Saturday, May 25, 2013

25 Minnesota Twins Drafts in 25 Days: 2001

MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER!  Sorry, that's something that happens naturally.  MAUER! MAUER! MAU...  I can't really control it.  2001 was a franchise-changing dr MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! M... Coming off of three straight terrible top 6 first-round picks, the Twins had to  MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUE...

1st Round Pick

With the first overall selection in the 2001 MLB draft, the Minnesota Twins chose Joe Mauer, catcher out of Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Slam dunk.   Mauer can slam dunk I bet.  There was a heated debate regarding this pick.  Take the local high school kid or the college pitcher with big, nasty stuff.  Ultimately, taking Mauer was the right decision and has paid off for years.  However...

Ah, but what if? 

What if the Twins had drafted Prior?  Prior was an great pitcher from late 2002 to 2005.  Adding Prior to a rotation with Brad Radke, Johan Santana and Carlos Silva would have made the 2003,2004 and 2005 Twins teams that much better.  Would Prior have been enough to get those Twins teams out of the first round?  I'm not so sure.  What I do know is that Prior's arm exploded and Joe Mauer is still one of the best hitters in baseball.  The Twins made the right decision and I love Joe Mauer.

Best Player Drafted

I love Joe Mauer.  Mauer has posted 41.0 rWAR in his career and he is only 30.  He is the active leader in batting average.  Mauer won an MVP in 2009 and has three batting crowns on his head.  Also, I'm pretty sure he solved the financial bubble (is that a thing?)  It's Mauer and no one else is all that close.

Worst Player to Reach MLB

The Twins drafted Kevin Cameron in the 13th round.  He was injured for the entire 2002 season and then eventually was taken in the rule 5 draft by the Padres.  He appeared in 69 games and hasn't been in the Majors since 2009.  He wasn't bad, but he wasn't great either. 

The One Who Got Away

The Twins drafted Jason Vargas in the 43rd round, but he opted to head to Long Beach to play college ball.  He would emerge as a 2nd-round pick in 2004 and has been a useful back-of-the-rotation starter for the past few seasons. 

Best Name

Pat Tingley, in the 42nd round.

Fun Facts
  • The Twins drafted Nick Blackburn in the 29th round.  I have been hard on Blackburn for years, but converting a 29th-round pick into an MLB player is impressive no matter who it is.
  • The Twins drafted Joe Mauer's older brother Jake in the 23rd round.  As an older brother, I can attest that having my younger brother drafted 22 rounds higher than me would be just fine. 
  • The Twins drafted Matt Macri out of an Iowa high school, but he decided to go to Notre Dame to play college baseball.  He was a 5th-round pick in 2004, this time by Colorado.  However, because the Twins never forget a player they once drafted, Macri was traded from Colorado to Minnesota for Ramon Ortiz.  That's right, Ramon Ortiz was traded for another player.  I just assumed he was released or put in the garbage can.  The Rockies later signed Macri as a free agent.  He must be super nice.
  • The Twins drafted Vince Serafini in the 6th round.  I don't know why, but I don't think he was Dan Serafini's relative.  He did go to the same college as current Twin Jamey Carroll, so maybe they are actually brothers. 

All those drafted who made it to the Bigs

Joe Mauer, Jason Vargas, Nick Blackburn, Jose Morales, Kevin Cameron, and Matt Macri

One Sentence Summary

You cowards, you pathetic cowards!  Also:  MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUER! MAUERAMAMERUAMUAERR!

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