Twins mock draft roundup: Adding a third name to the consensus top 2

The Minnesota Twins sit in the enviable position of having the top pick in this year’s MLB Draft, which will be held beginning June 12.

But who will Minnesota take No. 1?

The general consensus is that the Twins will pick between Hunter Greene and Brendan McKay, both of whom could be considered a pitching or hitting prospect.

Of course, just when you think we’re down to those two …

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Well, let’s just say there are mock drafters who could see Minnesota going in another direction.

With the draft less than a month away, here’s some prognostications from analysts around the web:

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com (May 18): Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Calif.). “Most feel the Twins are leaning college, with McKay and Kyle Wright the most likely. But they haven’t shut the door on Greene just yet, and they’ll have two higher-ups in the scouting department in California this weekend to watch Greene’s bullpen session.”

John Manuel of Baseball America (May 18): Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt. “Minnesota appears to be leaning toward [Brendan] McKay, but considering him as much now as a hitter as on the mound. Some evaluators agree that McKay has more looseness at the plate than he does on the mound, and may have more upside as a hitter, but that he’s a safer bet on the mound. However, the best combination of upside and modest risk is Vanderbilt righthander Kyle Wright, who is the third player on the Twins’ list in addition to McKay and Greene. The Twins have been in hard on Wright’s last three starts, and in his last five, he’s struck out 51 and walks seven in 39.1 innings while posting a 1.14 ERA. He’s showing up to four plus pitches at times and trending toward being the No. 1 overall pick, as long as the price is right.”

John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall (May 18): Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville. “It seems likely to come down to either McKay or Hunter Greene. As a college guy McKay is a bit safer and has no shortage of upside himself, projecting as an impact player as either a first baseman or starting pitcher.”

Frankie Piliere of D1baseball.com (May 18): Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt. “We are going out on a bit of a limb with this first pick, as Brendan McKay and Hunter Greene have consistently been the vogue names mentioned here. But, Wright was superb in front of Twins’ Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and is gaining steam with a recent string of outstanding starts as the potential top dog in this class. Pavin Smith remains in the picture as a backup here as well.”

Jay Jaffe of SI.com (May 16): Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville. “The general consensus within the industry is that the Twins will tab a two-way player, but that it won’t be recent SI cover subject Hunter Greene. Instead, they’re apparently leaning towards McKay, who is considered the safer bet. Some scouts consider the 6’2”, 214 lb lefty swinger the best pure hitter in the draft class thanks to his smooth swing and all-fields approach. Others like his 89-93 mph fastball, plus curveball and average changeup and see someone with a quick pathway to being a No. 3 starter, particularly given the expectation that he’ll gain velocity once he focuses on pitching full time. Even if Minnesota takes him here, it’s not clear which path the team will have him take.”

Taylor Blake Ward of Scout.com (May 14): Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Calif.). “The Twins are checking all their bases – pun intended – on who their future will revolve around. The business feels it will be Brendan McKay that goes first overall, but the noise in Southern California is that Hunter Greene will become the first prep right-handed pitcher taken first overall.”

Jim Callis of MLB.com (May 12): Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville. “Minnesota narrowed its field of contenders to the five players named above [prep RHP Hunter Greene, McKay, Vanderbilt RHP Kyle Wright, prep SS/OF Royce Lewis and prep LHP MacKenzie Gore], plus Virginia first baseman Pavin Smith and Texas high school right-hander Shane Baz. Most clubs expect the Twins to take McKay, the best two-way prospect in more than four decades, rather than make Greene the first prep righty selected No. 1 overall. Whether they’ll take McKay as a first baseman or lefty starter, or even let him try to do both for a while, is unclear.”

Jeff Ellis of Scout.com (May 12): Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Calif.). “I know the talk as well as anyone else. Greene really wants to go to the Padres, but seems likely to sign with whoever drafts him. He just likely will give those teams a higher bonus demand. The people who run the Twins came from Cleveland and Texas; both teams, if they were picking here, I would expect to take Greene. There is some talk of going under slot here and then spending big on later picks. I think Mackenzie Gore could be the wildcard here. If they like him enough and can save a lot of pool money, they might want to take Gore. Greene I have heard he does not mind the Twins, though, and, for now, I think he still makes the most sense here.”

Keith Law of ESPN.com Insider (May 11): Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville. “McKay is a true two-way prospect, and some scouts say he’s the best pure hitter in the draft. I think he’s a better prospect on the mound, with a 90-95 mph fastball and plus curveball along with a long track record of performance.”

Perfect Game scouting staff (May 10): Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Calif.). “Greene has everything he needs to become the 1st prep RHP drafted #1 overall. He’s made a jump from easy upper 90s last summer to reaching triple digits this spring and will still only be 17 years old on draft day. He’s also shown the breaking ball and changeup to go with it and has huge impact potential; not to mention he’s also a 1st round talent with the bat, having won the HR Derby at the PG All-American Classic last summer.”

MyMLBDraft.com (April 28): Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville.

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns