Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thoughts on Draft Day 1

What an unusual day! From the Twins possible reach in Round 1 (although they don't think so, obviously) to a catcher nicknamed Bam Bam a high school sinkerballer named Striz, the first five rounds of the draft were unpredictable, to say the least. It's folly to try to predict how a draft class is going to pan out for at least a couple of years, because so much can go wrong (or right!) with a prospect. As a result, you won't catch me saying that the Twins made any mistakes today. I will, however, critique the draft strategy a little bit.

For starters, the Twins went heavy on the high-schoolers today, with all five of their picks coming from the prep ranks. My preference is to go with more experienced college players, because generally they're closer to contributing -- but, if you have faith in your scouting and your development program, there's no reason to shy away from high schoolers if they're the best available players when your picks come up. So, while it was a little strange for me that the Twins went with 5 high schoolers, I don't actually have a problem with it.

I do admit to being disappointed with the first pick. Ben Revere (OF - Lexington Catholic HS) may turn into a great pick some day, but I couldn't help being a little disappointed that the Twins didn't go for power in the early rounds (like they did last year with Chris Parmelee). The comparisons with Denard Span are simply unavoidable -- like Span, Revere is a speedy CF who is a bit raw. Span finally made it to AAA this year, his sixth with the organization. Considering that he's struggling, there is a very good chance that his seventh year will also be spent in the minors. That timeframe, 6-7 years, is probably what we can expect from Revere as well (assuming he doesn't flame out first, as 1st round picks like Adam Johnson and B.J. Garbe before him have done). One more thing about Revere -- I actually don't have a problem taking a speedy centerfielder, although the organization has a couple already in Span and Brandon Roberts. If Revere is as fast as he's rumored to be, he should be in another league -- and by the time he's ready for the big leagues, Span and Roberts will either be established Major Leaguers or long gone from the Twins organization.

More curious to me was the decision in the third round to . . . DRAFT ANOTHER SPEEDY CENTER FIELDER in Angel Morales (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy). This decision made no sense to me -- but, I'm not employed to do this kind of work, so it's more likely that I'm wrong on this one. Still, it felt strange to me.

Another thing -- it was a fairly obvious call, but I'll take credit for projecting that the Twins would take a Catcher sometime before round 7. Well, did I actually say that? Sort of -- I said that "if there's a good spot to take a catcher without reaching in the first 5-7 rounds, the Twins should definitely do it." I'm simply not in a position to say whether they reached for Daniel "Bam Bam" Rams (C-Gulliver Preparatory) or not -- but it's clear that they felt it was the right place to make the move, and the team definitely needs depth at the catching position, so I like this pick.

I also wanted to see a shortstop drafted -- and I sort of got my wish. Reginald Williams (SS-Bellflower HS) is listed as a shortstop . . . but he's being projected as a 2B-3B type. Call it 50/50 for my wishes, I guess. Expect to see more middle infielders drafted early tomorrow.

And, for good measure, the team decided they couldn't make it through the first five rounds of the draft without taking at least one pitcher -- and that's where Nathan Strinz (RHP-Santa Fe Catholic HS) comes in. He throws hard, has a sinker, and is going to have plenty of time to develop.

Again, it would be silly of me to try to "grade" the draft. Instead, I'm going say that a few things confused me, a few things disappointed me (somewhat irrationally), and a few things excited me. Tomorrow's a whole 'nother day, as the team drafts for depth. I'll have more thoughts on the draft tomorrow night.

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