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.

2013 MLB Draft: Deal with Stewart, or not?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Vikings draft Updated: June 6, 2013 - 4:26 PM

 

Draft day is here! The Twins have the fourth overall pick and they are in line, once again, to land a one of the top prospects of 2013.

I just checked with a Twins official, and they still have righthander Kohl Stewart in their crosshairs. What the Twins are trying to figure out now is if they feel comfortable making the pick with the sides in the same ballpark on a bonus number -  or do they need to settle on an exact number?

Stewart has a scholarship to play football Texas A & M, and the Twins might look elsewhere if they can't settle on a number. Third baseman Colin Moran, catcher Reese McGuire and outfielder Austin Meadows were on their radar as draft day neared. I would imagine they would go for one of those three, but might have something else up their sleeves.

I can't believe Stewart would turn down a few million dollars to be Johnny Manziel's backup. I also wonder if the Twins are offering all of the $4.5 million bonus that's recommended for that slot. There some gamesmanship going on right now, and we'll see how it plays out.

The more I read about him, the more I like Stewart, too. His fastball is around 93 but has touched 97. His slider tops out at 88 -- which is a couple miles away from some recent Twins pitchers fastballs! He didn't start throwing a curveball regularly until his junior year - I have some fathers ask me about their kids throwing curveballs at 12, which is unnecessary.

I'm also interested what the teams picking above the Twins are doing. Are the Cubs really zeroing in on Mark Appel, or will they draft Moran after Theo Epstein's cry for OBP?

We will post any news before the draft right here. And there will be short profiles on each draft pick as it comes, followed by as many updates as possible.

Joe Christensen will track local players selected today. Chris Anderson, a righthander out of Jacksonville U and a local product, is being projected as a first-round pick.

Tomorrow will be hot and heavy, as I will post Twins picks here as soon as they are made and then follow up with scouting reports and any links to stories I can find.

So keep coming back here for draft coverage!

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