2008 Draft Recap
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.