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Baseball America mock draft has new, somewhat surprising Twins pick No. 1 overall

Over the past month, as MLB mock draft seasons has started to heat up, the two most frequent names linked to the Twins with the No. 1 overall draft pick have been prep shortstop/pitcher Hunter Greene and college first baseman/left-handed pitcher Brendan McKay.

Baseball America sees things differently.

In the publication’s latest mock draft, BA’s John Manuel has the Twins picking Vanderbilt pitcher Kyle Wright with the No. 1 overall selection.

That’s amid concerns that McKay has seen a drop in velocity on the mound. BA’s John Manuel wrote that the lefty has been 88-90 mph in recent starts for the Cardinals, which is below-average velo if the Twins are looking at him as a starter. Of course, he could also be drafted as a good-hitting first baseman with power, so it’s no sure thing that a drop in velocity will knock him out of the Twins’ plans with the top pick.

If they do pick McKay, they may have to decide which position he should focus on as he begins his pro career this summer.

If the Twins draft Brendan McKay first overall, would he be a pitcher or a hitter?

And this is after a recent report from USA Today that said the Twins are ‘leaning toward’ passing on Hunter Greene to draft McKay. Greene is also a two-way player, although published scouting reports are more glowing about the high school right-hander on the mound, where he’s hit triple digits on radar guns.

One report said that the Twins were considering as many as 7 players for the No. 1 pick, and several important stakeholders for the Twins have said that they’ll do their due diligence on multiple players before refining their list ahead of June’s draft.

It’s entirely possible the Twins don’t know who will go first in the upcoming draft, as they’ll wait to confer with all scouts and decision makers in pre-draft meetings next month.

Wright has posted a 3.06 ERA in 13 starts for Vanderbilt this year. Despite a slow start to the season, he’s racked up 93 strikeouts against 26 walks in 82 1/3 innings. Manuel calls Wright “the best combination of upside and modest risk,” and says the Twins have been “in hard on Wright’s last three starts.” Manuel says that Wright has shown up to “four plus pitches at times,” and he could wind up as the first player selected in June.

His past 5 starts: 39 1/3 innings, 51 strikeouts, 7 walks and a 1.44 ERA.  He’s struck out almost 37% of all the hitters he’s faced, according to Vanderbilt’s stats page.

  • Mike Link

    Take a risk of doing something big and draft Greene. You only get one overall number one if you are at all good so take the best shot at stardom. There are enough high draft picks left to go safe and still get good players over the next few rounds.

  • Topgunn

    But Mike, there is concern that all Greene has is his fastball and that it lacks movement. He’s got a curve that is developing but no change up to speak of yet. Although, Keith Law compared him to a young Bob Gibson (and then backed off a little). With the absence of a Trout or Harper, it’s not going to be easy making that top pick. And for the Twins, the question always should be “Which of these guys are represented by Scott Boras” ???

    • Mike Link

      He is 17. The raw materials are there. Do you believe in your coaches and your system?

  • Jonathan Armstrong

    I definetly prefer Wright over Greene. High School prospects are too much of an unknown, while you have a much better idea what you’re getting out of a college prospect.

  • joe

    idk what the question is here track record with high school starting pitchers in the top 10 is not very good. greene has only thrown 28 innings his senior year. has a plus plus fastball a plus slider and developing a 3rd pitch. he will also be asking for more money then anyone in this draft class. that seems like a whole lot of risk to take at 1-1 when there is a guy who has 3-4 plus pitches has been throwing in the mid to upper 90s his last couple starts. and mckay’s pitching numbers have fallen off topping out at 90 late into the year is a bit scary if ur taking a 1-1 pitchers who is throwing 90

  • nateperro

    I understand there are risks with taking somebody so young, but passing on Greene seems insane to me. A guy who can hit 102 on the radar, can hit the ball with perhaps more authority than he can throw it, and is a heck of a fielder. To add to it, he seems more mature than most 30 year olds. I remember reading similar articles about Bryce Harper back in the day and Greene seems just as much of a can’t miss. Whether they put him at pitcher or in the field, he’s going to be great at either (Harper had the same questions as he was a catcher). Don’t overthink this, take this guy.


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