Minnesota Twins: First Round Grades and Draft Recap

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SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig announces the fifth overall pick of Nick Gordon by the Minnesota Twins during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig announces the fifth overall pick of Nick Gordon by the Minnesota Twins during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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One of the most surprising drafts in a while, we break down everything that happened in the MLB draft, including with the Minnesota Twins.

The first round of the MLB draft just took place, and it was a wild one. Top players fell. Good players were reached for to save money. The Minnesota Twins went in an unsurprising direction. MLB Drafts aren’t very exciting usually, but this year was different. Let’s dig into it.

Top 5 Picks:

Absolutely stunning top five. Torkelson went No. 1, but was listed as a third baseman. Heston Kjerstad and Max Meyer were reached for at 2 and 3 respectively. Austin Martin fell to 5. Lots of surprises.

  1. Detroit Tigers select Spencer Torkelson, 3B, Arizona State: Not a surprising pick. Torkelson is MLB-ready right now, and this was the easy and universally predicted call. Grade: A.
  2. Baltimore Orioles select Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas: Absolutely stunning pick. Kjerstad has the second best power in the draft, but was the MLB.com No. 10 prospect. This was a reach for a team that needed pitching more, and all just to save money. This pick only gets an upgrade if they get a great player with the competitive balance pick. Grade: D.
  3. Miami Marlins select Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota: Another stunner. Meyer is a Minnesota kid with an excellent arm, but as the No. 9 prospect he wasn’t supposed to go this early. They should have picked Austin Martin. Grade: C+.
  4. Kansas City Royals select Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M: Very solid pick here. The Royals are rebuilding, and so is their farm system, so getting an arm with ace potential at four is great. Only missed A+ because it wasn’t Martin. Grade: A.
  5. Toronto Blue Jays select Austin Martin, 3B/OF, Vanderbilt: The highest ceiling of any player in this draft in terms of hitting. Martin has questions about fielding but shouldn’t have fallen past three as the No. 2 draft prospect. Grade: A+.

Picks 6-10

After a crazy top 5, the draft settled down, with four of the five next picks ranking inside the Top 10, with not much exceptional to note.

6. Seattle Mariners select Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia: The draft officially settled down here. Hancock was the No. 4 draft prospect, per MLB.com for a team that needed some pitching. Very good pick. Grade: A+.

7. Pittsburgh Pirates select Nick Gonzales, 2B, New Mexico State: The Pirates need as much talent as possible to help their team, so taking a Top 5 prospect to hopefully pair with Cole Tucker in the future. Grade: A-.

8. San Diego Padres select Robert Hassell III, OF, Independence HS (TN): The question of when and which high schooler would go first, and it was Hassell. I like Veen more than Hassell, but they are pretty close and the Padres don’t have a system need. Grade: B.

9. Colorado Rockies select Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (FL): It’s fitting that Hassell and Veen went back to back, as both are skilled outfielders. Rockies could use some pitchers (Reid Detmers is here), but this is still a nice pick.  Grade: B+.

10. Los Angeles Angels select Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville: The No. 8 prospect on MLB.com and the second ranked lefty, Detmers is a very safe pick for a team that needs arms quickly to support Anthony Rendon and Mike TroutGrade: B.

Picks 11-20

The high schoolers finally started coming off the board along with a couple guys I liked for the Minnesota Twins. Some picks were solid, while others seemed like crazy reaches.

11. Chicago White Sox select Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee: Crochet is a pretty polarizing. Some think he won’t pan out, but I personally think he’s got a bright future ahead as he has the second best spin rate of the class. This was a reach, but a good one. Grade: B+.

12. Cincinnati Reds select Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (PA): The Reds scooped up the last of the big three prep outfielders. He has a massive ceiling, but there’s some risk too, so no one is sure yet of how he’ll end up. The Reds need that upside. Grade: A-.

13. San Fransisco Giants select Patrick Bailey, C, NC State: This is has been a mock draft projection that has been made by a couple people, but doesn’t make a ton of sense. Patrick Bailey has monstrous potential, but plays the same position as the Giants’ top prospect.

The Giants just drafted Joey Bart two years ago, and with so many other needs, they could have gone after Garrett Mitchell or any of the pitchers. Bailey is very good, so this isn’t an F, but still not a good pick. Grade: D+

14. Texas Rangers select Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State: Foscue is a very good hitter, but is the 32nd ranked prospect. He doesn’t have elite upside, and for a Rangers team mired in mediocrity, they needed more. Grade: C-

15. Philadelphia Phillies select Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (OR): The Phillies need pitching help for Aaron Nola and have a very barren system. He has some injury risk, but Abel could have some upside. Grade: B+.

16. Chicago Cubs select Ed Howard, SS, Mt. Carmel HS (IL): I love a feel good story when a hometown player goes to a hometown team. That’s this pick. Howard has MASSIVE potential, so this is an all-around great grab for the Cubs. Grade: A.

17. Boston Red Sox select Nick Yorke, 2B, Archbishop Mitty HS (CA): WOW. Easily the biggest reach of the draft so far, Yorke is the 139th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com. He’s a hit first guy (who new CBO Chaim Bloom loved while with the Rays) that will be cheap.

This is the type of pick that could go really well, or really, really poorly. I trust Bloom enough (he’s worked wonders with the Rays), so they pass, but just barely. Grade: C-.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks select Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke: This is the first realistic possible Minnesota Twins target that has come off the board. He doesn’t have a lengthy history of great stuff, but he’s consistently improved. Grade: B.

19. New York Mets select Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA): Crow-Armstrong was talked about as a top of the draft pick a few years ago, but he hasn’t quite shown that elite upside. He’s likely to not be a star, but he has a high floor. Grade: B-.

20. Milwaukee Brewers select Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA: Mitchell is the No. 6 ranked prospect according to MLB.com, but concerns about his diabetes caused his fall. Mitchell has excellent speed and lots of potential if he can stay on the field. GREAT value here. Grade: A.

Late First Round (21-29)

21. St. Louis Cardinals select Jordan Walker, 3B, Decatur HS (GA): A huge power guy who is the 33rd ranked prospect according to MLB.com. He’s young, and he strikes out a lot, but that can be adjusted. This is a decent get towards the end of the draft. Grade: B+.

22. Washington Nationals select Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma: The reigning champs grab another possible Minnesota Twins pick. Cavalli is a good player, but he also doesn’t have a lengthy history. I still really like this pick. Grade: A-.

23. Cleveland Indians select Carson Tucker, SS, Mountain Pointe HS (AZ): The Indians grab Cole Tucker‘s brother here as a possible replacement for Francisco Lindor. Tucker has been rising quickly up draft boards, but I think there were better guys. Grade: B-.

24. Tampa Bay Rays select Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks HS East (PA): I really think that Bitsko has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the draft, and the Rays landed him just three picks ahead of the Minnesota Twins. Grade: A+.

25. Atlanta Braves select Jared Shuster, RHP, Wake Forest: Another stunner. Shuster is the 77th ranked prospect and one I don’t think has a lot of upside. This is the worst pick made so far. Grade: F.

26. Oakland Athletics select Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock HS (CA): Soderstrom doesn’t last to the Minnesota Twins, but the Athletics get one of the best players available if they can sign him for the above slot value. Grade: A-.

Minnesota Twins Pick

27. Minnesota Twins select Aaron Sabato, 1B, North Carolina: Not one of the players that I had in my ten possible players for the Twins, but a good pick all the same. We get into a deeper dive of the Sabato selection here, but we’ll talk about it here too.

Sabato is a beast of a man with tons of power and upside, fitting the mold of Minnesota Twins front office heads perfectly. He’ll take lots of time to develop, but the Twins don’t need a player right away, so I like this move. Grade: B+.

28. New York Yankees select Austin Wells, C, Arizona: Wells was a player that I thought the Minnesota Twins would think about getting, but wasn’t the best catcher on the board while Dillon Dingler was still on the board. Wells is good, but not the best available catcher. Grade: C+.

29. Los Angeles Dodgers select Bobby Miller, RHP, Louisville: This was yet ANOTHER Minnesota Twins possible pick. Miller is a 6’5″ pitcher that has lots of projection left in his frame, and as a college pitcher with upside, the Dodgers killed this pick. Grade: A+.

Competitive Round A (30-37)

30. Baltimore Orioles select Jordan Westburg, SS, Mississippi State: Westburg is a high upside player and a good pick for the Orioles. The only issue I have with this pick is that the Orioles didn’t draft a more expensive player, making their second overall selection look worse. Grade: B+.

31. Pittsburgh Pirates select Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina: The No. 21 draft prospect and the Minnesota Twins’ selection in the FanSided Mock Draft, this was a great value for a Pirates team that just needs more talent. Grade: A-.

32. Kansas City Royals select Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor: The Royals really liked Loftin, but he was definitely not in the conversation to go at No. 4. He fell all the way here, and I’m sure they’re psyched. Loftin is another player (like Sabato) who is someone to watch in a couple years. Grade: B+.

33. Arizona Diamondbacks select Slade Cecconi, RHP, Miami: Will he be a reliever or a starter? He’s got an excellent arm, and lots of upside, but that question forced him down here. Grade: B.

34. San Diego Padres select Justin Lange, RHP, Llano HS (TX): A bit of a surprise, even after the first round is over, to see Lange picked here. He has some raw skill, but he needs a lot more polish. Grade: C-.

35. Colorado Rockies select Drew Romo, C, The Woodlands HS (TX): This was exactly where Romo was expected to go, as he was ranked 35th in the MLB.com rankings. It’s a good pick, and Romo is talented, but Dillon Dingler continued to fall, so I can’t grade better than a B-. Grade: B-.

36. Cleveland Indians select Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn: This was a good steal, as Burns doesn’t have a lot of upside left, but he’s pretty MLB ready. A little surprising he went over Cole Wilcox, but the Indians liked Burn more. Grade: B.

37. Tampa Bay Rays select Alika Williams, SS, Arizona State: This is another typical Rays pick, as Williams won’t hit for a lot of power but is strong defensively and has the potential to develop a strong hit tool as well. Grade: B+.

Summary

It was an absolutely wild draft, and most of the teams did a pretty good job of getting top talent. The Minnesota Twins found a perfect player for them, and I look forward to the next four rounds tomorrow.

Next. Ranking the Minnesota Twins First Round Picks of the Last Decade. dark

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