I asked Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey about how the team was "unable to be creative" with some of their picks during this year's draft. I based my question on the fact that they have the 20th overall pick and then pick at 59. They traded the 74th overall pick to San Diego while unloading Phil Hughes' salary. And they lost a pick when they signed Lance Lynn as a free agent (the 75th overall pick).
In addition to not having those picks, the Twins also lose the assigned value of those picks from the bonus pool. The value of the 74th pick plus the 20th pick of the third around is a little over $1.3 million the Twins can't spend on prospects.
But Falvey (above) disagreed with my assumptions.
“Who says we’re not going to be creative?" he replied. "I would say we’re going to try and be as creative as possible, every year. Last year we were picking first, right? We had a couple picks up top. You’re going to have a lot more wiggle room right there. Ultimately we have less than that this year, but I aspire to not be picking near the top of the draft most years so I think we’ll learn how to be creative where we are.”
We will find out in a few hours what they have planned, as draft day has arrived.
The Twins have the 20th overall pick in the draft, and have been linked to several players. That includes Florida righthander Jackson Kowar, South Florida lefthander Shane McClanahan and Mississippi lefthander Ryan Rolison.
Two officials with the club confirmed to me that they also like Osiris Johnson, from Encinal High in Alameda, Calif. Johnson (picture, No. 11) is a cousin of former major leaguer Jimmy Rollins. Indications are that the Twins can sign him below the assigned value of that pick, which is $3.12 million. That would free up money they can use later in the draft.
Boom. There's your creativity.
Another prospect of interest could be catcher/third baseman Noah Naylor from St. Joan of Arc Catholic in Mississauga, Ontario. Baseball America's write-up of him indicated that Naylor, brother of Padres prospect Josh Naylor, could end up at third. The Twins have indicated that Naylor doesn't mind catching. He's the top ranked player coming out of Canada.
And, yes, former Twin Justin Morneau has been helping the Twins break down the Canadian prospects in the draft.
The Twins first pick is projected to take place around 7:30 tonight. Check here for details as soon as it is made.
(photo credits: Derek Falvey by Aaron Lavinsky, startribune.com; Johnson courtesy East Bay Times)