La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

MLB Draft: Twins go for four pitchers, THREE catchers and a third baseman on Day Two

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under On the road, Vikings draft Updated: June 7, 2013 - 5:34 PM

TENTH ROUND, C.K. IRBY, RHP

Indications are that he will be a reliever, where his fastball has touched 95 miles an hour to go with a nice curve. Has been a two-way player in college and used as a starter or reliever.

Baseball America has him ranked 233rd. Here's what was written about him:

Irby helped Samford reach regionals in 2012 as a closer (10 saves, 2.06 ERA) and has contributed as a two-way player throughout his career, hitting at a .384 clip with eight home runs entering the season’s last regular-season weekend while spending most of his time at first or third base. Scouts like him on the mound and prefer him in a bullpen role, which made it difficult to evaluate the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder this season. The loss of three senior starters from 2012 forced Irby into the weekend rotation this spring, and his velocity has settled into the 87-90 mph range. In the past he hit 95 and sat 89-93 as a reliever, throwing enough strikes with his fastball to set up his plus curve. He has averaged nearly a strikeout per inning over more than 150 career innings and has a good feel for his breaking ball. Irby has a max-effort approach to the game, and hitting and pitching has taken a lot out of him this spring. A fresh Irby could move quickly as a future middle reliever.

Here's a recent story on Irby

That's it for today! Will be back tomorrow for more, but information might be touch to come by as we near the 40th round!

NINTH ROUND, MITCHELL GARVER, C

Yes, the Twins go for another catcher in Garver, who played well in the Cape Cod Leaguwas undrafted as a junior but came and carried it into his senior year, during which he batted .390 with 6 homers and 68 RBI. He improved his defense, but scouts wonder if his offense was a result of playing in a hitter-friendly enviroment.

Baseball America ranked him 230th, here's their write-up:

                                                        Garver is one of the top senior talents in the draft, and could get pushed even further up draft boards because it’s a thin year for college catching. Scouts liked him behind the plate in the Cape Cod League last summer, and he has good defensive statistics this spring. He is a good athlete at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, runs well for a catcher and has above-average arm strength. Still, some scouts doubt his ability to catch long-term in pro ball. He’ll need to do that to have value because while he’s a solid hitter who drives the ball to all fields, it’s to the gaps and he doesn’t really profile as a corner-quality bat. Scouts also wonder how much of Garver’s production is park-related. Heading in the final weekend of the season, he ranked fifth in the country with 84 hits, but he was batting .496 in the thin air in Albuquerque, and .281 on the road. After hitting 10 home runs as a junior–when he went undrafted–he had four this season. Still, as a senior at a premium position, Garver could get pushed up as high as the fifth round.

Like Stuart Turner, Garver is a Johnny Bench Award finalist. The Twins have drafted two of the three finalists for that award.

Here's a little bit from MLB.com.

Garver has improved defensively in the last year, quieting most of the concerns about his ability to remain behind the plate as a professional. He is an average receiver with a solid arm. Garver has also played left field, but his bat profiles much better if he can catch.

I want to blend Turner's defense, Navarreto's power and Garver's hitting for average. I would have one heck of a prospect!

EIGHTH ROUND, DUSTIN DEMUTH, 3B

The Twins add their second University of Indiana player when they selected third baseman Dustin DeMuth. DeMuth led the Hoosiers with a .396 batting average - 12th in Division I - but hit just five home runs to go with 40 RBI. It's the low power numbers that have the draftniks concerned. But he's listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, and the frame is probably what attracted the Twins. He's also swiped 11 bases.

Baseball America has DeMuth ranked as the 278th best prospect in the draft. He's also played some second base and shortstop.

Here's his campus bio.

SEVENTH ROUND, BRIAN GILBERT, RHP

Early indications are that Gilbnert is a reliever, but he has started some in his college career and the Twins aren't afraid to give him a chance to start if he has a good third pitch. The worst case is that he returns to relieving.

Baseball America has him ranked 495th,

Gilbert went 4-4 with a .240 ERA in 27 games (one start) while collecting six saves.  

SIXTH ROUND, BRIAN NAVARRETO, C

High school catchers can be tough to project because they might grow out of the position and they don't have extensive experience calling games and dealing with pitchers. But then some tools can't be ignored. The Twins drafted catcher Brian Navarreto in the sixth round out of Arlington Country Day school (Jacksonville, Fla.). Here's MLB.com's write-up on him:

In a Draft class fairly deep in high school catching, it would be smart not to forget about this Florida prep standout. Big and strong, Navarreto has the chance to hit for both average and power, with bat speed and loft. He has a good plan at the plate and makes adjustments well. He has a strong arm that he's not afraid to show off from behind the plate and is fairly athletic. He's the kind of strong competitor teams like to see at the position as well, giving him the chance to maximize his solid all-around tools.There are other high school backstops who will go ahead of Navarreto, but he shouldn't have to wait too long to hear his name called.

Ranked 185th by Baseball America

Navarreto played a role in this incident, not sure when it happened.

Here's BA's write-up: 

                            Navaretto attends the same school as 2011 Cubs first-rounder Javier Baez and and was playing in a tournament against a team from Oklahoma in March when he was involved in a game-ending brawl. It just added to the makeup questions scouts have about Navaretto, who otherwise has the physicality and arm strength to get scouts excited about him as a future catcher. He has his "man strength" at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, yet shows good agility behind the plate as well as an above-average arm with consistent 1.85-second pop times. He'll tap into his plus raw power if he can shorten up his swing, which is on the long side. In a deep year for prep catchers, Navaretto matches up with just about anyone physically and had some third-round helium.

 

FIFTH ROUND: AARON SLEGERS, RHP

The Twins selected Indiana U Aaron Slegers, a 6-foot-10 inch righthander. Slegers, the 2013 Big Ten pitcher of the year, has battled injuries in the past but was healthy this year.  He went 9-1 with a 1.94 ERA for the Hoosiers this season. In 92 innings, he struck out 53 and walked 13. He gave up one home run all season.

Ranked 226th by Baseball America

From MLB.com:

Injuries limited Slegers to just 10 innings from 2010, his senior year in high school, to 2012. He is finally healthy this season and, as a redshirt sophomore, has taken over as Indiana's ace, helping lead the Hoosiers to a Big Ten championship. Slegers typically throws his fastball about 90 mph and has touched 95 mph. He has a good approach on the mound and is able to add and subtract from his fastball as needed. Slegers also throws a solid changeup and is working to improve his slider. He is listed at 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, but repeats his delivery well for a pitcher of his size.

Here's a story on Slegers as Indiana prepares for Super Regional action this weekend.

FOURTH ROUND, STEPHEN GONSALVES, LHP

The Twins select lefthander Stephen Gonsalves, a lefthander out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, Calif. From what I can tell, he posted a 1.91 ERA in 14 games. Not sure how many wins because some of his outings were three innings.

He's got good size with a fastball that been clocked at 92-93 miles an hour. Sounds like he's a little raw and needs to improve his other pitches, but the crew on mlb.com's webcast said he entered the season expected to go higher in the draft so the Twins might have landed a pitcher with upside.

Ranked 107th by Baseball America

Here's what MLB.com wrote about him:

A high school lefty, Gonsalves had a very good summer, pitching well at the Area Code Games and the Perfect Game All-American Classic, though an inconsistent spring had some wondering just how high he'd go on Draft day.This is a pretty decent class for prep southpaws, and with his size and projectability, Gonsalves has the upside to be the best of the lot. He uses a full overhand delivery to fire 88-91 mph fastballs, though he was up to 93 mph at the Perfect Game Classic. He'll throw a plus changeup at times to go along with a slurve, which is a bit of a concern to scouts. So was the fact he struggled with his command for parts of the spring after a fairly successful summer on the showcase/USA Baseball tour. Still, many teams will have trouble looking past the ceiling and Gonsalves still has the chance to hear his name called fairly early in the Draft

THIRD ROUND, STUART TURNER, C

The Twins have selected University of Mississippi catcher Stuart Turner with their pick (No. 78 overall) of the MLB draft.

Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said before the draft that there was good catching depth in this year's draft, and follows that up by taking Turner, who played two years at a junior coilege before spending a year with Mississippi.Turner was considered one of the best catchers in the SEC, one of the strongest conferences in the country. Not too shabby for someone playing one year in that conference.

Ranked 110th by Baseball America.

Defense is his strength, with some concerns about his ability to make consistent contact.

Turner batted .374 for Ole Miss with 5 homers and 51 RBI in 62 games. He posted a .444 on base percentage. He threw out 21 of 41 basestealers. He's a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the top college catcher.

One site had Turner ranked as the 13th best catcher in the draft, calling him a, `solid defender with smart offensive approach.'

Here's what Basebeall America wrote about him:

Turner hails from Eunice, La., and went to Louisiana State-Eunice JC for two seasons, hitting .400 and earning tournament MVP honors last year as LSU-Eunice won the Division II NJCAA World Series. Nevertheless, he wasn't drafted and landed at Ole Miss, where he has been the Southeastern Conference's best catcher this season. Turner had been pitched around a bit in league play but remained the Rebels' best hitter and earned plaudits from scouts as the nation's best draft-eligible defensive catcher. He combines strength at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds with flexibility, agile feet and excellent arm strength. He had thrown out 20 of 39 basestealers, with consistent 1.9-second pop times. While Turner has performed at the plate this spring, scouts don't like his swing and question his ability to sting the ball consistently. He has controlled the strike zone and ranked third in the SEC in batting at .389.

 

 

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