Friday, May 24, 2013

25 Minnesota Twins Drafts in 25 Days: 2000

Welcome to the new millennium!!!!!!  Do you remember the Willennium?

In 1999, the Twins finally added B.J. Garbe to their system.  Coming off that massive high, the Twins had the second overall pick in the 2000 draft and had to be pumping their collective fist and raising their collective roof.  The Twins also had a second first-round pick, for reasons we will get to shortly.  After two straight disappointing first rounds in 1998 and 1999, the Twins had to get that second overall pick right.  Did they?  

1st Round Picks

Sadly, no.  The Twins selected Adam Johnson, a right-handed starter out of Cal State Fullerton.  Johnson had previously been drafted by the Twins in 1997, but did not sign.  Elephants and Twins' scouts never forget, so when given another chance to land Johnson, they jumped.  Johnson flopped.  He only appeared in nine games and posted an ERA over ten.  At least he has a unique name.  

But wait!  The Twins were awarded another first (and a second for that matter) when Mike Trombley signed with the Orioles in the prior off-season.  Mike Trombley was worth not one, but two picks!  Wild.  The Twins drafted Aaron Heilman out of Notre Dame, but he chose to go back to school instead of signing with the Twins.  Outstanding. 

Ah, but what if? 

What if Johnson decided to be an accountant while in college?  More appropriately, what if Johnson had signed three years prior?  If he was already safely in the system, perhaps the Twins would have drafted a position player.  Chase Utley was the 15th overall pick and I love Chase Utley.  Imagine having Utley in the lineup for the last decade or so.  I know he gets hurt a lot, but he certainly would have made the team a lot better.  Adam Wainwright was drafted two picks prior to Heilman and I choose to believe that the Twins wanted him all along.  If you believe, anything can be true.

Best Player Drafted

Kubes!  I was actually surprised that Jason Kubel was drafted in the 12th round.  I always assumed he was a second-round pick.  I guess I just fail to see all 1s.  Kubel's career WAR is just above six, which seems very low.  He doesn't get much credit for his baserunning or defense.  He has been an above average offensive player each year and was on a path to stardom before a nasty knee injury changed that path.  He was a personal favorite of mine, and I fondly remember that game when he blasted a grand slam to complete the cycle against the Angels.

Worst Player to Reach MLB

Adam Johnson!  Of course Adam Johnson!  The answer to every "worst pitcher" question is Adam Johnson.

The One Who Got Away

Paul Maholm was the Twins' 17th-round pick but did not sign.  I was never very impressed with Maholm when he pitched for Pittsburgh, but he has been pretty good for the Braves since they acquired him.  I think the Twins would love to have a guy like Maholm right about now.  

Best Name

Tagg Bozied again, just as it was in the 1997 recap.  Oh yeah, the Twins drafted him twice too, this time in the second round!  

Fun Facts
  • The Twins drafted Johnson and Bozied a combined four times and received -1.1 WAR for their troubles. 
  • The Twins used their second-round Trombley pick on J.D. "The Real Deal" Durbin.  I am all for having personality.  In fact, I'd probably give myself an obnoxious nickname too.  But, you gotta back it up too.  Durbin was still kicking around independent baseball last year, but hasn't thrown an MLB pitch since 2007. 
  • Adam Johnson debuted roughly one year after being drafted.  He pitched his final MLB game on my 12th birthday, going one third of an inning, giving up six hits and six earned runs.  He did get Carlos Pena to pop out. 
  • I've totally met Twins' 20th-round pick T.J. Prunty.  Jealous? 
  • Fifth-round pick Edgardo Lebron is of no relation to NBA star LeBron James, as they have completely different names.
  • Seriously, Mike Trombley was worth two picks!
All those drafted who made it to the Bigs

Paul Maholm, Jason Kubel, Aaron Heilman, Daniel Davidson, Jason Miller, J.D. Durbin, Josh Rabe, and Adam Johnson

One Sentence Summary

Adam Johnson (while making the head-shaking motion).

Link to the Twins' 2000 draft from Baseball Reference

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