To finish up the main portion of our 2009 draft coverage, I want to review who I picked in the Twins Shadow Draft and why.
I wanted to boost pitching in my system this year, and aside from a few candidates wasn't too impressed with the available hitting. I was looking for a mixture of high ceiling arms early, from either high school or college, then planned to transition to affordable college arms with good performance records. My approach is a mixture of traditional "look for tools and athleticism" in the early rounds, followed by more stat-head oriented picks.
1) Jared Mitchell, OF, Louisiana State University
The Real Twins picked Kyle Gibson. I almost followed suit, since I was wanting a college pitcher all along, and like Gibson a lot if he is healthy, figuring they would not have done this without positive medical reports, but ultimately I chickened out. I do the early rounds in Real Time...I make my pick right after the Twins do, to see if I like the pick, but before the pick of the next club is announced. I went with LSU outfielder Mitchell, who was selected right after that by the White Sox. The reasons for Mitchell are obvious: outstanding tools, blazing speed and power potential, and he showed signs of developing skills this year. My Shadow Farm System has more need of a center field type than the Real Twins do, so Mitchell is a good fit. However, looking back on it with a few days of hindsight, I think perhaps I should have gone with Gibson after all, but it's too late now.
1S) Matt Bashore, LHP, Indiana University
Bashore was on my list of college pitchers to target in the supplemental or second round, so when the Twins made this pick I stuck with it. He's a three-pitch lefty who throws strikes with above average stuff. I like him a lot.
2) Jake Barrett, RHP, Desert Ridge HS, Mesa, AZ
The real Twins went with Florida reliever Billy Bullock, who I like a lot. However, I am very intrigued with Barrett and had him ranked higher than Bullock, so I went with the high school arm in this case. Drafted by the Blue Jays in the third round in real life, Barrett has a low 90s sinker, a good curve, throws strikes, and has a large body. . .he'll have to keep in shape, but I think he could be a workhorse.
3) Ben Tootle, RHP, Jacksonville State
The Twins in real life picked Tootle, a fireballer who was considered a first round talent until command problems and a stomach virus this spring. I love this pick and stuck with it for the Shadow Twins, since Tootle was one of the highest guys left on my board at this point.
4) Derek McCallum, 2B, University of Minnesota
I try to grab as many upper Midwest players as possible, and had decided when day two began that I was going to draft McCallum in the fourth round to make sure no one else got him. Apparently the real Twins had exactly the same thought. He's a strong hitter and improved his defense this spring.
5) Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP, Zachary HS, Zachary, Louisiana
The real Twins picked Tobias Streich out of West Virginia in the fifth round. This stuck me as an overdraft, so I went to my draft list to make my own pick. I almost popped another college catcher here, but decided instead to take a signability risk with Zack Von Rosenberg, very successful Louisiana high schooler that I had originally considered in the second round. Von Rosenberg ended up going in the sixth round to the Pirates; I'm assuming that some of the money not spent on their first round pick will go towards keeping him away from LSU.
6) Carlos Ramirez, C, Arizona State
The Twins picked another college catcher in the sixth round, Chris Herrmann out of Miami. I like him, but I really like Carlos Ramirez, and decided that if I didn't pick him now that he might be gone by the seventh round. Ramirez has a "bad body" according to scouts, but he's a strong power hitter and has a good defensive rep...bad body or not, he can play. He ended up going in the eighth round to the Angels, so this is an overdraft by two rounds, but I believe in him.
7) D'Angelo Mack, OF, South Carolina
In the real seventh round the Twins went with Brad Stillings, a RHP out of Kent State. He throws hard but had serious control problems this year, and wasn't a guy I was very interested in. Thinking about the need to save money to help sign Von Rosenberg, I decided to go with an affordable college player here, and picked South Carolian outfielder D'angelo Mack, who I think is very underrated. He hit very well this year and I think has more tools than he's given credit for. He ended up going in the 13th round to the Yankees, so this is an overdraft, but as with Ramirez he's a player I like, it makes sense financially, so here he is.
8) Brian Dozier, SS, Southern Mississippi
Dozier was a player on my list of affordable, interesting seniors with good performance records, so when the real Twins picked him in the eight round, I stuck with it. Money saved in these slots will go towards signing Von Rosenberg.
9) Carlos Ruiz, RHP, Long Beach State
The real Twins drafted Nick Lockwood, a high school shortstop from Tampa. I was still in budget pick mode here, so I went with Long Beach State reliever Ruiz, a college guy with a good performance record. He ended up going in the 10th round to the Rockies.
10) Andrew Madrigal, RHP, Mount San Jacinto JC
Last year I drafted a couple of junior college pitchers, J.J. Hoover and Brett Moorhouse, that I've been happy with this year. I didn't have time to do a huge amount of in-depth research regarding JC players this year, but one guy I did notice was Madrial, who throws hard and is athletic but has some command issues. Noting him still on the list in the 10th round, I went ahead and picked him instead of LSU outfielder Blake Dean, who the Real Twins picked. I actually like Dean quite a bit, and in retrospect it might have been better to stick with him, but it is too late to change. Madrigal went in the 11th round to the Padres.
11) Alex Koronis, RHP, University of Tampa
The Real Twins went with Ronnie Richardson, a speed demon shortstop from high school in Florida with signability issues. I wasn't interested in him, and still trying to gather as much pitching as possible, I went with Koronis, another steady college performer with an average arm. He went later in the 11th round to Tampa. This was the last pick made in immediate real time. After this I was about 10-15 minutes behind the real draft.
12) Pat Lehman, RHP, George Washington University
Lehman had a good senior year for George Washington and is another pitchability guy with average stuff but a nice track record. The Real Twins went with Anthony Davis, LHP from Florida. Lehman went in the 13th round to the Nationals in real life.
13) Nick Greenwood, LHP, Rhode Island
The real Twins went with Clarence Davis, high school shortstop from Georgia. I knew nothing about him, so I went back to my list of strike-throwing college pitchers and selected Greenwood. He went in the 14th round to the Padres.
14) Ryan Robowski, LHP, Ohio Dominican
The real Twins picked Matthew Tone, LHP from SUNY Portland. I knew nothing about him, so looking for more college pitching I went with Ryan Robowski, who had a great year for a small college and that I did know something about. He ended up going to Arizona in the 16th round.
15) David Sever, RHP, St. Louis University
Real Twins went with Vanderbilt outfielder Steve Liddle. I stayed with my pitching theme and went with another college strike thrower with a good track record. Sever went in the 16th round to the Blue Jays in real life.
16) Dakota Watts, RHP, Cal State Stanislas
Real Twins went with Watts. I knew nothing about him, but I thought the guy had a cool name and, coming from a small school, must have done something to impress the Twins scouts, so I went ahead and drafted him too.
17) Scott Krieger, OF, George Mason
The Real Twins picked Nick Tindall, a catcher from high school in Illinois. I felt that I had gathered enough college pitching by this point, so switched back to position players, going with George Mason's Scott Krieger, has a great performance record, a cool name, and that I'd originally considered as early as the 10th round. Krieger went in the 19th round to Milwaukee.
18) Luke Murton, 1B, Georgia Tech
The Real Twins picked Beau Stoker, high school shortstop from Kansas City. Wanting more cheap college stathead type guys, I went with Murton, who ended up going a round later to the Yankees. I don't know why he lasted this long; I know he's a senior, but his performance record is very impressive and he has big-league bloodlines.
19) Devin Goodwin, SS, Delta State University
Real Twins picked John Stilson, junior college pitcher from Texas. He has a very impressive arm and can hit 95 MPH. In retrospect, I should probably have stuck with Stilson, but I decided instead to go with Goodwin, an excellent Division II player who I was afraid would not be on the board for much longer. I was wrong about that; he lasted until the 33rd round in real life, going to the Cardinals.
20) Sean Killen, C, Trinity College (Conn)
Thomas Mackoul, LHP from UC Riverside was the real Twins pick. Killen had a great performance record in college, but ended up going undrafted. We'll see if anyone picks him up as a free agent.
21) Michael Fiers, RHP, Nova Southeastern
David Holbrooks, RHP from Texas State, was the real Twins pick. Fiers had a great performance record from another Division II school...for some reason I was really interested in Div II this year. He went in the 22nd round to the Brewers.
22) Zack Von Tersch, RHP, Georgia Tech
Buddy Munroe, C from the University of Florida, was the real Twins pick. I ended up going with Von Tersch, sort of a bookend to Von Rosenberg earlier in the draft. Von Tersch has not performed well in college, but has a live arm and is originally from Iowa, and as stated I try to get guys from the upper Midwest. He went in the 22nd round to the Mets in real life. I imagine he might return to college for another year to see if he can boost his draft stock.
23) Kevin Mahoney, 3B, Canisius
Eduardo Encinosa, RHP out of high school in Miami, was the real Twins pick. One of the last guys on my interesting college hitter list was Mahoney. I saw the Yankees picked him later in the round, so I swapped him out for Encinosa.
After the 23rd round, I'll just go with who the Twins really pick.
Overall, I'm happy with the draft. Perhaps I should have picked Gibson instead of Mitchell as the real Twins did, but I don't like taking medical risks, and I still find Mitchell highly intriguing. I like the Real Twins picks of Bashore, Tootle, and McCallum a lot. I was able to pick up other personal favorites such as Barrett and Von Rosenberg along the line, both with high ceilings, and I got a good selection of stathead favorites in the middle and later rounds, some perhaps overdrafted, but guys I'm happy with. I tried to be realistic about money, knowing that to sign Von Rosenberg would take second round money, so going with budget picks subsequently to make it more affordable.
So what do you think of this draft, specifically the decisions where I differ from the Real Twins, and if you were a Twins fan would you be happy with this?