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.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Twins go for bloodlines with their final pick of the night

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Vikings draft Updated: June 4, 2012 - 10:45 PM

The Twins selected Georgia Tech righthander Luke Bard with the 42nd pick of the night - a compensation pick for losing Jason Kubel to free agency.

Here's what Baseball America had to say about him:

Bard's older brother Daniel attended North Carolina and was a 2006 first-round pick prior to reaching the major leagues with the Red Sox. Boston also drafted Luke out of high school, in the 16th round in 2009, but he didn't sign and attended Georgia Tech. Like his older brother, Bard has excellent arm strength and an iffy breaking ball. He's not as explosive as his brother but has plenty of power in his fastball, at times sitting 93-95 mph. He also flashed a power breaking ball with depth and late bite. Injuries and ineffective freshmen led Georgia Tech to give Bard a couple of starts, and he was effective while sticking to two pitches. He left a start against Duke on March 31 after 4 1/3 innings, however, and has not pitched since then. Doctors since diagnosed a torn lat muscle, and Bard isn't expected to return this season. At his best, he had a classic college reliever profile and big league bloodlines, so his injury probably will not be a long-term concern.

That's it for the first day of the draft. Rochester Century pitcher Mitch Brown is still on the board, and the Twins have.the third pick tomorrow.

UPDATE: Scouting director Deron Johnson said Bard throws 92-96 and will be tried out as a starter. The Twins feel Bard has three good pitches. Funny who Georgia Tech didn't view him as a starter.

I like what I've read so far about the pitchers they selected. Both have a little velo (Berrios could pick up a couple MPH) and look to be more than command and control pitchers. But we won't know for awhile.

UPDATE: Johnson added that both Berrios and Bard should be considered power pitchers.

I will try to pump out updates tomorrow as fast as I can.....


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