As long time readers know, I have been building my own farm system called the Shadow Twins since 1996, making my own picks in the amateur draft, while keeping to a realistic budget and drafting at whatever spot the real Twins are at that year. Starting in July 2012 this includes my own international signings as well. Before 2012 the Shadow Twins signed whoever the real Twins did internationally.
Sometimes the Shadow Twins are stronger than the Real Twins, and sometimes the Real Twins are stronger than the Shadow version.
Here is how things look entering 2017. I am pleased with the condition of the Shadow System at present, though I am overloaded with outfielders and in need of more high-ceiling arms. You can compare it to the Real Twins here. Notable Real Twins players I do not have in my system include Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Jay, Alex Kirilloff, Lewin Diaz, Kohl Stewart, and Wander Javier.
In the comments section I will post all of the Shadow Draft lists from 2008 through 2016 as well as the international signings so you can see how things have gone. As long-time readers know, the Shadow Draft is conducted at the same time as the real draft, while the international signings are done before any of the players involved have played in real games and in keeping with MLB budget rules.
1) Andrew Benintendi, OF, Grade A: Age 22, first round pick in 2015 by Boston Red Sox from University of Arkansas; drafted instead of Tyler Jay.
2) Clint Frazier, OF, Grade B+: Age 22, first round pick in 2013 instead of Kohl Stewart.
3) Nick Gordon, SS, Grade B+: Age 21, first round pick in 2014, real Twins pick that I stayed with.
4) Jharel Cotton, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 24, 20th round pick by the Dodgers in 2012 from East Carolina University; Shadow Twins drafted him in 19th round that year instead of outfielder Jon Murphy.
5) Fernando Romero, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 21, signed out of Dominican Republic by Real Twins in February 2012; I did not start doing my own international signings until July 2012. Up until then I just signed however the Real Twins signed on the international market.
6) Franklin Perez, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 19; signed by Astros out of Venezuela in 2014 for $1,000,000; Shadow Twins signed him in 2014 for $1,100,000.
7) Juan Soto, OF, Grade B: Age 18, signed by Nationals out of Dominican Republic in 2015 for $1,500,000; Shadow Twins got him for $1,650,000.
8) Jacob Nix, RHP, Grade B/B-: Age 21, third round pick by Padres in 2015 from IMG Academy; Shadow Twins drafted him with compensation pick instead of Kyle Cody who did not sign with Real Twins.
9) Eric Lauer, LHP, Grade B/B-: Age 21, first round pick out by Padres of Kent State in 2016, selected instead of Alex Kirilloff.
10) Chih-Wei Hu, RHP, Grade B-/B: Age 23, signed by Twins out of Taiwan in 2013; international signing that I stayed with. I did not trade him to the Rays.
11) Jesus Sanchez, OF, Grade B-: Age 19, signed by Rays out of Dominican Republic in 2014 for $400,000; I signed him for $440,000.
12) Eric Skoglund, LHP, Grade B-: Age 24, third round pick by Royals in 2014 from University of Central Florida; Shadow Twins drafted him in third round instead of Michael Cederoth.
13) Austin Gomber, LHP, Grade B-: Age 23, fourth round pick by Cardinals in 2014 from Florida Atlantic University; drafted by Shadow Twins in fourth round instead of Sam Clay.
14) Ben Lively, RHP, Grade B-: Age 24, fourth round pick by Reds in 2013 from Central Florida, drafted by Shadow Twins in fourth round instead of Steven Gonsalves.
15) Nick Burdi, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 23, Second round pick from University of Louisville by Real Twins, this was a pick I stayed with for the Shadow team.
16) Duane Underwood, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 22, second round pick by Cubs in 2012 from high school in Georgia; Shadow Twins picked him in second round instead of Mason Melotakis.
17) Gregory Guerrero, SS, Grade C+/B-: Age 17, signed by Mets out of Dominican Republic in 2015 for $1,500,000; nephew of Vladimir Guerrero; Shadow Twins signed him for $1,650,000
18) Fernando Tatis Jr, SS, Grade C+/B-: Age 18, signed by White Sox out of Dominican Republic in 2015 for $700,000, son of Fernando Tatis; signed by Shadow Twins for $770,000 and I certainly did not trade him to the Padres.
19) LaMonte Wade, OF, Grade C+/B-: Age 22, drafted in ninth round in 2015 from the University of Maryland by Real Twins; I stayed with this choice.
20) Felix Jorge, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, signed by Twins from Dominican Republic in 2011; I did not start my own international class until the summer of 2012.
21) Ryan Kellogg, LHP, Grade C+: Age 22, fifth round pick by Cubs in 2015 from Arizona State; Shadow Twins selected him instead of real Twins lefty Alex Robinson in the fifth round.
22) Ben Rortvedt, C, Grade C+: Age 19, Real Twins second round pick in 2016 from high school in Wisconsin, a choice that I stayed with.
23) Zack Granite, OF, Grade C+: Age 24, drafted in 14th round in 2013 out of Seton Hall by Real Twins, a choice that I stayed with.
24) Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Grade C+: Age 20, Australian lefty signed by Real Twins for $500,000 in 2012; I agreed with this choice and he was part of my first international class.
25) Ricky Knapp, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, eighth round pick by Mets in 2013 from Florida Gulf Coast University; son of former MLB pitching coach Rick Knapp; drafted by Shadow Twins in eighth round instead of Dustin Demuth.
26) Isael Soto, OF, Grade C+: Age 20, signed by Marlins out of Dominican Republic in 2013 for $300,000; Shadow Twins signed him that year for $340,000.
27) Connor Justus, SS, Grade C+: Age 22, fifth round pick by Angels out of Georgia Tech in ’16; chosen by Shadow Twins in fourth round instead of right-hander Tom Hackimer.
28) Christian Walker, 1B-OF, Grade C+: Age 25, fourth round pick in 2012 from University of South Carolina by Orioles; selected by Shadow Twins in fourth round instead of right-hander Zack Jones.
29) Jose Trevino, C, Grade C+: Age 24, sixth round pick in 2014 by Rangers out of Oral Roberts; picked by Shadow Twins in sixth round instead of right-hander John Curtiss.
30) Edwin Rios, 1B-3B, Grade C+: Age 22, sixth round pick by Dodgers from Florida International University in 2015, picked by Shadow Twins in sixth round instead of outfielder Chris Paul.
31) Zac Gallen, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, third round pick in 2016 from University of North Carolina by Cardinals; selected by Shadow Twins in third round instead of right-hander Griffin Jax;
OTHER GRADE C+: Akil Baddo, OF; Nelson Molina, INF; Randy Rosario, LHP; Lachlan Wells, LHP Corey Littrell, LHP; Luke Tendler, OF
OTHER NAMES TO KNOW: Jordan Balazovic, RHP; RHP; Trey Cabbage, 3B; Leo Crawford, LHP; Niko Goodrum, OF; Travis Harrison, OF; Kyle Kinman, LHP; Austin Nola, SS; James Reeves, LHP; Jose Vizcaino, INF