The Minnesota Twins made a huge impact on the organization in the 2013 draft

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 21: Zack Granite
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 21: Zack Granite /

The Minnesota Twins had a draft graded very well in 2017, but it’s their 2013 draft that could really propel this franchise forward in 2018.

The Minnesota Twins drafted first overall this season for the first time since 2001. They have received plenty of high grades for the drafting this season, but it’s the 2013 draft that could end up making a huge impact on the future of the organization…

The “weak” spot – the first three rounds

Typically, most focus on the first few picks of the draft, assuming that’s where all the value will come from. In the 2013 draft, if the Twins get value out of their first three picks at this point, they will be overjoyed.

Kohl Stewart was the 4th overall selection in the draft, as the guy who was considered to have the biggest arm in the draft out of high school in Texas. He was the first high schooler selected. Now, in Stewart’s defense, the high school pitching class from 2013 has been quite rough, to put it lightly. However, Stewart has only struck out 15.5% of hitters, struggling to find his way to dominate hitters, in spite of stuff that really should be dominant.

In the 2nd round, the Twins took LSU starter Ryan Eades, who only was the Saturday starter for LSU due to the presence of Aaron Nola. Eades was expected to be a guy who profiled as an inning eater mid-rotation type, but he’s struggled mightily at that. In 2017, however, he did find a role that could fit very well for his future, working as a long reliever and swing man. He is throwing at the Arizona Fall League this winter.

The Twins seemed to make catcher a focus of the 2013 draft, selecting 3 catchers in the first 9 rounds. The first was 3rd round selection Stuart Turner out of the University of Mississippi. Turner struggled to develop in the way the Twins wanted and was a Rule 5 pick of the Cincinnati Reds last December, where he spent his season this year.

The strength – rounds 4-14

Immediately in round 4, the Minnesota Twins began striking gold. In the 4th round, the Twins selected San Diego high schooler Stephen Gonsalves. Gonsalves has developed into one of the team’s top prospects, ranked #3 in the recent Puckett’s Pond top 100 Minnesota Twins prospects and recently profiled by our Benjamin Chase in a scouting report.

The Twins’ next selection was a towering righty from the University of Indiana, 6’10” Aaron Slegers. Slegers has shown an excellent ability to eat innings at a quality level in his minor league career, and after showing very well in 2017 in AAA, he earned time at the major league level and should compete for the 2018 starting rotation.

While only one of the next three selections is still with the organization (catcher Brian Navarreto, who has shown excellent growth defensively but not seen the same growth in his bat), the Twins 9th round selection was a huge win for the organization, selecting catcher Mitch Garver out of the University of New Mexico. Garver has done nothing but impress since entering the Twins system, capped by a season where he was one of the best-hitting catchers in all of the minor leagues at AAA this season before being promoted to the major league club. Garver should open 2018 working with Jason Castro as the catchers on the team.

More from Puckett's Pond

The Twins have a long-standing relationship with the island of Puerto Rico, and in the 11th round, they tapped into that reservoir again, selecting Nelson Molina. Molina had a bit of a set back season in 2017, struggling with his strike zone judgement, but he’s still going to be 22 on opening day and has flashed gap power along with solid speed and the Twins seem to be working to groom him as a potential utility man, which would fit in profile with recent utility guys like Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar.

Last, but not least of this bunch, is the first of the draft to reach the Twins major league level, getting to the majors in June of this season. Zack Granite was selected out of Seton Hall in the 14th round of the draft. He’s shown elite speed and excellent defense along with very good contact skills since he came into the Twins organization, including hitting .340/.394/.479 in the minors this season before getting to the majors, where he got BABIP’d to some degree, but he did have more walks than strikeouts and played tremendous defense

Next: Twins top 100 prospects complete list

The one that got away

In the 29th round, the Minnesota Twins took a local high school prospect, right-handed pitcher Logan Shore from Coon Rapids. He chose instead to attend the University of Florida. In the 2016 draft, he ended up selected in the 2nd round (47th overall) by the Oakland Athletics. He’s had excellent success thus far, working his way up to high-A already, with quality control, walking just 4.7% of hitters he faced and striking out 25.8% of hitters.