Episode 87: When Cats Attack, Reviewing the Draft

If you’re listening to this podcast, you probably have more than a passing interest in Twins baseball. You’ve probably read about all of their draft picks, even guys drafted after the first few rounds, like Minnesota native Pat Kelly, who was taken in the 12th round. 

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You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or click here you can download the new episode, and if you want to add the show to your non-iTunes podcast player, this is the RSS Feed.

Jay is driving the episode this week, so prepare your ears for a little different sound, but have no fear, other than lots of cat noises in the background, the show is pretty stellar. We start the episode by saying goodbye to one of the most handsome red beards to ever grace the outfield grass in Minnesota, Jason Kubel. Kubel is gone, but highlighting this last week was the acquisition of Kendrys Morales who along with the emergence of Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana gives the Twins arguably one of the best line ups in the American League. 

We talk a little draft, but save most of the draft talk for our guests from the Twins Hangouts (@TwinsHangouts), Jeremy Nygaard (@jeremynygaard) and Seth Stohs (@SethTweets). With the help of those two we dive into the draft and discuss the Twins moves and what it could mean for this club in the near and long term.

A lot of weird things have happened in the world of baseball this week, and we cover most of them when we go around the league, to include banana and mayo sandwiches, a Seminole Indian rain man and a “fatty mass with tentacles”. Yikes.

Thanks for listening.

You can follow Cody on Twitter (@NoDakTwinsFan) or read his writing at NoDakTwinsFan, you can find Paul on Twitter (@BaseballPirate) and you can find Mr. Jay Corn on Twitter (@Jay__Corn)!
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Episode 85: Astatine, Jim Callis and the Most Important Coach in Baseball

Half of Twins Territory still thinks we’re morons, but “This is Talk to Contact.” You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or click here you can download the new episode, and if you want to add the show to your podcast player, this is the RSS Feed.

This week’s episode is highlighted by a lengthy interview with Jim Callis (@JimCallisMLB, MLBpipeline.com) who talks about the draft and a whole mess of Twins topics. The Baseball Pirate makes his return from defending the homeland and the whole gang is back together for the first time in a long time. The show starts out with a rousing discussion of which coach is the most important coach in baseball, and whether or not any of the players on the 25-man roster could be more important than the most important coach. Interesting things are happening.

Brian Dozier continues to impress, the Twins pitchers continue to distress (except for Punxsutawney Phil Hughes), and Eduardo Escobar continues to mash extra-base hits like it’s his job (because it is). Is Eddie Escobar playing over his head? Probably some, but could this also be the natural maturation of a player who’s been in the big leagues since his age-22 season?

Eddie Rosario makes his return from his drug suspension, Ben Revere hits a real life, honest to god, over the wall home run and Carlos Gomez says “It’s sexy batting clean-up!” All this and more on this week’s episode of Talk to Contact.

 

You can follow Cody on Twitter (@NoDakTwinsFan) or read his writing at NoDakTwinsFan, you can find Paul on Twitter (@BaseballPirate) and you can find Mr. Jay Corn on Twitter (@Jay__Corn)!

If you enjoy our podcast, please take a couple extra minutes and rate and review our show on iTunes.   iTunes ratings and reviews are the main way to get us kicked off of iTunes, again.

Some EARLY 2013 MLB Draft Options for the Minnesota Twins – Part 2

The Twins were off yesterday and, despite yet another Colorado Rockies loss, they are still in position to have the third overall draft selection in the 2013 MLB Draft.  Minnesota’s hold on that 3rd draft selection is pretty tenuous, as they’re just half a game worse than the Rockies, and two games behind the Cleveland Indians.  Something to watch for down the stretch after the Twins are officially eliminated from the playoffs (any combination of 8 Twins losses or White Sox victories).

Here are the final 5 prospect profiles in this early top 11 draft preview:

Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina
Like Levi Michael, the Twins 2011 1st round draft selection, Moran plays his college ball at the University of North Carolina.  Moran lacks any elite tools, and he’s slow, but he makes up for that by being a well above average hitter.  He hits for average, makes good contact,  has pretty good power numbers, and gets on base a ton (68 walks compared to just 57 strikeouts).  In his two years at UNC he’s hit 12 home runs, and has a hitting line of .347/.439/.522.  To move all the way to the top of the draft an be a serious candidate for the Twins Moran will have to hit for more power than he did as a sophomore (just 3 of his 12 home runs came in his 2nd year on the team) and he’ll likely need to demonstrate above average defense at 3B (at 6′ 3″ and only 180 he’s lanky and needs to stay down on balls hit his way).  He was a 1st team College All-American in 2011, so all eyes will be on him for the 2013 season.

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.

Clinton Hollon, RHP, Woodford County HS (KY)
The Twins typically shy away from high school pitching, but Hollon is a guy that they might not be able to pass up.  He has a fast ball that generally works between 90-94 but has been clocked as high as 97 mph at times, according to PerfectGame.org.  A lot of things have to go right for a high school pitcher to make it to the Major Leagues, but at 6′ 1″, 195 lbs Hollon has room to grow into his body and could add a couple of extra MPH to his fastball before everything is all said and done.  I do not think the Twins will go this route, but if they think Hollon is the best talent available, and willing to sign at or near his slot value, the Twins could potentially take a gamble.

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.

And there you have it, 11 men/boys that could potentially be the next Minnesota Twins 1st round draft pick.  If you think I’ve missed anyone, or have any additional insights to share please leave me a message in the comments.

-ERolfPleiss

 

Some EARLY 2013 MLB Draft Options for the Minnesota Twins – Part 1

It is way to early to start thinking about the MLB draft, especially with real, meaningful baseball being played.  But it probably does not hurt to start familiarizing ourselves with some of the names that might be floating around the top of the pre-draft rankings.  If the draft was to start today, the Twins would find themselves with the third overall selection.  Here are the first 6 of 11 potential first round draft picks the Twins could take in 2013.

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 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 Marinersbut chose instead to attend college at the University of Arkansas.  From his Arkansas Razorbacks profile, 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 pitches 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 Wilson, OF, Stanford
Austin Wilson was drafted in the 12th round of the 2010 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals but found his way to onto Stanford Cardinal squad instead of going pro.  As a sophomore in 2012 Wilson hit .285 and lead the team with 56 runs scored and 10 home runs.  He also walked 24 times and was hit 15 more, raising his OBP to .389.  Wilson will need to cut down on his strike outs (44) without sacrificing any of his power to move up the draft boards prior to the 2013 draft.

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 than Miguel Sano.

Like I said, it is still REALLY early to start thinking about the 2013 draft, but the the Twins season spirally quickly down the drain, it cannot hurt to look toward the future.  Part 2 coming on Saturday.

-ErolfPleiss