When your team sits near the top of the draft board, it makes draft day that much more interesting. Your best chance on hitting at a future contributor is in that area, where potential busts of tomorrow are born. With great draft position comes great responsibility for developing that player to make yourself better and please the fan base, and with that in mind we've already started to review some of the draft's best talent.
But this series isn't about who the Twins could draft. It's about who they already have drafted...within the last five years. We'll look at the best and the worst, if only for the sake of some perspective.
First Pick: Kyle Gibson (1st Round, #22 Overall)
Gibson's stock had fallen due to injuries and concerns about his arm, but the stuff was there for a good mid-rotation starting pitcher for the Major Leagues. The Twins did well in terms of talent, it was just whether or not the arm would hold up. There's been Tommy John surgery, which pushed his Major League debut back from (what would have been) 2011 to 2013. And even that was tarnished by the lingering effects of what ligament surgery will do to an arm.
Best Pick: Brian Dozier (8th Round, #252 Overall)
Dozier has come out of nowhere, over the last 12 months turning himself into one of the best young second basemen in the game. Can he continue to be as good as he's been over the last year? That's the question, but right now he's looking good; bWAR has him at 6.0 wins above replacement for his career. If he were taken in the first round, Dozier would - at this point in his career - been the fourth-most valuable player on that list behind Mike Trout (22.6), Stephen Strasburg (9.3), Mike Leake (8.5), and Dustin Ackley (7.3). It's not unfathomable that Dozier could pass both Leake and Ackley in the near future.
Best Name: David Hurlbut (35th Round, #1062 Overall)
Dakota Watts is a cool name, but I'd have to go with Hurlbut. Because I'm six.
The Twins drafted Gopher Eric Decker in the 27th round. The same Eric Decker who helped blow out defenses with the help of Peyton Manning.
After Gibson, the Twins selected at 46 (first round supplemental), 70 (second round), and 101 (third round). From that group - Matt Bashore, Billy Bullock, and Ben Tootle - none of them made it more than two years in the system.
Other Notable Players
Aside from Gibson and Dozier, Chris Herrmann is the only other player to make a Major League appearance for the Twins. Lefty Mario Hollands (round 24) was re-drafted by the Phillies in 2010 (round 10), and has appeared in 15 games out of the bullpen for Philadelphia this season. It's worth noting that the Twins traded Bullock to the Braves for, essentially, one good season of Scott Diamond.
College: 27 (including all of the first nine players selected)
Junior College: 4
High School: 20 (including eight of the last 11 players selected)
That breakdown will be interesting to note as we move forward in time with this series. Until then, if you'd like to see the full draft board for the Twins from 2009, have at it.