For MLB draft nerds like me, we got a small but well-loved early Christmas present this week, as Major League Baseball released the draft order for the 2018 MLB draft.
While the Twins do not have the first overall pick in 2018, or the most money to spend in the draft like last year, the team still has four selections in the first 100 picks. Here is where the Twins draft selections fall:
Round 1: Pick 20
Round 2: Pick 59
Competetive Balance Round B: Pick 75
Round 3: Pick 95
Draft Pick History
These picks are still very solid, providing the Twins a great chance to select great talent to fill up its minor league system.
In 2017 the Mets had the 20th overall pick, select LHP David Robertson out of the Univeristy of Oregon. Robertson is rated as a 50 grade prospect by MLB.com, and is actually the top rated prospect in the Mets system after SS Amed Rosario graduated from the list this fall. In 2016, the Dodgers selected 20th overall, grabbing prep SS Gavin Lux, a 50 grade prospect who figures to stay at short.
With the 59th pick, the Mets selected 3B Mark Vientos, who doesn’t turn 18 until December and is graded as a 45 overall prospect, the Mets’ 10th best. In 2016 the 59th pick was taken by the Giants, who took OF Bryan Reynolds out of Vanderbilt, another 50 grade prospect who posted a .826 OPS in Single-A Advanced as a 22 year old in 2017.
The 75th pick in the 2017 draft was actually taken by the Astros in the Competetive Balance B round, and they selected OF J.J. Matijevic out of the University of Arizona, also ranked as a 45 grade prospect. In 2016 the Brewers had the 75th selection, taking prep C Mario Feliciano, currently ranked as a 45 grade prospect.
Draft Bonus Pool
In 2017 the Mets had a bonus pool of $6,212,500, the 24th largest pool. The Mets had no competetive balance picks in 2017, but the Twins do have the 75th pick in Competitive Balance Round B, which carried a bonus slot of $767,400 in 2017.
With the 75th pick added to the Mets’ Bonus pool last year, the team would have had the 18th largest bonus pool in 2017. While the Bonus Pool figures may shift a bit for the 2018 MLB Draft, the Twins should still have a decent budget to work with.
Picking 20th overall is not nearly as exciting as picking first overall for draft nerds like me, but it does mean the team is playing competitive baseball.
For small-to-mid market teams like the Twins, drafting in the late first round is incredibly important for sustained success, as draft busts can lead to a team’s downfall like it did for the Twins between 2011-2016. Teams routinely drafting in the late rounds need to supplement their prospect lists with international signings and good trades, something the Twins’ new front office has shown a history of doing.
Free agency also becomes an important key to success for teams drafting ‘lesser’ prospects in the late first round, and the Twins have a chance of making a big splash in free agency this winter.