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 take another pitcher in the second round

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Vikings draft Updated: June 5, 2012 - 11:49 AM

I heard a couple weeks ago was that if the Twins took Byron Buxton with the second overall pick, they would load up on pitching after that. Things have played out that way.

The Twins have selected righthander J.T. Chargois out of Rice University with the 72nd overall pick. Baseball America has him listed as the 77th overall prospect in the draft. He also played first base for the Owls but is projected as a reliever. His fastball is around 95 miles an hour, and he has a sharp curveball. His command needs a little work, apparently.

Here's BA's take:

In his first two seasons at Rice, Chargois pitched a total of 34 innings and saw most of his action at first base, where he became a regular as a sophomore. The Cape Cod League's Brewster Whitecaps recruited him primarily as a hitter but wound up needing him on the mound and he blossomed as a closer, saving seven games and allowing one earned run in 17 appearances. Chargois is serving the Owls in both roles this spring but will give up hitting as a pro. His fastball usually operates from 93-95 mph and reaches 98 with some armside run and sink, though it dips to 90-92 when he works on consecutive days. His hard curveball creeps into the low 80s and grades as a plus pitch at times. Despite demonstrating some feel for a changeup in bullpen sessions, the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder profiles strictly as a reliever. Scouts don't like his arm action or the effort in his delivery, which limits him to average command and fringy control. He should develop more consistency once he focuses on pitching, and a team looking for a fast-track reliever could consider him in the sandwich round.

After taking Buxton, the Twins' next four picks have been pitchers with power arms.

Cleveland just took Mitch Brown from Rochester Century with the 79th overall pick.

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