Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Saturday, June 07, 2008

2008 Draft Recap

Once again, the Twins went the distance in the First Year Player Draft (also known as the Rule IV Draft, although no one calls it that -- except for nerds like me). I'm not going to bother even attempting to lay out the information available on the 52 players taken by the Twins this year, because (1) I don't know much, and (2) most of them won't sign anyway. If you want to take a look at the list and wonder what might be, you can find it here. Instead, I'm just going to make some observations that you might find somewhat interesting.

This year, the Twins drafted 52 players, 32 from the college and junior college ranks, and 20 out of high school. That's in line with what they did a year ago, when they took 28 college players and 22 high schoolers. Back in 2006, the Twins employed a very different strategy, drafting 30 high schoolers and 21 college players.

Despite these differences in the composition of the players drafted, the Twins signed 22 players from each of the 2006 and 2007 drafts, so it's a good bet that they'll be somewhere just over 20 when the signing period ends on August 15. The background of those players was also remarkably similar -- in '06, 7 of the signees were high schoolers and 15 were college players, while in '07 it was 6 and 16. That's somewhat remarkable considering the dramatic difference in the number of each type of player drafted up front.

As would be expected, the Twins have also been much more successful signing players from the top half of the draft. In 2006, the Twins signed 19 of the 26 players drafted in the first 25 rounds. Meanwhile, in 2007, the Twins signed 19 of the 25 players drafted in the first 25 rounds. Notice a pattern? It's certainly possible that the Twins will have less success at signing the players they drafted at the top of the draft this time around, but I doubt it. Expect another 17-20 signings from the top half of the draft, and another 2-4 signed from the back half.

The breakdown of positions drafted wasn't too surprising -- RHP (20), OF (12), LHP (11), 3B (5), 2B (3), SS (2), C (2), 1B (1). Righties are always taken in abundance, and lefties are always a bit scarcer (although the Twins took a bounty this year -- in 2006 they took just 6, and in 2007 they managed to draft only 4, so 11 looks downright bountiful). It's also not surprising that the Twins took a lot of third basemen, since that's a position of particular need. Otherwise, nothing really stands out about this breakdown.

Now, I think it's difficult to predict who will and who won't sign (general predictions on overall numbers are one thing, but what specific players will do is much more difficult). Nonetheless, I think the Twins are likely to have a tough time signing Daniel Ortiz (4th round - CF) or Brett Hermsen (6th round - RHP), especially Hermsen. From what a commenter said in my first round post, Hermsen expected to go higher in the draft, and has signed a letter of intent to play for Oregon State University. Usually, a high schooler who falls a bit further than expected decides to go to college in the hopes that his draft status will rise when he becomes eligible again. The Twins are unlikely to pony up extra money to entice Hermsen to stick around (we are talking about the Twins, after all), so I don't expect him to sign.

Overall, I'm satisfied with this draft. As I've said many times before, I don't think you can adequately grade a draft for a few years, since there are just so many unknowns. The Twins seemed to go after solid players, and with the exception of the Carlos Gutierrez pick at the end of the 1st round (which was widely panned, since the Twins probably could have taken Gutierrez later), I don't think the Twins made any crazy leaps. They also drafted a ton of college arms, and I really like taking college pitchers since they're generally much closer to contributing.

Finally, a note on signings. Under the new-ish collective bargaining agreement, teams have only until August 15 to sign players from this draft. Most of the players signed by the team will be signed in the next two weeks or so. A couple of years ago, the Twins had some signings to announce on the Saturday after the draft -- if that happens again, we could know some names as early as today. More likely, however, it will take 5-7 days for the first set of names to come out. I will post names as soon as I know them, and once a player signs I'll add them to the bottom of the appropriate Organizational Ranking page.



  • At Sun Jun 08, 08:36:00 AM , Blogger Jeremy said...

    I was just looking at Rochester's roster. Did Heath Totten get released? I guess I never read it anywhere, but he's not on their roster and LaVelle says that Rantz is keeping a spot open for Span's return.

    It's not really a big deal, just wondering what you know.


  • At Sun Jun 08, 08:58:00 AM , Blogger Dianna said...

    Jeremy - Heath was released. Evidently Howie left the game with an abdominal strain so if they DL him today that will give them 2 extra roster spots.

    Taylor = you forgot #3: Half of the ones that do sign probably won't get out of rookie league ball. It's sad, but it's true. I was looking through photos trying to find some shots of some of the guys that we just go assigned to us, and kept saying "Whatever happened to this guy?" ::sigh:: Melancholy way to spend the afternoon.

  • At Sun Jun 08, 12:55:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Thanks to Dianna for answering Jeremy's question. I dug around and found a Rochester Democrat and Chronicle article saying that Totten was released to make room for Matt Macri -- but of course, Macri never actually made it to Rochester, so that's unfortunate.

    Dianna -- you're right that there's a ton of attrition with these guys. Instead of being melancholy, though, I actually think that there's a good side to this story. These players at least got a TASTE of playing at that level. If they couldn't hack it, they couldn't hack it -- but at least they got a shot. Some of them undoubtedly are bitter about the experience, but I hope most of the guys who wash out are thankful for getting the chance.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home