Minnesota Twins: A Decade of Hits And Misses In The 1st round

by Paul Jack | Posted on Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
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Byron Buxton

The Minnesota Twins organization is always known as doing more with less.  They played small ball and used the carpet at the old Metrodome to their advantage.  Times have changed and they have moved outside to grass, how have their first picks looked for the last ten years?

Let’s take a peek.

2013 – With the 4th pick the Twins selected Kohl Stewart (can you see the Kohl’s deals lining up now?) a 6 foot 3 inch pitcher from high school out of Texas.  He is committed to Texas A&M as a dual sport baseball and football athlete.  He has the heat already at 18 years old he can run it up to 95 mph.  Now interesting he will try to compete at QB at Texas A&M, however they already have a guy named Johnny Manziel there so not sure how much playing time he will have on the football field.  He has a plus slider and change as well.  Another interesting note is he is a type 1 diabetic so Minnesota has to be sure to take care of his health.

2012 – With the 2nd pick the Twins selected Byron Buxton out of High School in Georgia, a 6 foot 2 OF with speed.  He has line drive power and is a plus defender.  So far in the minors the results have been on par.  2012 in rookie league he hit 5 homers with 11 sb’s, however in 2013 he has progressed nicely.  Splitting time between A and High A his number in 2013 are 12 homers and 52 sb’s in 117 games with 105 runs scored.  To go along with a .335 avg and a .426 obp.  This is high A ball however he is only 19 so that is a nice line early in his career.  Will that translate to success in AA or the big leagues?  Stay tuned.

2011 – With the 30th pick the Twins select Levi Michael, a switch hitting 5 foot 10 shortstop from North Carolina.  He was hurt most of 2011 so he did not play rookie ball instead he rehabbed.  He has decent speed and not a lot of power yet to be displayed in the minors.  In 2012 he hit .246 with 2 homers and 6sb in 117 games.  So far in 2013 in 87 games he has increased his homers to 4 and his sb to 19 so that’s a nice jump.  His average needs to increase a bit from the .227 level he is at right now.

2010 – With the 21st pick in the 2010 draft the Twins selected Alex Wimmers, a 6 foot 2 right handed pitcher from Ohio State.  Very limited action on 2010 he had a nice ERA of .57 in 2 starts in High A.  2011 was a roller coaster, between rookie and A ball he was wild eventually being shut down.  He came back to throw a 7 inning no hitter in 2011, a nice feat for the young player.  2012 was supposed to be the year where he made the next step instead he complained of elbow soreness at the start of the season and had Tommy John later in the year.  Jury is still out on this pick but at 24 he has to start taking some strides soon.

2009 – With the 22nd pick the Twins took Kyle Gibson, a 6 foot 6 inch right handed pitcher from Indiana.  He has had decent success so far in the minors but that hasn’t translated to the majors yet.  In 2010 he started 26 games across 3 levels and had a 11-6 record with a 2.96 era.  In 152 innings he struck out 126 batters and walked 39.  Not too shabby for a 22 year old rookie.  However 2011 he had to have Tommy John Surgery.  In 2012 he was average with 11 starts and an 0-2 record, he did however strike out over a batter an inning.  2013 he got the call to the big league club and didn’t have much luck.  In 51 innings he had 29 k’s, a 6.53 era and a 1.75 whip.  He was recently demoted back to AAA.  No pressure to perform, three picks AFTER Gibson, Mike Trout (ouch).

2008 – With the 14th pick the Twins selected Aaron Hicks a 6 foot 2 inch switch hitting OF from California.  He was a high school star with all the tools.  The question is always whether those tools will transfer to the big club.  He has a little bit of power and plus speed.  From 2008-2012 his plate appearances grew from 204 to 563, he gained the needed experience.  2012 was his finest year, in AA he hit .286 with a .384 obp, adding in 13 homers and 32 sb’s.  2013 he broke spring training with the bog club, however he could not get any traction.  After 2 long months he had never had his average above .168 and was demoted back to AAA.  He had a couple injuries in the minors and is on his way back to playing again in the minors.  Players taken after him in the draft, Ike Davis, Gerrit Cole, Lance Lynn and Wade Miley.

2007 – With the 28th pick the Twins select Ben Revere, a 5 foot 9 inch high school outfielder from Kentucky.  Ben has serious speed, he can be a huge base stealer and great on defense.  He spent 4 years in the minors, each year moving up 1 step, not rushing the young 19 year old.  While his career high in homers is 2, his speed is what pays his bills.  His SB tracker in 4 years looks like 21, 44, 45, 36 in the minors.  2011 and 2012 he was the Twins leadoff hitter, posting zero homers but 74 sb’s across 2 years for a terrible Twins team.  In the off season he was traded to the Phillies for Vance Worley and Trevor May.  The switch to the NL didn’t affect him much, still hitting .305 and pacing 35-40 steals.

2006 – With the 20th pick in the 2006 draft the Twins took Chris Parmelee, a six foot one inch outfielder/first baseman from California.  Lefties always look like they can hit however sometimes they can’t do it consistently in the majors.  Parmalee had a decent minor league career starting in 2006.  In 2012 he survived spring training and made the club, however his results were horrible and he was sent down.  When sent down he had a great minor league 2012 hitting .338 with 17 homers in 64 games.  2013 was more of the same, they gave him 3 months and he had 8 homers and a .223 avg.  Players taken after him in the first round, Ian Kennedy, Daniel Bard, Colby Rasmus, Chris Perez

2005 – With the 25th pick the Twins selected a 6 foot 4 pitcher from California, Matt Garza.  He only stayed in the minors for a full year for one year.  In 2005 he had an ok year at 2 different places.  3.57 era with 89 k’s in 75 innings.  Starting in 2006 he bounced back and forth between the majors and the minors for that year and the next.  At the end of 2007 he was traded to the Rays , in 2011 he was traded to the Cubs, then in 2013 he was traded to the Rangers.  He has been a productive and often slightly volatile pitcher in the majors for a good 6 years.

2004 – With the 20th pick in the draft the Twins take a 6 foot 2 Infielder/Outfielder Trevor Plouffe from California.  From 18-24 he climbed the ladder in the minors.  He never hit more than 15 homers, stole more than 12 bases, or hit over .274 so he had a tough road to the majors.  He did get the call and provided decent results his first year.  In 2012 he hit 24 homers however his average was .235 with a .301 obp.

BHC Pick of the Litter: Byron Buxton

BHC Franchise Flop: Trevor Plouffe

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Paul Jack
About the Author

Paul Jack is an extreme baseball enthusiast, you can follow and interact with him on Twitter @PaulJackSports

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