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.

Twins go for left-handed power arm in second round

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 5, 2012 - 11:44 AM

The Twins have selected lefthander Mason Melotakis out of Northwestern St., with the third pick (62nd overall) of the second round of the MLB Draft.

Melotakis is another pitcher with a high-ceiling arm, which shows how serious the Twins are about adding velocity to their farm system, Here's what Baseball America wrote about him:

A Grapevine, Texas, product, Melotakis slipped out of Texas to play at Northwestern State in Louisiana. He touched 90 mph at times in high school but has filled out physically and become a true power relief arm in his college career. He emerged as a prospect with 10 strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings against Louisiana State as a sophomore and threw plenty of strikes in the Cape Cod League last summer, posting a 22-2 strikeout-walk ratio in 19 innings. The Blue Demons have used him as a starter at times, including a heavily scouted outing May 4 against Central Arkansas. His high-effort delivery wore him out after four innings and he got only one out in the fifth, but he sat at 94-96 mph with his fastball for three innings, typical of his velocity at his best. Melotakis's slider remains inconsistent but flashes above-average. His short arm action is another factor in making the bullpen his likely big league destination. Melotakis has the mentality for it, going after hitters with his power stuff, and should go out in the first three rounds.

After selecting Byron Buxton with the second overall pick, the Twins have gone for hard-throwing pitching prospects with their next three selections. Can't blame them for that.

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