2010 Twins MLB draft: Introduction

As I did last season, I will cover the 2010 MLB Amateur draft in detail. This is what to expect for draft coverage here:

  • An introduction (this post) with what I think the Twins' draft needs are and who mock drafts have as the Twins' first round pick for 2010

  • A couple of posts before the draft, focusing on potential draftees in the areas of need for the Twins (later this week), including links to profiles, scouting reports and player videos. There will be more that 50 potential draftees presented, so there is a good likelihood that there will be some future Twins in the list

  • Live draft coverage on each day of the draft, both with live blogging and on twitter. I will tweet each pick as happens, then I will blog details about the player including scouting reports, projections, videos etc, in this space. You can follow me on twitter @thrylos98, or you can come here and refresh the page often. My tweets will appear on the left hand side of the page, as always. I will do a single post with the details of each draftee and I think that it will be more clear that last year.

  • There is still plenty of time, so please let me know whether you want to see anything else

First of all a reminder about what this draft includes: The Rule 4 Draft, or the First-Year Player Draft (all those 3 things are synonyms), includes players who are residents of the U.S., Canada and U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Minor Outlying Islands. Residents of other countries are not subject to the Rule 4 Draft, but are signed as free agents either when they are young (the majority of Latin American, European, African and Australian players) or when are established (the majority of Japanese players.) Free agents have the ability to negotiate with each team and actually, depending on the perceived value of a player, induce a bidding war for their services. Thus, a lot of Cuban refugees do not take residence in the U.S. or a territory, so they will not be subjected to the amateur draft, but take residence in a Latin American country like Bolivia or Mexico. The minor league draft is a way for organizations to restock their systems.

Looking at the Twins' needs in the draft, they are very similar to last season, with a slight difference: This organization is stocked with right hand pitchers (both starters and relievers), outfielders, even with the departure of 24 year old Carlos Gomez, and Catchers. Ten of my 25 best Twins' hitting prospects this offseason were outfielders, 4 were catchers, 2 third basemen, one first baseman, and six middle infielders. Arguably the stock of most middle infielders in the list (other than Trevor Plouffe) has fallen this season (I treat Sano as a third baseman) and the highest ranked middle infielder in my list was Brian Dozier at number 10, who has been doing very well as a SS in Ft. Myers after his promotion from Beloit this season, but still, middle infield is a place of concern and I think that the Twins should address that in this draft. Another position that could appear concerning (and this is new this season is first base, since there is no heir apparent to Justin Morneau in the organization). Chris Parmelee (my 6th best hitter prospect) is as close as it gets, but there is always the possibility of the Twins converting an outfielder or a catcher to a first baseman, if the need arises, so in some ways, first base is the easiest position to fill, so it is not much of a rear concern. In addition to middle infield, another (and potentially higher) priority should be left hand pitching.

In My list of the top 25 Twins pitching prospects last off-season, only 4 were lefties and from those only Dan Osterbrock (who pitched a no hitter in Beloit before he was promoted to Ft. Myers and struggled, this season) and Tyler Roberston (who has been struggling after his promotion to Rochester) are starters (Matt Bashore and Andrei Lobanov are the relievers). So LHSP is a pressing need and should be addressed as a very high priority.

Here is what different mock drafts project for the Twins' first round pick this season:

Mymlbdraft.com: Austin Wilson, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS, CA.

Draftsite.com: Chevez Clarke, OF, Marietta HS, GA

MLB Scout Buzz: Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State

ESPN's Keith Law (subscription required): Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State

The SportBank.net: Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State

Baseball America : Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State

MLB Bonus Baby:Kaleb Cowart, IF/RHP, Cook County HS, GA

Mack's Mets:Kaleb Cowart, IF/RHP, Cook County HS, GA

The Football Fan Spot:Kaleb Cowart, IF/RHP, Cook County HS, GA

5 Tool Talk: Justin O'Conner SS/RHP, Cowan HS, IN

The Perfect Game: Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel

High School Rivals: Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel

MLB Fanhouse: A.J. Cole (RHP), Oviedo HS, FL

Baseball Draft Report: Anthony Wolters, INF, Rancho Buena Vista HS, CA

Call to the Pen: Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Louisiana State University

Prospect Junkies: Bryce Brentz - OF - Middle Tennessee State

Fanspeak: Bryce Brentz - OF - Middle Tennessee State

Deep Leagues: Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS, FL

Project Prospect: Brandon Workman, RHP, University of Texas

There are some themes here, but not consensus (as there was expected not to be): a. the need to draft a middle infielder is clear with several suggested as potential top picks for the Twins b. another whole set of mock drafts are looking for Joe Nathan's replacement (most of those RHPs project as closers). What do I think? I think that Joe Rauch has shown that replacing a closer is not something that it extremely hard to do, plus in Neshek, Gutierrez and Slama the Twins have potential closers at the higher levels of the organization who will be under team control for a while. I think that the hardest thing to get is an impact lefty starter and if one falls into the Twins' lap early, they should go for it. Also an impact bat in the middle infield will be nice. There are a few such players in this draft and if, again, someone falls to the Twins pick, like Gibson did last season, I suspect that the Twins will not pass.

As a reminder, no mock draft picked Kyle Gibson for the Twins, last season...

In the next two installments I will be previewing about 35 middle infielders and 20 left hand pitchers.

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