MLB Draft: Grading every Twins first round pick since 2010

Let’s take a look back at some of the other first round picks the Twins have made over the course of the last decade.
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins
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2012 MLB Draft

A+. OF, Appling County High School . 2nd Overall Pick. Byron Buxton. Byron Buxton

SP, Papa Juan XXIII High School. 32nd Overall (Supplemental Pick). José Berríos. Jose Berrios. B

Good lord, what a draft class. This might go down as the best Twins class of the decade, not only because of who they drafted but who they ended up with out of the draft as a whole.

Buxton is a superstar, full stop. He's one of the most exciting players in baseball and when he's healthy one of the very best. Almost as soon as he was drafted he became the next capital-G Guy for the Twins and it's safe to say that while the road hasn't been totally smooth he's delivered as far as being a key piece of the team's core.

Jose Berrios was drafted to be the guy that Joe Ryan turned out to be, and he was one of the best pitchers the Twins had over the last decade. While he didn't turn into the true ace the Twins needed and was traded to the Blue Jays back in 2021. However, rather than being a bust, he gave Minnesota. few great seasons before being flipped for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson.

Of course, a headline from this draft class is the fact that the Twins now have the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in its lineup. Carlos Correa was selected by Houston ahead of Buxton, and a decade later they became teammates in Minnesota.

For what it's worth, Joey Gallo was a supplemental first round choice by the Texas Rangers this year, which means the Twins have three first rounders from this draft class on their current roster.

2013 MLB Draft

Kohl Stewart. C+. P, St. Pius X High School. 4th Overall Pick. Kohl Stewart

Minnesota has had a rought time navigating the top of the MLB Draft over the last decade, something the Kohl Stewart pick higlighted. He was a decent pick at the time, and came during a period where the Twins desperately needed to replenish their pitching stock.

It's hard to say this was a missed pick since this year's class wasn't nearly as strong as some of the previous ones. There's a case to be made that Tim Anderson would have been a better selection but the team had jus taken a young shortstop a few years before.

Aside from Austin Meadows, there wasn't any one standout star from this draft, but the Twins might have been able to use one of the guys who aged into being decent mid-tier veterans. Clint Fraizer, Hunter Renfroe, and J.P. Crawford all could have made sense in hindsight.

The real swing-and-miss is the team that historically likes to collect outfielders like rare coins passing on a guy named Aaron Judge who went No. 32 overall.

2014 MLB Draft

NIck Gordon. B-. SS, Olympia High School. 5th Overall Pick. Nick Gordon

Hindsight always colors how we look back on these draft classes, no matter how well a player originally selected has played. Nick Gordon has been a perfectly solid utility player for the Twins who has been plugged and played all over the place during his time with the team.

If we could rewind the clocks, this pick might have gone a little differently. Eight picks after Gordon was selected, the Padres took Trea Turner — a fellow shortstop prospect who ended up being a World Series winning All-Star. Aaron Nola was also selected after Gordon, going two picks later to the Philadelphia Phillies.

That all might come across as unfair to Gordon, who deserves to get his flowers for what he’s done with the Twins. He hasn’t collected the accolades that Turner and Nola have, but he’s been a classic Twins fit who harkened back to the days of the 2000s piranhas.

2015 MLB Draft

6th Overall Pick. Tyler Jay. Tyler Jay. F. P, Illinois

The Twins managed a stretch of drafts in the mid-to-late 2010s that has proven to be extremely fruitful. Between 2014 and 2018 the Twins drafted four players who have all been called up and made contributions as recently as this season — Tyler Jay is the lone standout.

Jay was a hot prospect coming out of Illinois in 2015 and seemed to fit a need the Twins had for future pitching. He showed some early promise in the minors but cratered pretty quickly and was out of the organization by 2019.

What makes this one sting is the fact that the Twins could have gone five-for-five with impact players they drafted. Both Andrew Benintendi and Ian Happ were picked after Jay and both would have fit the bill as guys who you could see making every day contributions like the other guys drafted in this stretch.

The biggest miss was passing on a guy who ended up going at No. 24 overall. The Twins wanted a pitcher and took Jay, but passed on Walker Buehler.

Buehler is positioned to be the Dodgers ace of the future, taking the torch from Clayton Kershaw. Meanwhile, the Twins traded Jay to Cincinnati for cash considerations four years after drafting him.