Every year I do a real-time draft day Mock Draft for my favorite team, the Twins. Here are the results from last year.
2006 John Sickels Twins Shadow Draft
1) Lars Anderson, 1B, Jesuit HS, Fair Oaks, CA (18 Red Sox)
Anderson lasted to the 18th round in real life due to signability concerns, but the Red Sox did sign him. I picked him in the first round (in real time remember) because I loved his video and scouting reports, and had a good intuitive feel for him. So far this looks like a good call: he's hitting .310/.404/.478 in his pro debut for Greenville in the Sally League. He's striking out once per game, but he's also drawing walks, and given that he didn't play rookie ball, I think he's doing great. He is outperforming real Twins pick Chris Parmalee to this point.
2) Matt Sulentic, OF, Hillcrest HS, Dallas, TX (3 Athletics)
Drafted in the third round by the Athletics in real life, Texas high school outfielder Sulentic had one of my favorite bats in the draft. He played great in rookie ball last year, but has really struggled in '07, hitting just .175/.242/.211 through 47 games for Kane County. Like Anderson, he's just 19 years old, and given his previous track record I think he will come around as long as he maintains his confidence. But it's certainly a disappointment this year. Real Twins pick Joe Benson, high school outfielder from Illinois, is also struggling in the Midwest League, although not as badly as Sulentic.
3) Tyler Robertson, LHP, Bella Vista HS, Citrus Heights, CA (3 Twins)
This 6-5 high school lefty is in extended spring training right now. My basic draft philosophy is to mix high school and college picks, leaning perhaps to the college side but not exclusively by any means. I think a successful farm system does best with a mixture of players, a combination of high-ceiling/high-risk players and more polished guys. I think it is a mistake to focus exclusively on one type of player. Robertson was on my list of highly-intriguing high school pitchers, so when the real Twins drafted him I agreed with the decision and did the same thing. He's pitched just seven innings this year for Beloit after extended spring training, allowing one run with nine strikeouts.
4) Jordan Newton, C, Western Kentucky University (6 Tigers)
Newton was terrible in short-season ball, hitting just .179, and hasn't played this year. In retrospect, real Twins pick Whit Robbins, out of Georgia Tech, looks like a better choice, although he's not hitting particularly well himself for Ft. Myers this year.
4) Garrett Olson, 3B, Franklin Pierce College (4 Twins)
As with Robertson, Olson was on my list of players to draft, so when the real Twins picked him I went along with it. I liked his college track record and overall offensive potential. Alas, he's hitting just .261/.320/.360 this year in the Midwest League, somewhat disappointing although he's been hot lately.
5) Dustin Richardson, LHP, Texas Tech (5 Red Sox)
Richardson has pitched well this year for Greenville, with a 3.59 ERA and a 53/27 K/BB in 48 innings. I drafted him because I saw him in college and was impressed with his arm strength. Also, the statistical work I did before the draft showed that he was underrated: the pitching environment at Texas Tech is very tough, and within that context he had pitched very well with strong component ratios. I saw him as one of the major sleepers in the draft. Real Twins pick Devin Sheperd, a toolsy high school outfielder, did not sign.
6) Billy Muldowney, RHP, University of Pittsburgh (8 Cubs)
Muldowney is 2-3, 5.24 in six starts for Peoria in the Midwest League, with a 24/6 K/BB ratio in 22 innings and went on the DL in early May. A ground ball pitcher with good control, he doesn't have a huge ceiling but has a strong curveball. Real Twins pick, University of Nebraska catcher Jeff Christy, is hitting .175 in the Florida State League.
7) Steve Singleton, SS, University of San Diego (11 Twins)
I picked Singleton over real Twins pick Jon Waltenbury, a Canadian high school first baseman, since I liked what Singleton did in college and I wanted to add some middle infield depth. The Real Twins then picked him four rounds later. He's hitting .263/.280/.316 in the Midwest League and projects as a utility guy at higher levels, if he makes it at all. Waltenbury hasn't played.
8) Toddric Johnson, OF, Southern Mississippi University (14 Athletics)
Johnson is a line drive hitter with good speed, hitting .231/.282/.287 this year in the Midwest League following a strong short-season debut last year. He projects as a reserve outfielder if he hits sufficiently, but won't be a regular. Real Twins pick Brian Dinkelman, 2B out of a small college in Illinois, is having a solid year in the Midwest League and is a superior prospect at this point.
9) Justin Fuller, SS-2B, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (11 Dodgers)
Fuller is a good athlete but hasn't done much with the bat yet, hitting just .247/.312/.329 for Great Lakes this year. As with Singleton, I thought he had some potential and wanted to add some middle infield depth to the system. Real twins pick Sean Land, University of Kansas lefty, has had more success as a pro thus far and could be a bullpen guy at higher levels if he maintains his control. Right now Land looks more likely to pan out as a useful player.
10) Ricky Ibarz, LHP, University of Texas-Pan American (not drafted)
Ibarz was a guy, like Richardson, who showed some ability in a tough college environment. But he went undrafted, transferred to Troy State, and has had a horrible senior year. I think you can write that down as a failed pick. Real pick Jared Mitchell, a high school outfielder from Louisiana, didn't sign, making the 10-slot a wash overall, although Mitchell is definitely a superior prospect to Ibarz.
11) Nick Akins, SS, Los Angeles HS (13 Dodgers)
Toolsy infielder Atkins didn't sign with the Dodgers; the real Twins picked Singleton in this spot.
12) Orlando Rosales, OF, University of Tampa (19 Astros)
Rosales is an undersized outfielder (just 5-8) who hit well in college. Scouts were skeptical that he could do this as a pro, and indeed he has not hit well at all so far, including just .259/.277/.343 this year for Salem in the Carolina League. Real Twins pick Kevin Harrington, a high school outfielder from California, is the opposite physically: very tall at 6-6, but unrefined as a hitter, and he was horrible in rookie ball, hitting just .136 last year. At this point I'm skeptical about either pick working out.
13) Aaron Senne, LHP, Mayo HS, Rochester, MN (13 Twins)
I like to draft the local guys, so when the Twins went with a local high school pitcher in the 13th round, I went along with it. Senne didn't sign.
14) Jeff Manship, RHP, Notre Dame (14 Twins)
I was running out of time and had to make the 14th round the last one I could do in real time last year. I had a list of four or five sleepers I was considering for the last real time pick, and Jeff Manship out of Notre Dame was one of them, so when the Real Twins called his name, I did the same in the Shadow draft. Manship has been brilliant so far as a pro.