Posted at 1:08 PM on June 7, 2005
by Bob Collins
The Strib today had an article about how the Twins were going to focus on shortstops and catchers today. So, naturally, they grabbed a pitcher with the first pick in the amateur draft. Wasn't much they could do in the 25th position, grabbing 21-year-old right-hander Matt Garza from Fresno State University. Many of the infield prospects were long gone. Not sure when the last time was a thirdbaseman was picked #1, but I suspect it was Sean Burroughs.
John Sickel's mock draft had Garza going in the second round at #78 to St. Louis.
In the compensation round, which the Twins got for one of the free agents they wisely let walk, the Twins went to high schooler Henry Sanchez from Mission Bay High School in California. He's a firstbaseman. Get this. He's 6 '3", 239 pounds. Let's hope there's big power there. The San Diego Tribune quotes his coach as saying, ""He's not just a home run hitter," Pugh said of Sanchez, who has clubbed a Mission Bay-record 26 career homers. "He's an all-around good hitter with the ability to hit to all fields."
At #54, they took Paul Kelley (memo to Dome staff, play that Woody Harrelson song to his girlfriend, Kelley, from Cheers when he comes up). Kelley is your shortstop, apparently. He's also a pitcher. He's from Flower Mound High School. Collegesports.com says he's been accepted to TCU, so Ryan may have a negotiating problem with him. BTW, I have no idea if any of these guys are Scott Boras clients.
At #73, Minnesota selected Kevin Slowey, a right-handed pitcher from Winthrop University. Apparently that's near Pittsburgh because the Pirates were rumored to be interested in drafting a local kid. Surprise, according to this article, he has terrific control. Welcome to the Twins, kid.
They had another pick at #80 and went with another shortstop and another high schooler, although this one might be the pick. Drew Thompson is former Major League shortstop Robbie Thompson's kid. Baseball America says he's among the "fastest movers" of the shortstops in the draft. He was rated the 9th-best shortstop in the draft by Baseball America.
A MLB.com article said, "He's got a similar body type to his father, Robbie, who manned second base for the San Francisco Giants for so many years. A line-drive hitter to all fields, he's shown a little power in his high school career. He's a smart baserunner and his arm strength looks like it will play at shortstop, though he also knows how to play second."
At #84, surprise, another pitcher. Brian Duensing, a lefty from the University of Nebraska. This is strictly a gamble pick. According
to HuskerNews.com he missed two years because of a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.
I've got a bunch of stuff going here at work today, so I'm going to stop the updates up here. Other Bums -- and me too -- will be adding some in the comments section below. Add yours too!
Brian Duensing has already had Tommy John surgery, for what it's worth.
Ryan Mullins is described thusly: "Average fastball, Barry Zito-like curve were both better in 2004" Sounds good to me.
For pick #165, the Twins picked up ANOTHER shortstop: Steven Tolleson from South Carolina. He's got a definite baseball family (his dad, uncle, and grandfather all played in the pros) and is known for being quite a clutch hitter.
For pick #195, the Twins selected John Wilson, a high school outfielder from Midland, Texas.
As far as local kids go, Cleveland took Minnesota State University-Mankato pitcher Kevin Dixon as the 154th pick overall. He played at Burnsville in high school, and is a fireball reliever.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays took Des Moines high school prospect Jeremy Hellickson 118th overall. He was the 69th highest-rated pitcher in the draft by Baseball America.
For pick #255 overall, the Twins take pitcher Danny Powers. He is the ace on the #1-ranked NCAA Division II team in nation, and was named Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year in Division II. Not too shabby.