Analyzing Minnesota Twins First Round Picks – Part 1

Since the June Amateur Draft began in 1965 the Minnesota Twins have selected 72 players in round one, some are their regular first round selections and other are supplemental picks for the loss of a free agent or failure to sign a round one selection. 

Over the years the Twins have failed to sign seven first round selections, about 10% of their total first round picks. The seven players that did not sign were four position players and three pitchers. You would think most of these would be high school players that chose to go on to college but that is not the case here, six were college players and only one was a high school player. The last time the Twins organization failed to sign a player was 2000 supplemental pick RHP Aaron Heilman.

Minnesota Twins first round draft picks 1965-2016

POS HS COLLEGE
C 2 1
1B 1 1
2B 0 1
SS 8 3
3B 4 2
OF 12 2
RHP 9 10
LHP 1 8
DID NOT SIGN 1  6
  38 34

Of the 72 drafted players, 45 (62.5%) went on to appear in a major league game. Seven of these 45 players did not sign with the Twins and debuted with other teams, two more of these players (Jay Bell and Midre Cummings) were traded by Minnesota and also debuted with other teams. That means that 36 or 50% of the Twins drafted and signed players went on to debut with the Minnesota logo on their chest.

 

What position did they end up playing with the Twins?

High school draftees

C- Jeff Reed continued as a catcher, Derek Parks drafted as a catcher/RHP was strictly a catcher and Joe Mauer was a catcher until injuries forced him to play first base  full-time in 2014. 

1B- no one

2B- no one

SS- Bob Gorinski ended up an outfielder, Rick Sofield ended up in the outfield, Lenny Faedo remained a shortstop, Michael Cuddyer played every position but catcher and shortstop but was primarily an outfielder, and Trevor Plouffe played every position but catcher and pitcher but was primarily a third baseman.

3B- Steve Brye ended up playing the outfield.

OF- Torii Hunter, Denard Span, Chris Parmelee split his time between outfield and first base, Ben Revere, Aaron Hicks and Byron Buxton all played outfield.

 

College draftees

C- Matt LeCroy turned out to be primarily a DH although he caught some and played some first base.

1B- Dave McCarty was primarily a first baseman but he played some outfield too.

2B- Todd Walker

SS- Chuck Knoblauch ended up a second baseman

3B- Scott Stahoviak played some third base but was used primarily at first base.

OF- Paul Powell remained an outfielder in Minnesota but the Dodgers also used him as a catcher.

If you look over the names of the position players drafted by the Minnesota Twins, it seems to be pretty clear that they have had more success drafting high school players than they have had college players. Pitchers are however; are a different story. 

 

Where do Twins pitchers come from?

High school draftees

LHP- Dan Serafini

RHP- Willie Banks, Todd Ritchie, Kyle Waldrop and Jose Berrios

 

College draftees

LHP- Eddie Bane, Bryan Oelkers, Travis Miller, Mark Redman and Glen Perkins

RHP- Adam Johnson, Matt Fox, Matt Garza, Kyle Gibson and Alex Wimmers

 

How good are the Twins draft picks?

According to Baseball-Reference.com WAR the 10th best players that have been drafted in round one by Minnesota according to the Baseball-Reference WAR numbers are:

  1. WAR 50.0 – Joe Mauer drafted out of high school in 2001  and debuted in 2004.
  2. WAR 50.0 – Torii Hunter drafted out of high school in 1993 and debuted in 1997.
  3. WAR 44.6 – Chuck Knoblauch drafted out of college in 1989 and debuted in 1991.
  4. WAR 36.9 – Jay Bell drafted out of high school in 1984 and traded to the Indians in 1985 to acquire Bert Blyleven. Bell went on to play in the big leagues for 18 seasons.
  5. WAR 26.2 – Tim Belcher drafted out of college in 1983 but did not sign with Minnesota. Belcher, RHP went on to start 373 games.
  6. WAR 25.0 – Denard Span drafted out of high school in 2002 and debuted in 2008. Traded to Washing ton 2012 for Alex Meyer.
  7. WAR 24.3 Jason Varitek drafted out of college in 1993 but did not sign with Minnesota. Varitek went on to catch for 15 seasons.
  8. WAR 18.6 Dick Ruthven drafted out of college in 1972 but did not sign. Ruthven a RHP went on to start 332 games.
  9. WAR 16.7 Michael Cuddyer drafted out of high school in 1997 and debuted in 1991.
  10. WAR 12.5 Matt Garza drafted out of college in 2005 and debuted in 2006. Traded by Twins in as part of deal to acquire Delmon Young.

Looking at these ten players, three did not sign with Minnesota, four were traded away, two left as free agents and that leaves just Joe Mauer still playing first base.

 

Detailed list of Twins first round picks for 1965-2016

Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision

2016 – Alex Kirilloff (OF) – Drafted out of high school fifteenth overall and spent 2016 in Rookie league. Signing bonus $2,817,100. Age is 19

2015 – Tyler Jay (LHP) – Drafted out of college eighth overall and spent 2016 in high A and AA ball. Signing bonus $3,889,500. Age is 22

2014 – Nick Gordon (SS) – Drafted out of high school fifth overall and spent 2016 in high A ball. Signing bonus $3,851,000. Age is 21

2013 – Kohl Stewart (RHP) – Drafted out of high school fourth overall and spent 2016 in high A and AA ball. Signing bonus $4,544,000. Age is 22

2012 – Byron Buxton (OF) – Drafted out of high school second overall and debuted with the Twins in June 2015 during his 36th month of pro ball. Signing bonus $6,000,000. Age is 23

2012s – Jose Berrios (RHP) – Drafted out of high school 32nd overall and debuted with the Twins in April 2016 during his 46th month of pro ball. Signing bonus $1,550,000. Age is 22

2012s – Luke Bard (RHP) – Drafted out of college 42nd overall and spent 2016 in high A and AA ball. Signing bonus $1,227,000. Age is 26

2011 – Levi Michael (SS) – Drafted out of college 30th overall and spent 2016 in AA ball. Signing bonus $1,175,000. Age is 25

2011s – Travis Harrison (3B) – Drafted out of high school 5oth overall and spent 2016 repeating AA ball. Signing bonus $1,050,000. Age is 24

2011s – Hudson Boyd (RHP) – Drafted out of high school 55th overall and never got above low A ball before the Twins released him in November 2015 primarily due to behavioral issues. Signing bonus $1,000,000. No longer active.

2010 – Alex Wimmers (RHP) – Drafted out of college 21st overall and debuted with the Twins in August 2016 during his 74th month of pro ball. Signing bonus $1,332,000. Age is 28 and has an invite to Twins spring training in 2017.

2009 – Kyle Gibson (RHP) – Drafted out of college 22nd overall and debuted with the Twins in June 2013 during his 48th month of pro ball. Signing bonus $1,800,000. Age is 29 and is a Twins starter.

2009s – Matt Bashore (LHP) – Drafted out of college 46th overall and released by Twins after the 2011 season in rookie ball. Signing bonus $751,500. No longer active.

2008 – Aaron Hicks (OF) – Drafted out of high school 14th overall and debuted with the Twins in April 2013 during his 58th month of pro ball. Traded to the Yankees in November 2015 and still playing in the bigs. Signing bonus $1,780,000.

2008s – Carlos Gutierrez (RHP) – Drafted out of college 27th overall and reached AAA ball but Twins let him go after 2012 season. Signing bonus $1,330,000. No longer active.

2008s – Shooter Hunt (RHP) – Drafted out of college 31st overall and reached high A ball before being let go after 2011 season. Signing bonus $1,080,000. No longer active

2007 – Ben Revere (OF) – Drafted out of high school 28th overall and debuted with the Twins in September 2010 during his 39th month of pro ball. Traded to the Phillies in December 2012 and still playing in the big leagues. Signing bonus $750,000.

2006 – Chris Parmelee (OF) – Drafted out of high school 20th overall and debuted with Twins in September 2011 during his 63rd month of pro ball. Still playing pro ball but has never has 350 at bats in a season. Signing bonus $1,500,000.

2005 – Matt Garza (RHP) – Drafted out of college 25th overall and debuted with the Twins in August 2006 his 14th month of pro ball. Twins traded him to Tampa in November 2007. Still pitching in the big leagues at age 33. Signing bonus $1,350,000.

2005s – Hank Sanchez (1B) – Drafted out of high school 39th overall and peaked out in low A ball before Twins let him go after the 2009 season. Signing bonus $900,000. No longer active.

2004 – Trevor Plouffe (SS) – Drafted out of high school 20th overall and debuted with Twins in May 2010 his 71st month of pro ball and became a free agent after the 2016 season at age 30. Signing bonus $1,500,000.

2004s – Glen Perkins (LHP) – Drafted out of college 22nd overall and debuted with the Twins in September 2006 in his 27th month of pro ball and still pitching for the Twins albeit as a closer. Signing bonus $1,425,000.

2004s – Kyle Waldrop (RHP) – Drafted out of high school 25th overall and debuted with the Twins in September 2011 in his 87th month of pro ball. The Twins let him go after the 2012 season and he is no longer active. Signing bonus $1,000,000.

2004s – Matt Fox (RHP) – Drafted out of college 35th overall and debuted with the Twins in September 2010 in his 75th month of pro ball. Signing bonus $950,000. No longer active.

2004s – Jay Rainville (RHP) – Drafted out of high school with 39th overall pick and peaked out in AA ball. Signing bonus $875,000. No longer active.

2003 – Matt Moses (3B) – Drafted out of high school 21st overall and reached as high as AAA before Twins gave up on him after the 2009 season. Signing bonus $1,450,000.

2002 – Denard Span (OF) – Drafted out of high school 20th overall and debuted with the Twins in April 2008 his 70th month in pro ball. Traded by the Twins to Washington in November 2012 and still active. Signing bonus $1,700,000.

2001 – Joe Mauer (C) – Drafted out of high school as first overall pick and debuted with the Twins in April 2004 in his 34th month of pro ball and still active with the Twins. Signing bonus $5,150,000.

2000 – Adam Johnson (RHP) – Drafted out of college with the second overall pick and debuted with the Twins in July 2001 in his 13th month of pro ball. Released by the Tins in January 2005. No longer active. Signing bonus $2,500.000.

2000s – Aaron Heilman (RHP) – Drafted out of college 31st overall but didn’t sign. Picked 18th overall in 2001 by the Mets.

1999 – B.J. Garbe (OF) – Drafted out of high school 5th overall and peaked at AA before Twins sent him to Seattle where he never got above AA. No longer active.

1998 – Ryan Mills (LHP) – Drafted out of college 6th overall and reached AAA before being let go. No longer active.

1997 – Michael Cuddyer (SS) – Drafted out of high school with 9th pick overall and debuted with the Twins in September 2001 in his 51st month of pro ball. No longer active.

1997s – Matt LeCroy (C) – Drafted out of college with 50th overall pick and debuted with the Twins in April 2000 in his 34 month of pro ball. No longer active.

1996 – Travis Lee (1B) – Drafted out of college with 2nd overall pick and did not sign with Minnesota due to Twins contract mistake and became a free agent signing with Arizona in October 1996.

1995 – Mark Redman (LHP) – Drafted out of college with 13th overall pick and debuted with Twins in July 1999 in his 49 month of pro ball. No longer active.

1994 – Todd Walker (2B) – Drafted out of college with 8th overall pick and debuted with Twins in August 1996 in his 26th month of pro ball. No longer active.

1994s – Travis Miller (LHP) – Drafted out of college 34th overall and debuted with  the Twins in August 1996 in his 26 month of pro ball. No longer active.

1993s – Torii Hunter (OF) – Drafted out of high school with 20th overall pick. Debuted with the Twins in August 1997 in his 50th month of pro ball. No longer active.

1993 – Jason Varitek (C) – Drafted out of college with 21st overall pick but did not sign. Signed by Seattle as 14th overall pick in 1994. No longer active.

1993s – Marc Barcelo (RHP) – Drafted out of college with 33rd overall pick and peaked in AAA before he moved on to the Cubs. No longer active.

1993s – Kelcey Mucker (OF) – Drafted out of high school with 38th overall pick and peaked out in AA. No longer active.

1992 – Dan Serafini (LHP) – Drafted out of high school with 26th overall pick. Debuted with the Twins in June 1996 in his 48th month of pro ball. Finally hung up his spikes after the 2013 season in the Mexican League.

1991 – Dave McCarty (1B) – Drafted out of college with the 3rd overall pick. Debuted with the Twins in May of 1993 in his 23 month of pro ball. Retired after 2005 season.

1991s – Scott Stahoviak (3B) – Drafted out of college with 27th overall pick and debuted with the Twins in September 2013 in his 27 month of pro ball. Retired after 2000 season.

1990 – Todd Ritchie (RHP) – Drafted out of high school as the 12 overall pick and debuted with the Twins in April 1997 in his 82 month of pro ball. Retired after 2008 season.

1990s – Midre Cummings (OF) – Drafted out of high school with the 29th overall pick and debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in September 1993 in his 39th month of pro ball. The Twins had traded him to Pittsburg in March of 1992.

1989 – Chuck Knoblauch (SS) – Drafted out of college with the 25th overall pick and debuted with the Twins in April 1991 in his 22nd month of pro ball. Retired after the 2002 season.

1988 – Johnny Ard (RHP) – Drafted out of junior college with the 20th overall pick. Reached AA ball before Minnesota traded him to the Giants after the 1990 season where he peaked out at AAA. Called it quits after the 1996 season.

1987 – Willie Banks (RHP) – Drafted out of high school with the 3rd overall pick and debuted with the Twins in July 1991 in his 49th month of pro ball.

1986 – Derek Parks (C/RHP) – Drafted out of high school (where he was a RHP and a catcher) with the 10th overall pick he debuted with the Twins in September 1992 in his 75th month of pro ball as a catcher. Retired during the 1994 strike at the age of 25.

1985 – Jeff Bumgarner (RHP) – Drafted out of high school with the 13th overall pick he reached AAA with Minnesota before leaving the organization but never reached the majors. No longer active.

1984 – Jay Bell (SS) – Drafted out of high school eighth overall he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in August 1985 where he debuted in September 1986 in his 27 month of pro ball. Bell played in the majors for 18 seasons.

1983 – Tim Belcher (RHP) – Drafted out of college first overall by the Twins but they couldn’t sign him. Ended up being drafted in the 1984 January secondary draft by the Yankees. Played in the majors for 14 season starting 343 games and none of them for the Twins.

1982 – Bryan Oelkers (LHP) – Drafted out of college fourth overall and debuted with the Twins in April 1983 in his 10th month of pro ball. Traded to Cleveland in January 1986. No longer active.

1981 – Mike Sodders (3B) – Drafted out of college eleventh overall and he reached AAA before the Twins traded him to the White Sox in June 1983. Retired after 1984 season without getting to the big leagues.

1980 – Jeff Reed (C) – Drafted out of high school 12th overall and debuted with the Twins in April 1984 in his 46 month of pro ball. Traded to Montreal in February 1987 in the Jeff Reardon deal. Played in the majors for 17 season but never reached 400 at bats in a season.

1979 – Kevin Brandt (OF) – Drafted out of high school 11th overall but never got above the Rookie league and was out of baseball in 1980.

1978 – Lenny Faedo (SS) – Drafted out of high school 16th overall and debuted with the Twins in September 1980 in his 27th month of pro ball. Released by Minnesota after the 1985 season and retired after the 1986 season.

1977 – Paul Croft (OF) – Drafted out of high school 15th overall and peaked in Low A ball before the Twins let him go after the 1980 season.

1976 – Jamie Allen (3B) – Drafted out of high school 10th overall but the Twins could not sign him. Drafted in second round in 1979 by Seattle and played just 86 games in the big leagues. No longer active.

1975 – Rick Sofield (SS) – Drafted out of high school 14th overall and debuted with the Twins as an outfielder in April 1979 in his 46th month of pro ball. No longer active.

1974 – Ted Shipley (SS) – Drafted out of college 14th overall and peaked out in AA and out of baseball after the 1976 season.

1973 – Eddie Bane (LHP) – Drafted out of college with the 11th overall pick and went straight to the majors debuting on July 4, 1973. Started just 25 games in the majors, all for the Twins and out of baseball after the 1980 season.

1972 – Dick Ruthven (RHP) – Drafted out of college 8th overall but did not sign with Minnesota. The Phillies drafted him in the 1973 January Secondary draft and he went on to pitch in the majors for 14 seasons and started 332 games.

1971 – Dale Soderholm (SS) – Drafted out of high school 21st overall and peaked out in AAA and out of baseball after the 1979 season.

1970 – Bob Gorinski (SS) – Drafted out of high school 22nd overall and debuted with Minnesota as an outfielder in April 1977 in his 82 month of pro ball. His stay in the big leagues lasted 54 games in 1977 all with the Twins.

1969 – Paul Powell (OF) – Drafted out of college with the seventh overall pick and debuted with the Twins in April 1971 in his 22nd month of pro ball. Traded to the Dodgers in October 1971 after playing 20 games wearing a Twins uniform.

1968 – Alexander Rowell (OF) – Drafted out of college with 16th overall pick and peaked out AA and out of baseball after the 1970 season.

1967 – Steve Brye (3B) – Drafted out of high school with 17th overall pick and debuted with the Twins in September 1970 in his 39th month of pro ball becoming the first Minnesota Twins first round selection to debut in a Minnesota Twins uniform. Played in Minnesota seven seasons, all of them as an outfielder.

1966 – Bob Jones (3B) – Drafted 20th overall (last first round pick) and with no indication if he was a high school or college pick but he was 18 at the time he was drafted so we can assume he had no college experience. He peaked out in low A ball in 1968 and moved on to the Houston organization in 1969 but was done with pro ball after that season.

1965 – Eddie Leon (SS) did not sign with Minnesota and was drafted in round 2 of the 1967 draft by the Cleveland Indians. Played in the big leagues for 8 seasons with the Indians, White Sox and Yankees but only appeared in a total of 601 games.

Make sure to catch part 2 of this blog tomorrow.

You might also want to check out my blog called : How have teams fared with their first round picks in the June Amateur Draft

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2 Responses to Analyzing Minnesota Twins First Round Picks – Part 1

  1. Oldgoat_MN says:

    Amazing how wildly inaccurate assessing these players is.

    It is annoying to see players we drafted that never made it only to scroll further down and see the Indians pick up Ramirez or CC Sabathia, but Cleveland’s drafting hasn’t been especially productive other than those 2.
    On the other hand most teams passed on Knoblauch before we got him and no one in the 1993 draft, other than the #1 overall pick A-Rod, produced a higher career WAR than Hunter, who was taken as the #20 overall pick.

    Factor in that Albert Pujols was taken in the 13th round of the 1999 draft and it makes you think that other than maybe half a dozen players each year everyone else is little more than a crap shoot.

  2. jjswol says:

    Hey Oldgoat, I think you nailed that one right on the head. That is why most prospects to my way of thinking are expendable for a proven product and why trading Brian Dozier is such a risky venture.

Comments are closed.