Having taken a high school outfielder with the second overall pick, the Twins turned to pitchers with their two supplemental picks Monday.
J.O. Berrios, a high school right-hander from Puerto Rico, was 49th on Baseball America's list, but the Twins clearly ranked him higher than that on their board. They took him with the 32nd pick.
BA on him:
Berrios worked with a conditioning coach this fall and spring and added 20-25 pounds to his frame since the summer and now has a muscular, athletic 6-foot-1, 180-pound physique. The added muscle has allowed him to smooth things out and has boosted his fastball velocity. His fastball now sits in the 93-95 mph range and some scouts have seen him touch 98. He throws his fastball down in the zone, mixes in a sharp, 80-81 mph slider and shows the makings of a solid changeup with fading action.Six-one is short for a RHP, and he's not what scouts call "projectable" — meaning that there's not much chance that he's going to develop further physically. But the fastball's there, the breaking ball is good, and he might move faster through the system than most teens would.
Luke Bard, college righty from Georgia Tech, went with the 42nd pick. He's the brother of Boston's Daniel Bard, a power pitcher who did well as a set up man last year and struggled this season as a starter. Luke Bard relies on a power sinker and hard slider and is seen by Baseball America as a likely bullpen arm. Bard is No. 93 on the BA list, and he missed much of this season with a torn lat muscle.
This pick reminds me of the selection in 2008 of Carlos Guterriez, who was, like Bard, a college reliever who relies on a heavy sinker. The Twins took Guterriez late in the first round and used him as a starter in the minors for a few years, partly to get him innings and partly in hopes that he'd master some secondary pitches and be a starting option.
That didn't take. Guterriez is now relegated to the bullpen, and he's had some injury issues the past two years. He's appeared in just five games this season for Rochester.
The Twins will apparently try the same approach with Bard -- use him as a starter and see if he sticks in the rotation.
Missing from Monday's draft list, of course, is Mitch Brown, the Rochester Century pitcher who has drawn obvious interest from the Twins (Terry Ryan has been seen at several of his starts, including one last weekend). Brown, listed at No. 44 by Baseball America, didn't go in the first 60 picks, and remains available as the second round awaits today.
The Twins have the third pick in the second round, and I will be surprised if they don't use it on Brown. But then, I was surprised they didn't use one of their supplemental picks on him.