It is time to finalize the Shadow Twins 2018 MLB Draft. I have been doing a fake Twins draft in one format or another since 1996. You can check on the pre-season condition of the Shadow Twins farm system here. Shadow draft picks going back to 2013 are here.
I did not approach the top rounds with a particular strategy in mind, since picking 20th overall meant that a great deal depended simply on who was available. I did have these vague guidelines:
***Concentrate on up-the-middle players particularly shortstops and catchers;
***Wanted more pitching depth, although I always want that;
***Wanted a mix of high school and college players in the first 10 rounds, then transition to signable college juniors or seniors in later rounds.
***I want guys who will sign in the 20+ rounds, so that means seniors or signable juniors instead of “courtesy” picks of high school guys who won’t sign.
***Some bias towards college players from the upper Midwest because I think they are often underrated as well as for propaganda purposes. .
1) Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS, Corona, California (Brewers, 1st round)
2) Cal Raleigh, C, Florida State University (Mariners, 3rd round)
4) Jake Irvin, RHP, University of Oklahoma (Nationals, 4th round)
5) Yomil Maysonet, RHP, PJ Educational HS, Carolina, Puerto Rico (Reds, 6th round)
COMMENT: We’ll find out if the “prospect fatigue” theory for Turang is true. Raleigh and Irvin are solid college performers. The fifth round pick was originally Florida State right-hander Cole Sands but that was only because I missed the news about him leaving his regional start with a shoulder problem. I’ve swapped him for a raw but projectable arm from Puerto Rico.
6) Devlin Granberg, OF, Dallas Baptist University (Red Sox 6th round)
7) Daniel Bies, RHP, Gonzaga University (Yankees 7th round)
8) Tyler Cropley, C, University of Iowa (Nationals 8th round)
9) Joe Garry Jr, OF, Pascagoula HS, Pascagoula, Mississippi (Twins 9th round)
10) Regi Grace, RHP, Madison HS, Madison, Mississippi (Twins 10th round)
COMMENT: Three college performers including a top defensive catcher in Cropley. Garry and Grace were real Twins picks I stayed with. Their scout in Mississippi was active this year. Hopefully they sign, both have the tools to have gone several rounds higher.
11) Michael Helman, 2B, Texas A&M University (Twins 11th round)
12) Justin Lewis, RHP, University of Kentucky (Diamondbacks 12th round)
13) Trevor Casanova, C, Cal State Northridge (Twins 13th round)
14) Aaron Fletcher, LHP, University of Houston (Nationals 14th round)
15) Evan Sisk, LHP, College of Charleston (Cardinals 16th round)
COMMENT: Helman and Casanova were real Twins picks I stayed with. Lewis, Fletcher, and Sisk are all successful college pitchers, Lewis with a chance as a back-end starter while Fletcher and Sisk project into bullpens.
16) Matt Kroon, 3B, Oklahoma State University (Phillies 18th round)
17) Dalton Roach, RHP, Minnesota State University (Astros 21st round)
18) Hunter Wolfe, SS, Wallace State Community College (Royals 19th round)
19) Austin Schulfer, RHP, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Twins 19th round)
20) Erin Baldwin, RHP, Samford University (Diamonbacks 20th round)
COMMENT: Wolfe is a very toolsy shortstop. Kroon has bloodlines. Two more cold-weather college arms plus a senior with good control in Baldwin.
21) Gabe Snyder, 1B, Wright State University (Twins 21st round)
22) Jacob Blank, RHP, Augustana College (Twins 22n round)
23) Heath Renz, RHP, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Rays 27th round)
24) Logan Browning, LHP, Florida Southern College (Red Sox 24th round)
25) David Lebron, RHP, University of Tampa (Rangers 26th round)
COMMENT: Two more cold-weather college arms and two strong performers from the Florida college ranks. Browning can pitch and hit and has been drafted three times but is just 5-8 which hurts his stock. Snyder hit 15 homers, stole 15 bases, and hit .359 this spring but is an old senior at age 23.
26) David Hensley, SS, San Diego State University (Astros 26th round)
27) Hunter Lee, SS, High Point University (Twins 27th round)
28) Nelson Mompierre, C, St. Thomas University (Mets 29th round)
29) Layne Henderson, RHP, Azusa Pacific University (Astros 30th round)
30) Clark Brinkman, OF, Creighton University (Tigers 32nd round)
COMMENT: Up the middle depth with good track records; senior Hensley could have been drafted 15 rounds higher.
31) Trey Harris, OF, University of Missouri (Braves 32nd round)
32) Joseph Pena, SS, St. Thomas Aquinas College (Athletics 33rd round)
33) Drew Avans, OF, Southeastern Louisiana University (Dodgers 33rd round )
34) Dylan Stowell, RHP, California Baptist University (Twins 34th round)
35) Edmond Americaan, OF, Chipola Junior College (Cubs 35th round)
COMMENT: Four of last six picks outfielders, gotta fill out the short-season rosters. Americaan has a 70-grade name to go with 60-speed and 60-arm strength.
36) Reggie Meyer, RHP, University of Minnesota (Rangers 38th round)
37) Cody Smith, RHP, Charleston Southern (Pirates 39th round)
38) Dylan Thomas, RHP, University of Hawaii (Twins 38th round)
39) Jose Tirado, RHP, Jackson State University
40) Austin Jones, RHP, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
COMMENT: Tirado and Jones weren’t drafted in real life. We’ll see if anyone picks them up as NDFAs. Meyer is the brother of Ben Meyer, Miami Marlins pitcher and Twins shadow prospect who just made the majors.
Overall, I met my goal. As with most drafts much rides on the earliest picks. I actually like real Twins first rounder Trevor Larnach a lot but Turang plays a more premium position. It’s a gamble.