It is often forgotten that the Twins had a very late first-round pick in 2011. 2011 is so strongly associated with abject failure, that we might forget that the 2010 Twins were quite successful. As such, the Twins picked near the end of the first round, narrowly missing out on Bryce Harper. However, the Twins also played the "losing free agents game" quite well, earning first-round supplemental picks for Orlando Hudson and Jesse Crain.
1st Round Picks
The Twins used the 30th overall pick on shortstop Levi Michael, a Junior out of the University of North Carolina. Michael has one of those names that you can mistakenly say backwards. Some projected that if Michael could hit, he would move quickly up the system. This has not happened, but Michael is still worth keeping track of. He could turn into a good utility player, which would be great with such a late first-round pick.
The supplemental pick system is a great way to settle age-old debates like: who was better Jesse Crain or Orlando Hudson? Hudson was worth the 50th overall pick and Crain was worth the 55th overall pick. Crain is ten percent worse than Hudson. It all makes sense to me. The Twins used the 50th overall pick to draft power-hitting third baseman Travis Harrison and the 55th overall pick to select power-pitching Hudson Boyd. Cool.
Ah, but what if?
The Red Sox selected Jackie Bradley Jr. with the 40th overall pick. Bradley Jr. has already seen MLB time and has big upside to boot. If the Twins preferred a shortstop, Trevor Story was drafted 45th overall by the Rockies. Story is one of the better middle infield prospects in baseball. Finally, if the Twins wanted a pitcher, the Rays selected Blake Snell with the 52nd overall pick and he looks tasty. Basically, if the Twins had been clairvoyant, they could have some dominant prospects. As it is, that is completely unfair, so someone needs to shut this punk blog-guy up.
Best Late Round Pick
The Twins made a fair amount of good picks beyond the first few rounds. In the 16th round, the Twins drafted Austin Malinowski out of Centennial High School in Circle Pines, Minnesota. Anyone who has endured Circle Pines knows that it is the unhappiest place on Earth. That Festival Foods in Circle Pines is probably the bust building in the whole city. Circle Pines discrimination aside, Malinowski is a big kid coming from the left side and he's a Minnesota kid to boot. All in all, not a bad pick even if it does just get him away from Circle Pines for a few years.
Who'll be the first to reach the Majors?
Levi Michael would be my guess. The pitchers drafted out of college seem to lack MLB upside and the high school players are too young. I think Travis Harrison will ultimately have the most MLB impact, but Michael can play a few positions, has a college background and should be able to hit enough to play a bench role. He hasn't produced a lot so far, but middle infield is not a deep position in the Twins organization, so he has a chance to see Minnesota in the next couple years.
- Travis Harrison has immense power and is starting to show it in games. He has nine ding-dongs this year and is slugging close to .500. He's 20.
- Levi Michael may lack upside, but if he can hit, he'll likely make it to the Majors. He's the closest of this bunch, but that isn't saying a whole lot.
- Hudson Boyd is still intriguing, even if he hasn't put up good stats. He has three pitches, which is more than you can say about a lot of 20-year-olds. His strikeout rate sucks, but if he learns some command, it could improve. He's 20.
- 3rd-round pick Corey Williams is left-handed, which is great. His strikeouts are down at high A, but his walks are way down too. He's young for a college boy, as he'll be just 23 on July 4. Fireworks.
- Second-round pick Madison Boer is from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, so you know he's rich. He pretty much has to become a name in the MLB because the nickname options are just too great. Like, Madison Boar. Right? Just slap some horns on him and play some swine music and you got yourself an intro. In fact, since he has been a terrible starter, the Twins should make him a closer, call him "The Boar" pump in some pig sounds and let him rip. I'll photoshop something stupid another time. Please remind me.
Corey Kimes in the 18th round.
- I abolished the "one who got away" section but James Ramsey would be that guy if I hadn't. Ramsey went back to school for his Senior season, played really well and became a first-round pick in 2012. He might not have big upside, but you can't argue that he didn't improve his stock in one year. You can't.
- David Hurlbut was originally drafted by the Twins in the 35th round of the 2009 draft. Well, he didn't sign for learning reasons and the Twins drafted him again in 2011, this time in the 28th round. Hurlbut is a great name for a pitcher, and that is likely why the Twins drafted him twice.
- Steven Gruver, more like Steven Groover? This seventh-round pick should give up more home runs so that joke makes sense. I'm not sure these players appreciate what I am trying to do here.
- 5th-round pick Tyler Grimes is scrappy because he is short. He's 5' 10", which is how tall I am and I never get called short. Being an athlete is unfair. Anyway, he's having a good season and part of that is because he knows how to draw a walk. SABR!
None - too young. I'd say there won't be any 2014 Twins in this bunch either.
One Sentence Summary
Orlando Hudson is better than Jesse Crain.