This morning I wrote about a pair of rookie right-handers: Donn Roach of the San Diego Padres and Chase Whitley of the New York Yankees. There is something else that these two pitchers have in common: I shadow-drafted them both in 2010.
Here is what my 2010 Minnesota Twins shadow draft looked like.
1) Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State University
2) Addison Reed, RHP, San Diego State University
2) Niko Goodrum, SS, Fayette County HS, Fayetteville, Georgia
3) Donn Roach, RHP, College of Southern Nevada
4) Eddie Rosario, OF, Rafael Lopez Ladron HS, Guayama, Puerto Rico
5) Nate Roberts, OF, High Point University
6) Rett Varner, RHP, University of Texas-Arlington
8) Thomas Shirley, LHP, Xavier University
9) Aaron Senne, 1B, University of Missouri
10) Danny Lopez, SS, University of Pittsburgh
11) Derrick Poppert, SS, University of San Francisco
12) Tyler Knigge, RHP, Lewis-Clark State University
13) Ryan O’Rourke, LHP, Merrimack College
14) Jamaine Cotton, RHP, Western Oklahoma Junior College
15) Chase Whitley, RHP, Troy University
16) Clint Dempster, LHP, Nicholls State University
17) Mike Nesseth, RHP, University of Nebraska
19) Carlos Alonso, 3B, University of Delaware
20) Alfredo Lopez, SS, Compton Community College
21) Chris Duffy, OF, University of Central Florida
22) Patrick Farrell, C, Regis University
23) Jamaal Hollis, RHP, University of Miami-Ohio
24) Jay Johnson, LHP, Texas Tech University
25) Austin Goolsby, C, Embry-Riddle University
26) Seth Frankoff, RHP, UNC Wilmington
27) Brandon Henderson, OF, Fresno Community College
28) Jamaal Hawkins, SS, Jacksonville University
29) Brian Burke, 3B, Lewis-Clark State
30) Zach Robertson, LHP, University of Iowa
31) Victor Lara, RHP, Keystone College (Pennsylvania)
33) Justin Parker, LHP, Consumnes River CC
34) Kyle Necke, RHP, UC Irvine
35) Robert Gariano, RHP, Fairfield University (Connecticut)
36) Kelvin Mention, OF, Brooks-DeBartolo HS, Tampa, FL
39) Bart Carter, LHP, Western Kentucky University
41) Sam Spangler, LHP, University of Hawaii
42) Brett Carroll, LHP, William Patterson
43) Derek Christensen, RHP, Salt Lake CC
44) David Deminsky, LHP, St. Cloud State University
45) Henry Dunn, OF, Binghamton University
47) Rashad Hatcher, OF, Patrick Henry Community College
This class was strong on pitching: Addison Reed is a big league closer, and now we have Donn Roach and Chase Whitley in the majors. Eighth round pick Thomas Shirley and 26th round pick Seth Frankoff are having strong seasons in Double-A and could get to the majors too. Hitting was not as impressive, although Eddie Rosario is a good prospect and Niko Goodrum has potential. Those were real Twins picks that I stuck with. I had an extra pick in the second round that year because my 2009 second rounder, Jake Barrett, didn't sign.
With Whitley reaching the majors, I now have five Shadow rookies on big league rosters: Kevin Gausman, Jake Odorizzi, Josmil Pinto, Roach, and Whitley. Josh Satin was just demoted from the real life Mets but he was rookie number six.
Looking ahead towards the 2014 draft, I would rank the top guys currently as Carlos Rodon, Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek, and Alex Jackson in that order and would take them if they were available. I don't expect they will be. I suspect I will have to choose between Nick Gordon, Kyle Freeland, Touki Toussaint, Aaron Nola, and Michael Conforto, but I am still trying to figure out how to rank them.
My Shadow system needs more impact arms but at fifth-overall you have to go with best-player-available. That may very well be a pitcher, but I'm not sure, and the paucity of hitting talent in this draft class would make both Gordon and Conforto attractive. I could then fill in with pitching as needed in later rounds.
So, assuming that the top four are unavailable, who would you go with: Conforto, Freeland, Gordon, Nola, or Toussaint? Or someone else?
I am also doing my research for later round sleeper picks, the Whitley types, and will be writing about them in subsequent articles.