Patrick Reusse: Twins need more Mauers, fewer Garbes in draft

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 1, 2012 - 7:16 AM

Joe Mauer in 2007

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Twins took four pitchers in the first three rounds of the 2009 draft of first-year players. Only first-rounder Kyle Gibson remains in the organization. He underwent Tommy John surgery last September and is in the recovery process.

Second-rounder Billy Bullock was traded to Atlanta last spring so the Twins could retain Rule 5 draftee Scott Diamond. Matthew Bashore (No. 46 overall) and Ben Tootle (No. 101) both had arm surgery and were released from minor league camp last week.

It's a tough business, projecting, drafting and signing amateur ballplayers, and the Twins have had difficulty finding future stars in the earliest rounds of the draft.

Justin Morneau, a catcher from New Westminster, British Columbia, was a third-rounder and the 89th overall choice in 1999. Joe Mauer, a catcher from St. Paul, was the first overall selection in 2001.

Morneau switched to first base and became the American League's MVP in 2006. Mauer took that award in 2009.

Mauer joined the lineup as a 21-year-old in 2004 but suffered a knee injury, underwent surgery and was limited to 35 games. Morneau was 23 when he became the regular at first base after the All-Star Game and finished with 19 home runs and 58 RBI.

Morneau and Mauer remain the last difference-makers to be selected, signed and developed by the Twins from the June draft. There have been helpful players, but a difference-maker ... a player who is a reason that a team wins?

Eight seasons after Morneau and Mauer entered the lineup, the Twins remain starved for one of those.

I took a look at the first three rounds from 1999 through 2008: from the year Morneau was drafted, through a year when high-level prospects should now be big-league-ready (or very close to that).

1999: High school outfielder B.J. Garbe was the fifth overall choice and received a then-Twins-record bonus of $2.4 million. Couldn't hit. Second-rounder Rob Bowen caught some in the big leagues but was a nonfactor.

2000: College pitcher Adam Johnson was the second overall pick. He pitched nine games in the big leagues with an ERA over 10.00. The Twins had four other picks through the third round and none was a contributor.

2001: Mauer was the first pick. Pitcher Scott Tyler was a second-round bust. Jose Morales, drafted as a shortstop, served as a backup catcher for a time.

2002: First-rounder Denard Span is the starting center fielder. Second-rounder Jesse Crain was a helpful reliever before leaving as a free agent in 2011. Third-rounder Mark Sauls didn't sign and pitched only briefly in the majors.

2003: First-rounder Matt Moses, an infielder, was a bust. Second-rounder Scott Baker has won 63 games for the Twins. Third-rounder Johnny Woodard, a first baseman, didn't make it out of Class A.

2004: The Twins had seven picks in the first three rounds. Trevor Plouffe, Glen Perkins and Anthony Swarzak have reached the big leagues. Pitcher Kyle Waldrop should make it this year. There's help here, but not stardom.

2005: Again, the Twins had seven picks in the first three rounds. First-rounder Matt Garza has been a solid starter -- mostly after he was traded by the Twins in the Delmon Young deal in November 2007. Second-rounder Henry Sanchez, alleged to be a slugger, was a monumental flop. Kevin Slowey and Brian Duensing also came out of that draft.

2006: First-rounder Chris Parmelee has been impressive this spring and should be in the lineup at first base. Second-round outfielder Joe Benson has difference-making talent but must learn you can't reach those sliders a foot off the plate. Third-round lefthander Tyler Robertson is a long shot to make it.

2007: First-rounder Ben Revere now rates as the Twins' fourth outfielder. Catcher Danny Rams remains a project. Outfielder Angel Morales hasn't gotten above Class A.

2008: It has been slow going for two first-rounders: outfielder Aaron Hicks, headed to Class AA New Britain, and reliever Carlos Gutierrez, sent back to Class AAA Rochester in mid-March. Third-round pitcher Bobby Lanigan still is in the organization.

That's a decade of drafts, and it's still up to Morneau and Mauer to make the difference.

It's a situation where the M&M Boys would have the right to seize baseball's old playground battle cry, "How about a little help?"

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500-AM.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 43 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 71
Baylor 71 FINAL
Memphis 47
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11:00 AM
Western Ky 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11:00 AM
Akron 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Toledo 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: What do you think of the new Twins home uniforms?

Weekly Question