Minnesota Twins: Grading the Twins’ First 5 Picks the 2021 MLB Draft

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Mainland's Chase Petty is the 2021 South Jersey Baseball Player of the Year.
Mainland's Chase Petty is the 2021 South Jersey Baseball Player of the Year. /
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Minnesota Twins
Oklahoma State’s Christian Encarnacion-Strand (24) runs home to score a run in the second inning against TCU on Sunday. /

Minnesota Twins Draft Choice No. 5: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Oklahoma State

Round/Pick: Round 4, Pick 128

MLB.com Pre-Draft Prospect Rankings: 208

Pros: Good Power, Good Arm, Good Production

Cons: Average Contact, Below-Average Defense, Slow Mover

Christian Encarnacion-Strand is the most intriguing prospect that the Twins picked up in these first four rounds. He has a stellar arm, massive power potential, and has lit it up in both Community College and at Oklahoma State.

His swing needs work. A hitch in his swing allows for extra power, but a lot of scouts worry it could be exploited by better pitching. Encarnacion-Strand needs to prove that he can make the adjustments necessary to play in the bigs.

His other issue is his defense. As good as his arm is, he’s not fast, and not very fluid either. That could cause issues when trying to stick at the hot corner, leading to questions about where he could end up, with first base and even catcher suggested.I, however, am higher on him than MLB.com is.

Watching him play, and watching his swing, you can see the issues that scouts have. You can also see the incredible production he puts up in spite of it. The Twins love big power guys, especially at a very thin position. It may have been a bit of a reach, but if they can work out the kinks in the swing, he’s got potential, which is all you can ask for in the fourth round. Grade: B.

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