Finishing up the draft reviews with a look at an Alternate Universe....
Shadow Draft Review
Here is my Twins Shadow Draft, laying out the thinking behind each pick. I do this every year 1) as an intellectual exercise to make me study draft prospects in as much depth as possible; 2) because it is fun. I obviously don't pretend to know as much as a real team knows, but it is a great way to learn about prospects in their nascent stages. With one exception, all of these picks were made along with the real draft through round 14, then picking up real time again in rounds 17 through 23 after a computer hiccup.
I had one extra pick that the real Twins did not have: an extra second rounder. I drafted Jake Barrett in the second round last year. In real life he was drafted by the Blue Jays but did not sign, heading to Arizona State. In real life the Twins drafted Billy Bullock with that second round pick. That was 70th overall, so in keeping with the draft rules I got an extra pick in that slot this year.
I came into the draft wanting to add pitching and toolsy players to my Shadow Farm system.
For comparison purposes, here is a review of the Real Twins draft.
1) Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State: I liked the real Twins pick, so I stuck with it.
2) Addison Reed, RHP, San Diego State: Drafted by the White Sox in the third round in real life. I picked him because I wanted an advanced pitcher with good signability, since this was the unprotected Barrett compensation pick.
2) Niko Goodrum,SS, Georgia HS: Real Twins pick that ranked high on my preference list, so I stuck with him. Very toolsy, might end up in outfield.
3) Donn Roach, RHP, College of Southern Nevada: Went to Angels in supplemental third round in real life. Good stuff, improved his command dramatically this spring.
4) Eddie Rosario, OF, Puerto Rico HS: Another real Twin pick that I ranked high on my list and stuck with. "Young Bobby Abreu" comps sound great to me.
5) Nate Roberts, OF, High Point University: Another real Twin pick that I agreed with. Great performance this year, power, speed, and underrated tools.
6) Rett Varner, RHP, UT-Arlington: This pick is the only one I have changed after the fact.
I originally selected Coastal Carolina senior catcher Jose Iglesias here. However, in real life just before the draft, he apparently expressed some doubts about whether he wants to play pro ball or not, and as a result he went undrafted. I certainly wouldn't have picked him if I had been privy to that information as the real teams were. Therefore, I'm overriding that choice with the guy I almost picked instead of Iglesias, the hard-throwing Rett Varner, drafted by the Marlins in the sixth round in real life. I prefer Varner to real Twins pick Logan Darnell, a lefty from the University of Kentucky with a good arm but sketchy record.
7) Austin Wright, LHP, Chipola JC: Hard-throwing lefty, can hit 94 but somewhat raw. In reality he lasted until the 23rd round, picked by the Red Sox, due to signability. I knew this was a risk before I picked him, so hopefully the Red Sox can keep him away from Ole Miss.
8) Thomas Shirley, LHP, Xavier University: Another live-armed lefty but rather raw for a college guy. Went to the Astros in the ninth round in real life.
9) Adam Senne, 1B, University of Missouri: Senior, grew up in Minnesota, much improved over poor junior year, has some power. Drafted in 10th round by Marlins in reality.
10) Danny Lopez, SS, University of Pittsburgh: Fast, good glove, probably a future utility player. Drafted by Mariners in the 17th round.
11) Derrick Poppert, SS, University of San Francisco: Another future utility type, good glove, might hit a bit, can swipe a base. Drafted by the Mariners in the 30th round.
12) Tyler Knigge, RHP, Lewis-Clark State: Can hit 93 MPH, threw strikes and took a big step forward this year. Drafted by Phillies later in the 12th round.
13) Ryan O'Rourke, LHP, Merrimack College: Real Twins pick I stuck with, great performance record in college, average stuff.
14) Jamaine Cotton, RHP, Western Oklahoma JC: I almost went with real Twin pick DeAndre Smelter, but I doubt they will be able to sign him. Alternative was Cotton, a good athlete with a good fastball from the Virgin Islands. Drafted by the Astros in the 16th round.
15) Chase Whitley, RHP, Troy University: I like two way players due to their athleticism, and Whitley qualifies. Can hit 90, pitched well in college, athletic. Drafted by the Yankees later in the round.
16) Clint Dempster, LHP, Nicholls State: Another real Twin pick with good numbers and a fair arm.
17) Mike Nesseth, RHP, University of Nebraska: Out with Tommy John, but at 22 years old I assume he will sign with the Phillies who drafted him and rehab. Minnesota high school kid, throws hard when healthy but erratic.
18) Chad Oberacker, OF, Tennessee Tech: Excellent stats this year in college, has good speed and some power. Drafted by the Cardinals in the 19th round.
19) Carlos Alonso, 3B, University of Delaware: Senior, good defensive reputation, has some power, lasted until the 32nd round when he was drafted by the Phillies in real life.
20) Alfredo Lopez, SS, Compton CC: Undersized at 5-8, but athletic and toolsy. Drafted by the Marlins later in the round.
21) Chris Duffy, OF, Central Florida: Huge power for this college senior, but lack of tools and defense suppressed stock. The Phillies drafted him in the 26th round.
22) Patrick Farrell, C, Regis University: Another senior, has power and his glove is OK. Went to the Mets in the 32nd round.
23) Jamaal Hollis, RHP, University of Miami-Ohio: Live arm but pitched poorly in limited action this year. Drafted by the White Sox in the 33rd round in real life.
I went with six players that the Twins drafted that I liked and agreed with. I ended up with two White Sox guys, one Angels guy, three Marlins, one Red Sox player, two Astros, two Mariners, four Phillies, one Yankee, one Met, and one Cardinal. The four Phillies were all later round picks, three of them seniors with strong performance records that the Phils may have evaluated similarly to the way I did.
Am I happy with this group? I think it is OK but could have been better. With Iglesias swapped out, I didn't get a catcher who projects as more than a fringe backup. I didn't get as many power arms as I wanted, and not a single high school pitcher. That wasn't on purpose; I was just afraid of signability concerns with the guys I liked who were still on the board once I got past the third round, and I don't see any reason to waste draft picks on guys who won't sign. This is a handicap for shadow drafting, since the teams have a lot more information than we do about such things. Drafting in real time, in the public venue of the blog, puts the pressure on. I also assume realistic budgets, so I have to consider the monetary factor, which is why I tend to fill out the later rounds with performance-oriented seniors.
All in all, it is a lot of fun. You should try it sometime...you will learn a lot, and develop a healthy respect for the front office people who have millions of actual dollars on the line.