The Twins will select the No. 1 pick in the 2017 MLB draft in less than two weeks and it is still unclear what direction the franchise is leaning.
Derek Falvey, the Twins new chief baseball officer, has indicated there are about five prospects the front office is considering for the top pick. Among that group are three obvious favorites.
The short list includes Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) righthanded pitcher/shortstop Hunter Greene, Louisville two-way star (lefthanded pitcher/first baseman) Brendan McKay, and Vanderbilt righthanded pitcher Kyle Wright. Recent reports suggest the Twins will not take a risk on Greene and their attention is focused on two college stars.
Here is a roundup of the most recent MLB mock drafts:
Jim Callis of MLB.com suggests the Twins have their eyes on Wright, Vanderbilt’s star pitcher, for the top pick. However, earlier this month, Callis had McKay as the No. 1 pick.
The most famous player in this Draft is California high school right-hander Hunter Greene, who can reach 102 mph with his fastball and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated last month. But he probably won't be the No. 1 overall pick by the Twins when the Draft kicks off 17 days from now.
The most versatile player in the Draft is Louisville first baseman/left-hander Brendan McKay, who could be a top-five selection as either a hitter or a pitcher. While he has generated more 1-1 buzz than any player this spring, he no longer looks like the favorite to head to Minnesota.
That distinction now belongs to Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright, who has a higher ceiling than McKay and a higher floor than Greene. After uncharacteristic command issues led to a slow start, Wright has dominated the past six weeks, compiling a 1.16 ERA while allowing just 17 hits and eight walks against 62 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings. While the Twins have yet to finalize a decision, other teams choosing at the top of the Draft think he'll be the No. 1 choice. …
Minnesota is doing its due diligence on six players: Wright, McKay, Greene, North Carolina high school lefty MacKenzie Gore, California prep outfielder Royce Lewis -- the consensus top five prospects -- plus Virginia first baseman Pavin Smith. Wright and McKay appear to be at the top of the Twins' list, and they're unlikely to make Greene the first high school righty ever taken at No. 1.
Baseball America’s John Manuel also picked Wright as the Twins’ top pick.
Minnesota appeared to be leaning toward Brendan McKay as a hitter rather than on the mound. Some evaluators agree he has more looseness at the plate than he does on the mound, and may have more upside as a hitter. The best combination of upside and modest risk is Vanderbilt righthander Kyle Wright, who got the week off at the SEC Tournament after the Commodores lost a play-in game.
Keith Law, ESPN senior writer, predicted earlier this month the top two picks would be McKay or Greene, but on Tuesday bumped Wright to No. 1.
Scouting departments will begin their meetings later this week or at the beginning of next week, meaning that there are still no definites even at the top, but I have more information on team preferences than I did two weeks ago. Most of the names on this mock were somewhere on the last one, but the order has changed from pick No. 1. …
I’ve heard that the Twins are in on at least four players at No. 1, including Brendan McKay (as a bat or a two-way guy but not just as a pitcher), Mackenzie Gore and Hunter Greene, but the current betting in the industry is that they will take Wright as the prospect with the best combination of floor and ceiling.
Jay Jaffe at Sports Illustrated in mid-May had the Twins picking McKay.
The general consensus within the industry is that the Twins will tab a two-way player, but that it won't be recent SI cover subject Hunter Greene. Instead, they're apparently leaning towards McKay, who is considered the safer bet. Some scouts consider the 6'2”, 214 lb lefty swinger the best pure hitter in the draft class thanks to his smooth swing and all-fields approach. Others like his 89-93 mph fastball, plus curveball and average changeup and see someone with a quick pathway to being a No. 3 starter, particularly given the expectation that he'll gain velocity once he focuses on pitching full time. Even if Minnesota takes him here, it's not clear which path the team will have him take.
Perfect Game selected Greene as the top pick in early May.
Greene has everything he needs to become the 1st prep RHP drafted #1 overall. He's made a jump from easy upper 90s last summer to reaching triple digits this spring and will still only be 17 years old on draft day. He's also shown the breaking ball and changeup to go with it and has huge impact potential; not to mention he's also a 1st round talent with the bat, having won the HR Derby at the PG All-American Classic last summer.
Hero Sports bumped McKay above Greene into the No. 1 spot.
We had hunter green here last time, and he's still very much in play with the first pick. So are a handful of other players, including Kyle Wright and a possible surprise prep pitcher like but not limited to MacKenzie Gore. Ultimately, I think the Twins prefer McKay's safety a little more, and that's the pick. For now.