5 things to look for the Twins 2017 MLB draft first day (along with 15 potential draftee names)

The Twins have the first selection in the MLB draft that starts at 6PM EDT tonight in New York City, and there has been a lot of discussion about the first pick of the draft overall.  Here are 5 things to look for tonight when the first couple of rounds happen:

1. Who is the most signable College pitcher at number one?  The Twins have been on the clock since the last day of the 2016 season, and have been discussing potential targets since that day, and have been having discussions with these targets about bonus money recently.   The indication is that the Twins will take a College pitcher at number one.  Kyle Wright (3-5, 3.40 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 10.5 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 in 2017) was the most prominent name, until last week when Brendan McKay (10-3, 2.34 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 12.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9) became the favorite.  Here is an analysis about who is the best College pitcher based on potential and numbers.  However, the Twins will go after signability and select the pitcher who will come at a bigger discount to potentially spend some of that money in their supplemental (35th) and second (37th overall) round picks.  Survey says the pick will be McKay; I will not be surprised if it is Wright or even J.B Bukauskas (9-1, 2.52 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 11.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9) or Alex Faedo (7-2, 2.61 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 11.1 K/9, 2.9 BB/9) whose numbers are close to McKay's this season.  But McKay is the only lefty among the group and the consensus at this point among the Draft pundits.  But the day is still young.

2. Will the Twins address catching the first day?  The Twins have a need for a long term catcher.  Last season they selected Wisconsin prep Ben Rortvedt who has trouble adjusting to wooden bat, and even-though he is far away from being called a "bust", he is on his way, hitting just .167/.252/.205 in single A Cedar Rapids.  The two best catchers on the board in a not-strong catching class are preps this season: Luis Campusano from Augusta, GA, and M.J. Melendez from Palmetto Bay, FL.  Even though they are better baseball competition states than WI, I have a hard time seeing them repeating that mistake, and will likely wait until the third round and select one of the Collegiates Riley Adams (San Diego), Evan Skoug (TCU), or Connor Wong (Houston), with Skoug being the favorite to remain at C long term.

3. How much does "make up" matter to the new heads of the Twins?  There are players on every draft that have fallen because of "make up" issues, usually based on bad decisions that they made.  In the past the Twins have selected Steven Gonsalves who had fallen because of such issues.  Is the current team willing to take a talent like Seth Romero (who was kicked out of the Houston team for smoking marijuana, breaking curfew and fighting with a teammate) or even Luke Heimlich (who as a 15 year old was found guilty of molestation of a 6-year old relative)?  I would personally sign Romero and stay away from Heimlich, but will be interesting to see what the Twins will do.

4. Will the Twins still be willing to sign upper Midwest players despite recent disappointments?  The Twins have been known to sign "local talent", bright and early, despite every time this has happened the last 10 years, resulted in disappointment.  The upper Midwest does not have the level of competition, both  Collegiate and Prep that warmer climates have where athletes can play baseball all around and do not trade their cleats for skates in the winter time.  Ben Rortvedt, 2016 round 2 from WI, and Dereck McCallum, 2009 Round 4 from the University of Minnesota, being their highest upper midwest draft picks, and even-though the book might still be out on the former, the latter left baseball after three disappointing professional seasons.  This year's upper Midwest player with a lot of helium is Sam Carlson, from Burnsville, MN.  Will the Twins sign him if he is available with pick number 35 over the aforementioned more talented LHP Seth Romero who has been successful against better competition and is more MLB-ready?   We will see.

5. When will the Twins go after hitters?   The conventional wisdom is that teams should draft the best player available instead of need.  However, "best player" available is horribly subjective, and mostly a guess work, whereas "need" is objective and painful.   And the Twins need arms.  Conventional wisdom also suggests that if the Twins get the best player, they can trade him in a season or two for need, but the Twins have never done that recently.  It will be interesting to see how they will spend their picks number 35 and 37 and whether they will go after a hitter.  Another need in the organization is outfield, there are not many non-project outfielders who can help the Twins in a year or two in this class, assuming that both Adam Haseley (Virginia) and Evan White (Kentucky) are gone by the 35th pick.   If one of them is available, it will be hard to pass.  I would personally go after LHP Seth Romero and a prep pitcher, like RHP Alex Scherff who has a plus fastball and a plus changeup at this point.