Twins select OF Rooker, RHP Leach in MLB Draft

After the Minnesota Twins used the top pick in the 2017 MLB Draft to select shortstop/outfielder Royce Lewis, they drafted outfielder Brent Rooker (35th overall) and right-handed pitcher Landon Leach (37th overall).

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Rooker, who played three full seasons for Mississippi State, led the Southeastern Conference in batting average (.387), slugging percentage (.810), on-base percentage (.495), hits (95), RBI (82), doubles (30), home runs (23) and total bases (201) in his 2017 season.

Not bad.

Rooker was named the 2017 Co-National Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball and the SEC Player of the Year. He might not be finished collecting national recognition, though. Rooker is a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy (nation’s top collegiate player) and the Golden Spikes Award (nation’s top amateur player).

The Twins selected Rooker in the 38th round of last year’s draft, but he decided to return for his redshirt junior season.

Minnesota went on to select Leach, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-handed pitcher from Pickering High School in Ontario, Canada, with the first pick in the second round.

Leach, who will turn 18 years old on July 12, shows promising potential on the mound. He committed to the University of Texas last fall.

“From a development standpoint, we think we can add a lot onto that body and size,” Twins director of scouting Sean Johnson said. “We think we can develop him into a starter, and we’re excited to get him.”

Minnesota owns the first pick in the third round of the MLB Draft, which resumes on Wednesday.