The 2015 MLB draft will take place June 8-10 and the Minnesota Twins will have the sixth overall selection in this years draft. The draft, now in its 50th year is always fun and full of hype, of course it differs greatly in many ways from the NFL and NBA drafts where players chosen could be playing for their professional team the following season. In baseball the drafted players, even the so-called can’t miss prospects are headed for the minor leagues where they will have to sharpen their skills and earn their stripes before they get the opportunity to put on a big league uniform.
The Twins have a number of fine young prospects in the minor leagues and we fans are clamoring to see them put on a Twins uniform and show us their stuff here at Target Field. But until these players reach the big leagues and show that they can play ball with the big boys they are just prospects and nothing more. They have promise but we all know that promises are not always kept.
Over the last 15 years from 2000 through 2014 the Minnesota Twins have had a total of 28 first round selections, 15 are the first round picks themselves, 10 picks have been supplemental picks and 3 have been compensation picks. Looking at the “normal” Twins first round picks, their highest pick was number one over all in 2001 when they selected catcher Joe Mauer (debuted with the Twins in April 2004) who as we all know is the Twins starting first baseman today. Their lowest first round pick was number 30 in 2011 and that was Levi Michael who is playing in AA ball.
The most recent Twins first round pick to make his debut with Minnesota is RHP Kyle Gibson who was drafted in 2009 as the 22nd overall pick and debuted with Minnesota in June of 2013.
Of the 10 supplemental picks, only one player made his debut in a Minnesota uniform and that was 2004 supplemental pick RHP Matt Fox and his career with Minnesota lasted one game and 5.2 innings during his big league debut on September 3, 2010. There are several supplemental picks playing in the Twins minor league system that have a shot at the big leagues and Jose Berrios is probably the leader of that pack.
The three compensation picks by the Twins were Carlos Gutierrez in 2008 27th overall pick (for loss of Torii Hunter) but the Twins let him go after the 2012 season and he never reached the majors. The other two compensations picks were both in 2004, LHP Glen Perkins was picked 22nd overall (for the loss of Eddie Guardado) and he debuted in September 2006 and is the Twins closer today. Kyle Waldrop was picked 25th overall that same year but did not make his debut with Minnesota until September 2011 and his stay in Minnesota lasted a total of 24 games between 2011-2012.
History of Twins first round selections from 2000 – 2014
2014 – Nick Gordon (shortstop) is playing in Low A Cedar Rapids. Picked 5th overall round 1.
2013 – Kohl Stewart (RHP) is pitching in High A Ft. Myers. His career record is 4-8 in with a 2.66 ERA in 33 games. Picked 4th overall round 1.
2012 – Byron Buxton (outfielder) is playing in AA Chattanooga. Injured most of 2014. Career average of .291 with 27 home runs and 85 stolen bases in 253 games. Picked 2nd overall round 1.
2012 – Jose Berrios (RHP) is pitching in AA Chattanooga and has one AAA game to his credit. His career record is 28-17 with a 3.01 ERA in 65 games. Picked 32nd overall as a 1st round supplemental pick for loss of FA Michael Cuddyer.
2012 – Luke Bard (RHP) is pitching in Low A Cedar Rapids. Has had injury issues, never appearing in more than 12 games in any season and missed all of 2014. His career record is 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in 23 games and a total of 25.1 innings. Picked 42nd overall as a 1st round supplemental pick for loss of FA Jason Kubel.
2011 – Levi Michael (shortstop) is playing in AA Chattanooga. Career average of .256 with 9 home runs and 40 stolen bases in 294 games. Picked 30th overall in round 1.
2011 – Travis Harrison (3B but moved to outfield) is playing in AA Chattanooga. Career average of .270 with 26 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 366 games. Picked 50th overall as a 1st round supplemental pick for loss of FA Orlando Hudson.
2011 – Hudson Boyd (RHP) is currently under a 50 game suspension but pitched in Low A Cedar Rapids in 2014. Boyd who also has had weight problems has been suspended three times by MLB or the Twins in his short professional career. His career record is 10-14 with a 4.27 ERA in 86 games and 219 innings. Pitched strictly in relief in 2014. Picked 55th overall as a 1st round supplemental pick for loss of FA Jesse Crain.
2010 – Alex Wimmers (RHP) is pitching at AA Chattanooga. His career record is 10-9 in with a 4.62 ERA in 65 games. Has battled control issues. Picked 21st overall round 1.
2009 – Kyle Gibson (RHP) is part of the Twins starting rotation and made his big league debut June 29, 2013 making him the most recent first round selection to put on a Twins uniform. His career mark in Minnesota is 19-19 with a 4.33 ERA in 51 starts. Picked 22nd overall round 1.
2009 – Matt Bashore (LHP) is no longer in baseball. Twins released him after the 2011 season and he never reached the majors. Pitched in rookie league Elizabethton in 2009, missed 2010 due to injury, pitched in Elizabethton again in 2011 and had a career record of 0-0 with a 3.24 ERA.
2008 – Aaron Hicks (outfielder) is currently with the Twins but has been up and down since his debut on April 1, 2013. Hicks has a career average in Minnesota of .207 with 10 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 168 games but so far his biggest asset has been his glove in center field. Has 594 minor league games under his belt. Picked 14th overall round 1.
2008 – Carlos Gutierrez (RHP) is no longer in baseball. Twins released him after the 2012 season and he never reached the majors although he pitched as high as AAA. A compensation pick from the Angels 27th overall in round 1 for loss of Torii Hunter.
2008 – Shooter Hunt (RHP) is no longer in baseball. Twins released him after the 2011 season. Hunt had serious control issues and had a career record of 4-14 with a 6.85 ERA and 236 walks in 193 innings to go along with his 219 KO’s. Picked 31st overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA Torii Hunter.
2007 – Ben Revere (outfielder) is currently with the Phillies after the Twins traded him after the 2012 season. Revere made his big league debut September 7, 2010 and he has a career big league average of .288 in over 500 games. Picked 28th overall in round 1.
2006 – Chris Parmelee (outfielder) is currently in the Orioles system after the Twins let him become a free agent after the 2014 season. Parmelee made his big league debut on September 6, 2011. Parmelee played in 273 games for the Twins hitting .249 with 24 home runs and one stolen base in 901 PA’s. Picked 20th overall in round 1.
2005 – Matt Garza (RHP) is currently pitching for the Brewers. Garza made his big league debut with the Twins on August 11, 2006 and was traded to the Rays after the 2007 season. After Tampa he went to the Cubs, Rangers and on to the Brewers. In his 10 big league seasons he is 78-82 with a 3.89 ERA in 228 starts. Picked 25th overall in round 1.
2005 – Hank Sanchez (1B) – never got above A ball and was let go after the 2009 season after posting a .207 career average. Picked 39th overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA Corey Koskie.
2004 – Trevor Plouffe (shortstop) is currently the Twins 3B. Plouffe made his big league debut on May 21, 2010. Plouffe has a career average of .248 with 70 home runs and 8 stolen bases. Picked 20th overall in round 1.
2004 – Glen Perkins (LHP) is currently the Twins closer. Perkins made his major league debut on September 21, 2006. Perkins has 108 saves and was an All-Star in 2013 and 2014. Picked 22nd overall in round 1 as a compensation pick for loss of FA Eddie Guardado.
2004 – Kyle Waldrop (RHP) is currently out of baseball but made his big league debut with Minnesota on September 5, 2011. Waldrop’s big league career consisted of 24 games in 2011-2012 as a Twin and he put up a 1-1 record with a 3.62 ERA in 32.1 innings. Waldrop was granted free agency after 2012 but never returned to the majors. Picked 25th overall in round 1 as a compensation pick for loss of FA LaTroy Hawkins.
2004 – Matt Fox (RHP) has been out of baseball since 2013. Fox made his big league debut with Minnesota on September 3, 2010. Fox started the game and pitched 5.2 innings and gave up 2 earned runs. Just 6 days later the Red Sox picked him up on waivers and he appeared in 3 games with the Red Sox and his major league career was over with a 0-0 record and a 4.91 ERA. Picked 35th overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA Eddie Guardado.
2004 – Jay Rainville (RHP) never reached the big leagues and last pitched in AA ball for the Twins in 2009. Picked 39th overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA LaTroy Hawkins.
2003 – Matt Moses (3B) never reached the big leagues and peaked out in AAA. The Twins cut ties with Moses after the 2009 season. Moses had a career average of .249 but struck out 471 times in 2,184 at bats. Picked 21st overall in round 1.
2002 – Denard Span (outfielder) is currently with the Nationals. Span made his big league debut as a Minnesota Twin on April 6, 2008. The Twins traded him to the Nats after the 2012 season. Span has played in over 900 big league games and has a career hitting average of .287 with 144 stolen bases and 37 home runs. Span has the second highest career WAR (24.1) of any Twins player drafted in round 1 from 2000-2014.Picked 20th overall in round 1.
2001 – Joe Mauer (catcher) is now the Twins first baseman. Mauer debuted with the Twins on April 5, 2004. Mauer has the highest career WAR (46.1) of any Twins player drafted in round 1 from 2000-2014. Mauer was MVP in 2008, an All-Star in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. Mauer won silver slugger awards for his play in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013 and took home the Gold Glove in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Picked first overall in round 1.
2000 – Adam Johnson (RHP) is out of baseball and last pitched in an independent league in 2009. Johnson debuted with the Twins on July 16, 2001 and his entire big league career consisted of 7 games and 26.1 innings during 2001 and 2003 in which he was 1-3 and had a 10.25 ERA, 40 hits and 17 walks didn’t help his cause. Picked second overall in round 1.
2000 – Aaron Heilman (RHP) chose not to sign with Minnesota and continued to play for Notre Dame. Picked 31st overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA Mike Trombley.
No sure thing
Such is the life of 28 Twins first round selections from 2000-2014. First round selections are expected to be sure things, players that will become All-Stars, players you build your team around, as you can see that is frequently not the case for the Twins. As you can see above, unless you are a pitcher or someone who goes by the name of Mauer, the path to the big leagues, even for a first round pick takes time, lots of time.
12 (43%) – Debuted and played at least one game in a Twins uniform. Only two of these players (Mauer and Perkins) were ever named to the All-Star team and these two players were drafted more than 10 years ago.
9 (32%) – Are still playing in the minor league system hoping to get the call to Minnesota
6 (21%) – Are out of baseball and never reached the big leagues
1 (4%) – Didn’t sign
So enjoy the up-coming 2015 draft but don’t count on seeing that player in a Minnesota Twins uniform in the near future or at all. Fifteen years of Twins first round selections tell us that less than half the first round picks put on a big league uniform and that the super stars even in round one are few and far between.
Stop on back in the next day or two because I hope to do a piece on how the Twins first round selections from 2000-2014 compare to the rest of MLB.