Minnesota Twins 2019 mock draft roundup
Major League Baseball’s draft begins Monday with the first round and runs all the way to Wednesday for 40 rounds.
Unless you are a big expert on college and/or high school baseball, it can be hard knowing exactly who is who in MLB’s draft and which players might fall where.
Well, we’re here to help. At least in the opening round. We’ve scoured the internet for mock drafts and present our findings below for who the prognosticators predict the Minnesota Twins will select in the first round. We’ve also including their summary/reasoning (when given) to help give a little background on the player.
The MLB draft is a bigger hit-and-miss than other sports. Many selections in the first round won’t even make it to the first round and only a handful of players who do make it become superstars. But you can look at the current Twins to see how important the draft can be. Minnesota has three former first-round picks on the roster – outfielder Byron Buxton and pitchers Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson – each of whom is integral to this year’s success.
In general manager Thad Levine’s two years drafting for the Twins, Minnesota has selected high school shortstop Royce Lewis with the No. 1 overall pick in 2017, Mississippi State outfielder Brent Rooker that same year at No. 35 in the Competitive Balance Round A, and Oregon State outfielder Trevor Larnach at No. 20 overall last year.
Minnesota owns the No. 13 overall pick in this year’s draft as well as No. 39 in the Competitive Balance Round A.
With the draft closing in, here’s a look at mock picks for Minnesota from analysts around the web:
Jim Callis of MLB.com: Keoni Cavaco, 3B, Eastlake (Calif.) HS: “No first-rounder has more helium at the moment than Cavaco. While he had the chance to get to Minnesota’s second selection at No. 39 a month ago, that’s impossible now. If the Twins want a more experienced bat, (C Shea) Langeliers and (3B Josh) Jung are the front-runners.”
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com: Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor. “The Twins like (high school OF Corbin) Carroll, but with him off the board, they could set their sights on Langeliers, a terrific defensive catcher who has shaken off a hamate injury to come on with the bat of late this spring. He also homered to open up the Big 12 tournament.”
Eric Longerhagen and Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs: Round 1 — Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech. “This is probably [UNLV shortstop Bryson] Stott’s floor. Nor Cal prep SS Kyren Paris and SoCal power/speed prospect Keoni Cavaco could be options later. They’re on Alabama prep C Ethan Hearn in the second round. This team cut underslot with college bats early last year, then spread $400-500k bonuses around later.”; Competitive Balance Round A – Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M; Round 2 – Ethan Hearn, C, Mobile Christian (Ala.) HS.
Dan Zielinski III of Baseball Prospect Journal: Round 1 — Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor. “Twins are tied to college players. Langeliers was a potential top-five pick entering this spring. A broken hamate caused him to miss significant time.”; Competitive Balance Round A – Isaiah Campbell, RHP, Arkansas. “Campbell relies a lot on his fastball and slider. He’s featured consistency this spring after being a draft-eligible sophomore last year. The Twins hired pitching coach Wes Johnson before the season after he served in the same role at Arkansas.”
Melissa Lockard of The Athletic ($): Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside (Seattle, Wash.) School. “I think Carroll goes off the board here to the Twins, who have tended to favor high school players with their top picks over the last decade. Carroll is an outstanding athlete who has the speed to run down anything in the outfield and rack up a high number of stolen bases. He has advanced bat-to-ball skills and could develop some doubles power as he matures physically. Illinois high school right-hander Quinn Priester is another possibility at this slot.”
The Athletic staff ($): Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech. “The Big 12’s Freshman of the Year in 2017, Jung is athletic enough that Texas Tech moved him from third base to shortstop earlier this season. However, the expectation is that Jung, who is a below-average runner, will be a mainstay at third base once he arrives in pro baseball. With his power, hit tools grading at 55 and a strong arm, that’ll suit Jung well. Previously undrafted, Jung can hit for power to all fields.”
Brian Sakowski and Vincent Cervino of Perfect Game: Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky. “The Twins are seemingly known to prefer college pitching, and in this projection they get one of the best in the country in Thompson, who some even may prefer to the rest of the pitching class in 2019.”; Competitive Balance Round A: Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell. “The Twins got one of the top pitchers in the draft early with Thompson from Kentucky and the value of that pick could make them swing for upside here with Johnson, whose athleticism and arm talent is extreme but whose experience and feel on the mound is not yet.”
Jeff Ellis of 247’s Scouting Baseball: Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor. Sleeper: Cobin Carroll, OF, Lakeside (Wash.) HS. “The Twins have gone for players with power potential and up the middle talent when they are picking in round one. In this case, Langeliers is both of those things. One can make a case that his hamate injury has helped him, as it is an injury that typically saps power. This has not been the case for Langeliers, but one has to wonder what his home run total would be if he was at full strength. There are no concerns when it comes to his defensive profile, as he should be an above average defender with a plus arm behind the plate. His power has always been his best offensive tool and he has shown enough of a hit tool to project as an everyday starter, maybe not as a guy who hits in the heart of the lineup, but one who is able to do damage further down and also help his team in the field. The number of catchers like that in the majors in any given year is typically less than five. Carroll would make sense as an up the middle talent with a lot of tools if the Twins went prep.”; Competitive Balance Round A – Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell. Sleeper: Sammy Siani, OF, Penn Charter HS. “Seth Johnson is a converted shortstop who has barely pitched at all, is hitting the high 90s, and showing two potential plus pitches. As one might expect of a player who just started pitching, he is very raw, but for a team, he is a blank slate without bad habits and an arm that has not been overused. In addition, he is a young junior who won’t turn 21 until September, which is another positive for any team drafting him. He is a risk, but, at the back end of round one, Seth Johnson would be just too good to pass on for the Twins. He needs more work than the traditional college arm, but his combination of present stuff, clean delivery, and youth could make him a steal just about anywhere he goes. Younger brothers tend to outperform their older brothers, so Sammy Siani should slot in around here, due to his well-rounded skill set and bloodlines.”
Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report: Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor. “The Twins have not drafted a catcher in the first round since they took Joe Mauer with the No. 1 overall pick in 2001. Langeliers would be the top catching prospect almost any other year, and he’s the premier defensive backstop in this class with a 70-grade arm and 60-grade glove. The progression of his offensive game will determine his ultimate ceiling, and with a .311/.376/.484 line this spring and 27 career home runs, there is reason for optimism in that regard.”
Ryan Phillips of The Big Lead: Bryson Scott, SS, UNLV. “Bryson Stott could have been a top-five guy in this draft if his tools had popped as a junior this season, instead he’s shown himself to have solid-to-plus ability across the board. Stott is a good hitter, making lots of contact from the left side and showing a good approach. Most believe he’ll stick at short long term, though his arm isn’t the greatest. Stott slashed .356/.486/.599 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI this season. The Twins have been connected to pretty much everyone, so this is a guess. At this point a well-rounded player up the middle like Stott is just too hard to pass up.”
MyMLBDraft.com: Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto JC.
Nick Shnider of Draft Site: Daniel Espino, RHP, Bulloch (Ga.) Academy.
Mike Axisa of CBSSports.com: Jackson Rutledge, RHP, San Jacinto JC. “Chances are the Twins will pick from whichever one of the top college pitchers is still on the board here, and that’s Rutledge in our mock draft. He’s enormous (6-foot-8 and 240 lbs.) and has flirted with triple digits this spring. Rutledge stands a good chance of being the highest draft junior college pitcher since the Marlins took Aaron Akin with the 12th overall pick in 1997.”
Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), 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