Twins MLB draft glance since 1998: Rounds 6-20

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Major League Baseball draft, which will be held June 10-11, will be limited to five rounds.

With the truncated version this year, we thought we’d take a look back at Minnesota Twins drafts since 1998 – when the last two expansion teams were added – to see how the Brewers have fared in each round.

We’ve already looked at Round 1 and rounds 2-5 and now we’ll look at the players who made the majors from Minnesota’s picks in rounds 6-20. Our final article will focus on rounds 21-50.

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Instead of ranking each player subjectively, we’ll order them objectively – by baseball-reference.com’s WAR (wins above replacement). Note: For pitchers, we’re using only their pitching WAR. To add in their hitting WAR seems a bit unfair, but we’ll include it in the capsule for reference sake. Also, this list only included players signed by Minnesota.

 

Round 6

Pat Neshek, P, 2002
WAR: 10.7 (3.0 with Twins)

Batting WAR: n/a

Neshek spent the first four years of his career (not including missing the 2009 season due to injury) with the Twins but pitched more than 40 innings just once over that span. Overall, Neshek had a 3.05 ERA, 1.010 WHIP and 10.5 K/9 in 129 2/3 innings with Minnesota – the most he’s pitched for any team. Neshek has also pitched for San Diego, Oakland, St. Louis, Houston, Colorado and Philadelphia. In 13 seasons, Neshek has a 2.82 ERA (146 ERA+), 1.041 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 over 488 innings. He is currently a free agent.

 

Dereck Rodriguez, OF, 2011
WAR: 1.0 (DNP with Twins)

Batting WAR: -0.1 (DNP with Twins)

Rodriguez was converted to a pitcher in 2014 then signed with San Francisco after the 2017 season. He’s pitched in 49 games with 35 starts for the Giants with a 4.10 ERA and 1.279 WHIP.

 

Brian Wolfe, P, 1999
WAR: 0.7

Batting WAR: n/a

After struggling in the minors, Wolfe was released and signed by Milwaukee, which eventually traded him to Toronto. Wolfe made 72 relief appearances for the Blue Jays from 2007-09, posting a 3.81 ERA and 1.222 WHIP over 82 2/3 innings.

 

John Curtiss, P, 2014
WAR: -0.2 (-0.2 with Twins)

Batting WAR: n/a

Curtiss pitched in 15 innings over 17 games for Minnesota in 2017-18, recording a 7.20 ERA and 1.553 WHIP with 17 strikeouts. He was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in 2019, appearing in one game (2 1/3 innings) before ending up with Philadelphia, briefly. Curtiss signed with Tampa Bay this past offseason.

 

Logan Darnell, P, 2010
WAR: -0.4

Batting WAR: n/a

Darnell made seven appearances with four starts for the Twins in 2014, going 0-2 with a 7.13 ERA. He pitched in the minors until 2017.

 

Chris Hermann, C, 2009
WAR: -0.7 (-1.4 with Twins)

Hermann played in 142 games (389 plate appearances) in four seasons with the Twins, appearing at catcher, first base, left field, right field and designated hitter. He batted just .181/.249/.280 and was traded to Arizona in November 2015. In addition to the Diamondbacks, Hermann had played for Seattle and Oakland, owning a career .205 average with 25 home runs. He signed with Tampa Bay this past offseason.

 

Round 7

n/a

 

Round 8

Brian Dozier, SS, 2009
WAR: 23.6 (22.7 with Twins)

Pitching WAR: -0.1 (DNP with Twins)

Arriving in the majors in 2012, Dozier was moved to second base the following year and remained Minnesota’s starter there until being traded to the Dodgers during the 2018 season. In his seven seasons with the Twins, Dozier hit .248/.325/.442 (107 OPS+) with 167 home runs and 98 stolen bases. Dozier, who made one All-Star Game, had four straight years with 20+ homers, 12+ steals and 100+ runs with Minnesota.  Dozier played in 135 games for Washington in 2019, hitting .238 with 20 homers, but had only one plate appearance in the World Series. He signed with San Diego this past offseason.

 

Jason Wheeler, P, 2011
WAR: -0.1

Batting WAR: n/a

Wheeler pitched in three innings over two games for Minnesota in 2017 (allowing five runs, three earned) then sold to the Dodgers who traded him to Baltimore. However, he didn’t appear in the majors again and pitched in the KBO League in 2018.

 

Brian Dinkelman, 2B, 2006
WAR: -0.2

Playing second base, left field, right field and designated hitter, Dinkleman got into 23 games with 78 plate appearances for Minnesota in 2011. He batted .301 with one extra-base hit (a double) and two steals in what turned out to be his only major-league experience.

 

Round 9

Mitch Garver, C, 2013
WAR: 5.1

Garver debuted in 2017 when he played in 23 games, then split time at catcher in 2018, batting .268 with seven home runs in 28. Last year he broke out hitting .273/.365/.630 (156 OPS+) with 31 home runs in just 93 games (359 plate appearances).

 

Saul Rivera, P, 1998
WAR: 2.0 (DNP with Twins)

Batting WAR: 0.1

Rivera was waived by Minnesota after the 2001 season and claimed by the New York Mets, who traded him to Montreal – yes, Montreal – in July 2002. Rivera was dealt to Milwaukee in June 2004 and signed with Washington that winter and the following offseason. He finally reached the majors at age 28 in 2006 and pitched four years for the Nationals and one (four games) with Arizona in 2010. Rivera went 13-15 with four saves, a 4.29 ERA and 1.511 WHIP in 249 career games.

 

LaMonte Wade Jr., OF, 2015
WAR:  0.1

An on-base machine in the minors (career .389 OBP), Wade played in 26 games with the Twins in 2019, hitting .196/.348/.375 in 69 plate appearances.

 

Round 10

Kyle Phillips, C, 2002
WAR: 0.0 (DNP with Twins)

Phillips was released by the Twins in April 2006. He played in five games with Toronto (5-for-18) in 2009 and in 36 with San Diego (.171, two home runs) in 2011.

 

Round 11

Taylor Rogers, P, 2012
WAR: 6.4

Batting WAR: n/a

The left-hander has gone from a dependable reliever to closer in the span of four years. Rogers broke out in 2018, posting a 2.63 ERA, 0.951 WHIP and 9.9 K/9 and followed that up last season with a 2.61 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 11.7 K/9 and 30 saves. Overall with the Twins, Rogers owns a 3.04 ERA (144 ERA+), 1.125 WHIP and 9.8 K/9.

 

Evan Meek, P, 2002
WAR: 1.7 (DNP with Twins)

Batting WAR: 0.1

Meek was released by Minnesota in 2005 and eventually landed in Pittsburgh, where he allowed 11 runs (10 earned) in 13 innings in 2008. Two years later he was an All-Star. In five seasons with the Pirates, Meek had a 3.34 ERA (122 ERA+), 1.326 WHIP and 7.5 K/9. He also pitched for Baltimore in 2015, allowing nine runs in 12 innings.

 

Josh Rabe, OF, 2000
WAR: -0.4

Rabe got 82 plate appearances over 38 games with Minnesota from 2006-07. He batted .250 with three home runs, all of which came in 2006 in the span of one week (July 29-Aug. 3) against three different teams.

 

Round 12

Jason Kubel, OF, 2000
WAR: 4.1 (3.6 with Twins)

Kubel made his mark with the Twins playing on three playoff teams. He hit 20+ home runs in five straight seasons from 2007-11, with a high of 28 in 2009, when he also drove in a career-high 103 runs and hit .300. In his eight years with Minnesota, which also included a brief return in 2014, he hit .269/.334/.449 (110 OPS+) with 105 home runs. Kubel also played for Arizona and Cleveland, although only eight games for the latter.

 

Alex Burnett, P, 2005
WAR: 0.0 (0.2 with Twins)

Batting WAR: n/a

Burnett appeared in 177 games, all in relief, for the Twins from 2010-12, recording a 4.70 ERA and 1.429 WHIP. His best year came in 2012 when he had a 3.52 ERA (117 ERA+) and 1.353 WHIP but he was waived the next March. He pitched 2 1/3 innings combined with Baltimore and the Chicago Cubs in 2013.

 

Round 13

Kevin Cameron, P, 2001
WAR: 0.5 (DNP with Twins)

Batting WAR: -0.1

San Diego selected Cameron in the Rule 5 draft and he pitched for the Padres in 2007-08 before signing with Oakland in 2009. Overall, he pitched in 69 games in the majors with a 3.02 ERA, 1.483 WHIP and 7.3 K/9.

 

Cody Stashak, P, 2015
WAR: 0.4
Batting WAR: n/a

Stashak made his debut with the Twins last season at age 25, with one start among his 18 appearances. He pitched 25 innings to a 3.24 ERA, 1.200 WHIP and 9.0 K/9. In spring training this year he pitched seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts.

 

Ryan O’Rourke, P, 2010
WAR: 0.1 (0.1 with Twins)

Batting WAR: 0.0 (0.0 with Twins)

The left-handed O’Rourke pitched in 48 1/3 innings over 56 games for Minnesota in 2015-16, posting a 4.84 ERA and 1.283 WHIP. He missed the entire 2017 season and eventually re-emerged in the majors in 2019 with the New York Mets, pitching 1 1/3 innings. He was signed by the Twins in August but released in November. O’Rourke announced his retirement on June 9.

 

Round 14

Zack Granite, OF, 2013
WAR: 0.3

Granite played 40 games with the Twins in 2017, accumulating 107 plate appearances and hitting .237/.321/.290 with one home run. He even got into the AL wild-card game as a replacement for Byron Buxton, going 1-for-2. Granite returned to the minors in 2018, played for Texas’ Triple-A team in 2019 and is now part of the Yankees’ organization.

 

Jeff Manship, P, 2006
WAR: 0.1 (-0.9 with Twins)

Batting WAR: -0.2 (n/a with Twins)

Manship pitched parts of four seasons with Minnesota (2009-10), recording a 6.20 ERA in 85 2/3 innings over 41 games, with six starts. After one year each in Colorado and Philadelphia, he landed in Cleveland, where he pitched well in 2015 (0.92 ERA in 39 1/3 innings) and ’16 (3.12 ERA, 43 1/3 IP), and tossed 2 1/3 scoreless frames in the Indians’ World Series run. He finished his career with a 4.82 ERA.

 

Levale Speigner, P, 2003
WAR: -1.7 (DNP with Twins)

Batting WAR: 0.0

Washington selected Speigner in the Rule 5 draft, returned him to Minnesota in June 2007 then reacquired him four days later in a deal for Darnell McDonald. Speigner had a 9.19 ERA in 48 innings for the Nationals from 2007-08.

 

Round 15

n/a

 

Round 16

Matt Tolbert, SS, 2004
WAR: 0.8

Tolbert carved out a four-year career with Minnesota as a utility player, mainly appearing at second base, third base and shortstop. He played in 247 games with 680 plate appearances, batting .230/.288/.319 with three homers and 17 steals. Tolbert also appeared in the 2009 and 2019 ALDS, appearing in three games and doing 1-for-5 with a hit by pitch.

 

Round 17

n/a

 

Round 18

n/a

 

Round 19

Danny Valencia, 3B, 2006
WAR: 5.8 (0.9 with Twins)

Pitching WAR: 0.0 (DNP with Twins)

The right-handed hitting Valencia mashed left-handed pitchers (.312/.370/.495) over his nine-year career, three seasons of which were spent with the Twins. He made it to the majors with Minnesota in 2010, hitting .311 with seven homers in 85 games and was the Twins’ starting third baseman in 2011, hitting .246 with 15 HR in 154 games. Valencia slumped in 2012 and was dealt to Boston in August. In his well-traveled career, he also played for Baltimore (twice), Kansas City, Toronto, Oakland and Seattle, last playing with the Orioles in 2018. His career slash line was .267/.317/.426 (103 OPS+) with 96 home runs.

 

Sean Poppen, P, 2016
WAR: -0.1

Batting WAR: n/a

Poppen made his major-league debut in 2019, allowing seven runs in 8 1/3 innings. He is on Minnesota’s 40-man roster.

 

Round 20

Travis Bowyer, P, 1999
WAR: 0.0

Batting WAR: n/a

Bowyer pitched in the Futures Game in 2005 and made eight appearances with the Twins that season, allowing six runs in 9 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts. That December he was one of two minor leaguers traded to the Marlins for second baseman Luis Castillo. Injuries curtailed Bowyer’s career, however, and after 2005 he didn’t pitch again until seven years later when he appeared in 13 innings for the independent Somerset Patriots.