Thursday, June 6, 2013

Minnesota Twins 2013 Draft Preview

One of the biggest benefits for being a terrible team is getting a high draft pick the next season. The Twins have been pretty bad the last two seasons and this has resulted in the team getting to make a top five selection in the MLB Draft for two consecutive years. Last year, the Twins took Byron Buxton with the second overall pick and he has worked out well for the organization so far.

There is no guaranteed number one pick in this draft like in some previous years with Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. This means there are a lot of teams questioning what the team in front of them will do when it comes to draft day. The Astros surprised a lot of team's last year by selecting Carlos Correa and Houston could surprise a few teams again this year with the number one selection.

Here is a look at some of the top names available in the draft.

Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
For the second year in a row, Appel has a chance to be the number one pick in the draft. Last year, he fell to the number eight pick because of some sign-ability issues. He decided to go back to college for his senior season and the move might have paid off. Appel put together strong numbers this year and he improved on some of his secondary pitches. This should make him one of the first names called on draft night. There is a small chance of him falling to the Twins at number four but it seems highly unlikely.

Jonathan Gray, RHP, Oklahoma
Gray has seen his stock soar this year by increasing his fastball velocity and tweaking his slider. He can hit triple digits with his heater and he is regularly in the mid-to-high 90s. This is new territory for Gray so he doesn't have the extended track record of Appel. He still could be the collegiate arm with the most upside and that might be enough for the Astros to take him as the number one pick. Some recent experts have him falling in the draft and this could mean that he is still on the board when the Twins make their pick.

Kris Byrant, 3B/1B, San Diego
Bryant might be the best collegiate bat in the draft and there will be plenty of teams interested in adding his services on draft day. He can hit monster home runs and he has put on some offensive clinics this year. His frame is over 200 pounds and he is close to six and a half feet tall. His collegiate experience could make him a fast mover in the minor leagues and he could be the next in the line of power hitting Twins first basemen. There's a very good chance that he isn't around by the time the Twins make their pick but anything can happen on draft night.

Kohl Stewart, RHP, High School
Stewart is widely considered the best prep pitcher in the draft and he is also a highly ranked quarterback prospect with a commitment to Texas A&M. If he isn't taken in the early portion of the draft, it could be hard to talk him out of his football scholarship. On the mound, he has a fastball clocked in the mid-90s with a slider that is a plus pitch. It can be risky to take a high school pitcher early in the draft and this could mean that Stewart falls into the later parts of the draft. Minnesota has been linked to Stewart for most of the spring so if he is still on the board he might end up in a Twins uniform.

Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina
Moran could have the most advanced bat in the draft with a combination of a good eye at the plate and his ability to use all fields. His swing isn't perfect and this has caused some scouts to question if he should be a top five pick. There are also some questions over whether he will be able to stick at third base. He has a good arm at third and that helps him to make the plays when he does stop the ball. One rumor has the Astros cutting a deal with Moran to save some money so they can get another good player in the first couple of rounds.

NoDak Twins Fan's 2013 Mock Draft
1. Houston Astros: Jonathan Gray, RHP
2. Chicago Cubs: Mark Appel, RHP
3. Colorado Rockies: Kris Bryant, 3B/1B
4. Minnesota Twins: Kohl Stewart, RHP
5. Cleveland Indians: Colin Moran, 3B

This is a three-man draft (Appel, Bryant, and Gray) and that can make it tough for the Twins with the fourth pick. The Twins have been going hot after Stewart and they will probably still take him if one of the other big names is still on the board.

The Astros and the Rockies might do some surprising things ahead of the Twins. This could leave more than one of the big three still available with the fourth pick. It could be a wild night so buckle-up and get ready for some exciting draft action.

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