Twins 2020 MLB Draft Preview: Minnesota Boasts Talent, System Depth
Unlike the NBA or NFL drafts, MLB teams do not draft for immediate need. There’s good reason for that, as even the most MLB-ready draft prospects usually take two seasons to get fully established in the majors. But as we ready for the 2020 MLB draft, it is useful to look at where teams are deep and where they are thin at the MLB and minor league level.
Also of note:
2019 MLB RECORD: 101-61
STATE OF THE SYSTEM: Bubblin’. The Twins have a pair of excellent prospects at the top in shortstop Royce Lewis and outfielder Alex Kirilloff, high-upside arms in Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic and sneaky good prospects like Trevor Larnach and Ryan Jeffers. And that’s just counting the Top 10 Prospects. Players like Gilberto Celestino, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Wander Javier could easily move up the list with solid 2020 seasons.
BEST DRAFT PICK OF THE DECADE: Tie. The Twins have done an incredible job in Puerto Rico over the course of the decade. They landed outfielder Eddie Rosario in the fourth round in 2010 and righthander Jose Berrios two years later in the supplemental first round. Both players have become mainstays for the reigning AL Central champs.
WORST DRAFT PICK OF THE DECADE: RHP Alex Wimmers (first round, 2010). It’s hard to decide between the Twins’ top selections in 2010 (Wimmers) and 2011 (Levi Michael). Wimmers had a cup of coffee in the big leagues, while Michael hasn’t reached that level. Even so, Wimmers was taken two spots before the Marlins popped Christian Yelich, which stings a decade later.
DEEPEST POSITION(S): Righthanded pitching. The Twins are rich in righthanded pitching. In addition to Duran and Balazovic, Minnesota’s system also boasts 2019 second-rounder Matt Canterino, undrafted free-agent-turned-playoff starter Randy Dobnak and fireballers Jorge Alcala and Edwar Colina.
WEAKEST POSITION(S): First base. The Twins were a little deeper at first base before they sent Lewin Diaz to the Marlins in the middle of last summer. As it stands, Brent Rooker is the only member of the Top 30 Prospects or on the depth chart who projects at the position, though Kirilloff could wind up there.
DRAFT TRENDS: When the Twins have had a pick in the top half of the first round, they’ve leaned toward high school players. They took Nick Gordon with the fifth pick in 2014, Kirilloff with the 15th pick in 2016, Lewis with the first overall pick in 2017 and Keoni Cavaco with the 13th overall selection in 2019. The most recent exception to the rule came in 2015, when they reached for Tyler Jay with the sixth pick.