Monday, May 27, 2013

25 Minnesota Twins Drafts in 25 Days: 2003

The 2002 draft could never compare to the 2001 draft.  The 2001 draft was just too handsome.  However, the 2002 draft did produce a future MLB regular in Denard Span.  The Twins were looking to go three straight drafts with a good first-round pick?  Could they complete the trifecta?

1st Round Pick

Nope.  Sadly, the Twins went with high school third baseman Matt Moses with the 21st overall pick.  I recall Moses as a bit of a bust, but taking a high school kid at 21 is certainly not without inherent risk.  I'd say the odds were always on the side of Moses not making it.  Moses was in AA by the age of 20, but really stalled out at that level, playing 427 games with New Britain.  He only briefly made it to AAA in 2007, before spending his final two pro seasons back in AA.  He was out of baseball at 24.  That being said, he's only 28 right now, so perhaps a comeback?  Eh?  EHH?  Comeback?  Matt Moses Comeback?

Ah, but what if? 

Chad Billingsley was taken at 24 and Adam Jones was taken at 37.  Billingsley has become a useful starter, although a currently injured starter as well.  Jones has blossomed into an excellent centerfielder and seems to be right in his prime.  Jones was a high school shortstop when drafted, so if the Twins wanted an infielder, he would have been a much better choice.  Of course, hindsight is 20/20 .  Although, I actually have 20/15 vision, so what does that really mean?  Bragger.

Best Player Drafted

I always want to ask people to close their eyes and think of things, but that doesn't work because you are reading.  However, if you were to close your eyes and think of a "soft" pitcher, I am guessing a lot of you would think of Scott Baker.  Jerks.  I always liked Scott Baker.  He was effective when healthy, which I always preferred to Nick Blackburn's terrible when healthy and always around act.  Now I'm the jerk.  Baker produced 63 wins and 16.1 WAR.  His 102 ERA+ shows that he was pretty much league-average in his career, which isn't bad for a second-round pick.  I'd pretty much take that every time.  

Worst Player to Reach MLB

The Twins drafted Levale Speigner in the 14th round.  Speigner was a college pitcher, but he never really got the hang of AAA.  Washington took him in the rule 5 draft in 2006.  They kept in on their roster for half a season, but then decided that his 8.78 ERA wasn't all that cool.  Thus, they returned him to the Twins, who promptly traded him back to Washington for Darnell McDonald.  Speigner hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2008.  In 48 innings, he recorded 20 strikeouts, walked 29 batters and gave up 39 earned runs.  Yum.

The One Who Got Away

No one really, but the Twins did draft Steve Pearce in the 45th round.  Pearce went to community college for two years and was then drafted by the Pirates with the 8th overall pick in 2005.  I am 99% sure this is the plot to the show Community but I have never seen that show.

Best Name

Greg Najac in the 20th round. 

Fun Facts
  • Levale Speigner does not qualify for "best name" as his real first name is "Jimmy." 
  • The Twins drafted Jon Uhl in the 19th round.  He has a short name.
  • The Twins drafted John Gaub out of South St. Paul High School in the 25th round.  Due to his uncontrollable tunneling instincts, Gaub chose to head to the University of Minnesota to become a gopher.  He would emerge in 2006 as an Indians' 21st-round pick. 
  • Scott Baker is the only player from the Twins' 2003 draft class to ever play a game in a Twins uniform.  Steve Pearce game close when he was with the Twins in Spring Training in 2011, but he sucked. 
  • Former Twins draft pick Paul Maholm was the 8th overall pick in this draft.
  • Delmon Young was the first overall pick in 2003.  Snicker.

All those drafted who made it to the Bigs

Scott Baker, Travis Metcalf, Michael Hollimon, John Gaub, Steve Pearce, and Levale Speigner

One Sentence Summary

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