Twins 2013 mock MLB Draft: Rounds 2 to 5

Last week, I discussed the reasons why the Minnesota Twins should select Sean Manaea with their first round and fourth overall pick.  This week, I am presenting potential second to fifth round picks for the Twins.  The Twins do not have compensatory picks this season.  Brief profiles of the players also are included.

Round 2, (43 overall): Hunter Dozier, SS,  Stephen F. Austin State

Would history repeat itself and the Twins will select yet another college SS (and their second Dozier recently) in the high draft rounds, even though their previous selections have not moved with the speed the Twins' hoped?   He shall see, but Hunter Dozier is not like the previous college short stops they have been selecting.  He is a Cal Ripken-sized SS (6-4, 220) with a lot of pop.  He bats right handed.  His 17 HRs  have him in the top 3 in the NCAA he is hitting .394 and has 12 SBs.  His arm is very strong and he has good hands.  Range is an issue (and this, with his size, makes some think that he will project as a 3B at the next level) but very workable in the next level.   I think that he has the tools to stick at short and this is a huge position of need in the Twins' organization.    He was named Southland conference player of the year and hitter of the year.   His up to date 2013 stats are here.

Round 3, (78 overall) Andrew Knapp, C, Berkley

Catcher is another position in need in the Twins' organization with no clear replacement for Joe Mauer down the line, other than potentially Josmil Pinto.   Knapp is not mentioned as one of the top catchers on the draft (that would be a trifecta of high school kids) but he might as well be.  An excellent game caller (he goes to Berkley for a reason) with a strong bat that projects, but would require a bit of work with his receiving skills and foot work.   He hit left-handed as is 6'1" tall and weights about 200 lbs.  Mostly a line drive doubles machine who likes to use the whole field (sounds like another Twins' catcher?) but projects to have home run power.  Can run a bit too.  Dad also a Catcher at Berkley.

Round 4 (110 overall) Edwin Diaz, SS, Ladislau Martinez Otero HS, Puerto Rico.

From Jose Morales to Eddie Rosario to Jose Berrios, the Twins have been scouting and drafting high school kids from Puerto Rico in early rounds and they will do it again this season.    Diaz is close to the top of the 2013 draft class in Puerto Rico.  He is a tall (6'2" - 180) kid who is still growing.  Diaz is a lot like Pedro Florimon, but a bit more advanced with the bat at this stage of their careers. Good with the bat, hitting line drives at all fields.  Right handed.  Slick fielder.  I think that is will be one of the first Puerto Ricans on the board.  The 2013 draft class is not that great there.

Round 5 (140 overall) DJ Snelten, LHP, Minnesota

The Twins make a point of selecting several players from the University of Minnesota.  The ones that they have been selecting in the high rounds (the jury is still out for players like AJ Pettersen who were selected in lower rounds) have not really worked out, other than a certain LHP;  so I think that they will get another.  The lesser known of the 2 U of M starters and somewhat in the shadow of Tom Windle, might actually be the better pitcher.  He is 6'7" and 230 lbs.  Plus 91-93 mph fastball that peaks at 95 with great command and control, movement and positioning; curve and change up are serious works in progress but improving.  Pitched out of the pen mostly his first 2 seasons.  Could be a dominant reliever if his secondary offerings do not improve.

Here are highlights of his complete game one hitter this season against Ohio State (you can read about it here ) :

Next: Rounds 6-12.  As a reminder, you can find all 2013 MLB draft related posts here.


Kyle Gibson and the Red Wings at the Lehigh Valley IronPigs today and it was so close...

A couple days ago I realized that the Rochester Red Wings were playing the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at my back yard.  Literally, their ballpark (Coca Cola Park) is less than half an hour away from my door, so I make a point to go and see the Red Wings every year when they play there.  This was their second game here, and by choice I went today instead of yesterday, because Kyle Gibson was pitching.  There were a lot of conflicting reports about him and I wanted to see with my own eyes how he is doing...

Not the best day for a ball game, it was in the high 50s, overcast with occasional sprinkles here and there:

 The ball park is probably the best one in the minors and always a joy to be there (ok I might have home town bias :)  ) :

 I got to see Gibson pitch at the pen before the game and was fairly impressed.  His fastball was really popping in Eric Fryer's glove and both velocity and movement was there based on my point of view:

 After about 20 pitches I went back to my seat (1st row right next to the Red Wings dugout) from the outfield bullpen and watched the game.  I was very lucky to be there because this was a magnificent pitching performance by Gibson.  I came in with an open mind and nothing to expect and I left a strong believer in that Gibson is the best starting pitcher the Twins have today.  A bit about his performance (and I am not going to get into things like numbers, which you can read elsewhere:  He had four pitches that he threw when he wanted with a great command.  His fastball was his primary pitch and was sitting from 92-94 all night long.  It spiked to 95 a few times and went to 91 a couple.  It was at 94 in the 9th inning as well.  in the first 5 inning he mostly threw his fastball and his slider, which ran from 84 to 86 and really kept the IronPig hitters off balance causing a lot of swings and misses.  Have to mention that Gibson had impeccable command of the fastball: he would locate it up and down and inside and out.  And throw it at the dirt when he wanted to.  In the latest innings he started throwing more his changeup that was running from 81-83 mph with a good late motion; also he featured a tight slow curve (78-80 mph) that I did not realize he had.  He threw that pitch a few times late in the game.  He was totally on top of his game today.  In addition to what he did on the field, a thing that really impressed me was his composure in the dugout, knowing that he was having a no-hitter:  he was sitting there cheering his teammates and clapping when they were batting, instead of being "in his own world" and apathetic about the game.  This was a dominating performance that, I think that won him his first trip to the majors.   Frankly, I thought that I will witness history and it was that close...

Gibson being interviewed after the game:

It was Kyle Gibson's day but a few more observations about the team and a couple of players:  This looks like a close knit team with a lot of positive energy (A funny thing that happen was that when Antoan Richardson, who was the Red Wings' left fielder today, came back to the dugout, he got a hazing in jest by Clete Thomas, who did not play, and Brian Dinkelman, who was the first base coach, because the first IronPigs hit was at the left field...)

All players seemed to have fun but one.  And it was very obvious and the Twins as an organization have to do something to help him:  Joe Benson.   Joe was the starting Centerfielder today and had a great game at the field, getting to every ball that hit his way.  At the plate he had a 2-run scoring single in his third plate appearance, he almost ran out an infield hit in his fourth and struck out in his first 2 PAs against an IronPigs pitcher who threw 69-78 mph junk.  His body language was very obvious and a big sign that he is pressing and needs help.  After each unsuccessful plate appearance he went back to the dugout, slapping himself and sitting alone despondent with his head in his hands.  He needs help and coaching and needs someone of the Twins to tell him that it is not worth it.  He is still one of the top talents the Twins have and they should do something to help him.

Chris Colabello had another great night at the plate and played right field.  I will not be surprised if Chris Parmelee and him swap teams sometime soon.  His fielding at right was uneventful, but he is better than I thought on the base paths.  Speaking of base paths, Antoan Richardson late in the game hit a triple that would have been a double for most places and should have been an inside the park home run, if Gene Glynn (as a third base coach did not put the stop sign.)  Plenty of time to score but the Red Wings were up by ten at that point...  Chris Herrmann, another player who has been having a forgetable season so far, had a good game and looked like he enjoyed it.  Which is a good thing to see.

A few parting shots from the game:  

Chris Colabello:

 Brian Dinkelman, the first base coach:


Some of these guys will probably be starting for the Twins one of these days (Virgil Vasquez, Liam Hendriks, Cole DeVries) :

With the 4th pick of the 2013 MLB Draft the Twins select...

I feel that an introductory paragraph is in order here.  This is the fourth season I have been covering the Minnesota Twins' drafts (started about 2 years into the existence of this blog).  Since day one (you can see the humble 2009 beginnings here) I have been presenting potential target players' names and profiles and have been live-blogging each pick as they were happening providing mini-profiles.   This will happen this season as well, but a lot of things have changed and evolved in the internet and the Twins' blogosphere the last 4 years.  I remember that I did the 2009 live-blogging only with a radio feed of the draft.  Now mlb.com has taken over the show with clear and concise coverage so the need for live blogging those is not as much.

What is new here for this year?  The first (and hopefully) annual Twins mock draft:  I will present my mock draft results for the Twins selections in the first 12 rounds.  Yes.  Twelve.  We all have opinions and there are a lot of ideas about who the Twins might select with their first overall pick, but not many people are thinking about the later rounds, so I thought that I will give it a shot, just for fun.  Of course, like all other mock drafts out there, unless someone can see all the draft boards from all teams, this is a purely recreational endeavor.

Back to the story:  With the 4th pick of the 2013 MLB draft, the Twins select...

... Sean Manaea (pronounced mahn-EYE-ah)

Why?  Because a. he is the player with the highest upside in the draft, b. because of velocity and injury concerns will fall in their lap and c. because he represents something they are missing in their organization.

A little bit of a background:  Sean is a junior at Indiana State University.  He is a big (6'5", 240 lbs) LHP who has been starting with the Sycamores the last couple years and really made a name for himself at the Cape Code league last summer.

Here is a 10 minute video from his warmup to his pitching in one game there last summer

Sean dominated the Cape Cod league hitters, with Fastballs that were hitting 97-98 mph late in the games, sharp sliders and masterful change ups; he went 5-1 in 8 GS,  had a 1.22 ERA and broke the Cape Cod League record with  85 strikeouts in 57.1  IP.   He gave up only 7 walks and allowed 22 hits.

This sounds like a top overall pick, why would he fall down to the fourth pick?

He has not been the same as far as velocity goes this season as he has been at the Cape, he has a hip injury and scouts have been souring on him as a top pick.

Would that make him a risk for the Twins?

Every pick is a risk but there are a lot of things in Manae's favor that scouts overlook and will make him the perfect pick for the Twins:

  • Cape Cod summer league aside, his 2013 performance (even though he has hip issues) is better than his 2012 performance.
  • A pitcher cannot just lose "stuff".  He might lose control, but Manaea still has his control and stuff (see this, for an excellent recent scouting report that compares his performance now to his performance last summer)
  • His velocity is down, but his has been the coldest spring in recent history and he is battling a hip issue (and has not lost control.)
  • He has the best natural talent in the draft and the scary thing is that he has not really have much instruction (which is something that scouts avoid to say).   His mechanics are awful (as you can see in the video) and with proper instruction, the sky is the limit.
  • Why he did not have much instruction?  Here is his story:  He is not a privileged kid.  He did not live in the suburbs and played in the best teams with the best coaches.   His dad, Faaloloi, immigrated to Indiana after he fought in the Vietnam war.  Both he and his mom are factory workers, settled at Wanatah, and could not afford special baseball instruction for their kid.  Sean went to a small High School, South Central Junior-Senior High School in Union Mills, where he showed his talent but was way under the spotlight to get a College scholarship.  To achieve this, he transferred to the bigger Andrean High School in Merrillville, where he flashed his excellent but raw offerings.   The only school that offered him a scholarship was Indiana State, which is not a baseball powerhouse playing in a powerhouse conference.  
  • So, Manaea has incredible good stuff, despite horrible mechanics, despite his hip issue and he has never really received expert instruction.  As far as I am concerned, this makes sky proverbially the limit.
  • The Twins have 4-5 RHPs who have flashed top of the rotation talent in the minors (Alex Gibson, Alex Meyer, DJ Baxendale, Trevor May, Jose Berrios) but not a lefty.  He would be the perfect top of the rotation lefty to complement some of those righties.
So you have it:  Sean Manaea, should be the Twins' 2013 first round draft pick and I think that they will pull the trigger.

Who the Twins select in the later rounds?  Check in this week to find out.

101 High School player names everyone should know before the 2013 MLB Draft

This is the third an last installment in this series.  Yesterday, I presented the names of 114 College position players who will likely be drafted and a couple days before those of 129 College pitchers likely to join an MLB organization this early June.   Today I am presenting the names of 101 High School players who are likely to get drafted (52 position players and 49 pitchers.)

The one thing that we learned from the 2012 MLB draft, the first one under the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement, which had slot bonuses implemented, was that it was harder to select and sign High School players from the mainland US and Canada at slot value.  Thus, fewer High School players were selected and even fewer signed.   Unless a player is selected on the top rounds, signability of a High School player will be an issue.

Before I present the list, I will give you a teaser about the next draft related installment here:  It will be the first ever Twins mock draft where I will be presenting the names of the players I think that the Twins will draft in the first 12 rounds of the draft, starting with the number four pick overall (and it is not a conventional wisdom pick, or consensus pick - those are listed here) in a couple days.  As always, you can find all 2013 MLB Draft-related posts here.

Here is the list of the 101 High School names you should know before the 2013 MLB draft (including those of a handful of Minnesotans) :

52 Position Players

Willie Abreu OF Mater HS (FL)
Christian Arroyo SS Hernando  HS (FL)
Cavan Biggio 3B/2B St. Thomas HS (TX) Craig's son
Ryan Boldt OF Red Wing HS (MN)
Nick Ciuffo C Lexington HS (SC)
Zach Collins C/1B American Heritage HS (FL)
JP Crawford SS Lakewood HS (CA)
Tyler Danish 3B Valrico HS (FL)
Edwin Diaz, ss, Ladislau Martinez Otero HS, (PR)
Travis Demerritte 3B Winder Barrow HS (GA)
Jon  Denney C Yukon HS (OK),
David Denson 1B La Puente HS (CA)
Xavier Fernandez, c, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
Kevin Franklin 3B/OF Cerritos HS (CA)
Clint Frazier OF Loganville HS (GA)
Josh Hart OF Parkview HS (GA)
Connor Heady SS Prospect HS (KY)
Jan Hernandez SS/2B Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (PR)
Nick Longhi 1B/OF Venice Senior HS (FL)
Joseph Martarano 3B Fruitland HS (ID)
Jeremy Martinez C/3B Mater Dei HS (CA)
Terry McClure OF Riverwood International Charter HS (GA)
Dane McFarland OF Laguna Niguel HS (CA)
Andy McGuire SS/3B James Madison HS (VA)
Reese McGuire C Kentwood HS (WA)
Billy McKinney OF Plano West HS (TX)
Ryan McMahon 3B Mater Dei HS (CA)
Matt McPhearson OF Riverdale Baptist HS (MD)
Austin Meadows OF/1B Grayson HS (GA)
Oscar Mercado SS Gaither HS (FL)
Brian Navarreto C/OF Arlington Country Day HS (FL)
Tucker Neuhaus SS Wharton HS (FL)
Sheldon Neuse SS Fossil Ridge HS (TX)
Dom Nunez SS Elk Grove HS (CA)
Chris Okey C Eustis HS (FL),
Tyler O'Neill C Maple Ridge H.S. (BC, Canada)
Dustin Peterson 3B/SS Gilbert HS (AZ)
Corey Ray OF Simeon Career Academy (IL)
Tim Richards SS Wilson HS (CA)
Chris Rivera SS El Dorado HS (CA)
Cord Sandberg OF/1B Manatee HS (FL),
Dominic Smith 1B/LHP Serra HS (CA),
John Sternagel 3B/SS, Rockledge HS (FL)
Jake Sweaney, C, Garces Memorial High School
Rowdy Tellez 1B Elk Grove HS (CA)
Riley Unroe SS Desert Ridge HS (AZ)
Marcos Ventura OF/1B Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
Drew Ward 1B Leedey HS (OK)
Justin Williams OF/3B Terrebonne HS (LA)
Ivan Wilson OF Ruston  H. (LA)
Weston Wilson SS/3B Wesleyan Christian Academy  HS (NC)
Stephen Wrenn OF/RHP Walton HS (GA)

49 Pitchers

Trey Ball LHP/OF New Castle HS (IN)
Derick Beauprez RHP, Cherry Creek HS (CO)
Phil Bickford RHP Oaks Christian HS (CA)
Akeem Bostick, RHP, HS (SC)
Jacob Brentz LHP South Ballwin HS (MO)
Ian Clarkin LHP/1B James Madison HS (CA)
Trevor Clifton RHP, Heritage HS (TN)
Wil Crowe RHP Pigeon Forge HS (TN)
Kevin Davis RHP Tr Miller HS (AL)
Dustin Driver RHP Wenatchee HS (WA),
Zach Farmer LHP Piketon HS (OH)
Stephen Gonsalves LHP/OF Cathedral Catholic HS (CA)
Hunter Green LHP Warren East HS (KY)
Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys High School (NC)
Thomas Hatch RHP Jenks HS (OK)
Clinton Hollon RHP Woodford County HS (KY)
Connor Jones, RHP, Great Bridge High School (VA)
Ryder Jones, RHP/3B, Watauga HS (NC)
Rob Kaminski LHP St. Joseph Regional HS (NJ)
John Kilichowski LHP Tampa Jesuit HS (FL)
Max Knutson LHP Mounds View HS (MN)
Chris Kohler  LHP Los Osos HS (CA)
Matt Krook LHP St. Ignatius HS (CA)
Brett Morales SP KIng HS (FL)
Chris Oakley RHP, St. Augustine HS (NJ)
Ryan Olson RHP Western Christian (CA)
AJ Puk LHP/1B Washington HS (IA)
Carlos Salazar RHP Kerman HS (CA)
Kyle Serrano SP RHP Farragut (TN)
Casey Shane RHP, Centennial HS (TX)
Jordan Sheffield RHP Tullahoma (TN)
Logan Shore RHP Coon Rapids HS (MN)
Kohl Stewart SP St. Pius X HS (TX),
Dominic Taccolini RHP Kempner  HS (TX)
Blake Taylor LHP Dana Hills HS (CA)
Keegan Thompson RHP, Cullman HS (AL)
Robert Tyler RHP Crisp County HS (GA)
Matt Vogel RHP Patchogue Medford HS (NY)
Jonah Wesely LHP, Tracy HS (CA)
Devin Williams RHP Hazelwood West (MO)
Garrett Williams LHP/1B Calvary Baptist HS (LA)