Thursday, May 31, 2012

Twins 2008 MLB Draft Capsule

In preparation for next week's MLB First Year Player Draft, I have put together some short draft capsules to look at the prospects the Twins have taken with their early round picks in recent memory. In the coming days, I will release these list with some short profiles on what the players have done since joining the organization. Selecting the right players in the draft can separate a winning club from a losing club so it is important to know what the Twins have done in the past.
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1st Round
Pick 14: Aaron Hicks, OF
Current Level: AA New Britain Rock Cats
.246/.335/.727, 5 HR, 8 2B, 1 3B, 29 R, 26 RBI
When the Twins took Hicks with the 14th pick in the first round, he seemed to have all of the tools that would make him a very dangerous player in the field and at the plate. His defense has continued to be outstanding at every level of the minor leagues but his offense has not projected as well as the team would like. The 22-year old switch hitter continues to be one of the highest ranked prospects in the organization because of the potential he has yet to unlock. During last offseason, he competed in the Arizona Fall League with the majority of the other players being older than him. By the end of the AFL, he had improved himself at the plate and the Twins hope he continues to show improvement as he works his way to the major leagues.

Pick 27: Carlos Gutierrez, RHP
Current Level: AAA Rochester Red Wings
W-L (1-1), 6.00 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 8 SO, 3 BB, 6.0 IP
After Torii Hunter signed with the Angels as a free agent, the Twins were compensated by getting the first round pick from LA. Gutierrez was the player the Twins took with this pick and he is only one step away from breaking into the big leagues. He was taken as a starter in the draft and the Twins let him try and make it as a starter through the 2010 season. Now for the last two years, his primary role has been that of a relief pitcher and the transition has not been particularly smooth. Last season with the Red Wings, he posted an ERA of 4.62 with 57 walks in 62.1 innings on the mound. At one point Baseball America pegged Gutierrez as the closer of the future for the Twins but now the club would settle for him showing he can be a consistent relief option.

Supplemental Round
Pick 31: Shooter Hunt, RHP
Highest Level (w/ Twins): A+ Fort Myers Miracle
Hunt dealt with severe control problems during his time in the Twins organization and he was taken by the St. Louis organization in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. In his second season at Ft. Myers last year, he had 61 walks in 42.2 innings with 16 wild pitches. He has yet to pitch in a game since joining the Cardinals organization and it will be interesting to see if he is ever able to put it all together as a professional pitcher.

2nd Round
Pick 60: Tyler Ladendorf, SS
Highest Level (w/ Twins): A Beloit Snappers
The Twins dealt away the rights to Ladendorf in a deadline deal in 2009 to acquire Orlando Cabrera from the Oakland Athletics. Ladendorf was at Low-A at the time and the Twins needed some stability in their middle infield as they pushed for the playoffs. He has gotten a few tastes of Triple-A in the last two seasons but he has struggled with the adjustment to pitchers at that level. In 2012, Ladendorf has played the entire year at the Double-A level and he might have turned the corner by hitting .299/.386/.429 in 37 games. Now he spends more time at second base but it will be interesting to see if he ever succeeds at the next level.

3rd Round
Pick 92: Bobby Lanigan, RHP
Current Level: AA New Britain Rock Cats
W-L (1-3), 4.30 ERA, 1.304 WHIP, 23 SO, 4 BB, 23.0 IP
For the third year in a row, Lanigan is spending time at the Double-A level with the Rock Cats. His college experience allowed the Twins to use him as a starter in his first four years in the organization but now the team has transitioned him to the bullpen. He fits the mold of Twins pitchers by throwing strikes and not walking batters. In his last appearance, he allowed five earned runs on five hits in less than an inning of work. One poor outing can throw off some of his statistics for his first year in the bullpen. His transition to the bullpen could be something to keep an eye on in the next couple years.

Other notables: Daniel Ortiz (4th round, pick 126), Evan Bigley (10th round, pick 306)

(Statistics current as of games played on May 29, 2012)

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