Draft preview: Reviewing Twins' 32 first-round picks of past 20 years
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Over the past 20 years, the Minnesota Twins have had 32 first-round draft picks, including a dozen in the compensatory round.
Eleven of those players (34.4%) remain in the Twins organization, including Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer, Denard Span, Glen Perkins and Ben Revere. Nineteen (59.4%) have made it to the big leagues, needing an average of three full seasons in minors to develop, while seven others (21.9%) continue to work their way through the organization.
No draft pick is a sure thing, but first-rounders can have the greatest and most immediate impact on an organization's future. When the 2011 draft begins at 6 p.m. Monday, the Twins will have three shots -- the No. 30th overall pick, plus two compensatory selections (Nos. 50 and 55) for the losses of second baseman Orlando Hudson and reliever Jesse Crain in free agency.
Here's a look at how the Twins have used their first-round picks since their last championship season in 1991 (all statistics through Monday):
1991: 1B Dave McCarty (3rd overall)
Career statistics (1993 to 2005): .242 batting average/.305 on-base percentage/.371 slugging percentage.
Notes: McCarty showed plenty of potential early in his minor league career, but he was never able to fully translate it to the big leagues. A career journeyman, McCarty played three seasons with the Twins before staying in the AL Central for three seasons with Kansas City, where he posted his best numbers (.255/.317/.432). He played a career-best 103 games in 2000 with the Royals, compiling 28 extra-base hits and 53 RBIs.
1st overall pick: Brien Taylor, New York (A).
Other notable picks: Manny Ramirez, Cleveland (13th overall), Cliff Floyd, Montreal (14th overall), Shawn Green, Toronto (16th overall), Brad Radke, Minnesota (8th round).
1992: LHP Dan Serafini (26th overall)
Career statistics (1996 to 2007): 15-16, 6.04 ERA.
Notes: Serafini played parts of three seasons for the Twins -- pitching in 35 games, starting 14 and going 9-6 with a 5.88 ERA. He left the Twins for the Chicago Cubs in 1999 and bounced around from clubs' farm systems with only brief appearances in the majors before calling it quits in 2007 with the Colorado Rockies.
1st overall pick: Phil Nevin, Houston.
Other notable picks: Derek Jeter, New York (A) (6th overall), Johnny Damon, Kansas City (35th overall), Jason Giambi, Oakland (2nd round), Raul Ibanez, Seattle (36th round).
1993 (a): OF Torii Hunter (20th overall)
Career statistics (1997 to present): .274/.332/.469, 266 home runs, four-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove winner
Notes: Hunter is one of the most beloved players to wear a Twins uniform. His playmaking ability in center field and at bat helped usher in the teams' recent run of success. Now with the Los Angeles Angels, Hunter has moved to right field but still has that sweet swing, hitting .281/.351/.469 in four seasons.
1993 (b): C Jason Varitek (21st overall)
Career statistics (1997 to present): .257/.342/.434, three-time All-Star, 2005 Gold Glove winner, two-time World Series champion.
Notes: The Twins drafted Varitek, but he chose not to sign, instead opting to return to Georgia Tech for his senior year. However, Varitek's days with Minnesota baseball were not over. He entered the 1994 draft, in which he was selected 14th overall by the Seattle Mariners, and before signing with them, he had a stint with the minor-league St. Paul Saints.
1st overall pick: Alex Rodriguez, Seattle.
Other notable picks: Billy Wagner, Houston (12th overall), Chris Carpenter, Toronto (15th overall), Kevin Millwood, Atlanta (11th round), Jermaine Dye, Atlanta (17th round).
1994 (a): 2B Todd Walker (8th overall)
Career statistics (1996 to 2007): .289/.348/.435.
Notes: Walker debuted in 1996 and became the Twins' starting second baseman in 1998. His offensive production that year was a career best (.316/.372/.473, 62 RBIs, 12 home runs). He played five seasons in Minnesota before being traded to the Colorado Rockies halfway through the 2000 season. He always had a productive bat before retiring after 12 big-league seasons in 2007.
1994 (b): P Travis Miller (34th overall)
Career statistics (1996 to 2002): 7-18, 5.05 ERA.
Notes: A supplemental pick awarded because Varitek didn't sign, Miller spent all seven of his major-league seasons with Minnesota. His first year-and-a-half was spent as a starter before he moved to the bullpen in 1998. Miller's best season came in 2000, when he threw 67 innings over 67 games, striking out 62 as he went 2-3 with a 3.90 ERA.
1st overall pick: Paul Wilson, New York (N).
Other notable picks: Nomar Garciaparra, Boston (12th overall), Paul Konerko, LA Dodgers (13th overall), A.J. Pierzynski, Minnesota (3rd round), Carl Pavano, Boston (13th round).
1995: LHP Mark Redman (13th overall)
Career statistics (1999 to 2008): 68-85, 4.85 ERA, 2006 All-Star selection, 2003 World Series champion.
Notes: Redman played 2½ seasons with the Twins, compiling a 15-13 record as a starter with a 4.86 ERA. Redman's best season came in 2003 with Florida, where he posted a 3.59 ERA and a 14-9 record. He lost his only start in the World Series, but Florida ended up winning the title in six games. Still considered by some as a controversial All-Star selection, Redman was the lone representative of the Royals in 2006 after winning only five games and having an ERA greater than five at the break.
1st overall pick: Darrin Erstad, California Angels.
Other notable picks: Jose Cruz, Jr., Seattle (3rd overall), Kerry Wood, Chicago (N) (4th overall), Todd Helton, Colorado (8th overall), Roy Halladay, Toronto (17th overall).
1996: 1B Travis Lee (2nd overall)
Career statistics (1998 to 2006): .256/.337/.408.
Notes: Lee signed with agent Scott Boras and, along with three other first-round selections, never signed a contract with the teams that drafted them. Citing Rule 4 (E), which states a team must make a formal offer to their draft pick within 15 days of the draft, Lee became eligible to become a free agent and signed a $10 million contract with the Diamondbacks. Lee finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1998 after hitting .269/.346/.429 with 22 home runs. His numbers never were the same -- he hit 20 home runs only once in the following eight seasons before retiring in 2006.
1st overall pick: Kris Benson, Pittsburgh.
Other notable picks: Eric Chavez, Oakland (10th overall), Eric Milton, New York (A) (20th overall), Joe Crede Chicago (A) (5th round), Travis Hafner, Texas (32nd round).
1997 (a): SS Michael Cuddyer (9th overall)
Career statistics (2001 to present): .269/.341/.447, 126 home runs.
Notes: Drafted as a shortstop, Cuddyer mostly saw time at second and third base before becoming the Twins' right fielder in 2006. Cuddyer is one of the most popular Twins players of the Gardenhire era, as he displays a positive attitude off the field but also possesses a trusty bat the Twins have relied on in the middle of the order for the past five seasons. Cuddyer's best season came in 2009 when he hit .276/.342/.520 and blasted 32 homers.
1997 (b): C Matt Lecroy (50th overall)
Career statistics (2000 to 2007): .260/.326/.440.
Notes: Lecroy was a supplemental pick awarded after the Lee flap and helped the Twins in numerous pinch hitting situations, as well as being a reliable backup at first base or catcher. His best year came in 2003, when he hit .287/.342/.490 and belted 17 home runs while driving in 64 runs.
1st overall pick: Matt Anderson, Detroit.
Other notable picks: Troy Glaus, Anaheim (3rd overall), Vernon Wells, Toronto (5th overall), Lance Berkman, Houston (16th overall).
1998: LHP Ryan Mills (6th overall)
Career minor-league statistics (1998 to 2004): 17-40, 5.79 ERA.
Notes: Never making it to the majors, Mills spent seven years in the Twins farm system and only two seasons at the Triple-A level. His best year came in 2003, when he went 5-1 with a 4.11 ERA out of the bullpen. Mills retired in 2004 at age 26.
1st overall pick: Pat Burrell, Philadelphia.
Other notable picks: Carlos Pena, Texas (10th overall), Jeff Weaver, Detroit (14th overall), C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland (20th overall), Mark Buehrle, Chicago (A) (38th round).
1999: OF B.J. Garbe (5th overall)
Career minor league statistics (1999 to 2006): .235/.313/.325.
Notes: Garbe was drafted as the Gatorade High School Baseball Player of the Year in 1999. He spent eight seasons in the minors, never reaching Triple-A ball. His best season came in 1999, when he hit .316/.391/.415 in rookie ball. He never came anywhere close to those numbers, and eventually landed in the Marlins organization, where he retired in 2006.
1st overall pick: Josh Hamilton, Tampa Bay.
Other notable picks: Josh Beckett, Florida (2nd overall), Barry Zito, Oakland (9th overall), Jason Repko, LA Dodgers (37th overall), Jake Peavy, San Diego (15th round).
2000 (a): RHP Adam Johnson (2nd overall)
Career statistics (2001 to 2003): 1-3, 10.25 ERA.
Notes: Johnson only appeared in nine games for the Twins over two seasons. He struggled to get anyone out, giving up 30 earned runs in 26 1/3 innings pitched. The former Cal State-Fullerton star was a complete bust for the Twins organization and also couldn't maintain a position with Arizona and Oakland -- both teams released Johnson just months after signing him.
2000 (b): P Aaron Heilman (31st overall)
Career statistics (2003 to present) 35-45, 4.36 ERA.
Notes: Heilman was a supplemental first-round draft pick by the Twins in compensation for the loss of reliever Mike Trombley. Heilman never signed with the Twins and reentered the draft the following year, where the Mets drafted him 18th overall.
1st overall pick: Adrian Gonzalez, Florida.
Other notable picks: Chase Utley, Philadelphia (15th overall), Adam Wainwright, Atlanta (29th overall), Grady Sizemore, Montreal (3rd round).
2001: C Joe Mauer (1st overall)
Career statistics (2004 to present): .326/.406/.479, 2009 American League MVP, three-time AL batting champion, four-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, four-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
Notes: Mauer arrived straight from Cretin-Derham Hall high school, where he struck out only once in four seasons. He spent three years in the minors before appearing in a Twins uniform at the age of 21 in 2004. After his 2009 MVP season, in which he hit a career-best .365/.444/.587 with 28 home runs, Mauer agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Twins worth $184 million through the 2018 season. He has played in only nine games this season because of injuries.
Other notable picks: Mark Teixeria, Texas (5th overall), David Wright, New York (N) (38th overall), Ryan Howard, Philadelphia (5th round).
2002: OF Denard Span (20th overall)
Career statistics (2008 to present): .289/.367/.391.
Notes: The Twins' everyday center fielder spent six seasons in the minors before debuting on April 6, 2008. He finished that season sixth in Rookie of the Year voting after appearing in 93 games and hitting .294/.387/.432 with seven triples and 70 runs. He is now regarded as one of the better leadoff hitters in the game with his speed and high on-base percentage.
1st overall pick: Bryan Bullington, Pittsburgh.
Other notable picks: B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay (2nd overall), Zack Greinke, Kansas City (6th overall), Prince Fielder, Milwaukee (7th overall), Nick Swisher, Oakland (16th overall), Matt Cain, San Francisco (25th overall).
2003: 3B Matt Moses (21st overall)
Career minor-league statistics (2003 to 2009): .249/.304/.374.
Notes: Moses his entire professional career in the Twins organization, spending one season at Triple-A ball in which he hit .224/.244/.305 with only 10 extra-base hits in 174 at-bats. Moses has not played professionally since 2009.
1st overall pick: Delmon Young, Tampa Bay.
Other notable picks: Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee (2nd overall), Ian Stewart, Colorado (10th overall), Chad Cordero, Montreal (20th overall), Carlos Quentin, Arizona (29th overall).
2004 (a): SS Trevor Plouffe (20th overall)
Career statistics (2010 to present): .182/.252/.364;
Notes: After hitting .255/.317/.396 over five seasons in the minors, Plouffe received a chance earlier this season to grab hold of the every-day shortstop position. But throwing accuracy problems and a cold stretch at the plate led to his demotion back to Triple-A in early June. At 25, Plouffe is still young enough to blossom into a long-term starter, but he'll need to show improvement, particularly on defense, in the very near future to make that happen.
2004 (b): RHP Glen Perkins (22nd overall)
Career statistics (2006 to present): 19-13, 4.58 ERA.
Notes: The Minnesota native has gone through some major ups and downs over the past few seasons, but he found a groove as the team's top set-up man in 2011 before an oblique injury sidelined him temporarily. Perkins' best season came in 2008, when he started all 26 games he appeared in and finished 12-4 with a 4.41 ERA.
2004 (c): RHP Kyle Waldrop (25th overall)
Career minor-league statistics (2004 to present): 41-40, 3.70 ERA.
Notes: After missing the entire 2008 season because of a shoulder injury, Waldrop has bounced back to become one of the Twins' top minor league relief pitchers. He has impressed the major league coaching staff over the past two years at spring training, and it's likely he will be called up from Triple-A Rochester at some point in 2011. Waldrop's most productive minor league season came in 2010, when he went 5-3 with a 2.57 ERA and 60 strikeouts over 87 2/3 innings.
2004 (d): P Matt Fox (35th overall)
Career minor-league statistics (2004 to present): 39-30, 3.64 ERA.
Notes: Fox was a supplemental pick for the Twins in compensation for the loss of reliever Eddie Guardado. He was called up as an emergency starter on September 3 last season and allowed only two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Rangers in his major league debut. Because of a roster conundrum, the Twins were forced to place Fox on waivers, and he was claimed by the Boston Red Sox. With a 4-2 record, a 2.90 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings for Triplel-A Pawtucket, Fox is currently on pace for his best year in the minors.
2004 (e): P Jay Rainville (39th overall)
Career minor-league statistics (2004 to 2009): 37-31, 4.08 ERA.
Notes: Rainville was a supplemental pick in compensation for the loss of reliever LaTroy Hawkins, but he never reached Triple-A ball. During his best season, he went 12-5 with a 3.35 ERA at the Single-A level in 2005. Rainville has not played professionally since 2009 in New Britain.
1st overall pick: Matthew Bush, San Diego.
Other notable picks: Justin Verlander, Detroit (2nd overall), Jared Weaver, Anaheim (12th overall), Billy Butler, Kansas City (14th overall) Huston Street, Oakland (40th overall).
2005 (a): RHP Matt Garza (25th overall)
Career statistics (2006 to present): 44-48, 3.95 ERA.
Notes: Garza spent two seasons with the Twins, going 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA. He was sent to Tampa Bay along with Jason Bartlett and minor leaguer Eduardo Morlan for Brendan Harris, Jason Pridie and Delmon Young in November 2007. In 2009 with the Rays, Garza threw 203 innings and struck out 189 batters. He is in his first year starting for the Chicago Cubs, who acquired him in January.
2005 (b): 1B Henry Sanchez (39th overall)
Career minor league statistics (2005 to 2009): .207/.293/.341.
Notes: Another supplemental in compensation for the departure of third baseman Corey Koskie, Sanchez never made it out of Class-A ball in the Twins farm system. He has not played professionally since 2009.
1st overall pick: Justin Upton, Arizona.
Other notable picks: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington (4th overall), Ryan Braun, Milwaukee (5th overall), Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado (7th overall) Jay Bruce, Cincinnati (12th overall), Jacoby Ellisbury, Boston (23rd overall).
2006: OF Chris Parmelee (20th overall)
Career minor league statistics (2006 to present): .263/.353/.435.
Notes: Parmelee is at Class-AA New Britain and this season is hitting .289/.360/.422 with 26 RBIs and 17 extra-base hits. The Twins still view him as a potential every-day player down the road.
1st overall pick: Luke Hochevar, Kansas City.
Other notable picks: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay (3rd overall), Clayton Kershaw, LA Dodgers (7th overall), Tim Lincecum, San Francisco (10th overall).
2007: CF Ben Revere (28th overall)
Career minor-league statistics (2007 to present): .326/.385/.409, 154 stolen bases
Notes: The 23-year-old has seen time with the Twins this season after getting called up to replace Young during his stint on the disabled list. Revere has been blown through the ranks of the Twins farm system as he has jumped up a level each year in the minors. Through 30 games in Triple-A ball, he was hitting .301/.338/.366 with eight stolen bases. He was recalled to the big-league squad this past week.
1st overall pick: David Price, Tampa Bay.
Other notable picks: Matt Wieters, Baltimore (5th overall), Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco (10th overall), Jason Heyward, Atlanta (14th overall) J.P. Arencibia, Toronto (21st overall).
2008 (a): OF Aaron Hicks (14th overall)
Career minor-league statistics (2008 to present): .274/.382/.418.
Notes: Currently in high-A ball in Fort Myers, Hicks has transitioned to the outfield -- he was once thought of as a pitching prospect. He is hitting .250/.349/.369 with 17 RBIs in 42 games.
2008 (b): RHP Carlos Gutierrez (27th overall)
Career minor-league statistics (2008 to present): 13-17, 3.87 ERA.
Notes: This pick was given to the Twins from the Angels in the Torii Hunter deal. Gutierrez has pitched 34 1/3 innings this season at Triple-A Rochester, posting a 3.41 ERA with 21 strikeouts and 15 walks, and he will almost certainly be called up to the major league roster at some point in 2011.
2008 (c): P Steven "Shooter" Hunt (31st overall)
Career minor league statistics (2008 to present): 4-14, 6.44 ERA.
Notes: Hunt was a supplemental pick in compensation for the loss of Hunter. At age 24, Hunt has been anything but impressive in his four seasons in the minors, having yet to ascend past Single-A ball. Hunt has suffered through major control problems, issuing 203 walks in 175 innings.
1st overall pick: Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay.
Other notable picks: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City (3rd overall), Buster Posey, San Francisco (5th overall).
2009 (a): P Kyle Gibson (22nd overall)
Career minor-league statistics (2010 to present): 14-9, 3.13 ERA.
Notes: Gibson opted not to sign with Philadelphia after being drafted in the 36th round of the 2006 draft, instead choosing to attend the University of Missouri, where he dazzled scouts. The 23-year-old jumped from Single-A ball to Triple-A ball in his first year in the minors and is now pitching in Rochester, owning a 3-3 record and 3.60 ERA while striking out 59 batters in 55 innings pitched. He is considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.
2009 (b): P Matthew Bashore (46th overall)
Career minor league statistics (2009): 2 innings pitched, 2 strikeouts.
Notes: A supplemental pick in compensation for the loss of reliever Dennys Reyes, Bashore underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2010 season.
1st overall pick: Stephen Strasburg, Washington.
Other notable picks: Mike Leake, Cincinnati (8th overall).
2010: P Alex Wimmers (21st overall)
Career minor league statistics (2010 to present): 2-1, 2.87 ERA.
Notes: Wimmer pitched 15 2/3 innings for High-A Fort Myers last year, giving up just six hits and striking out 23 of the 58 batters he faced. But in his first start for Fort Myers this year, Wimmers walked six batters and threw three wild pitches without recording an out, prompting the Twins to shut him down for two months.
1st overall pick: Bryce Harper, Washington.
Other notable picks: Delino DeShields Jr., Houston (8th overall).