Twins pick up pitching on Day 2
Of 53 players taken overall by Minnesota, 31 are pitchers
After Twins scouts drove thousands of miles, watched and tracked hundreds and hundreds of players and selected 53 in this week's First-Year Player Draft, the process isn't close to being over.
"Oh no," scouting director Mike Radcliff said. "We have to sign them now."Other than to the parents of the players who were selected, not too many of the names of Twins picks on Day 2 were very recognizable. Well, except for one maybe. With their 41st-round selection and the No. 1,242 pick overall, the Twins selected shortstop Toby Gardenhire, son of manager Ron Gardenhire on Wednesday. A transfer student, 21-year-old Toby played his senior season this year at the University of Illinois. Although he was a .246 hitter, he had a good glove. "They basically told me it would be between the 35th and 50th [round]," Ron Gardenhire said. "That's where he was on our lists." "He had a good year," Radcliff said. "He's ready to play and we'll get to see what he can do." The younger Gardenhire was a late-round pick in 2003 but stayed in school. Just like for any other family, a Minnesota area scout phoned Toby, who joined his father for the Twins' road trip in Phoenix. Not surprisingly, his father was pleased. "That's neat," manager Gardenhire said. Most of the players taken on the second day are considered "draft and follow" guys by the organization. "There are very few we'll sign now," Radcliff said. "These are guys we'll monitor how they progress for some amount of time." After the Twins split their first 22 choices evenly between pitchers and position players on Tuesday, Wednesday saw many more pitchers getting taken. Of Minnesota's 31 second-day picks, 20 of them were pitchers. Of the 53 players taken overall, 31 were pitchers. Last year, 34 of 54 of the selections were pitchers. "We didn't go in with a particular plan," said Radcliff, in his 12th year on the job and the longest tenured in the Major Leagues. "You've got the board. You've got the lists. It evolved into being good depth, position-wise." Radcliff felt the Twins turned a couple of organizational weaknesses into potential strengths. Three shortstops were taken Tuesday and four more were selected Wednesday. Five more catchers were taken on Day 2, bringing the overall total to eight. The club has been short on middle infield and catching depth in recent years. "We met a lot of the goals," Radcliff said. Besides Toby Gardenhire, one other local player was selected. Shortstop Michael Kinsel from St. Paul's Cretin-Derham Hall High School was taken in the 45th round. In the first round, right-handed pitcher Matt Garza from Fresno State was taken with the 25th overall pick. After that, the Twins had several compensation picks that gave them five draft choices among the first 107. With compensation picks that account for free agent losses Corey Koskie, Cristian Guzman and Henry Blanco, the Twins had five selections among the first 107 picks this year. One of those sandwich picks gave the Twins what they felt was one of the draft's best steals. First baseman Henry Sanchez, an 18-year-old from Mission Bay High School in San Diego, was taken as the 39th overall pick between the first and second rounds. Sanchez is a big 6-foot-3, 240-pound kid with lots of power. He batted .482 with 13 homers and 38 RBIs in 34 games this season. "We feel pretty good about that one," Radcliff said. "Power is hard to find, especially difficult with pick No. 39. That's a pretty good deal and a hard commodity to get a hold of." Fans should pay particular attention to the players selected in the early rounds. In 2004, the organization signed each of the top 15 picks. But it signed just 10 of the last 34 draft picks. "It will be even more tilted that way this year," Radcliff said. "We're emphasizing the top 10 rounds. Those are guys we need to get. After that, we'll see how the resources get allocated." Here is a rundown of the Twins' Day 1 draft selections with information from Radcliff and other reports: No. 25 overall. Matt Garza, RHP, Fresno State Univ.: A pitcher whose stock went up this year, Garza has a four-pitch selection and good command and control. He's a tough competitor and stood out for a less than stellar college team this season. 39. Henry Sanchez, 1B, Mission Bay HS, San Diego: Because of his size and power, the organization feels very fortunate to have him be around for its second pick. 54. Paul Kelly, SS, Flower Mound HS, Texas Has good offensive potential with a little pop in the bat. He has the ability to hit for extra bases. 73. Kevin Slowey, RHP, Winthrop Univ. His 14 wins this year equaled a school record and 29 career victories set a new one as a junior. 80. Andrew Thompson, SS, Jupiter Comm. HS, Fla.: Son of former Major League player Robbie Thompson, his polished hands make him advanced defensively. Will get to play both shortstop and second base. 84. Brian Duensing, LHP, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln: Missed two seasons with elbow surgery, but went 8-0 with a 2.60 ERA in 21 appearances in 2005. 105. Ryan Mullins, LHP, Vanderbilt Univ.: A big guy standing at 6-foot-6, he is a finesse pitcher that doesn't throw hard but can give innings. He has third or fourth starter potential. 135. Caleb Moore, C, E. Tennessee St. Univ.: Earned All-America honors twice in his career and led the Southern Conference in homers with 15 while batting .382. He has a strong arm. 165. Steven Tolleson, SS, Univ. of South Carolina: Son of former big league infielder Wayne Tolleson, he has a little speed, stealing 20 of 23 bases this year. 195. John Wilson, OF, Midland HS, Texas: The organization has high hopes for his bat and his power upside. He was converted from the infield to a corner outfield spot. 225. Gregory Yersich, C, Andrean HS, Indiana: A good catch and throw guy with a really strong arm, which is his best tool. 255. Daniel Powers, RHP Central Missouri St. Univ.: Has been to the Division II World Series the last four years and has won a lot of games. He is small but stocky with good arm strength. 285. Erik Lis, 1B, Univ. of Evansville: A big, strong kid with power potential. 315. Matthew Betsill, 3B, Furman Univ.: Considered to have a good swing and the potential to be a corner outfielder or corner infielder. 345. Brian Kirwan, RHP, Santa Fe Christian HS, Calif.: Most likely a draft and follow player. 375. Alex Burnett, RHP, Ocean View HS, Calif.: A smaller guy, but he throws hard. He has a three pitch mix with good control. 405. Michael Allen, RHP, Arlington Country Day HS, Fla.: He will likely be a draft and follow player. 435. David Duncan, LHP, New Richmond HS, Ohio He will likely be a draft and follow player. 465. Michael Hacker, LHP, Consumes River College, Calif.: Likely a draft and follow player. 495. Yonder Alonso, C, Coral Gables HS, Fla. Likely a draft and follow player. 525. Robert Lara, C, Nova HS, Fla.: Likely a draft and follow player. 555. Matthew Morgal RHP, Edmond Santa Fe HS, Okla. Likely a draft and follow player. Day 2 selections: No. 585. Sean Richardson, C, Univ. of Kansas 615. Eric Santiago, SS, Natividad Rodriguez Gonza HS 645. Christopher Kelly, RHP, San Jacinto College North, Texas 675. Curtis Leavitt, RHP, Vasquez HS, Calif. 705. Kenneth Hearndon, RHP, Gulf Coast CC, Florida. 735. Gustavo Duran, RHP, George Washington HS, New York 765. Aaron Lovett, RHP, Kaskaskia CC. 795. Michael Mopas, LHP, Iolani HS, Hawaii 825. Evan Fredrickson, LHP, Oakton HS, Virginia 855. Joshua Brink, RHP, Mennonite Educational Inst., Canada 885. Steven Hernandez, RHP, Redwood HS, Calif. 915. Frederico Vazquez, 1B, Sebring HS, Florida 945. Kyle Carr, LHP, Linton HS, North Dakota 975. David Bromberg, RHP, Palisades HS, Calif. 1005. Brandon Trodick, CF, Cimarron Memorial HS, Nevada 1035. Daniel Cox, SS, WF West HS, Virginia 1065. Lukas Thomason, RHP, Brook Hill HS, Florida 1095. Rene Tosoni, 1B, Chipola JC, Canada 1125. James Leigh, LHP, Texarcana College, Arkansas 1155. Carlos Rodriguez, C, Puerto Rico Baseball Acad. 1184. Charles Duffey, RHP, Westminster HS, Calif. 1213. Charlie Leesman, LHP, Elder HS, Ohio 1242. Toby Gardenhire, SS, Univ. of Illinois. 1271. Jacob Cox, C, Lakeland HS, Florida. 1300. Justin Parker, RHP, Wayne HS, Indiana 1329. Jose Cordero, RHP, no school. 1358. Michael Kinsel, SS, Cretin-Derham Hall HS, Minnesota. 1387. Denver Winn, RHP, Valleyfield SS, Canada 1415. Michael Ballard, LHP, Univ. of Virginia 1443. Juan Rodriguez, C, Bayamon Military Acad. Puerto Rico 1470. Dane Ponciano, C, Southern Nevada CC 1497. Justin Otto, RHP, Chandler HS, Oklahoma
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.