Minnesota Twins: Evaluating the 2003 Draft

Andrew KneelandSenior Writer IFebruary 24, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 06:  Scott Baker #30 of the Minnesota Twins pitches during the American League tiebreaker game against the Detroit Tigers on October 6, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Originally published at TwinsTarget.com.

The Twins’ scouting department had a down year in 2003, drafting just three players who eventually reached the Big Leagues. Of those three, just Scott Baker is putting together a solid career. Here are the more notable picks in the 2003 draft.

First Round (21st overall) – Matthew Moses, 3B 

Never known as an elite defensive player, the Twins knew that Moses’ bat would carry him to the major leagues, where he would hopefully take over at third base. Minnesota hadn’t enjoyed a consistent third baseman since Corey Koskie left, and they felt that Moses could eventually compete for the job.

But outside of his bat, Moses was a very average player. He wasn’t the best defensively, was a poor baserunner, and didn’t have the strongest arm. In his first 18 games in the Gulf Coast League, though, Moses managed to hit .385/.417/.492.

A physical in 2003 revealed that Moses had a small hole in his heart that a 20-minute operation fixed.

Whether or not this had anything to do with his decline can’t be known for sure, but in 2004 Moses hit .223/.304/.366 in Quad Cities (Low A). In half a season in Fort Myers in 2005 Moses hit .306/.376/.453, but as soon as he was promoted to New Britain, he fell apart again.

Moses spent the entire 2006 season with the Rock Cats, where he hit .249/.303/.386. He bounced between New Britain and Rochester in 2007, but returned to the Rock Cats in 2008. Last year was again spent with the Rock Cats, where Moses hit .224/.274/.353.

Sadly, Moses has been awarded the “bust” label, and there is little hope that he will ever develop into what the Twins envisioned.

Second Round (58th overall) – Scott Baker, RHP

The one saving grace of the 2003 draft, Baker flew through the minor leagues. Just over a year after he was drafted, Baker was mowing down batters in Triple-A Rochester. In 2005 he reached the Twins and posted a 3.35 ERA in just over 50 innings. From that point forward, Baker has enjoyed a very successful major-league career.

This year, Baker is considered Minnesota’s ace, though he would be a solid No. 2 or No. 3 starting pitcher most other places. Over the course of his career, Baker has amassed an ERA of 4.27 in 653 innings and 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

Fourth Round (118th overall) – David Shinskie, RHP  

Shinskie was selected out of Mt. Carmel High School in the fourth round in 2003, despite having received football scholarship offers from BSC schools. He stumbled around the minor leagues for about six years before retiring his glove and attempting to re-start his football career last year.

At 25 years old, Shinskie received a scholarship from Boston College and an offer to compete for their quarterback position. Shinksie was a four-year starter at quarterback at Mr. Carmel High School, and he won two state championships.

In 2009, Shinskie threw for 2,049 yards and 15 touchdowns as he led the Eagles to an 8-4 record. They lost to USC in the Emerald Bowl.

14th Round (418th overall) – Levale Speigner, RHP  

This pick is probably only notable because after Washington stole Speigner from us in the 2006 Rule V draft, he went on to shut us down in 2007.

Against Johan Santana on June 9, 2007, Speigner went six innings giving up just one run on two hits. He compiled a season ERA of 8.78, but he dominated the team he was drafted by.