Minnesota Twins: Grading the Twins’ First 5 Picks in the 2022 MLB Draft
The first two days of the 2022 MLB Draft are in the books, and the Minnesota Twins have their first ten picks in the book. The team picked ten college athletes, five pitchers and five middle infielders, most of whom look set to sign deals with the team when the draft is officially over.
Several of these players, including the eighth overall pick Brooks Lee, will make an appearance on the updated Top 50 prospects list when it arrives later this month. For now, we’ll grade each of the top five picks based off skill, production, potential upside, and pick value.
We grade and breakdown the Minnesota Twins’ Top 5 Draft Picks in the MLB Draft.
We’re assuming the team will sign all of these players, considering they’re college athletes and the Twins sign most of their higher picks, but with that out of the way, we start off with their first choice: Shortstop Brooks Lee.
Minnesota Twins Pick No. 1: Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly (Round 1, Pick 8)
The first pick the Twins made in the draft was Brooks Lee, a shortstop from Cal Polytechnic State University, and the general consensus so far is that the Minnesota Twins nailed this pick. I couldn’t agree more.
Lee was my No. 5 overall player in the draft class and the top player I thought the Twins might be able to land at No. 8. His game is phenomenal, with an excellent hit tool, solid power potential, a good arm and great defensive instincts. He was a Top 50 prospect out of a high school, but he wanted to play for his dad, the coach at Cal Poly.
His floor is high, and given his tools, Lee has a high ceiling and could rise through the system extremely quickly. The Twins got a high-quality player who was the best available with a pick towards the end of the Top 10, and found a new prospect that will slot in near the very top of the team’s prospect list. Grade: A+.
Minnesota Twins Pick No. 2: Connor Prielipp, RHP, Alabama (Round 2, Pick 48)
With their next pick in the draft, the Twins drafted Connor Prielipp. After the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Prielipp was looked at as a potential 2022 No. 1 Overall Pick heading into the 2021 season before injuring his elbow and undergoing Tommy John surgery. Instead, he came into the 2022 draft as the No. 25 prospect overall.
This summer, he threw several bullpen sessions that showed scouts his stuff was back and strong as ever. His fastball is lively and sits in the low-90s but can reach 95, his changeup could use a little more work but has good sink, but his best pitch is a deadly slider that was considered the best in the class.
He has all the stuff to be a frontline starter if he’s truly healthy and the Minnesota Twins got him with the 48th pick of the draft. Sure, there’s reliever risk, but given how the Twins’ system looks, taking a stab at a player with his potential is an excellent move. Grade: A+.
Minnesota Twins Pick No. 3: Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech (Competitive Balance Round B, Pick 68)
The Twins’ third pick of the day was shortstop Tanner Schobel, a shortstop from Virginia Tech. The No. 96 prospect on MLB.com’s Top 250, Schobel is a very solid athlete with a very high floor that will immediately slot into our Top 50 prospects.
Schobel had a massive year at Tech last year, slashing .362/.445/.689 with 19 homers and 74 RBI in 59 games. On top of this, he had a very solid BB-K ratio (35-40) and will be worth giving a shot at staying at shortstop.
He’s an average runner with a solid arm who has a good shot at being a very good utility infielder, so the floor is very solid, even if he doesn’t have an exceptionally high ceiling. I would have preferred Cade Doughty or Clark Elliott at this spot, but this is a really solid pick in terms of value and talent. Grade: B.
Minnesota Twins Pick No. 4: Andrew Morris, RHP, Texas Tech (Round 4, Pick 114)
The fourth player the Twins drafted is starter Andrew Morris, a 20-year-old who was dominant at Division II Colorado Mesa before transferring to Texas Tech for his senior year in 2022 where he still showed some serious flashes.
Morris is a shorter pitcher at 6’0″, but he has an over-the-top delivery that makes his pitches a little harder to differentiate. His best pitch is a really good slider that he compliments with a solid fastball, and a curveball and changeup that he’s still working on.
He needs to work a little more on his command to remain a starter, and he doesn’t have a very high ceiling, but there’s definitely a potential big-league starter in there if the Twins can help him develop further. With that said, I think they could have found a better college pitcher here. Grade: B-.
Minnesota Twins Pick No. 5: Ben Ross, SS, Notre Dame College (OH) (Round 5, Pick 144)
There isn’t much out there on Ben Ross as far as scouting reports go, but what there is out there is pretty positive. Take a look at how Ross did at Division II Notre Dame (OH) and in the hitter-friendly wood bat Northwoods league:
- DII: 103 G, .405/.471/.758, 73 XBH (25 HR), 97 RBI, 20 SB, 49-56 BB-K
- NWL: 42 G, .421/.503/.649, 18 XBH (10 HR), 39 RBI, 17 SB, 27-28 BB-K
According to some draft experts, Ross may be more likely to land at second or center field, but he could be a solid defender. Regardless, he’s got some good speed and he showed a lot of power over the past few years, so let’s hope the Twins are right.
I understand that he will likely be signed under-slot and that played into the decision. I also know that the MLB Draft is a crapshoot that’s hard to determine if a player will transition to the majors. I still think that the Twins could’ve found a better player here. Grade: C.