Thursday, September 24, 2015

How Has The 2015 Draft Panned Out

The Minnesota Twins found themselves drafting with the top 10 once again this season, after a fourth straight 90 loss season in 2014. With an already stacked minor league talent pool, another strong draft was only going to add to it. Having watched 2015 be the success it has been, draft position will change dramatically next season. That said, it's time to take a look back on what has been accomplished.

Now that all of the minor league seasons are completed, let's take a look at the Twins top ten picks of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, and see how their professional career started.

Sean Miller Rd 10 (290th overall)

Miller was drafted as a college shortstop and assigned initially to the Appy league by the Twins. He lasted all of 11 games there. While he didn't light the league on fire by any means, a promotion was deemed necessary. Miller finished the season playing in 26 games for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, acting as Nick Gordon's double play partner at second base. He slashed .284/.311/.324 across 102 at bats, and helped power Cedar Rapids to a runner up finish in the Midwest League. Look for him to join Gordon at Fort Myers sometime in 2016.

LaMonte Wade Rd 9 (260th overall)

Like Miller, Wade was a college prospect and was sent to the Appy league. Unlike Miller though, Wade stayed for 64 games. He made a mockery of the level also. Slashing .312/.428/.506 in his first professional experience, Wade was on fire. His nine home runs and five triples suggest that he has the ability to flash both speed and power. Wade was promoted to Cedar Rapids for their playoff run, and started in the outfield under Jake Mauer. He should begin 2016 with the Kernels.

Kolton Kendrick Rd 8 (230th overall)

One of the Twins "lottery" type picks, Kendrick is a bopper. Known for his big swing and power, he's been heralded as the type you hope puts it together. Coming out of high-school though, he was going to be a long ways away. Kendrick played 24 games at the Rookie level with the Gulf Coast Twins in 2015. He slashed .200/.371/.271. Surprisingly, he went homerless in his first professional season. Kendrick could repeat the GCL or head to E-Town next year.

Jovani Moran Rd 7 (200th overall)

Just 18, Moran was extremely raw when the Twins took him from Puerto Rico. The lefty was sent to the GCL and started six games. He owned a 4.12 ERA across 19.2 professional innings. His 17 strikeouts to nine walks was a decent ratio, and he held opposing hitters to a .219 average.

Chris Paul Rd 6 (170th overall)

A college selection from UC Berkeley, Paul grabbed himself his first promotion in his first professional season. Pounding Appalachian League pitching for E-Town, Paul slashed .302/.375/.488 with three homers and 16 runs batted in. He was also given 12 games of work at Cedar Rapids, mainly at DH. Although Paul only slashed .244/.277/.356 for the Kernels, he helped them down the stretch and in the playoffs. He'll probably begin 2016 in Iowa.

Alex Robinson Rd 5 (140th overall)

Robinson was also selected out of Maryland, a teammate of LaMonte Wade's. He pitched in 10 games, all in the Appalachian League for E-Town. In 12.0 innings, he gave up 13 runs (12 earned) while walking 16 and striking out 15. It was a rough professional debut, but the 21 year old should be expected to progress moving things forward. We could see him in Cedar Rapids in early 2016.

Trey Cabbage Rd 4 (110th overall)

Another high school selection, Cabbage will still be 18 when the 2016 season starts. He debuted with the Gulf Coast Twins and got in 33 games before back issues sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Cabbage had an up and down debut, with a final slash line resting at .252/.302/.269. Just two extra base hits in 33 games, Minnesota no doubt would have liked to see more, but it's uncertain what can be attributed to the injury. Cabbage will probably be slow-played to start 2016.

Travis Blankenhorn Rd 3 (80th overall)

Already being ranked on some of Baseball America's watch lists, Blankenhorn earned a 2015 promotion as well. He played in 14 GCL games as well as 39 games for E-Town. As a whole, the 19 year-old slashed .244/.321/.347 in his first professional season. He picked up three homers (all at E-Town) along with seven doubles and two triples. Blankenhorn will be a name to watch over the next couple of seasons.

Kyle Cody Rd 2 (competitive balance)

The Twins whiffed in selecting Kyle Cody with their competitive balance picked. The Kentucky Wildcat pitcher decided not to sign and instead will return to college. In the upcoming draft, the Twins have been awarded the 74th overall pick by not signing Cody.

Tyler Jay Rd 1 (6th overall)

Drafted as a reliever, with the idea he could start, the Twins wanted to rush Jay to the big leagues. That plan was halted when he gave up six earned in his first 6.2 professional innings. From there though, the former Fighting Illini pitcher was lights out. Jay ended the season for the Fort Myers Miracle with 11.2 innings of 2 run ball with 14 strikeouts and a .171/.261/.244 slash line against. He also did not give up an earned run over his last seven outings. With the idea he should be stretched out to start, Jay will probably begin 2016 back at High-A Fort Myers.

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