Tuesday, May 28, 2013

25 Minnesota Twins Drafts in 25 Days: 2004

The 2003 draft produced Scott Baker and heartache.  First-round pick Matt Moses never reached the Majors, marking the 3rd time in 6 years where the Twins' top pick did not play MLB baseball (not the video game, the real life).  Adam Johnson was one of the three who made it, so I'm not sure that really counts.

The solution to that problem?  Have a whole mess of first round picks!  The Twins had five in 2004.  Five!  They received a first and a supplemental first for both Eddie Guardado and LaTroy Hawkins.  Both of those guys had their moments, but wow, that is just way too much compensation.  The Twins would not complain.  Would they cash in?

1st Round Picks

They kind of cashed in.  With the 20th pick, the Twins selected Trevor Plouffe.  Plouffe was a high school shortstop and has proved to be a relatively valuable player due to his power and low salary.  With the 22nd pick, the Twins selected Glen Perkins.  Perkins did not pan out as a starter, but has become a reliable closer.  The next three don't go so well. 

Kyle Waldrop at 25, Matt Fox at 35 and Jay Rainville at 39.  Waldrop and Fox pitched briefly for the Twins and Rainville was out of baseball after 2009.  Waldrop is having a really good season at AAA for Pittsburgh, but that's of little value these days.  These five first-round picks have produced just under 6.0 WAR so far.  I do expect that number to climb, mostly from Perkins and possibly from Plouffe. 

Ah, but what if? 

Let's keep Perkins.  Other than Perkins, there are probably four names the Twins would rather have.  Gio Gonzalez went 38th, right before Rainville.  In the second round, Yovani Gallardo went 46th, Hunter Pence went 64th and Dustin Pedroia went 65th.  What if the Twins had somehow hit the jackpot and left the 2004 draft with Perkins, Gonzalez, Gallardo, Pence and Pedroia?  I believe MLB would just stop holding drafts and award the Twins the winners.

Also, what if the Twins could have packaged their five firsts and traded up for Justin Verlander?  That would be cool.  Although, I'm not sure those five firsts were worth the second-overall pick, where Verlander went.  Also, it's very cool to follow the rules, so this scenario is actually uncool.

So many what ifs!

Best Player Drafted

Glen Perkins, which sounds like a nice fielded area to visit.  Perkins did not thrive as a starter, as I mentioned before.  He also did not appreciate the treatment he received from the organization.  However, fences were mended and then immediately destroyed by Perkins' revived fastball.  It seems that relieving agrees with Perkins, as he has turned into a dominant closer.  Seems appropriate that he was compensation for losing Eddie Guardado. 

Worst Player to Reach MLB

In 2010, Matt Fox made one start with the Twins, going 5.2 innings and giving up four runs, eight hits, two walks with no strikeouts.  He then made three appearances with Boston, giving up two more earned runs in 1.2 innings.  He never recorded a strikeout.  At least not yet...  He's still kicking around, pitching for the Mets' AAA team. 

The One Who Got Away

Toronto's own Rene Tosoni!  Tosoni was a 34th-round pick out of Terry Fox SS, which probably stands for Super School or something Canadian that I am not aware of.  However, Tosoni wanted to pursue his dream of playing one year at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida, so he did not sign.  Don't be too sad, we all know how this story ends.

Best Name

Eammon Portice, in the 17th round.  He did not sign, but he made an impact with his name.

Fun Facts
  • Trevor Plouffe went to Crespi Carmelite High School, which sounds like a tasty candy bar.
  • 32nd-round selection Nolan Mulligan was drafted three times, which seems appropriate. 
  • The Twins drafted Anthony Swarzak with the 61st overall pick in the second round.  At least, that's what they want you to think...
  • Twins' 18th-round pick Josh Rose was the inspiration for Seal's song, "Kiss from a Rose."
  • 16th-round pick Matt Tolbert looks a little bit like a bird.
  • Four of the Twins' five first-round picks reached the Majors.  I think that's pretty good.
All those drafted who made it to the Bigs

Glen Perkins, Kyle Waldrop, Anthony Swarzak, Matt Tolbert, Matt Fox, Trevor Plouffe, and Rene Tosoni

One Sentence Summary

It would be impossible to convert five first-round picks. 

Link to the Twins' 2004 draft from Baseball Reference

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