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Over the past couple of weeks at Twins Daily, we have been profiling a player each day who may be available when the Minnesota Twins make their first round draft selection on Thursday night, the fourth overall pick. Today, we are going to do something a little bit different.
This is a Minnesota Twins blog, but it’s also important to recognize and support some local players who are likely to hear their names called in the early rounds of the MLB Draft. Today, we’ll briefly discuss three college players and three high school players with Minnesota ties. It’s always fun to keep track of local players as they begin their professional careers.
Two players on the Minnesota Gophers roster have a chance of being drafted early in the draft.
Windle is a 6-4, 215 pound left-hander who went 6-4 with a 2.14 ERA for the Gophers this season. He came to the University from Osseo High School where he was runner-up in the Mr. Baseball voting. He was the 2010 Metro Player of the Year. He was drafted in the 28th round of the 2010 draft. He worked 41. 1 innings as a freshman. He worked 41. Innings as a sophomore. He played in the Cape Cod League last summer and made a name for himself.
The southpaw has good command of a fastball that generally sits between 88 and 92 mph. He has a very good changeup in the low 80s. He also has a good slider.
He profiles as a likely back-of-the-rotation starter. Early in the year, he was believed to be a potential first round pick. Now, it looks like he could sneak into the second round.
Snelten is actually from Illinois, but he came to the University of Minnesota despite being drafted in the 30th round by the Padres. He is listed at 6-7 and 230 pounds and throws left-handed, so there is plenty of projection in him. He has been clocked as high as 95 mph with his fastball, and some rave about a very good changeup. He has also been working to add a slider. He went 5-2 with a 2.15 ERA in in 58.2 innings this year. As a sophomore, he went 4-4 with a 3.24 ERA.
Snelton just turned 21 years old. He could be taken as early as the third round.
There are lots of high school baseball players who have Division I scholarships, but three of them appear to stand out as potential early-round selections.
The 6-1, 185 pound 18-year old oufielder from Red Wing certainly has had an interesting run the last year or so. Last summer, he played for Team USA in the Junior AAA/18 U World Championships in South Korea. He was also named the MVP of the Perfect Game All-American Game when he went 2-3 with a triple.
His name grew among scouts last summer as a potential five-tool player. He is a tremendous athlete with great speed. He has run a 6.5 60 and most believe that he has the range and instincts to remain a center fielder. He also has a very strong arm, which is an incredible story. When he was ten, he hurt his left arm, his throwing arm. He had two surgeries on his left arm and was told he probably shouldn’t play baseball. That wasn’t an option, so he tought himself to throw right-handed. He’s had two more surgeries on his left arm in recent years, but his right arm is now a tool that has made scouts believe that he can play center, but also has the arm to play right field. He can hit for average and has good on-base skills. The one tool that remains in question is whether he’ll add power, but he certainly has the frame to do it.
He committed to the University of Nebraska and was looking forward to a big senior season for Red Wing high school. Unfortunately, in the first game this spring, he tore his meniscus which required surgery. He has not played this spring. So scouts will have to determine his draft status based primarily on 2012. There was talk that he could be a mid-1st round pick, but it is now possible that he could be available when the Twins pick in the 2nd round.
Knutson is a left-handed pitcher from Mounds View who also has committed to play for Darin Erstad at the University of Nebraska. The 6-2, 190 pound pitcher/outfielder touches 92 on his fastball. As you would imagine, his secondary pitches will need plenty of development. He has also played defenseman on the hockey team. HE is another great athlete who can hit and play the outfield quite well. He has great speed and the size to develop some power. However, if he is drafted (believed to be possible in the 4th to 8th rounds), it will be as a pitcher.
At 6-2 and 205 pounds, Logan Shore’s name has been known for several years already. After posting a 0.80 ERA during his junior year, the right-hander from Coon Rapids committed to play his college ball at the University of Florida. Shore throws hard, hitting 92-93 with his fastball. But he is said to have a good curveball and a developing, but encouraging changeup. He is also a shortstop and very good hitter. There is a chance he could go as early as the supplemental first round, though he could land in the 2nd or third rounds too.
Chris Anderson was Mr. Baseball in Minnesota in 2010 (edging out Windle in the voting) when he played for Centennial High School. He was the 35th round pick of the Cubs that year, but he went on to Jacksonville University where he has teamed with current Twins minor leaguers Matt Tomshaw and Adam Walker. Still just 20 years old, Anderson came into the season as a potential early-round pick after flashing a 96 mph fastball and a very good slider in the Cape Cod League last summer. Early in the season, he was dominant and his name surfaced as a top ten pick. He went 6-5 with a 3.05 ERA this year. In 85.2 innings, he walked 24 and struck out 85. However, throughout the season, he was quite inconsistent. He still could go as early as the mid-first round, though it is also possible (not likely) that he will still be available when the Twins make their second selection.
There are several other area players who will likely get drafted. Along with Boldt and Knutson, Erstad also has Forest Lake catcher Beau Fandel and Totino Grace infielder Matt Leuty going to Nebraska. St. Paul Academy’s Matt Fiedler is a right-handed pitcher who has committed to stay in-state and play for the Gophers. There are other college players in the region who have made a name for themselves and will likely be selected in the later rounds.
One regional name to watch is Layne Somsen, a right-handed pitcher from Yankton, South Dakota, who was the Summit League Pitcher of the Year this year. He led the Jackrabbits to their first NCAA Regional. In their first game against #1 seed Oregon, Somsen held the Ducks to just two hits over seven innings. He is considered a mid-round (15-20th rounds) pick, though that kind of performance with that kind of exposure may move him up a few rounds.
It’s always fun seeing who the Twins first pick will be, but its’ also fun to get to know and start to follow some of the local players as well.
Check out the other Twins Daily MLB Draft Player Profiles or follow the latest national mock drafts in our forum. Be sure to listen to a short, Twins draft preview podcast as well.
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