Original article link: Some EARLY 2013 MLB Draft Options for the Minnesota Twins, by Eric Pleiss
Eric Pleiss of Twins’ blogsite “Knuckelballsblog.com” took a look at 11 potential picks for Minnesota in the 2013 MLB Draft. Eight of those players are USA Baseball alumni…
Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Appel is back in the draft for the third time after being selected in the 15th round by the Detroit Tigers in the 15th round of the 2009 draft, and again by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round (8th overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He has a fastball that sits in the mid 90s and a nice looping slider that devastates right handed batters.
Appel will be 22 next July and with the current state of Minnesota’s pitching staff, he would instantly become one of the best pitchers in the organization.
Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
Stanek was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft by the Seattle Mariners but chose instead to attend college at the University of Arkansas. From his Arkansas Razorbacksprofile, he has a low 90s fastaball and a “tremendous” breaking ball.
He was 8-4 in 2012 as a weekend starter for the Razorbacks and was an All-SEC performer. Matt Garrioch at MinorLeagueBall.com says of Stanek, “One of the best college pitchers I have seen over the last 3 years.” He’ll need another strong season in the SEC to move onto the Twins’ radar at the top of the 1st round, but with a big time need for starting pitchers, you can’t count him out.
Jeremy Martinez, C, Mater Dei HS (California)
Jeremy Martinez is ESPN’s number 1 rated HS prospect on the ESPN 60 list. He’s committed to playing for the USC Trojans in 2013, but if the Twins are looking down the road for a guy to replace Joe Mauer, Martinez could be their man. Power showcase.com lists his pop-time from home to 2nd base at 1.86 seconds, which is pretty quick no matter who you are (MLB average is usually right around 1.8-1.9). In 2011 he was one of just two juniors on the USA 18 and Under squad so he’s been a front runner for the 2013 draft for some time now. The Twins seem to like current Minor League catcher Chris Herrmann, but Martinez would have a much higher ceiling than any catcher in the Twins organization.
Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
Meadows is a big kid at 6′ 3″ and 200 lbs as a HS Junior and the number two ranked player on ESPN 60, and like the Twins 2012 first round draft selection, is also a toolsy outfielder from Georgia. He had a big junior season hitting .390 with 4 HR, 28 RBI and 19 steals, brining his team all the way to the Georgia 5A state semifinals. Meadows is also a great football player, but has decided his future lies in baseball and will forego his senior season on the gridiron to focus on baseball. He is, however, committed to Clemson, so any team that drafts him will likely need to offer him a significant signing bonus. With all of the outfield talent spread throughout the Twins’ farm system, I do not see them going after Austin Meadows, but Minnesota is a team that is not afraid to draft the best available player, regardless of position, so Meadows could end up being their guy with a strong senior season.
Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego
Bryant has been destroying West Coast Conference pitching for two yeasr hitting .366/.483/.671 over 110 games. Bryant was previously drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 18th round of the 2010 draft. Bryant does not play great defense, but he has pretty decent speed, hits for a lot of power (9 home runs as a freshman and 14 as a sophomore, to go along with 17 doubles each year), and walked more than he struck out in his sophomore season. The Twins may have found a long-term slugging solution at 3B in Trevor Plouffe, but Kris Bryant would fit into the Twins MiLB system with as much power as anyone other thanMiguel Sano.
Bobby Wahl, RHP, Mississippi
Wahl was originally drafted late in the 2010 draft by the Cleveland Indians (39th round), but chose instead to enroll at Ole Miss. This past summer Wahl was named to the USA Collegiate squad and primarily serves as a late inning reliever. In his first four appearances he struck out nine batters, walked three, gave up no runs and recorded two saves. According to Pinestripesplus.com, Wahl possesses ”a great pitcher’s build and a fastball in the low 90s.” Despite being used as a reliever for the Collegiate National Team, Wahl started 17 games for the Rebels in 2012 and went 7-4 with a 2.55 ERA. He had 104 strike outs in 99 innings to go along with just 34 walks. If it wasn’t for the dramatic shift in the way the Twins draft pitchers evidenced by the 2012 draft, Wahl would be exactly the kind of low 90s control pitcher the Twins might normally target. Will need to be really impressive in 2013 to become a top-5 draft pick.
Karsten Whitson, RHP, Florida
Karsten Whitson is not only one of the leading draft prospects for the 2013 draft, but he has a phenomenal baseball name, which should be good for an extra $50 or something on his signing bonus. He was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 draft, (9th overall) but ended up at the University of Florida instead of playing pro-ball. In two years at Florida, and 10 starts as a sophomore, Whitson is 12-1 with 112 strikeouts and just 46 walks in 131 innings. Whitson is a big guy at 6′ 4″, 225 lbs, and throws in the mid to upper 90s. Despite some minor injury troubles that kept him out of some early season games a year ago, he should be ready to dominate as a Junior in the SEC. Whitson has a real opportunity to be the number one overall selection in the upcoming draft, and the Twins would be more than happy if he fell to them at number three.
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (California)
Gonsalves is the 2nd best pitcher, and 5th best overall high school prospect, as rated by ESPN. In his Junior year was 10-0 with 79 strike outs in 66 innings. Gonsalves has been clocked as high as 92 mph, but at 6′ 5″, 205 lbs, he will definitely put on more weight before he’s done growing and could be throwing in the upper 90s before too long per MLB Draft Countdown. Gonsalves also throws a change up and a curveball, with the latter being his go-to out pitch. He’s also a talented player off the mound where his size, athleticism, and arm strength make him a quality centerfield prospect as well should he not realize his future as a starting pitcher.
Filed under: 2013 MLB Draft