With the MLB Draft coming next week, and TRE's post about the NBA draft spurring me on (it's the one right below this one, genius) I figured we might as well take a look at the MLB draft, particularly since the Twins are so involved. Involved as in they have the #2, #32 (thanks Cuddy), the #42 (thanks Kubes), and the #63. So this is pretty much a really great time to reload the system. Here's what I'm thinking:
The pick at #2 should be either SP Mark Appel from Stanford or SP Kevin Gausman from LSU. My personal preference would be Gausman, a sophomore who put up excellent numbers in the SEC, the best conference in the NCAA. The major difference between Gausman and Appel is that although both throw in the mid-90s and can get up to 99, Gausman has two secondary pitches that rank as "plus" while Appel has just one. There are also concerns about how Stanford treated Appel and what effect that may have had on this arm, such as when he threw 149 pitches against Oregon. I also read somewhere that Appel is super religious and that's pretty annoying, so just another reason to prefer Gausman. I'd actually be pretty happy with either pitcher seeing as how both throw mid-90s and have the stuff to become a #1 or #2 in the majors. Of course, the Twins' brass hates guys who strike batters out, so I'm sure there's some soft-tosser with #4 starter upside they're drooling over.
If they don't go with one of those two pitchers at #2, the only possible acceptable alternative is High School OF Byron Buxton. He's the one guy pretty much every scout is drooling over, has been called "the highest upside prospect in the draft" by ESPN, and is toolsy is as toolsy does. He's fast as the dickens with a tremendous arm (hit 97 on the gun), but he has yet to show a whole lot of power (at age 18 remember, so there's still plenty of time) which does make me a bit nervous, and it's not like he's the first guy to have this kind of "all-around awesome" scouting report. Sometimes it works out and you're set for years (Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun), sometimes it doesn't (Alex Gordon, Delmon Young), and sometimes it REALLY doesn't work out (Scott Moore, Luis Montanez - no I don't know who these guys are either). I strenuously prefer the college arm, but if they take Buxton I'll at least understand. Anybody else and I'm going to fictionally throw things through my window.
As far as their other three top picks, I still prefer pitching since that's what they're going to need to rebuild this shitty organization, and as TRE said in his first post here they need to start looking at pitching differently. Guys like Chris Stratton from Miss State (led the SEC in Ks), Pat Light of Monmouth (mid 90s fastball), Nolan Sanburn of Arkansas (up to 98mph), Pierce Johnson of Missouri State (mid-90s with a "power" curve), and Damien Magnifico of Oklahoma (hit 102 this year and is said to reach triple digits on a regular basis in relief) are guys I hope they'd at least consider. None of them profile as a Radke/Slowey type, but that's got to be considered a positive at this point. Now, they all have question marks - Stratton is already 22, Light is a little more sidearm that you'd like to see from a starter, Sanburn and Johnson have dealt with injuries this year, and Magnifico basically only has one pitch, but don't you want to see some guys with some "stuff" and see if they can develop from there? There's a couple of college pitchers who I can just see the Twins taking (Martin Agosto and Brian Johnson) who are low-90s types and I'm just tired of it.
[NOTE: There's also a guy from a JUCO named Dylan Baker who gets up to 97 and has kind of come out of nowhere. Like Magnifico he profiles as a reliever right now because he doesn't exactly have what you'd call a great repertoire of pitches, but I wouldn't mind him either. Also, how sweet a last name is Magnifico.]
Of course, they could always go position players or HS pitchers, but what am I some kind of scouting service? I can't very well cover every single player here so maybe you should do some of your own legwork once in a while. I'm just saying I want to see some freaking pitchers who can actually strike somebody out, even if they'd probably just get traded away (Matt Garza). I refuse to believe anybody actually enjoys this "pitch-to-contact" garbage. I REFUSE. Change. Now.