2011 was the first of what has been three miserable seasons for the Twins. The team went 63-99, losing more games than they ever lost during The Dark Ages (1995 - 2000). It was the second-worst record in the team's history since the move from Washington in 1961. The good news, I suppose, was that 1982's 102-loss grouping included future World Series winners Tim Laudner, Kent Hrbek, Gary Gaetti, Tom Brunansky, Randy Bush, and Frank Viola.
I'm not sure the 2011 team had many future World Series players on board, though.
At any rate, the Twins picked second overall in the 2012 draft. Let's see how it all went down.
First Pick: Byron Buxton (1st Round, #2 Overall)
When the 2012 draft came around, the scuttlebutt was that there was no sure-fire number one pick and that the top of the draft wasn't particularly heavy. Houston shied away from Buxton and took shortstop Carlos Correa (currently hitting .320/.386/.487 as a 19-year old in Advanced-A), and we know that Buxton has put up video game numbers (.326/.415/.472 in Advanced-A at age 19 last season). We learned over the weekend that Minnesota would have taken Correa had the Astros sniped Buxton, but really, it's pretty obvious that both clubs scored big time.
Best (Non-Buxton) Pick: Jose Berrios (1st Round, Supplemental, #32 Overall)
Berrios started getting rave reviews pretty early on, and he's continued to deliver on that performance. His most recent display of his talent was in this weekend's shoutout where he struck out 13 in his first start as a 20-year old. The experts thought he projected as a reliever, like many of the Twins pitchers taken in this draft, but so far Berrios has proven that he has the ability and attitude to go through a lineup two or three times. He'll be in Minnesota sometime next year, probably late in the season.
Best Name: James Marvel (37th Round, #1120 Overall)
He just sounds like a superhero. He didn't sign, obviously. Not because he chose to go to college, but because he's out saving lives every night. But also because he chose to go to college.
L.J. Mazzilli (9th Round) didn't sign with the Twins, wanting more money than the Twins were willing to dish out. He went back to the University of Connecticut for his senior season. The Yankees took him with their fourth-round selection in 2013, and this year he's batting .293/.368/.439 as a 23-year old in Single-A. I'm not sure why that's fun, but it's the best I had.
Other Notable Players
There are a number of guys in this draft who populate Twins prospect lists from this draft. Buxton and Berrios of course are in the Top 10, but Luke Bard (1st Round Supplemental, #42 Overall), Mason Melotakis (2nd Round), Adam Walker (4th), Zach Jones (5th), D.J. Baxendale (10th), Taylor Rogers (11th), Dalton Hicks (17th), Zach Larson (20th), and Bryan Haar (34th) have all featured in minor league and prospect articles on Twinkie Town in the last year. We'll likely need another couple of years before we can tell how much of a win the Twins picked up with guys like Walker and Jones, but all of those other arms (Melotakis, Baxendale, Rogers, and J.T. Chargois) all have opportunities to make this draft group very interesting.
Junior College: 2
High School: 13
The Twins went prep-prep with their first two picks, but then went with collegiate players in 11 of their next 13 picks. Throughout the rest of the draft the results were more mixed, although the tendencies remained solidly on the collegiate side. Minnesota ended the draft with 11 of their final 15 picks coming from a four-year college.
To take a look at the full 2012 draft, head over to BaseballReference.com.