The Minnesota Twins appear to have hit on some great draft picks as of late, but here is a look at the worst first-round draft picks of the decade.
The Minnesota Twins are in the middle of a run of first round draft picks that look very promising. There was a period of time not too long ago where those draft picks haven’t turned out nearly as well. Recently over at MLB.com the team of Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo, and Mike Rosenbaum picked the worst first round draft pick of each MLB team in the past decade.
The team from MLB.com chose shortstop Levi Michael for the Twins. Michael was the 30th selection for the Twins in the 2011 draft. In a season where the Twins were employing Alexi Casilla and Tsuyoshi Nishioka making up the middle infield the hope was that the college shortstop could move quickly and reinforce the MLB club.
Michael certainly is a very good candidate for the label of worst first round pick of the last decade as he is now out of the Twins organization. It got me wondering, is he truly the worst first round selection. While there are plenty of great picks like Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, and Jose Berrios. There is also a mix of others who barely stuck in the minors.
Hudson Boyd and Matt Bashore are two players that were not true first round selections as they were selected in what is now called the compensatory round (then the supplemental round) between the first and second rounds. Neither made it past three professional seasons.
The other first round selection that could be argued for as the worst first round draft pick is right handed pitcher Shooter Hunt. Hunt was the 31st selection (also a supplemental round pick) of the Twins in the 2008 draft. Hunt had the promise of a top of the rotation starter when he was selected but that never became a reality.
Hunt pitched in the Twins minor league system from 2008-2011 and was never able to advance past High-A Fort Myers. His best season was his first pro season when between Rookie ball and Single-A when he turned in a 3.58 ERA and a 12.2 K/9.
In Hunt’s final season with the Twins in 2011 he pitched at High-A 42.2 innings, a 7.38 ERA, and had been moved to a full-time relief role. Then in 2011 he was left unprotected and selected in the Rule 5 draft. While Hunt may have been excluded from the MLB.com discussion since he wasn’t a true first rounder. He does show how the Twins did swing and miss on some valuable picks right around the same period of time 6-10 years ago.
Here’s to hoping that the Twins have nailed the most recent crop of first round draft picks and they deliver the Twins from the decade of struggle that has been the 2010s.