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Twins sign twenty of twenty-one draft picks

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Some bonus pool creativity helped secure some higher upside college prospects

2021 Major Leauge Baseball Draft
Pitcher Chase Petty takes a call after being selected 26th overall by the Minnesota Twins
Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The 2021 MLB Draft took place last month over three days from July 11 to July 13. The Twins selected 21 players in the 20 round draft. Following the completion of the draft, each team had a little less than three weeks to come to contract agreements with those players. The deadline for signing 2021 draft picks came and went at 5 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday.

With the fervor of the trade deadline action this week, you might not have been paying close attention to the draft signing deadline. While the draft signing deadline does not come with anything close to the excitement of the trade deadline, this year’s signing deadline was not without drama. The big news has been about the New York Mets and the tenth overall pick, Vanderbilt RHP Kumar Rocker, failing to come to an agreement. As a result, Rocker will be eligible to return to Vanderbilt or begin his professional career in unaffiliated baseball. He’ll be eligible for the 2022 draft. For their part, the Mets will receive the eleventh pick in next year’s draft, in addition to their usual pick based on the 2021 final standings.

The Twins had no such drama with their contract negotiations, coming to terms with 20 of their 21 choices before the deadline.

Before the draft, each pick in the first ten rounds is assigned a bonus value (i.e., slot value) and each club’s bonus pool is limited to the sum total of the slot values of their picks. There are no bonus values assigned for picks after the tenth rounds, however, any bonus amount over and above $125,000 counts against the team’s signing bonus pool. Undrafted free agents are limited to signing bonuses of $20,000.

If a team fails to sign a player selected in the first ten rounds, they forfeit the associated slot value with that pick. As a result of Rocker and the Mets not agreeing, the Mets are forfeiting the $4.74-million bonus pool allotment associated with the tenth pick.

As a result of signing all eleven of their choice made in the top ten rounds, the Twins spent all but about $80,000 of their $8.1-million bonus pool.

Below is a rundown of each Twins pick and their reporting signing bonus, thanks to the draft database at Baseball America. You can see the Twins were able to negotiate successfully and maneuver their bonus pool money to go over slot value to secure the commitments of some prospects who could have returned to school, like Christian Macleod, Jake Rucker, Noah Cardenas, Patrick Winkel, and Jaylen Nowlin.

Minnesota Twins 2021 Draft Selections

Round (Pick) Player Name Position Player Type Slot Value Signing Bonus
Round (Pick) Player Name Position Player Type Slot Value Signing Bonus
1st (26) Chase Petty RHP HS $2,653,400 $2,500,000
Comp A (36) Noah Miller SS HS $2,045,400 $1,700,000
2nd (61) Steve Hajjar LHP 4YR College $1,129,700 $1,129,700
3rd (98) Cade Povich LHP 4YR College $593,100 $500,000
4th (128) Christian Encarnacion-Strand 3B 4YR College $442,900 $442,900
5h (159) Christian Macleod LHP 4YR College $327,200 $500,000
6th (189) Travis Adams RHP 4YR College $253,300 $253,300
7th (219) Jake Rucker 3B 4YR College $198,500 $250,000
8th (249) Noah Cardenas C 4YR College $164,700 $200,000
9th (279) Patrick Winkel C 4YR College $150,500 $500,000
10th (309) Ernie Yake SS 4YR College $142,700 $10,000
11th (339) Brandon Birdsell RHP 4YR College N/A Did Not Sign
12th (369) Kyler Fedko OF 4YR College N/A $125,000
13th (399) David Festa RHP 4YR College N/A $125,000
14th (429) Pierson Ohl RHP 4YR College N/A $100,000
15th (459) Mikey Perez SS 4YR College N/A $75,000
16th (489) Johnathan Lavallee RHP 4YR College N/A $75,000
17th (519) Dylan Neuse 2B 4YR College N/A $100,000
18th (549) Mike Paredes RHP 4YR College N/A $75,000
19th (579) Jaylen Nowlin LHP Junior College N/A $160,000
20th (609) Dillon Tatum C 4YR College N/A $25,000

The lone draft choice who was not signed was 11th rounder Brandon Birdsell, who announced shortly after the draft that he would be returning to Texas Tech for another year.

Overall, this Twins’ draft class looks like a departure from the previous classes selected by the current front office in that it is heavier on college pitching prospects. The Twins have prioritized powerful, collegiate bats the past few years, but the industry consensus that the overall strength of this year’s draft eligible players was collegiate pitching seems to have led the Twins to change directions.

In addition to these twenty drafted players, the Twins have also signed at least three undrafted players to free agent contracts. Again, courtesy of Baseball America, they are:

  • Logan Campbell, RHP, Charleston (W.V.): 9-1 3.15 ERA, 65.2 IP, 1.19 WHIP, 13.84 K/9, 4.52 BB/9
  • Jordan Carr, LHP, College of Charleston: 3-3 4.52 ERA, 61.2 IP, 1.51 WHIP, 7.44 K/9, 2.63 BB/9
  • A.J. Labas, RHP, Louisiana State: 4-2 5.55 ERA, 86.0 IP, 1.41 WHIP, 7.74 K/9, 1.78 BB/9

Best of luck to all the newest members of the Twins organization as they start their professional careers!


John is a contributor to Twinkie Town with an emphasis on analytics. He is a lifelong Twins fan and former college pitcher. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnFoley_21.