Anyone who worried that the Twins’ scouting staff was abducted by aliens after three uncharacteristic picks on Day 1 can relax. For better or for worse, the Twins loaded up on strike-throwing college pitchers on Day 2, just as they’ve done in pretty much every draft in recent memory. In addition to college hurlers, the Twins seemed intent on drafting as many shortstops and lefthanded pitchers as they possibly could.
The first college pitcher selected today was Oregon righthander Madison Boer. In addition to his Minnesota roots (he attended high school in Eden Prairie), the Twins must have been impressed by Boer’s pitches. As is typical for Twins pitching prospects, Boer throws his fastball in the 91-93 range. Unlike many of the others, he is able to hit 96 mph on occasion. He also throws a slider and a splitter. Not everyone seems sold on Boer; at least one scouting site labels him a “back of the rotation” starter. But this seems to be a solid pick for the Twins.
After spending their first round pick on shortstop Levi Michael, the Twins drafted four more at that position today. Minnesota’s 5th ruond pick was Wichita State’s Tyler Grimes. Four rounds later, they selected Nicholas Bryant out of Troy University. Brian Anderson of Deer Creek High School in Oklahoma went in the 20th round, and the U of M’s Adam Petterson went in the 25th. Judging by the unusual number of shortstops selected, the Twins must have taken a look at their current middle infield debacle and said “never again.” This might actually be a good way to solve the problem. The odds are that at least one of these five shortstops will eventually develop into a solid major leaguer.
Evidently the Twins felt a similar organizational need for lefty pitchers. They selected 12 of them, including 9 in the first 18 rounds. The headliner of this bunch is Vanderbilt southpaw Corey Williams. A Google search turned up this disturbing (yet oddly inspirational) video of Williams breaking his knee on a line drive, but still managing to make a Buehrle-like play in 2010. I can’t find any word on whether the injury still bothers him, but he did post an alarmingly high 5.64 ERA in 2010. He sounds like a project for the farm system.
One other interesting selection today was 6th rounder Ivan Rodriguez. If you have followed baseball at all in the past two decades, that name probably sounds familiar, and for good reason. Rodriguez, who prefers to be called “Dereck,” is the son of the future Hall of Fame catcher. Dereck Rodriguez is a center fielder, but he also has some potential as a pitcher with a 95 mph fastball.