The Twins selected seven players Tuesday during the second day of the first-year player draft, including three with medical issues that had to be investigated before the picks were made.
University of Utah center fielder DaShawn Keirsey, a fourth-round pick, batted .386 this season — a year after dislocating and fracturing his left hip while running into a wall. The belief is his speed has not yet fully returned.
“He’s a really good defender,” said Sean Johnson, the Twins’ director of scouting. “He has a really pro swing. He’s got some raw power.”
Eighth-round pick Chris Williams, a power-hitting catcher from Clemson, underwent shoulder surgery last season after being injured while diving into first base during a pickoff play. He was not 100 percent at the beginning of this season, so he played a lot at first base, batting .281 with 18 home runs and 72 RBI.
“We think there’s an outside chance he can catch,” Johnson said. “It’s part of the rehab and our player development, they’ll do their thing and we’ll see if we can get lucky there on a catch. He’s got a ton of power.”
Even their fifth-round pick, righthander Cole Sands of Florida State, left his last start because of shoulder tightness. But the Twins made sure Sands was fine before drafting him.
The Twins medical staff examines hundreds of medical reports of potential draft picks every year - so they are comfortable making these selections.
“We had (head trainer) Dave Pruemer in our room and he’s been going through the medicals, obviously doing a great job,” Johnson said. “We’re checking in on the medical piece on each player we take and making sure we’re not missing anything. Because you get nervous when guys are on Day 2 and there’s guys you think should be gone and they’re still there.”
Here's a list of players chosen in the first 10 rounds
1. Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State: Lefthanded slugger has 17 HR, 65 RBI for nation’s No. 2 ranked team.
2. Ryan Jeffers, C, UNC-Wilmington: Power potential, but could switch positions in the minors.
4. DaShawn Keirsey, OF, Utah: Serious hip injury last year, but rebounded to hit .386 for Utes.
5. Cole Sands, RHP, Florida State: 95 mph fastball, was No. 1 starter for Seminoles before being injured.
6. Charles Mack, SS, Williamsville (N.Y) East HS: Lefthanded power hitter who will move to third base.
7. Josh Winder, RHP, VMI: Fastball clocked at 95 mph; 91 strikeouts in 85 innings.
8. Chris Williams, C, Clemson: Played first base while recovering from injured throwing shoulder.
9. Willie Joe Garry, Jr., CF, Pascagoula (MS.) HS: Once coached by former Twin Matt Lawton
10. Regi Grace, RHP, Madison Central (MS) HS: Low 90’s fastball plus a curveball that has potential.