The 2022 MLB Draft took place last month over three days during the All-Star Break. Despite forfeiting their third-round pick to sign Carlos Correa in the offseason, the Twins still selected 20 players in the 20-round draft thanks to a competitive balance selection after the second round.
Following the completion of the draft, each team had a little less than two weeks to come to contract agreements with those players. The deadline for signing 2022 draft picks will come and go at 5 p.m. Eastern Time Monday.
Mixed in with all the trade deadline speculation is that the Twins were successful in signing 18 of their 20 draft selections to contracts. The two selections who have not signed are 19th-round RHP Garrett McMillan from the University of Alabama and 20th-round prep outfielder Korbyn Dickerson, who is committed to the University of Louisville. Barring a deadline surprise, both will head to campus in hopes of improving their positions for future drafts.
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 round, however, any bonus amount over and above $125,000 counts against the team’s signing bonus pool. New this year is that this rule also applies to undrafted free agent signings. Those had previously been limited to signing bonuses of $20,000 with no opportunity to exceed that number. If a team fails to sign a player selected in the first ten rounds (such as the Mets did with RHP Kumar Rocker last year), they forfeit the associated slot value with that pick.
Teams that exceed their bonus pool face a penalty. Clubs that outspend their allotment by 0-5 percent pay a 75 percent tax on the overage. At higher thresholds, clubs lose future picks: a first-rounder and a 75 percent tax for surpassing their pool by more than 5 and up to 10 percent; a first- and a second-rounder and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 and up to 15 percent; and two first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.
Around baseball, teams have had few issues signing their draft selections this year. Every pick from the first two rounds was signed by Saturday evening and only three players selected in the first ten rounds had not been signed by then.
The Twins had a bonus pool of $10,041,500 this year, according to MLB.com, and have spent every bit of it to secure these players. Here is a pick-by-pick rundown, courtesy of the draft database at Baseball America:
Twins 2022 Draft Selections and Signings
|1||8||SS||Brooks Lee||Cal Poly||4YR||CA||Y||$5,442,400||$5,675,000|
|2s||68||SS||Tanner Schobel||Virginia Tech||4YR||VA||Y||$1,002,000||$1,002,000|
|4||114||RHP||Andrew Morris||Texas Tech||4YR||TX||Y||$533,300||$500,000|
|5||144||SS||Ben Ross||Notre Dame Col||4YR||OH||Y||$398,500||$220,000|
|8||234||RHP||Zebby Matthews||Western Carolina||4YR||NC||Y||$187,900||$125,000|
|9||264||RHP||Cory Lewis||UC Santa Barbara||4YR||CA||Y||$164,100||$140,000|
|10||294||SS||Dalton Shuffield||Texas State||4YR||TX||Y||$153,800||$20,000|
|11||324||C||Andrew Cossetti||Saint Joseph's||4YR||PA||Y||$125,000|
|12||354||C||Nate Baez||Arizona State||4YR||AZ||Y||$125,000|
|13||384||RHP||C.J. Culpepper||California Baptist||4YR||CA||Y||$125,000|
|14||414||SS||Omari Daniel||Walker HS, Marrietta, Ga.||HS||GA||Y||$232,800|
|15||444||RHP||Ben Ethridge||Southern Mississippi||4YR||MS||Y||$125,000|
|16||474||SS||Jankel Ortiz||Academia Presbiteriana HS||HS||PR||Y||$125,000|
|17||504||OF||Alec Sayre||Wright State||4YR||OH||Y||$100,000|
|18||534||LHP||Zachary Veen||Point Loma (Calif.) Nazarene||4YR||CA||Y||$80,000|
|19||564||RHP||Garrett McMillan||Alabama||4YR||AL||N||Did Not Sign|
|20||594||OF||Korbyn Dickerson||Trinity HS, Louisville||HS||KY||N||Did Not Sign|
The Twins used a different strategy to navigate the draft this year. Last year, they negotiated at or below-slot deals with their first four selections and used those savings to go over slot on their fifth-, seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-round choices. Those were LHP Christian MacLeod, INF Jake Rucker, and catchers Noah Cardenas and Patrick Winkel, respectively.
This year, the Twins used some financial maneuvering to go over slot value with their first two choices — Cal Poly SS Brooks Lee and Alabama LHP Connor Prielipp — to take advantage of two highly regarded players slipping down the draft board somewhat unexpectedly. Both Lee and Prielipp had, at various points in the past, been discussed as candidates for the first overall pick. Lee was available at the 8th pick because of some surprise selections of pitchers by other teams drafting ahead of the Twins and Prielipp was still available at the 48th because he is coming off a 2021 Tommy John surgery and did not pitch in games this spring.
To pull that off, each of the remaining top ten picks was signed for slot value or less, and only 14th-round choice SS Omari Daniel was signed for more than the $125,000 cap for picks after the tenth round.
This Minnesota draft class also represents a notable departure from the past in that the club did not select a corner-position-playing bat until the 17th round, instead focusing heavily on up-the-middle players (seven shortstops, two catchers) and pitchers. The Twins continued to display their heavy preference for college pitching, as all nine pitchers were selected from four-year colleges.
While most outlets have not released their mid-season prospect list updates yet, it is likely that Lee and Prielipp will both be within the Twins’ consensus top 10, and some evaluators may have Lee as the new #1 prospect in the system. Supplemental second-rounder SS Tanner Schobel will likely join those two within the consensus Twins’ top 30.
Best of luck to all the new members of the Twins organization as they start their professional careers!