Mix It Up To Try To Frame Pitches Better (Video)
Watch how Twins catchers are working on new setups to try to do a better job of framing and presenting pitches.
Potential Draft Targets:
RHP Kumar Rocker — Big, physical and imposing, Rocker has loud pure stuff, including a fastball up to 98 mph and a breaking ball that falls off the table
RHP Jackson Kowar — Lean, wiry and with a good frame, Kowar has an above-average fastball and plus changeup
RHP Ethan Hankins — Previously the top prep player in the class thanks to a potential 80-grade fastball, Hankins has been slowed by injury but is trending in the right direction
LHP Ryan Weathers — The son of David Weathers, Ryan is a polished lefty with solid control of a heavy fastball and an improving curveball
RHP Logan Gilbert — Gilbert has a heavy fastball that plays up with elite extension and more projection remaining than other college arms
LHP Ryan Rolison — A high-floor college lefthander, Rolison shows a three-pitch mix including a fastball up to 96 mph with good life
RHP Mason Denaburg — An uber-athletic catcher-turned-pitcher, Denaburg has great arm speed and feel to spin a breaking ball
RHP Grayson Rodriguez — The Texas pop-up overhauled his body in the offseason and has been up to 97-98 mph with ease out of a big, 6-foot-4 frame
RHP Sean Hjelle — A towering, 6-foot-11 righthander, Hjelle has a preternatural ability to throw strikes despite the length of his limbs
RHP Tristan Beck — Beck is a college righthander with four pitches that are above-average or better but a medical that could give teams some pause
RHP Adam Kloffenstein — A big, 6-foot-5 prep righty out of Texas with a low-90s fastball that is tracking in the right direction this spring
RHP Blaine Knight — One of the best pitchers in the SEC this spring, Knight has an electric arm, mid-90s fastball and high spin-rate breaking ball
RHP Cole Wilcox — A projectable, 6-foot-5 Georgia righty with a fastball in the mid-90s and a sharp slider that has gotten sharper this spring