A few weeks ago, Seth Stohs of Seth Speaks asked me to participate in a Minor League draft that he was conducting. Much like fantasy baseball, we drafted players from certain positions in an attempt to get a "roster" of players. Really, the only differences are that the players had to be Twins minor leaguers and they had to be rookie eligible. So along with Seth and myself, Roger Dehring of Twinkie Town and Travis Aune of Travis Talks went through 22 rounds of Twins minor league players.
Besides the fact that it sounded fun, I honestly had no idea what to expect going into this. I have a lot of experience with fantasy baseball and have always loved the draft process, but on top of that, I wanted to add something a little different to this draft. Being as we're not taking score, I wanted to make a team the way I'd actually try to construct an actual roster. For instance, I've always believed that shortstop is the most important defensive position on the field so I had that in mind when I took Jorge Polanco (who Baseball America claimed to be the best defensive infielder in the system) as my shortstop.
So with all of that said, here's my (would be) lineup:
1. Ben Revere—CF (Maybe I'm just that big of a Denard Span fan, but I can't see myself have a team without a table-setter at the top of the lineup. Revere's as good as it gets in the Twins system.)
2. Jorge Polanco—SS (Scouts have claimed that he has on-base skills and the Twins have also said that they believe he has the potential to hit in the two-hole some day.)
3. Joe Benson—RF (I've always been very high on Benson and I believe he is one of the most promising young players in this system. His bat is good and should continue to get better.)
4. Luke Hughes—3B (After Valencia, Hughes is probably the best third base prospect in the system and he has enough power to put himself in the middle of the lineup.)
5. Erik Lis—1B (I've always likes Lis and I hope that he gets his chance with the Twins. He hits a lot of doubles and is a solid run producer. I just wish I would have taken Brock Peterson as well so Lis could be the DH, which is probably his best position.)
6. Danny Rams—C (Rams and Hughes could really switch places, but that's a moot point. Rams has a ton of power potential and is the next best thing to Wilson Ramos at the catcher's position.)
7. Ramon Santana—2B (He had a big 2009 season, but he's quite a bit older for his level of play. Still, there wasn't a ton left for infielders.)
8. Steven Liddle—DH (Didn't really anticipate him being in my lineup when I took him, but I'm fine either way. He came from a good college and could be a surprise in 2010.)
9. Danny Ortiz—LF (Missed all of 2009 with a leg injury but he was taken in the 4th round of the 2008 draft. He has a lot of power and should slide up the lineup eventually.)
Here's my bench:
Nick Lockwood (MI), Romy Trinidad (OF), Jonathan Waltenbury (1B)
Lockwood was given a nice signing bonus to sign with the Twins and I like his potential. Trinidad had a great year in the Dominican Summer League and is a low-risk/high-reward this late in the draft. Waltenbury had a poor 2009 season, but I expect him to rebound in 2010.
Here's my rotation:
1. David Bromberg—RHP (I'm a huge Bromberg fan and although he's probably not an ace, I still feel comfortable with him at the top of my lineup.)
2. Tyler Robertson—LHP (Much like with Bromberg, Robertson probably doesn't belong at this spot in the rotation, but his production can't be denied. Also, I wanted to make sure I had at least one left-hander in my rotation)
3. Tom Stuifbergen—RHP (Has the "bulldog" mentality and as Seth has said numerous times before, "he just knows how to pitch." He hits his spots and mixes in a good repertoire.)
4. Michael Tonkin—RHP (I wanted one of the GCL arms and Tonkin is a great pick. He certainly could move up higher in the rotation at some point.)
5. Shooter Hunt—RHP (Without a legitimate ace, I wanted to take the risk of taking Hunt. He has some of the best "stuff" in the organization, but he can't hit the broad side a barn. If he can ever regain any control, he'll be the staff ace.)
Here's my bullpen:
Anthony Slama—CL (Perhaps I was a little too biased with some players as I took Slama mostly because I liked him, but I guess when I do look at things, he was the best available closer. Slama's close to being ML ready and I feel comfortable with him anchoring down my bullpen.)
Loek Van Mil—SU (As I said in the notes on Seth's page, I've never been a big fan of Van Mil's, but I do think he's projectable and it's hard to pass up a high-90's fastball that late in the draft.)
Kyle Carr—LOOGY (With Joe Testa and a few other left-handers gone, I thought I needed to quickly grab a quality southpaw before they were all taken. I got that with Carr.)
Kyle Waldrop—MR (Another biased-pick, but I think Waldrop will continue to progress in the bullpen and I think his best days are still to come.)
Pedro Guerra—LR (I actually couldn't believe he was still on the board, but I like Guerra and if one of my starters don't pan out, he can step in and fill in on a whim.)
So there you have it. I'd also like to encourage you to check out the other participators sites to see their thoughts on the draft. It was really a lot of fun and I hope that it's something we do again. I know this really doesn't have much purpose, but it will be cool to look back on in a few years.