The Minnesota Twins capped off their first year player draft on Wednesday afternoon. Let’s take a way too early look at Royce Lewis and Co.
The MLB draft is not like a draft from any other sport. That is because a team can’t select Cam Newton or LeBron James and have your franchise change overnight. However, just because you won’t see these players compete the next day for your team, doesn’t mean they don’t have the chance to be high impact contributors. The Minnesota Twins had the first overall selection in the 2017 draft and need to make these picks count in order to ensure a solid future.
Notable Names: The Bats
SS Royce Lewis – JSerra High School (1st Overall) – This pick came as a shock to many Twins fans on Monday evening, however many scouts believe that he is the best position player in the draft. The Twins have been awful at drafting pitchers in the past and it shows in their current rotation.
Yet in 2020, when we look back to review this pick, do we know that the other options available were better players or that the rotation is still in shambles? I say if the Twins identified Royce Lewis as the best player regardless of position, I’m glad they took him first overall.
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OF Brent Rooker – Mississippi State (Round 1,35th) – This pick has me really excited. He played in a conference known for their great college players and out shined everyone at the plate. Rooker won the SEC triple crown, hit .387 and whopped 23 home runs. Oh, and he led Division 1 baseball in OPS by .050 points. Getting the best college bat in the end of the first round is a nice consolation prize.
Notable Names: Pitchers
RHP Landon Leach – Pickering High School (Round 2, 37th) – Two picks later the Minnesota Twins went up to Canada to get a right handed pitcher on the national team. Many baseball sites had him close to 100 on best prospects available. The question would be why reach?
Well Leach just converted from catching last year and has already developed into a quality pitcher. He sits in the low 90’s, however he can touch 96 on the gun. He’s accomplished a lot of good work in a short of amount of time since converting to a pitcher and the kicker is, he is only 17. The pick could turn out great.
RHP Blayne Enlow – St. Amant High School( Round 3, 76th) – This pick could be the steal of the draft for the Twins. Their first three selections were allegedly under the allotted cap space in order to lure a talented player from going to college. This was the player they targeted to spend that extra money on. Enlow is talented enough that if he didn’t see an offer he liked, he could simply play for LSU next year.
He slipped to 76th where the extra money the Twins saved paid off getting what scouts describe as the “best breaking ball in the 2017 high school class”. Enlow ranked in the twenties on most websites as best prospect pre-draft, after posting a 1.01 ERA and recording 101 strikeouts his senior year. To be able to get his talent in the third round is a big pick up.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, the baseball draft can’t turn around your franchise overnight. We won’t truly know what kind of players they just drafted for several years. A majority of minor league players never make it to the big show. With all of that being said I do think it is important to take a look at the process.
Falvey and Levine clearly had a plan when going into the draft. They ignored the hype machine about Hunter Greene, and we will see in the future if that will haunt them. They used savings from earlier picks to get several quality players. I say, when playing the dart board that is the MLB draft, the Minnesota Twins did it right, but only time can tell.