Twins must wait and watch with No. 4 overall draft pick

The Astros, Cubs and Rockies will get first crack at whom many consider to be the Big Three of the 2013 amateur draft.

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North Carolina's Colin Moran slides safely home as Miami catcher Garrett Kennedy waits for the late throw during the Atlantic Coast Conference championship at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Thursday, May 23, 2013.

Photo: Bernard Thomas, Associated Press

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The consensus is that a Big Three of prospects is available on Thursday when Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft takes place.

That’s too bad for the Twins, who have the fourth overall pick.

Then again, things could change as teams take a few more looks at their draft board and make adjustments before the draft begins a 6 p.m.

The top three prospects are considered to be Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray, Stanford pitcher Mark Appel and University of San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant. The Twins would be pleased if either Gray or Bryant fell to them. It’s not clear if they feel the same way about Appel, who is represented by mega agent Scott Boras.

“It racks your brain a little bit trying to figure it out,’’ Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said. “Picking No. 2 [their pick last year] is a lot easier than picking four. There’s a lot of different scenarios with that fourth pick. We’ll play it by ear.”

Could one of the top three prospects drop? The Houston Astros surprised everyone last year when they selected prep shortstop Carlos Correa first overall and signed him for less than the league’s recommended bonus. That left Byron Buxton for the Twins. Buxton now is considered one of the elite prospects in the game.

Houston has been looking at about seven candidates for the first overall pick this year.

“It’s a lot of pressure because one-one [first round, first pick] is supposed to have a big impact,’’ Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow told Houston reporters earlier this week, “and we will find someone that will have a big impact.’’

The Chicago Cubs might shake up the draft, too, with the second pick. Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, spoke earlier this week about the need to add polished hitters with plate discipline. Then it was learned that, in addition to the Big Three, the Cubs were looking at a fourth prospect: University of North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran.

If the Cubs take Moran, then one of the Big Three will be there for the Twins at No. 4.

It was reported Tuesday that Gray, whose fastball touches 100 miles per hour, tested positive for the drug Adderall during MLB’s pre-draft testing. The drug is banned from the league unless a player is granted an exemption for therapeutic use. But the positive test is not expected to affect Gray’s stock, and the Twins remain interested in him.

If Gray, Appel and Bryant are gone, the Twins have been looking at Moran and three other players: Kohl Stewart, a righthander from St. Pius X High School in Houston; Austin Meadows, an outfielder from Grayson (Ga.) High School; and Reese McGuire, a catcher from Kentwood (Wash.) High School.

There were reports in recent weeks that the Twins could sign McGuire for less than the league’s recommended bonus of a little more than $4.5 million. Johnson nixed that, saying that it’s dangerous to play money games with high picks.

“We can’t miss with that pick,’’ Johnson said.

Signability could be a factor, too. While teams have bonus constraints, advisers can ask for anything.

“We have to be prepared to make that guy selectable,’’ Johnson said. “We are not in the business of selecting a guy and not sign him. When you are picking that high in the draft, you don’t want to mess around with that.’’

Johnson, along with Mike Radcliff, vice president in charge of player personnel, welcomed scouts to Target Field last weekend as they began draft preparations by ranking their top 75 players. That sets them up for their first two picks, No. 4 and No. 43. The 43rd pick comes from compensatory and competitive balance picks awarded to teams between the first and second rounds.

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Final(10)2345678910RHE
Minnesota «00201000611140
Kansas City0011010005121
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:A.Swarzak(3-1) L:B.Chen(2-4)
HR: MIN- None KAN- A.Gordon (17)

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Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland - LP: R. Cook 3 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: F. Salas 4
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
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