Monday, June 06, 2011

Twins Draft

The Twins first choice in the 2011 draft was college shortstop Levi Michael. According to the scouting report on the major league baseball site, Micheal may not have the range and/or arm to be an everyday major league shortstop. He profiles as a second baseman or utility player. I tend to believe the top few choices should focus on players with high upsides. The kind of players that can be part of the core of a championship team. From this report, at least, Michael's upside looks more like a solid role player.

Their second choice, 50 overall, is a different story. Travis Harrison is high school third baseman whose one major tool is power. There are questions whether he will stay at third or have to move to first base. And there are also some questions about whether he is anything more than average as a hitter. What he has is home run power. He could be a great player or a complete bust. But his upside sounds more exciting that Michael's. Of course as a high school kid, that upside is a lot further away.

 There third choice in the first round, 55 overall, was high school right-hander  Hudson Boyd. According to Baseball America he profiles as a workhorse with a plus fastball. 

The Twins have one more choice in the top 100 at number 87.

There is no such thing as a typical draft. My guess is that we will see a lot more pitching as the draft continues. But there are several things to remember about the baseball draft:

1) Most of the players taken, even in the first round, will not have significant major league careers. And after the first ten choices overall, they most likely won't play in the big leagues at all. Of course every year players slip through in later rounds and turn into stars or at least serviceable major league players. But when that happens organizations are pleasantly surprised and pat themselves on the back.

2) For players taken after the top 100 picks are done the chances are very slim. The chances for a guy taken  in the fifth round are not that much better than a guy taken in the 10th round. So players taken after today are real long shots. A few will get a chance to play in the major leagues,however briefly, but mostly they are organization players filling out minor league rosters.

3) Teams almost always draft players they had rated as better than their draft position. The only way for that not to happen is for all the teams ahead of them to have agreed with their assessments. That isn't likely. So when reporters tell you a team was pleased a player "fell" to them, that isn't really a story. It is all but inevitable for every team after the first few choices.

4) We won't know the outcome of this draft for at least five years and likely longer. Most players will take at least that long just to get to the majors, much less establish themselves there.

5) A draft that produces two major league players is a success.

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