Today we're going to examine who the Twins could be looking at when they pick at #15 on Thursday in the 2016 MLB Draft.
Note: I am by no means an expert on prospects, or hitting/pitching mechanics. This will be an overview, so if you want more details I will leave links for you to delve into them. These will include videos of the prospects in action, and all of them are from John Sickels over at Minor League Ball.
RHP - Dakota Hudson, Mississippi State University
21 YO, 6'-5", 205 lb.
Last summer in the Cape Cod League, Hudson greatly improved his stock. He threw 43 innings with an ERA of 1.69 and a 41:7 K:BB ratio. He started this year very well (40 IP, 56 K, 18 BB, 0.92 ERA), but has slumped to a 3.00 ERA in 72 innings as a starter.
He has plenty of life in his fastball (93-95, topping out at 97), and has a nasty cutter/slider in the high 80's. He doesn't have much in the way of off-speed stuff, as his slower pitches need work. Many are projecting him to be a middle first round pick.
Here is the full write up on Dakota Hudson.
RHP - Forrest Whitley, San Antonio, Texas
High school senior, 6'-7", 225 lb.
Another tall, hard throwing right hander, Whitley has a ceiling of either a number 2 starter, or a hard thrower out of the bullpen. These are two things the Twins should be interested in. Along with a 95-mph fastball, he has a power curve/slider which could be a plus pitch for him in the future. He also has a change-up, but no one seems to agree on whether it will be good or just average. Like Hudson, he also figures to be a mid first round pick this year.
Here is the full write up on Forrest Whitley
RHP - Justin Dunn, Boston College
21 YO, 6'-2", 185 lb.
Dunn is a smaller guy, but still is able to generate a lot of speed on his fastball (92-95). Along with a good fastball, he also has a slider, curve, and change that all project to be at least average pitches. His stock isn't as high, late first round or second round, but he is certainly a solid prospect.
Here is the full write up on Justin Dunn.
RHP - T.J. Zeuch, University of Pittsburgh
20 YO, 6'-7", 225 lb.
Although he doesn't throw quite as hard (91-94), his secondary pitches are more refined than the other candidates we've looked at. He has a wide difference in velocities on his pitches, meaning he can keep hitters off balance. He projects in the middle of the first round, maybe higher.
Here is the full write up on T.J. Zeuch.
OF - Alex Kirilloff, New Kensington, Pennsylvania
Bats: L, Throws: L
19 YO, 6-2, 195 lb.
The first position player on this list (seriously, most people have the Twins going for a power arm), thanks to Jeremy Nygaard at Twins Daily for the idea.
Kirilloff's strengths are good bat speed and power. He could be a 20+ HR guy with a good batting average some day. He has pretty good speed right now, but could lose some as he gets older. If that happens, he could be moved to first base where he has a pretty good glove. He's projected to be taken in the first round, as high as the teens.
Here is the full writeup on Alex Kirilloff.
LHP - Braxton Garrett, Foley, Alabama
High school senior, 6'-3", 190 lb.
Garrett is our first left hander on this list, and he seems to be a true pitcher. His fastball has some room to improve (90-93), but he has a very good curveball, one of the best in the high school class. His change-up isn't as good but projects to be at least an average to above average pitch for him.
Here is the full write up on Braxton Garrett.
SS - Delvin Perez, Ceiba, Peurto Rico
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
17 YO, 6'-3", 165 lb.
Perez's main strength is his defense. He has a strong arm, good instincts, range, and plenty of athleticism to stay at SS. The question with Perez is his plate discipline. He has the bat speed, but struggles with strike zone judgement and breaking pitches. He should hit for average, and may grow into some power, but he'll need a lot of work to improve his OBP to an acceptable level.
Here is the full write up on Delvin Perez.
SS - Nolan Jones, Holy Ghost Prep, Pennsylvania
Bats: Left, Throws: Right
18 YO, 6'-5", ~200 lb.
Jones is good enough to be a pitching prospect, but he prefers to hit. He certainly has the tools to do so, especially after adding a bunch of weight to his frame, giving him potential 20+ HR power. He has a pretty good glove at SS, but could move to 3B because of his size (remind you of anyone?).
Here is the full write up on Nolan Jones.
I'd be a tad surprised if the Twins didn't take a pitcher in the first round. Most of the mock drafts I've seen have the Twins taking a power arm. This is something the Twins could use a restocking of, with Jose Berrios, Alex Meyer, and the like transitioning from prospects to MLB players. Though, if there's a position player they really like, such as Kirilloff or Jones, they may take him.