Ranking the Minnesota Twins’ Top 5 Draft Classes of the Last 20 Years

Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

With just one day left before the 2020 draft, we take a look at the Minnesota Twins’ top draft classes since 2000.

With the first round of the shortened 2020 draft approaching, we take a look back at the best draft classes the Minnesota Twins have picked since the turn of the century. There have been good and bad classes, but today we look at the best.

In order to make this list, the class needs to have players who turned into impact players for the Twins, so the 2017-2019 classes won’t be considered (due to none of them making the Majors yet. We will also take into account steals and busts, so let’s jump in.

No. 5 Minnesota Twins Draft Class: 2004

Notable Twins Drafted: Trevor Plouffe, Glen Perkins, Anthony Swarzak, Matt Tolbert

It should say something about the Twins’ drafting skills in the 2000s that this class made their top 5. Trevor Plouffe hit 95 homers in Minnesota and was a fan favorite. Glen Perkins was a three-time All-Star and dominant closer. Anthony Swarzak was a decent reliever.

Matt Tolbert was an okay depth guy, but that was it. Only two other signed players even made the majors, and they aren’t really worth mentioning. Aside from this group of three solid players and a good closer, this draft wasn’t incredible.

No. 4 Minnesota Twins Draft Class: 2002

Notable Twins Drafted: Denard Span, Jesse Crain, Pat Neshek

The Twins hit on both of their first two picks in this draft. Denard Span turned into a franchise favorite and one of the best center fielders in Twins history. Jesse Crain was a very very good set-up man for the team. But just like the draft in fifth place, there’s not much else to say.

Pat Neshek was good before he got hurt and then became good again after he left. The Twins also drafted Silver Slugger winner Adam Lind, All-Star Evan Meek, and Garrett Mock in 2002, but none of them played for the team.

No. 3 Minnesota Twins Draft Class: 2009

Notable Twins Drafted: Kyle Gibson, Chris Herrmann, Brian Dozier

This is the first draft on this list where the Minnesota Twins truly got a steal. After grabbing a reliable starter who won 10 games five different times in the first round in Kyle Gibson, the Twins then snapped up Chris Hermann, who has carved out a career for himself as a sixth rounder.

Neither was as valuable as the Twins’ eighth-round pick out of Southern Mississippi, Brian Dozier. Dozier was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner for the Twins, as well as being a fan favorite. In another shallow draft, the gem of a pick that was Dozier shines.

No. 2 Minnesota Twins Draft Class: 2001

Notable Twins Drafted: Joe Mauer, Jose Morales, Nick Blackburn

The Twins received the No. 1 pick in 2001 and did not screw it up, drafting hometown kid and now Twins legend Joe Mauer. Getting solid players like catcher Jose Morales (third round) and pitcher Nick Blackburn (twenty-ninth round) help, but this draft is Mauer’s draft.

The 2009 MVP and six-time All-Star has made his case towards getting into the Hall of Fame after already having his number retired by the Twins. That pick has been the best this century, lifting this class to the second spot.

No. 1 Minnesota Twins Draft Class: 2012

Notable Twins Drafted: Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Tyler Duffey, Taylor Rogers

The classes of 2011, 2013, and 2014 were absolute trash, so the 2012 class looks even better in comparison. You can argue that Byron Buxton shouldn’t have been the No. 2 pick, but only one player in the Top 10 has had a better career (Carlos Correra) and he went No. 1.

In this draft, the Twins got one of the best defensive center fielders (i’d argue he’s the best when healthy), an ace in Jose Berrios, an excellent reliever in Tyler Duffey, and an ace closer that they nabbed in the ELEVENTH ROUND (No. 340 overall) in Taylor Rogers.

Despite 2001 having the best overall player, 2012 gets the nod as the top class because it offers a Defensive Player of the Year winner, an All-Star starter, and more, easily the deepest class on this list. The best part? They’re still young, with so much more growth possible.

dark. Next. Minnesota Twins: 2020 Team Mock Draft for Rounds 2-5