Reusse: Long road to majors is just beginning for draft picks

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 20, 2013 - 12:39 AM

The Twins announced the signing of 23 draft choices Wednesday, including 21 of the top 26. They are planning to get the rest, including four from the College World Series

hide

With General Manager Terry Ryan looking on, Kohl Stewart, the Twins’ first-round draft pick earlier this month, answered questions Wednesday. The right-handed pitcher was selected No. 4 overall.

Photo: Genevieve Ross • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Kohl Stewart and Stephen Gonsalves were introduced to interested members of the Twin Cities sports media on Wednesday afternoon. The high school pitchers were then escorted to Target Field’s home clubhouse. They changed into Twins uniforms and were pointed toward the field to shag in the outfield during batting practice.

As they were walking toward the field, an older gentleman was stepping into the hallway. He was in uniform and carrying a glove and a bat.

“The new guys,” he said. “Welcome to the Twins. I’m Tony Oliva.”

The 18-year-olds offered handshakes and blank stares.

“I used to play,” Oliva said. “Ask your grandfathers. They might’ve heard of me.”

Stewart and Gonsalves are high school pitchers. They will start the pro baseball odyssey by flying to Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday.

There can be another half-dozen steps before a teenage pitcher completes the journey to the big leagues. And the fewer Tony Oliva-type hitters that Stewart and Gonsalves encounter, the more rapid could be the ascent from games on a back diamond in the summer steam of Fort Myers to putting on a Twins uniform for keeps at Target Field.

Stewart was the fourth overall selection in the MLB draft June 6. The righthander from the Houston area signed for the recommended slot value of $4,544,400.

Gonsalves, a lefthander from near San Diego, was hopeful of going in the first couple of rounds. The Twins took him in the fourth round and gave him $700,000, one-third more than the recommended slot.

“We were a little disappointed that first day [of the draft],” Gonsalves said Wednesday. “The next morning, we woke up and it was full on. We had the whole family over, 55 cousins or so … it was awesome.”

There’s a big difference in money between fourth overall and the fourth round. Once the two pitchers arrive in Fort Myers, everything is equal. Develop and advance; stagnate and stay put.

Scouting of high school-age players has changed dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years. What the scouts see in the national showcases such as “The Perfect Game” and Area Code Games for regional standouts in the summer is far more important than actual high school competition.

Stewart and Gonsalves were both here for a Perfect Game showcase last summer at the Metrodome. They also hung out together during the All-American showcase in San Diego.

“We became good friends … now we’re able to continue this journey together,” Gonsalves said.

Stewart’s thought in February was his journey would involve trying to become a starting quarterback for Texas A&M. He signed with the Aggies, the alma mater of his parents, Mark and Lisa.

Prior to 2012, Stewart’s agent Darek Braunecker probably would have hung tough until Aug. 15, trying to get a couple of more million out of the Twins. Now, with a cap for an individual cap on what each team can spend on bonuses for the first 10 rounds, the slot is no longer a suggestion — it’s pretty much take it or leave it with most teams.

That is what now gets a high school player such as Stewart signed and started on his career within two weeks of the draft.

Stewart was asked several Aggies questions, including this one: “Do you get as upset over a parking ticket as Johnny Manziel?”

Manziel, the Aggies’ famous quarterback, went on a Twitter rant this week about possibly transferring after getting a parking ticket in College Station.

He’s had several embarrassments since becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, but born-and-raised Aggies apparently don’t find one-liners about Manziel humorous.

“Johnny’s an awesome guy,” Stewart said. “I know him personally. I knew him since his senior year of high school. He’s an unbelievable person, and that’s all I have to say about Johnny.”

The Twins announced the signing of 23 draft choices Wednesday, including 21 of the top 26. They are planning to get the rest, including four from the College World Series:

LSU pitcher Ryan Eades (second round) and Indiana starter Andrew Slegers (fifth), third baseman Dustin DeMuth (eighth) and closer Ryan Halstead (26th).

Do you the Twins have enough money for Eades and the Indiana guys?

General Manager Terry Ryan nodded and said: “We’re in good shape.”

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close