Over the next several months, Twins fans are going to hear a lot about the June MLB draft, and for good reason. The Twins have the #2 overall pick and five picks in the Top 100. Coming off of a 99 loss season, and having a middle-of-the-pack minor league system, it is important to take advantage of the draft. In coming months, you’ll read names like Mark Appel, Lucas Giolito, Devin Marrero, Byron Buxton and Mike Zunino frequently. Today I wanted to look at the draft a little differently.
It is said that it usually takes five or six years to start judging a team’s draft. I would contend that it really takes ten years. Consider that some high school players who are drafted don’t get to the big leagues for eight or nine seasons. Consider there are players that don’t sign and go to college for three years before getting drafted again. It takes them several years sometimes.
Yes, for the below report, I am going to include players that the Twins drafted but did not sign who made it to the big leagues. Seeing talent, and future big league talent, is what scouting is all about. Some late-round picks haven’t signed and went to college. There are some players that the Twins have redrafted. There are other players that the Twins have drafted but didn’t sign who they have brought in later as free agents or in trades.
To start, I’ll give a more detailed look at the Twins 2002 draft and show how many of the 50 draft picks made it to each level. After that, I’ll show how many players from each year’s Twins draft have made it to the big leagues. I’ll go back to 1987 as that is when many of the current Twins scouts and scouting directors began working with the Twins.
The 2002 Draft:
For the players who were drafted and signed in 2002, 2012 will be their 11th professional season. There is some chance that one or maybe two more players will get a cup of coffee in the big leagues.
  • MLB Players (9): Denard Span (1), Jesse Crain (2), Clete Thomas (5), Pat Neshek (6), Adam Lind (8), Kyle Phillips (10), Evan Meek (11), Jeff Clement (12), Garrett Mock (14).
  • AAA (7): Ricky Barrett (7), Doug Deeds (9), Josh Petersen (24), James Avery (29), Toby Gardenhire (38), Brock Peterson (49), Mike Ballard (50)
  • AA (5): Adam Harben (15), Adam Daniels (19), Danny Matienzo (23), Christian Castorri (34), Kyle Geiger (42)
  • A (10): Bo Pettit (13), Adam Hawes (17), Ryan Schreppel (20), TJ Prunty (21), Justin Keeling (25), Ron Perodin (27), Hasan Rasheed (28), Roberto Martinez (30), Tarrence Pattersen (35), John Cahill (36)
Ten players peaked in Rookie Ball, and nine players that didn’t sign did not play in affiliated baseball again. Among them was their 45th round pick, a pitcher from Holy Angels HS in Minnesota named John Stocco, who went to Wisconsin and became their quarterback. TJ Prunty is another St. Paul kid who the Twins drafted out of high school, but he went down to Miami to play football before the Twins drafted him again. Three of the players who have peaked at AAA are still playing. Without looking at all teams for a decade of drafts, it is impossible to put this into context, but my assumption is that this breakdown would put the Twins and their scouts in a positive light.
Big Leaguers from Twins Drafts (1987-2001)
  • 2001 (5): Joe Mauer (1), Jose Morales (3), Kevin Cameron (13), Matt Macri (17), Nick Blackburn (29)
  • 2000 (8): Adam Johnson (1), Aaron Heilman (1s), JD Durbin (2), Jason Miller (4), Josh Rabe (11), Jason Kubel (12), Paul Maholm (17), Daniel Davidson (28)
  • 1999 (8): Rob Bowen (2), Justin Morneau (3), Brian Wolfe (6), Brian Slocum (14), Travis Bowyer (20), Willie Eyre (23), Terry Tiffee (26), Pat Neshek (45)
  • 1998 (7): Saul Rivera (9), Mike Gosling (14), JJ Putz (17), Kevin Thompson (18), Juan Padilla (24), Kevin Frederick (34), Tommy Watkins (38)
  • 1997 (7): Michael Cuddyer (1), Matthew LeCroy (1s), Michael Restovich (2), Kevin Frederick (17), JC Romero (21), Adam Johnson (25), Nick Punto (33)
  • 1996 (9): Travis Lee (1), Jacque Jones (2), Chad Allen (4), Michael Ryan (5), Chad Moeller (7), Mike Lincoln (13), Matt Kata (20), Mike Lamb (31), Josh Bard (35)
  • 1995 (6): Mark Redman (1), AJ Hinch (3), Doug Mientkiewicz (5), Mike Moriarity (7), Robert Ramsay (17), Jeff Harris (28)
  • 1994 (7): Todd Walker (1), Travis Miller (1s), Cleatus Davidson (2), AJ Pierzynski (3), Corey Koskie (26), Brandon Puffer (27), Brian Lawrence (39)
  • 1993 (14): Torii Hunter (1), Jason Varitek (1), Dan Perkins (2), Javier Valentin (3), Benj Sampson (4), Kelly Dransfeldt (7), Kevin Ohme (9), Alex Cora (12), Ryan Radmanovich (14), Danny Kolb (17), Shane Bowers (21), Rod Radlosky (22), Emil Brown (27), Lance Carter (41).
  • 1992 (6): Dan Serafini (1), Gus Gandarillos (3), Dan Naulty (14), Scott Watkins (23), Gary Matthews (38), Craig Dingman (50).
  • 1991 (7): David McCarty (1), Scott Stahoviak (1s), Mike Durant (2), LaTroy Hawkins (7), Brad Radke (8), Matt Lawton (13), Tim Davis (34)
  • 1990 (11): Todd Ritchie (1), Midre Cummings (1), Jayhawk Owens (2), Rich Becker (3), Brent Brede (5), James Mouton (8), Pat Meares (12), Jeff Granger (14), Damian Miller (20), Eddie Guardado (21), Brian Raabe (41)
  • 1989 (10): Chuck Knoblauch (1), Denny Neagle (3), Scott Erickson (4), Marty Cordova (10), Dan Mastellar (11), Mike Trombley (14), George Tsamis (15), Derrick White (23), Tim Urbani (29), Denny Hocking (52).
  • 1988 (7): Alan Newman (2), Steve Dunn (4), Pat Mahomes (6), Doug Simons (9), JT Bruett (11), Scott Stahoviak (27), Aaron Sele (37)
  • 1987 (9): Willie Banks (1), Terry Jorgensen (2), Larry Casian (6), Mark Guthrie (7), Shawn Gilbert (12), Chip Hale (17), Dan Smith (22), Bret Boone (28), Craig Paquette (36).
Obviously this is only one way to judge a draft. Ideally teams will want an All-Star or two to come out of every draft, but that’s not realistic. The draft and scouting is such an inexact science. It is also such an important part of building a roster and an organization. Not all players are going to be All-Stars, but it is important to have role players too.
Over at TwinsDaily today, you will find lots going on. John wrote an article on Burroughs Fairy Tale Ending. Cody Christie contributed a blog entitled To Block the Plate or not to block the plate. That certainly is the question in light of the Giants telling catcher Buster Posey that he is not to block the plate any longer.  In the Forums, there is a good discussion on the team’s Lack of Power in the lineup.