One of the biggest bonuses of having back-to-back horrible seasons is the fact the Twins will get some high draft picks to restock their farm system. With the second pick in last year's draft, the organization selected Byron Buxton, a toolsy high school outfielder from Georgia. He was widely considered the best player available and the Twins were happy to get him.
It is less than three months away from the 2013 MLB Draft and there are plenty of players for the Twins to discuss. The team has the fourth pick in the first round and there could be a variety of players to choose from at that point. It is considered a weak draft so the Twins will have to be careful with their picks.
Here is a look at some of the top names that could be available when the Twins are on the clock with the fourth pick.
The Early Draft Board Leader: Mark Appel, Stanford
Pos: RHP, HT: 6-5, WT: 215
For the second year in a row, Appel will be talked about as the top available player in the draft. The Pirates selected him with the eighth pick last year but he didn't sign. He is back at Stanford for his senior year and he has done nothing to decrease his draft stock. His slider has improved and he should be one of the first few names called on draft day. His agent is Scott Boras and that could scare away teams for the second year in a row.
The College Lefty: Sean Manaea, Indiana State
Pos: LHP, HT: 6-5, WT: 235
His time in the Cape Cod League last summer helped his draft stock. He can showcase a nasty slider and his speed can reach into the upper 90s. He tossed a jewel of a game on Friday night at the Metrodome against the Gophers. Over nine innings, he allowed one unearned run on six hits and nine strikeouts.
The College Righty: Ryne Stanek, Arkansas
Pos: RHP, HT: 6-4, WT: 190
His fastball sits in the high 90's and this helps him to rack up some strike out numbers. He uses his slider a lot and that could be a concern for teams looking to draft him. His 6-foot-4 frame could still add some weight and that might make him more intriguing. If his change up improves, he could become more dominant.
The High School Outfielder: Austin Meadows, High School
Pos: OF, B/T: L/L, HT: 6-3, WT: 200
The Twins love toolsy high school outfielders. Last year they took, Buxton from Georgia and the team might look to Georgia again. Meadows could be the best available high school player and he has the potential to be a five-tool player. There are questions about his ability to hit on a consistent basis but that is the case with younger players that have multiple.
The College Position Player: Kris Bryant, San Diego
Pos: 3B/OF, B/T: R/R, HT: 6-5, WT: 215
His powerful swing has drawn some attention so far this spring. He has 12 home runs in his team's first 20 games and he has another six doubles. His slugging percentage of .986 is off the charts and he will need to continue to hit for the Twins to take him fourth. There are questions about his defense at third and that could make teams shy away from him.
High School Local Connection: Ryan Boldt, Red Wing (Minn.) HS
Pos: OF, B/T: L/R, HT: 6-1, WT: 190
The frigid Minnesota winter means that his spring season won't start until the beginning of next month. His tools are very solid but he doesn't have anything that would make the Twins reach for him at this point. He will likely be taken in the first round but a lot will depend on how he looks in his senior year.
College Local Connection: Tom Windle, Minnesota
Pos: LHP, HT: 6-4, WT: 215
The star pitcher for the Gophers already has a no-hitter under his belt this spring. He went pitch for pitch with Manaea on Friday at the Metrodome but he came out on the losing end. His stuff is mostly average but he knows how to be effective on the mound. He would need to fall to the Twins second round pick for the club to have a chance to snag him.