|North Carolina's Levi Michael has been slowed this season|
with an ankle injury, but it is not viewed as a long-term
concern, according to Baseball America.
It's been a while since the Twins used a first round pick on a collegiate hitter of any position. Michael breaks their mold — he's a switch hitter who started at second base as a freshman at North Carolina, at third base as a sophomore and this year at shortstop.
From Baseball America:
He's been a reliable defender at all three spots, and scouts are warming up to the idea that he could stay at shortstop at the pro level. ... A patient hitter with a good eye from both sides of the plate ... hits to all fields and could hit at the top of the batting order, though he shows pop and is naturally stronger from the right side. ... Defensively, he has good actions and enough arm strength for shortstop. The only concern is his range ...
BA's mock drafts had him going well ahead of the Twins.
BA's Jim Callis tweets: Did not think Joe Panik would go ahead of Levi Michael. Michael has been banged up, so Twins get a bargain at 30.
Sean Gilmartin, by the way, was picked by Atlanta at No. 28. Panik, referenced by the Callis tweet, is a left-handed hitting infielder from St. John's taken by the Giants at No. 29; he's probably limited to second base in the pros because of a shoulder injury, which is why Callis expected Michael to go higher.
If Michael is indeed a bona fide shortstop, the Twins will be grateful he lasted so long in this draft.
The Twins drafted a high school third baseman, Travis Harrison, with their first compensation pick, and another high schooler, right-handed pitcher Hudson Boyd, with their second comp pick.
Harrison is a power prospect — this might be what I've called the Mathew LeCroy Memorial Pick. The Twins frequently use a supplemental or second round selection on somebody whose main tool is power, often without any other significant attribute — LeCroy, Henry Sanchez, Danny Rams. Harrison may not be able to play third in the pros, and there is divergent opinions on his ability to hit for average.
Boyd is a big body (6-3, 235 pounds), which means he's not "projectable" -- he is physically what he is. His fastball velocity is in the low 90s, and probably not going to improve. (He's also from Fort Myers, Fla., the Twins spring training base.) Good breaking ball, change-up needs work —which is to be expected of a high schooler.
For what it's worth, Baseball America ranked Michael the 22nd best player in the pool, Boyd 58th and Harrison 78th.