Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Draft Recap

It's coming about 5 days late, but I'm finally getting around to posting my final thoughts on this year's draft. My thoughts on day one can be found here, where I basically say that grading a draft is folly. Instead, I find it interesting to look at the draft and consider the strategy that went into the decision-making. Here are my general thoughts on the draft, rounds 1-50.

1.) I'm a little surprised that the Twins went ahead and drafted 50 players this year, because of the elimination of the draft-and-follow. I think that there were 22 teams left in the last round, but I didn't pay attention at the very end, so I could be off on that. Historically, few of the guys at the back end of the draft end up signing, anyway -- and I don't expect that to change much this time around.

2.) If you thought that the Twins went with a lot of high school outfielders this year, you'd be wrong. The team took a total of 5 high school outfielders, compared to eleven who they drafted last year. In the end, only 3 of those 11 ended up signing.

3.) One place where the Twins did splurge was college righties. The team took an astounding 14, along with 2 college lefties. Last year, they drafted just 5 college righties and 2 college lefties -- and ended up letting 4 of the righties go without signing them.

4.) The Twins also seemed to be reaching for a lot of catchers this year, but they actually drafted one less backstop than a year ago. In 2006, the Twins took 5 high school and 3 college catchers, eventually signing none of the high-schoolers and just 2 of the college guys. Just because they're drafted doesn't mean they'll be joining the team -- although the Twins have already signed one of this years high school catchers and one of the college guys, as well.

5.) Perhaps the most remarkable thing about these drafts is how few of the high schoolers actually sign. Guys drafted in the top 10 or 15 rounds have to think hard about the possibility of playing with a major league team -- but usually, guys with a chance to play college ball will go that route if they're drafted too low. Last year, the Twins took 32 high school players, and just 9 signed with the team. This year, the Twins drafted 26 high schoolers (again, this is by my count -- I could be off by one or two) -- and I wouldn't expect more than 7 or 8 to sign on the dotted line.

6.) The Twins drafted surprisingly few middle-infield types, going with just 1 college shortstop and second-baseman each, along with 1 high school second-sacker and 4 high school shortstops. Considering that the majority of the high schoolers won't sign, that's a rather paltry haul for a position that could've used some more depth.

7.) Who am I most excited to see play? Well -- you always have to be excited about the #1 pick, so I want to see what Ben Revere can do on the field. I'm also excited about Daniel Rams, whether he ends up catching or not. Also, if they get him signed RHP Evan Danieli, who is 6' 8" and 225, should be an interesting presence on the mound. Unfortunately, it sounds like he's unlikely to sign, having the opportunity to go to college for at least three years in the hopes of boosting his draft status (he was just a 33rd rounder this year). I'm also curious to see how the Twins top lefty pick -- 12th rounder Michael Tarsi -- fares if he signs (he'd probably end up in Elizabethton because of his college experience).

8.) Forget about who I'm excited about seeing play -- how about the winners of the "best names" of the draft? Well, Daniel "Bam Bam" Rams certainly ranks up there. Also high on my list are Nathan Striz, Andrew Schmiesing (that's just a fun name), Thomas Farmer, Mickey Storey, Joshua Workman (anyone catch the LOST reference?), Spencer Steedley (sounds like a hero of some sort), Michael Kvasnicka, and Christopher Freshcorn.

9.) Keep watching for updates on signings. With an August 15th deadline to sign this year, it should be a little easier to monitor who does and who does not join the team.



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