The 2016 MLB Draft is almost hear and with the season that the Minnesota Twins are having to this point, it is one of the highlights to look towards. The hope of what the future can bring to change the ways of this franchise. In this article we will look at the Minnesota Twins organizational depth and the potential needs that they could try to fill in the 2016 MLB Draft.
Pitching: The thought process that you can never have enough pitching is true, no matter how many potential stars that you may think you already have in your organization. A number of mock drafts out there have the Twins taking a pitcher in the first round and even if you think you have enough pitching in your organization, there are always injuries, players who don't pan out, and trade value. The Twins do have some depth in pitching in the minor leagues with Jose Berrios, Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Jay, Felix Jorge, Nick Burdi, Jake Reed, and J.T. Chargois but a wise GM will never turn away a top arm.
Second Base/Shortstop: This is an area where I think the need is greatest in terms of position players within the Minnesota Twins organization. Most fans don't see that when they look at the big league club and see Brian Dozier playing second and Nunez playing as well as he has but when drafting you are looking at 3-4 years before these players develop and that may be the time when the franchise will be making hard decisions about Doizer and others. The organizational depth is pretty thin in the middle infield area for the Twins with Nick Gordon right now being the only high ceiling player that they have, at shortstop. There are a few other names like Engelb Vielma, Ryan Walker, and Levi Michael but Minnesota would be wise to stock these two positions if they can.
Outfield: The outfield position is a very interesting one as with Byron Buxton and Max Kepler once again being brought back to the major league club, it has stripped the minor league organization of most of it's depth in the outfield. I won't say that it has taken it all away as they still have some quality talent at Double AA Chattanooga in Travis Harrison and Daniel Palka, Edgar Corcino at Fort Myers, and one of my favorite minor league players in the Minnesota organization, LaMonte Wade at Cedar Rapids. That being said, that's only four guys that you are looking at with strong major league potential and you need more than that to stock a productive outfield for years to come. Before any comes screaming with, "why didn't you list Adam Brett Walker", the answer is because if he does make it to the major leagues I don't see him in the outfield but more as a DH or first baseman.
Catcher: Good backstops are always needed in the major leagues to guide a pitching staff through a long season and to also hopefully provide some offense to go with their defense. I would have placed the need for catching to be higher with Suzuki's stint as a Minnesota Twin coming to a close but I think the Twins have some talent in the minor league system that could be very promising in the next couple of years. At Double AA Chattanooga, you have one of the best defensive catchers in the minors in Stuart Turner and another catcher that is solid behind the plate and a hitter with some pop in Mitch Garver. At Fort Myers, Alex Swim has been one of the best hitting catchers in the Florida State League the past two seasons and has caught some of the best pitching talent the Twins organization. Talk with any of those pitchers and they will tell you that Swim is underrated defensively and for his game calling skills. Finally in Cedar Rapids, the Kernels have a young catcher on the rise in A.J. Murray who is improving defensively and has shown to be a run producer in Low A ball.
I left first base and third base off this list as with Mauer and Park, it may be a while before they will have need at first. They do have some limited depth at first with Kennys Vargas, Adam Brett Walker, and D.J. Hicks so in 2017 my aim will shift to that corner. At third base, once the Twins have moved on from Trevor Plouffe, Miguel Sano will man that location for quite a few years and the Twins drafted two third baseman in Trey Cabbage (4th Round) and Travis Blankenhorn (Round 3) in 2015 so I don't see this as a pressing area of need in 2016.
These are the places that I think the Minnesota Twins need to focus on the most for the 2016 MLB Draft. With that being said, if someone comes to your spot that is at a position of not your greatest need they still have to look at pulling the trigger and either using that player as a trade possibility or stocking the organization even further as you never know what will happen with guys in the minor leagues.