The Minnesota Twins have signed Bo Hellquist as an undrafted free agent
Quietly over the weekend, it was reported that the Minnesota Twins had signed Bo Hellquist. It’s not exactly an earth-shattering move but it’s a nice story about a local kid from a local university.
Who is Bo Hellquist? Good question, it took some digging. He’s a left handed pitcher from the UMD Bulldogs. He hails from Savage, Minnesota, stands at 6’3 and weighs 200 lbs according to his university profile.
From his sophomore season in 2014 on he’s served as the Bulldogs ace starter. From 2013-2015 he compiled a 3.44 ERA in 144 innings with 121 strikeouts vs just 39 walks. In 2015, he threw a no-hitter and was a NSIC All-star.
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In his senior year he posted a 3.62 ERA in 59.2 innings. He struck out 69 and walked 31.
When not leading his team on the mound, Bo also contributed with the bat as a designated hitter.
Hellquist’s name was not called in the 2016 MLB Draft but shortly after the draft was finished, the Minnesota Twins offered him a deal as an undrafted free agent. Any amateur player not taken in the draft is eligible to be signed as a free agent.
Bo’s teammate, Alex Wojciechowski, went in the 15th round to the Phillies. Hellquist and Wojciechowski are the first Bulldogs to become part of an MLB organization since Tim Battaglia in 2004.
Why didn’t the Twins draft Hellquist? Well, they did make picks in all 40 rounds of the draft so perhaps they felt he didn’t merit a pick over their other lower draft selections or perhaps they knew wasn’t going to be selected and waited to scoop him up as a free agent. Maybe a few years ago when the draft went for more rounds Hellquist would have been selected.
The Twins are likely intrigued by Hellquist’s rising strikeout totals. Lefty arms with strikeout capabilities are always in demand. There is no word as of yet where Hellquist will be placed in the organization to begin his pro career.
Going undrafted isn’t a common path to the majors but it has been done and it has yielded some solid players. Matt Stairs, Darren O’Day and former Twin Scott Diamond are examples of undrafted players who made the long climb to the bigs. Perhaps Hellquist will be able to follow in fellow lefty Scott Diamond’s footsteps by beating the odds and making it to the highest level of competition.