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Twins draft infielder Miranda at No. 73

Minnesota taps Puerto Rico talent pool for club's third pick
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- After taking three players from Puerto Rico within their first 16 selections last year, the Twins continued that trend in Thursday's MLB Draft, taking shortstop/third baseman Jose Miranda from Leadership Christian Academy in Guaynabo with the No. 73 overall pick in Lottery Round B.

It was also the third straight high school position player taken by the Twins on the first day of the Draft, as they took high school outfielder Alex Kirilloff with the No. 15 overall pick and high school catcher Ben Rortvedt with the No. 56 overall selection. The slot value of the No. 73 pick is $878,500.

MINNEAPOLIS -- After taking three players from Puerto Rico within their first 16 selections last year, the Twins continued that trend in Thursday's MLB Draft, taking shortstop/third baseman Jose Miranda from Leadership Christian Academy in Guaynabo with the No. 73 overall pick in Lottery Round B.

It was also the third straight high school position player taken by the Twins on the first day of the Draft, as they took high school outfielder Alex Kirilloff with the No. 15 overall pick and high school catcher Ben Rortvedt with the No. 56 overall selection. The slot value of the No. 73 pick is $878,500.

:: Complete 2016 Draft coverage ::

15th overall: Alex Kirilloff
56th overall: Ben Rortvedt
74th overall: Akil Baddoo

Miranda, who wasn't ranked among the top Draft prospects by MLBPipeline.com, is currently a shortstop, but Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder is likely to move to third base.

"He has a really good swing," Johnson said. "He's aggressive. We're going to send him out as a shortstop, but realistically, he's probably a third baseman. But he's a really good player and really skilled."

The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 11:30 a.m. CT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at noon CT.

Johnson also praised Miranda for his defense skills, but noted he's not known for his speed, as he projects to be more of a power-hitting third baseman.

"He's not the greatest athlete and not a huge runner, but he can pick it," Johnson said. "We have him compared to a Mike Lowell-type. He's a really good defender with a good swing. He's a good-sized kid. He has a chance to have power for sure."

Miranda joins fellow Puerto Ricans in Minnesota's system such as Jose Berrios, Kennys Vargas and Eddie Rosario. Miranda is the second player drafted from Christian Leadership Academy in the last two years, joining outfielder Lean Marrero, who was taken in the 16th round in '15. Johnson said he trusts the work of his scouts in Puerto Rico and that it's been a good area for the organization in recent years. Miranda, who is committed to Broward Community College in Florida, was recommended by Twins scout Freddie Thon.

"We like going there," Johnson said. "We always have. It's pretty good. Those guys do a good job down there."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minnesota Twins