To learn about our efforts to improve the accessibility and usability of our website, please visit our Accessibility Information page. Skip to section navigation or Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...

News

Skip to main content
Twins make Span top pick
Below is an advertisement.
06/04/2002 2:28 pm ET 
Twins make Span top pick
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

Denard Span was the Twins first pick in the 2002 First Year Player Draft. (Baseball America)

  • Twins round-by-round picks

    MINNEAPOLIS --- Feeling a need for speed, the Minnesota Twins found someone they think would fit the bill quite nicely.

    With their first-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, the Minnesota Twins selected outfielder Denard Span of Tampa, Florida.

    The 20th overall pick, the 18-year-old Span is a 6-foot-1, 175-pounder who just graduated from Tampa Catholic High School. He hit .490 with no home runs, 17 doubles, three triples, 20 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and 33 runs scored in 28 games with Tampa Catholic in 2002.

    Span, who bats and throws left-handed, led his team to Florida's Class 3A State Championship in 2001 and was a pre-season High School All-America selection by Baseball America.

    Denard Span

    School:
    Tampa Catholic HS
    Position: CF   B/T: L/L
    H: 6-1   W: 175
    Born: 02/27/1984   Class: HS

    Scouting report:
    Great, live, athletic body with bounce and glide to actions. Built similar to Reggie Sanders. Chokes up. Great acceleration. Compact stroke. Drives ball into gaps. Quick first step in outfield. Can go gap to gap. Also plays football. Potential leadoff hitter. Exciting player.

    Scouting video:
    56k | 300k

    "Denard is a premium player that we have followed very closely the last several years," Twins Scouting Director Mike Radcliff said. "He fills organizational needs and desires with his great speed, leadoff ability and offensive impact capabilities."

    The teenager said the experience of being picked in the first round was pretty emotional.

    "When I first heard, I broke out in tears," Span said from his home in Tampa. "I was happy because I worked so hard."

    Baseball America projected Span as the 20th best prospect in this year's draft and rated him as the second fastest high school base runner and second best high school defensive player.

    According to scouting reports, Span has an athletic body and is built like veteran outfielder Reggie Sanders. He chokes up with the bat, possesses great acceleration and a compact stroke. On defense, reports say that Span has a quick first step in the outfield and can go gap to gap.

    Span said he grew up as an Atlanta Braves fan and also admired the play of Reds center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. He's said that he's been often compared to White Sox center fielder Kenny Lofton.

    "I'll take that any day," Span said.

    Radcliff said that the Lofton comparisons are accurate, but he doesn't want to add any pressure to the young player.

    "That's the style of play," Radcliff said. "A lead off guy, a run scorer. He's an off-the-board runner that should be able to steal bases. If he reaches his maximum bat potential, he has a chance to be an impact, leadoff-type offensive player."

    Span was also a star football player for the school, causing him to still consider whether he wants to play college football or professional baseball. He has signed a baseball scholarship to play at the University of Florida.

    2002 First-Year Player Draft
    JUNE 4-5 | NEW YORK CITY
    Draft order | Rules | FAQ

    FULL COVERAGE:
    Bullington goes first
    Drafttracker
    Complete Draft coverage

    "I have to wait and see," Span said. "It's a sigh of relief that I'm picked. I'm going day-by-day. We'll have to wait for the negotiations."

    Radcliff believes that the Twins should be able to sign Span, but he doesn't expect it to happen overnight.

    "In the new millennium, none of them sign immediately," Radcliff said. "Lots of people like to wait and see what the others around them get. I don't believe we'll sign him right away. But I do believe we'll sign him and get him out to play in either the Gulf Coast League or (Rookie League) Elizabethton this summer."

    Other than going out for a celebratory dinner with his family Tuesday evening, Span said that he has no other immediate plans.

    "I'm just going to enjoy this with family and friends," he said.

    TWINS 2002 DRAFT PICKS
    20 KEIUNTA D SPAN CF TAMPA CATHOLIC HS
    61 JESSE A CRAIN RHP U HOUSTON
    92 MARK A SAULS RHP BAY HS
    122 ALEXANDER E MERRICKS LHP OXNARD HS
    152 MICHAEL C THOMAS CF A CRAWFORD MOSLEY HS
    182 PATRICK J NESHEK RHP BUTLER U
    212 WILLIAM D BARRETT LHP CF U SAN DIEGO
    242 ADAM A LIND 1B HIGHLAND HS
    272 DOUG D DEEDS OF OHIO ST U
    302 KYLE R PHILLIPS C EL CAPITAN HS
    332 EVAN D MEEK RHP INGLEMOOR HS
    362 JEFFREY B CLEMENT C MARSHALLTOWN HS
    392 WILLIAM C PETTIT RHP LOUISIANA ST U
    422 GARRETT L MOCK RHP GRAYSON COUNTY COL
    452 ADAM B HARBEN RHP U ARKANSAS FT SMITH JC
    482 KC J JONES RHP EATONVILLE HS
    512 ADAM T HAWES RHP ST THERESA'S CATHOLIC HS
    542 JAVIER R LOPEZ RF GALVESTON JC
    572 ADAM L DANIELS LHP NO SCHOOL
    602 RYAN G SCHREPPEL LHP LINCOLN HS
    632 THOMAS J PRUNTY RHP U MIAMI
    662 MICHAEL J SIMS LF MIDDLE TENNESSEE ST U
    692 DANIEL MATIENZO C U MIAMI
    722 JOSHUA C PETERSEN 1B JUPITER COMMUNITY HS
    752 JUSTIN A KEELING LHP CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN U
    782 JARED K JOHNSON RHP CIMARRON-MEMORIAL HS
    812 RONALD PERODIN CF EL CAMINO COL
    842 HASAN K RASHEED CF WHITES CREEK HS
    872 JAMES B AVERY RHP CENTRAL COLLEGIATE HS
    902 ROBERTO MARTINEZ RHP ST PETERSBURG JC
    932 TERRY S KILLION RHP BOWIE HS
    962 JONATHON W KOCH RHP LAKE CITY CC
    992 THOMAS J FERRARA RHP BREVARD CC
    1022 CHRISTIAN A CASTORRI RHP THOMAS COUNTY CENTRAL HS
    1052 TARRENCE T PATTERSON CF BARTOW HS
    1082 JOHN B CAHILL RHP LAKEWOOD HS
    1112 MICHAEL A COSTANTINO 3B SOMERSET HS
    1142 TOBY J GARDENHIRE SS WESTARK CC
    1172 BRANDON P DODDO C COOPER CITY HS
    1202 RODNEY A STORY LHP GULF COAST CC
    1232 CHRISTOPHER T BROWN 2B COOPER CITY HS
    1262 KYLE Z GEIGER C REND LAKE
    1291 JACOB B JEAN LHP COSUMNES RIVER COL
    1319 CHRISTOPHER A BEATTY LHP KOKOMO HS
    1346 JOHN P STOCCO RHP HOLY ANGELS HS
    1373 WAYNE C RENFROW RHP KELLAM HS
    1399 BRANDON CARLTON LHP BAY HS
    1425 BRANDON J COHEN CF RIVER DELL HS
    1450 BROCK A PETERSON 3B W F WEST HS
    1474 MICHAEL A BALLARD LHP OCEAN LAKES HS

    Mark Sheldon covers the Twins for MLB.com and can be reached at marksheldon@twinsbaseball.com. This article was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



  • More Coverage
    Related Links
    Twins Headlines
    • More Twins Headlines
    MLB Headlines