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Twins 2017 MLB Draft Preview: Falvey and Levine draft history

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With the Draft coming up, let’s look at the draft history of the Twins’ new front office.

MLB: General Managers Meetings
THAD! Levine...
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In order to get a sense of who teams will take in the draft, many media types will look at a team’s history in order to see if there are any patterns. For example, the Theo Epstein-led Cubs have loved college hitters the last few years. The Atlanta Braves, on the other hand, love taking high school prospects. That is not to say that these teams only pick these player—Esptein and the Cubs took Albert Almora out of high school in 2012, while the Braves took Sean Gilmartin and Jason Hursh out of college in 2011 and 2013—BUT, many teams do show a preference.

With three picks in the first thirty seven selections the Twins would be a prime candidate for pundits to look back at their draft history, but in order to do so you cannot look at the recent draft history of the Minnesota Twins. Instead, you have to look at the collective history of the Twins new front office, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine.

So, let’s do that.

Derek Falvey

Cleveland Indians: Assistant Director of Baseball Operations 2009-2011, Co-Director of Baseball Operations, 2011-2016

Falvey Draft History

Draft Year Indians Selection Player's School Draft Location
Draft Year Indians Selection Player's School Draft Location
2009 Alex White, RHP North Carolina 15
2010 Drew Pomeranz, LHP Mississippi 5
2011 Fransisco Lindor, SS Monteverde Academy 8
2012 Tyler Naquin, OF Texas A&M 15
2013 Clint Frazier, OF Loganvilel (Ga) High School 5
2014 Bradley Zimmer, OF San Francisco 21
2015 Brady Aiken, LHP IMG Academy (Fla) 17
2016 Will Benson OF The Westminster Schools (Ga) 14

Of course an aspect of these sorts of drafts is the important element of who happened to fall to the Indians, a worry the Twins do not have with the first overall pick this year. With this in mind, in Derek Falvey’s time the Indians drafted three advanced pitchers (Aiken had graduated high school and entered a sports academy), three high school up-the-middle types (C-SS-CF/OF) and two college up the middle types.

Falvey had more control within the Indians’ front office starting with the 2012 Draft, seeing the team primarily take outfielders in that time. The Twins have been linked to a number of players that fit this pattern of advanced arms or best position player available, but one player who does not fit Falvey’s personal draft history is Hunter Greene.

Thad Levine

Texas Rangers: Assistant General Manager, 2005-2016

Levine Draft History

Draft Year Player Position School Draft Position
Draft Year Player Position School Draft Position
2016 Cole Ragans LHP North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.) 30
2015 Dillon Tate RHP UC Santa Barbara 4
2013 Alex Gonzalez RHP Oral Roberts 23
2013 Travis Demeritte SS Winder-Barrow High School, Winder, Ga. 30
2012 Lewis Brinson CF Coral Springs (Fla.) High School 29
2011 Kevin Matthews LHP Richmond Hill High School 33
2010 Luke Jackson RHP Calvary Christian, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 45
2010 Kellin Deglan C Langley High School, British Columbia 22
2010 Jake Skole OF Blessed Trinity HS, Woodstock, Ga. 15
2009 Matt Purke LHP Klein High School, Spring, Texas 14
2008 Justin Smoak 1B Univ. of South Carolina 11
2007 Blake Beavan RHP Irving (Texas) HS 17
2007 Michael Main RHP Deland (Fla.) HS 24
2006 Kasey Kiker LHP Russell County HS, (Phenix City, Ala) 12
2005 John Mayberry RF Stanford 19

Thad Levine has a bit more history to sort through here, with 14 first round picks since 2005. In that time the Rangers drafted 7 high school pitchers, 2 college pitchers, 4 high school up-the-middle types, and 2 college batters at corner positions.

With more data to work with, Levine is a bit more all over the board than Falvey. Still, a pattern of high school talent shows through. Still, the Rangers were not afraid to take college pitching, even as high as the number four pick in 2015.

Thoughts

In their time with the Indians and Rangers, respectively, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine showed a few patterns. Overall they both have a history with high school athletes who could play premium positions, even if some of the outfielders drafted eventually moved to corner positions. Both Falvey and Levine took good college pitching when it was available, although Falvey stayed away from high school arms whereas Levine did not.

You have to be careful when using past patterns, as they do not prove what will happen. While Levine and Falvey had input in their previous positions, they were not in charge the way they are now. They also did not have the first overall pick like they will have this year.

A college arm like Kyle Wright or Brendan McKay at first overall would not be out of character for either Falvey or Levine. Neither would an up-the-middle type like Royce Lewis, who also fits into the deal making strategy we have previously outlined. Brendan McKay as a first baseman or first baseman Pavin Smith is something Levine has a history with, although Falvey has preferred more athletic hitters overall. High school arms like Hunter Greene, McKenzie Gore, and Shane Baz are, again, something the more experienced Levine is accustomed to. Falvey does have experience with a young, although post-high school pitcher as well.

So while we cannot yet say who the Twins will pick, we certainly know that the players we have profiled do fit within the patterns of the Twins’ new front office, which help fuel the rumors that the Twins value up to six players equally going into the last week before the draft.