I realized as I started my fourth paragraph on Ben Revere in my 2007 recap, that the categories need to change a bit in these retrospectives. The reality is that many players from recent drafts are still in the Minors and those that have made it are very young. So, if you see any changes, don't freak out! I tried to make them subtle, so no one would fall backward in their chair. Without further ado...
Best Potential Nude Centerfold
Totally kidding. I hope no one fell over in their chair.
1st Round Picks
Aaron Hicks! I have written roughly 4 million words about Hicks this season, which is a personal best. Hicks was drafted 14th overall, out of Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. Woodrow Wilson is widely regarded as one of the best Presidents of all time, a fact that the city of Long Beach is clearly aware of. Hicks was also a pitcher in High School, reportedly hitting 98 MPH. Hicks is that stereotypical "five-tool player." I think this fits though. Hicks runs well, has a strong, accurate arm, fields his position ably, hits and hits for power. He is still growing as an MLB player, but I think he is going to be a part of the Twins team for a long time.
In addition, the Twins received another first-round pick and then a first-round supplemental pick when Torii Hunter left for Anaheim. With those picks, the Twins selected Carlos Gutierrez and Shooter Hunt. Gutierrez is now with the Cubs and Hunt is out of pro baseball. Thanks for nothing, Torii.
Ah, but what if?
Gerrit Cole went one pick after Gutierrez, but he went back to school so it's all good! Brett Lawrie went 2 picks after Hicks, but he is hot-headed and thus, not right for this clubhouse. Lance Lynn was drafted 39th overall and he looks like a player. His MLB strikeout and walk rates are really good and he has a career ERA of 3.49 in just over two seasons to match them. St. Louis is really good at drafting.
Best Late Round Pick
The Twins drafted righty Michael Tonkin in the 30th round and he looks to be on the verge of exciting things. He was just promoted to Rochester this week and has been an excellent pitcher since moving to relief. His strikeout rates have been fantastic the past two seasons. Tonkin is on the 40-man roster and probably will pitch for the Twins this season. That is tremendous value with the 906th overall pick.
The One Who Got Away
Two, actually. Kolten Wong was drafted in the 14th round, but decided to stay in Hawaii for a few more years because Hawaii. So, he was drafted in 2011 with the 22nd overall pick, by the Cardinals (good at drafting). Wong is currently tearing up AAA and could be St. Louis' second baseman for years and years.
In addition, the Twins drafted George Springer in the 48th round. He was and is a toolsy outfielder out of a Connecticut high school. Houston made Springer the 11th overall pick in 2011. He is a top 100 prospect and has 16 AA home runs this season. The Twins clearly have an eye for young talent.
Still Kicking Around (not a comprehensive list)
- 10th-round pick Evan Bigley is playing for Rochester
- 3rd-round pick Bobby Lanigan is pitching for New Britain
- 4th-round pick Daniel Ortiz is playing for New Britain
- 6th-round pick B.J. Hermsen is pitching for New Britain
- 14th-round pick Blake Martin is pitching for New Britain
- 28th-round pick Nate Hanson is playing for New Britain
- 19th-round pick Bruce Pugh is pitching for THE MOON! Wait, no, New Britain.
- 9th-round pick Mike Gonzales is playing for Fort Myers.
Miers Quigley in the 36th round.
- 12th-round pick Kyle Carr played for the St. Paul Saints in 2011 and 2012. That's not really that fun. He also went to the University of Minnesota. Is that fun?
- Nate Hanson and 18th-round pick Matthew Nohelty also went to the University of Minnesota. They were likely teammates.
- The Saga of J.R. Bromberg. The Twins first drafted Bromberg in 2007, in the 32nd round. He decided to go to school. He was drafted by the Twins again in 2008, but in the 49th round. He's been at three colleges. His favorite TV show is "Entourage" and his brother David played in the Twins system until last season. J.R. played independent ball last season. We all know far more about this guy than anyone should really know.
- 43rd-round selection Jeffrey Pickering went to Nitro High School in Nitro, West Virginia. He studied fast cars and faster women.
- I deliberately shortened "fun facts" to expand the "still kicking around" section. I apologize if that is too much "making the sausage" for all of you.
Aaron Hicks and possibly Michael Tonkin.
One Sentence Summary
I enjoy watching Aaron Hicks patrol center field.