Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith notes that Hudson Boyd, Madison Boer, and Tyler Grimes all have teenage girl names. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
2011 MLB Draft: Minnesota Twins Review
This is a balanced class with upside as well as polish.
1) Levi Michael, SS, North Carolina: The Twins haven't drafted a lot of college hitting in recent years but make an exception with Michael, who combines line drive hitting, excellent strike zone judgment, good speed, and a solid glove. Opinions differ about his long-term position but I would give him a good long trial at shortstop.
1S) Travis Harrison, 3B, California HS: Huge right-handed power potential, would have been a first round pick in some classes. Main question is long-term position, he might end up at first base.
1S) Hudson Boyd, RHP, Florida HS: Bulky body at 6-3, 235, but has 90-95 MPH heat, a strong curve, and good command for a young power pitcher.
2) Madison Boer, RHP, Oregon: Good athlete, throws 90-93 as a starter but 94-95 in relief, mixes in splitter and slider. Could be a number three starter or a closer. Went to high school in Minnesota.
3) Corey Williams, LHP, Vanderbilt: Didn't see a lot of action on a loaded Vanderbilt staff, but he has a live arm at 92-94 MPH. Interesting choice this early.
4) Matt Summers, RHP, UC Irvine: Started in college but will likely relieve in pro ball due to 90-95 MPH fastball and good curve, but lacks changeup at this point. May have untapped potential, was primarily an outfielder in the past.
5) Tyler Grimes, SS, Wichita State: Positives are excellent strike zone judgment and good speed. Negatives are a high strikeout rate and flawed swing mechanics, and too many errors at shortstop.
6) Ivan Rodriguez, OF, Florida HS: Son of Ivan, shot up draft boards at the last minute. Good athlete, runs well and has a strong arm, somewhat raw but some scouts think he's a big sleeper. Committed to Santa Fe CC, should be signable.
7) Steve Gruver, LHP, Tennessee: Very erratic, sometimes throws 92-93 MPH, sometimes throws 86, secondary pitches are OK. Hard to know what they have here. Stats were decent (3.95 ERA, 84/29 K/BB in 96 innings) but scouting reports lukewarm.
8) Jason Wheeler, LHP, Loyola Marymount: Hits 90 MPH, has a good changeup, but mediocre breaking stuff kept him from a higher draft slot. Room to develop.
9) Adam Bryant, SS, Troy University: Senior sparkplug type, has a chance to stick at shortstop and has some power in his bat. Possible sleeper.
10) Brett Lee, LHP, St. Petersburg JC: Big lefty, hits 90+, has a good slider, but track record is inconsistent due to command issues.
OTHERS OF NOTE: RHP Tyler Jones (11th round, LSU) hits 95 MPH but didn't seize a major role after transferring from a junior college due to spotty command. C Matt Koch (12th round, Loyola Marymount) has a strong arm and lots of power, but needs better plate discipline. LHP Adam McCreery (14th round, California HS) and LHP Austin Malinowski (16th round, Minnesota HS) are raw high school arms with college commitments who are intriguing if they sign. OF Tyler Koelling (19th round, Southern Mississippi) is a college senior with decent tools who makes hard contact.
SUMMARY: Left-handed pitching and power arms seems the theme here, with some bats mixed in. I like the balance with Michael/Harrison/Boyd/Boer at the top of the draft, one college bat, one high school bat, one high school arm, one college arm. Some of the other pick are more speculative, but there's good variety and some interesting sleepers like Rodriguez and Bryant. Overall, I think it is a solid class though not ground-breaking.