Day One Recap of Twins Draft
Yesterday, the baseball world had its eyes on the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, for the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft. The Phillies had the first pick and took Southern California prep-star outfielder Mickey Moniak.
The Twins had four picks yesterday, one first and second rounder and two picks in the Lottery B round, and they took four straight high school players. So, who did they take with those four picks? Let's go round-by-round and analyze their selections, with the help of some scouting reports from MLB.com.
Round 1, Pick 15: Alex Kirillof, OF - Plum Senior High School
With the 15th overall pick in the in the first round, the Twins took Alex Kirilloff, a left-handed prep bat from Pittsburgh-area Plum Senior High School. In Kirillof, the Twins got another power bat who, despite length in his swing, barrels the ball consistently, and has tremendous raw power.
Kirilloff profiles as a corner outfielder with a strong arm which would fit in perfectly with Byron Buxton in center and Max Kepler in right or left down the road.
Round 2, Pick 56: Ben Rortvedt, C - Verona Area High School
Entering the draft the twins had a need at catcher. Smartly, they didn't allow that need to dictate their first round choice but they found a player they hope will be their future catcher in Ben Rortvedt from out of Verona Area High School in Verona, Wisconsin. The left-handed hitting Rortvedt is valuable due to that fact alone, but what adds even more to the success of this pick is that he was touted as the top-hitting high school catcher, with offensive upside to hit .270 with 20 home runs thanks to tremendous bat speed that gives way to natural power. He isn't too shabby behind the plate, either, with a good strong arm and good movement behind the plate. In his senior season at Verona, he hit .406.
With Mauer now at first and getting older, the Twins needed a long-term fix at catcher as Kurt Suzuki is merely a placeholder. They got that in Ben Rortvedt who has great potential to be a perfect successor to Mauer.
Lottery Round B, Pick 73: Jose Miranda, SS - Leadership Christian Academy
The Twins went with the second-best Puerto Rican shortstop in the draft this year selecting Jose Miranda with their third pick yesterday. Miranda was ranked only behind controversial St. Louis Cardinals draft pick Delvin Perez.
Although ranked as a shortstop, he profiles long-term as a third baseman with strong defensive skills and an aggressive approach in all facets of the game. Miranda has a good swing with great potential offensively.
If Miranda can stay at short that would be great for the Twins, with Sano to be entrenched at third base. However, with the eventual retirement or change of scenery for Joe Mauer, Sano could end up as the designated hitter with Miranda as the future third baseman.
Lottery Round B, Pick 74: Akil Baddoo, OF - Salem HS
Baddoo, from the home of Ty Cobb in Georgia, is a 5' 11", 184-pound outfielder who has the potential to be a 20/20 guy if everything breaks right.
His speed and potential for good power with high average allows him to profile as a left fielder. His speed doesn't translate in the field leading to him most likely playing a corner outfield spot that ends up being left field due to a weak throwing arm.
The Twins took some risks by grabbing four high school players with their first four picks. Talent-wise they came away with some good players, but the problem now will be signing them all. If they can sign them all with their allotted values, they will be set up well for the rest of the draft. If not, I would expect the Twins to draft some college seniors in the next few rounds to compensate for the above slot bonuses.
The second day of the draft begins at 11:30 am and can be followed on Major League Baseball's website.