The Minnesota Twins would love to find a value like the Minnesota Viking did in Adam Thielen. Who are some players to watch that fit a “Thielen” profile?
The Minnesota Twins enjoyed their own successful 2017 with their first playoff appearance since 2010. Now the Twins look down the road from their beautiful stadium and can celebrate in the success of the Minnesota Vikings football team in their own new, beautiful football stadium who earned themselves the second seed in the NFC side of the NFL playoffs.
A lot has gone into the Vikings success this past season and certainly, Adam Thielen‘s breakout season has played a big role in that success. The thing is Thielen was never supposed to be where he is today as part of a 1a and 1b receiving option for a top playoff team. It has been well documented how the Detroit Lakes, MN native attended Minnesota State at Mankato on a $500 scholarship and then went undrafted from there only to work himself onto the Vikings roster.
Vikings fans have had a front seat to Thielen’s emergence as he began his tenure with the Vikings in 2014 with 8 receptions and concluded the 2017 season with 91 receptions. Those 91 receptions lead to Thielen gaining 1,276 yards for the Vikings on the way to his first Pro Bowl and a 2nd Team All-Pro selection. Thielen is also just flat-out fun to watch as he matches his steady hands with Byron Buxton like speed!
As a site that writes about the Twins, our question is who could become the Twins version of Adam Thielen. The Twins have seen that type of player breakthrough in the past. Kent Hrbek was a 17th round pick in the 1978 draft and accumulated a 38.4 WAR over his career. Current Twins bullpen coach Eddie Guardado was drafted in the 21st round of the 1990 draft. There was also former Twins third basemen Corey Koskie who was drafted in the 26th round of the 1994 draft.
The Twins are young and continue to look and build on their season of contention in 2017. What seemingly helps every championship level team is it has someone contribute from out of nowhere. In the paragraphs to follow, we will try to identify some current players in the Twins organization that would fit a similar mold as the undrafted Adam Thielen does. It is hard to fully translate that to baseball standards, but we will primarily look at players who were drafted in the 15th round or later of the MLB draft.