Friday, February 22, 2013

Feeling a draft: February edition

The Twins have the fourth pick in June's draft, and with the college season getting under way it's worth taking a quick look at the chatter about who might be their pick.

Last year, of course, the Twins had the second pick and, despite their need for power arms, used that pick on prep outfielder Byron Buxton, regarded as the top overall talent in the pool.

The hope, then and now, was that the Twins would be able to focus on high-level pitching prospects this time around. But the outlook right now isn't good.

As matters stand, Baseball America says, the first three picks are likely to be a trio of college pitchers — righty Mark Appel of Stanford (who was in the mix for the No. 1 pick last year, slipped to No. 8 and declined to sign with Pittsburgh); lefty Sean Manaea of Indiana State; and righty Ryan Stanek of Arkansas.

Behind them are a couple of high school outfielders from Logansville, Ga., Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier. The Twins system has plenty of toolsy outfielders, so the Georgians aren't a particularly good fit for them.

A lot can happen between February and June, of course. Last February BA had a five-player list of candidates for the top slot; the two college pitchers who wound up going highest, Kevin Glausman and Kyle Zimmer, weren't among the five.

The Twins would certainly welcome another pitcher emerging from the pack toward the top of the heap.

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