Monday, June 6, 2011

MLB Draft: Twins Last Decade of 1st Rounders

Wimmers being congratulated after the Twins selection (Photo: Columbus Dispatch)
This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the Minnesota Twins selecting Joseph Patrick Mauer with the number one pick in 2001 MLB Draft. At the time, it was a tough choice between Mauer and the other option at number one, Mark Prior. The Twins selected Mauer and he is now the face of the franchise. Prior has not pitched at the major league level since 2006 and has struggled to find a home in the minor leagues.

Big decisions like picking Mauer over Prior can impact the Twins for the foreseeable future. Below you will find a break-down of the Twins last decade of first round picks and how they are fairing so far in 2011.

2001 Joe Mauer
Current Level: MLB
BA: .235
HR: 0
RBI: 4
The hometown star has struggled with injuries so far in 2011. The added pressure of his mega-contract is causing some fans to question his toughness. Mauer is under contract for the next eight seasons and the biggest question might be how long he can stay at the catching position.

2002 Denard Span
Current Level: MLB
BA: .300
HR: 2
RBI: 15
Span had to fight his way into the Twins line-up a few seasons ago but he has now been a staple in the CF position. His presence at the top of the Twins line-up has also been comforting in a season that has featured many players struggling offensively.

2003 Matt Moses
Current Level: Out of baseball
Moses finished his minor league career in 2009 before ever reaching the big leagues. He spent most of his minor league career at the AA level and played in a handful of games for AAA Rochester. His career BA in the minors was .249 and never developed the power that is needed from a corner infielder.

2004 Trevor Plouffe
Current Level: AAA
BA: .282
HR: 6
RBI: 13
Twins fans got a taste of Plouffe during the past two seasons. He continues to struggle with making some defensive plays and that has kept him from sticking at the MLB level. It will be interesting to see if he is given another shot at some point this season.

2004 Glen Perkins
Current Level: MLB
W-L: 0-1
ERA: 1.59
K: 22
Perkins was the most reliable relief option for the Twins before his trip to the DL. His velocity on his pitches has increased since switching to a relief role. The Twins need him to continue his success if they want to mount any kind of comeback in 2011.

2004 Kyle Waldrop
Current Level: AAA
W-L: 1-3
ERA: 5.52
K: 17
Waldrop has not been able to produce the same numbers that he did last season out of the bullpen for Rochester. He enter the Twins system as a starting pitcher but shoulder surgery took out his entire 2008 season. Since that time he has been a reliever. With all of the Twins struggles in the bullpen, it will be interesting to see if he gets a shot some time this year.

2004 Matthew Fox
Current Level: AAA (Red Sox)
W-L: 4-2
ERA: 2.73
K: 48
Fox made a memorable start for the Twins last season in which he pitched 5.2 innings and only allowed two earned runs. At the time it was a big start for the Twins, as the team was closing in on a Central Division crown. He was moved off of the 40-man roster after the game to make room for Ben Revere. The Red Sox claimed off waivers in the days that followed that move.

2004 Jay Rainville
Current Level: Out of baseball
Rainville was the one player out of this 2004 First Round Draft Class that struggled to move through the Twins organization. He never made it higher than AA and he struggled to keep runners from crossing the plate. His career ERA at AA was 5.70 and that left the Twins with little confidence to move him to the AAA level.

2005 Matt Garza
Current Level: MLB (Chicago Cubs)
W-L: 2-4
ERA: 3.72
K: 68
Garza has not pitched for the Cubs since May 17 and is on the DL with an elbow injury. He is scheduled to return to the Cubs on Monday night against the Reds. Garza was the main cog in the trade that brought Delmon Young to the Twins from the Tampa Bay Rays. Garza's personality never gelled with the Twins and they got what they could for him in a trade.

2005 Henry Sanchez
Current Level: Out of baseball
Sanchez was a bust in his time with the Twins organization. He struggled to hit consistently at even the lowest levels of the minor leagues. The highest he made it with the Twins was low-A ball for the Beliot Snappers. At the A-ball level, he only managed a .204 BA with little to no power.

2006 Chris Parmelee
Current Level: AA
BA: .281
HR: 4
RBI: 30
Parmelee continues to work his way through the Twins farm system. The 2011 season has seen his power numbers improve while also improving his batting average. He is on pace to have a very good 2011 season and there is a good chance that he could make it to AAA before the season is complete.

2007 Ben Revere
Current Level: MLB
BA: .289
HR: 0
RBI: 2
Ron Gardenhire has nothing but great things to say about this young player during his first season of playing significant time at the MLB level. Revere adds outstanding defensive ability, a decent batting average, and lots of speed to the Twins outfield. If the Twins continue to play well with Revere in the line-up, it is going to be hard to send him back down.

2008 Aaron Hicks
Current Level: High A
BA: .256
HR: 2
RBI: 17
Hicks is one of the most highly touted prospects for the Twins but he has struggled in his first season with the Ft. Myers Miracle. The Twins are going to closely watch his offensive production over the rest of 2011. It could still be multiple seasons before Hicks makes an impact with the Twins at the major league level.

2009 Kyle Gibson
Current Level: AAA
W-L: 3-4
ERA: 3.90
K: 64
On most Twins prospect lists, Gibson entered the 2011 season as the number one player. The 2011 season has been full of ups and downs for the stand-out from the University of Missouri. He has pitched two near no-hitters but there have been some short outings in there as well. The Twins need Gibson to continue to work on consistency with his pitches if he is going to make an impact on the MLB team this year.

2010 Alex Wimmers
Current Level: Extended Spring Training
Stats from High A Level
W-L: 0-1
ERA: Infinity
K: 0
Wimmers had a very rough start in his only outing in 2011. He walked six batters and was tagged for four runs in the inning without recording an out. Since that start Wimmers has been working on his mechanics in extended spring training. The Twins will ease Wimmers back into game situations and he could join Elizabethton at the end of June.

No comments: