Lifelong Twins fan Meyer relishing Draft pick

June 15th, 2017
Right-hander/shortstop Max Meyer was the only 2017 Twins draftee with Minnesota roots. (Alex Trautwig/MLB)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Max Meyer has been a Twins fan since he could remember, so when he got the call from Twins scout Mark Wilson that he'd been selected by his hometown team in the 34th round of the MLB Draft on Wednesday, he couldn't believe it.

Of the 41 players selected by the Twins in the 2017 MLB Draft, only Meyer, a senior at Woodbury High School and one of seven finalists for the annual Minnesota Mr. Baseball Award, had ties to Minnesota. The Twins see him as a right-handed pitcher, but he's also excelled at shortstop while helping lead Woodbury to the Class 4A state tournament for the second straight year.

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In fact, Meyer is set to start for Woodbury, located roughly 20 miles east of Target Field, on Thursday in the playoffs against Champlin Park at CHS Field in St. Paul. And he was at an awards banquet Wednesday night just hours after finding out he was drafted by the Twins.

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"When I got the call I was speechless," Meyer said. "I didn't know what to say. It was a pretty cool feeling."

Meyer, 18, has been dominant as both a pitcher and hitter as a senior this season, going 7-1 with a 1.01 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings while also batting .421/.493/.632 with two homers, six doubles and a triple in 20 games en route to earning All-Metro first-team honors from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He helped his club past No. 1-ranked Stillwater in a best-of-three series in sections to reach the state tournament, picking up the win while allowing two hits over 5 1/3 innings in Game 1 and the save in Game 2.

The Twins have sent scouts to several of his outings, and while he'll be tough to sign because he's a strong University of Minnesota commit, scouting director Sean Johnson said several scouts recommended taking him.

"We're going to follow him for the summer and see if we have money left to maybe sign him," Johnson said. "But for now, he's a guy we liked and wanted to hold onto and at least have his rights for the summer. I didn't personally see him, but he was a guy our guys liked."

Meyer said he's excited about being drafted by his hometown team, but said he's going to shift his focus to Thursday's start, as he wants to bring home a state title after losing in the semifinals last year to Champlin Park. And it would also give him a chance to pitch at Target Field, the site of Monday's title game.

"I'd love for us seniors to go out with a bang," Meyer said. "That field is just awesome. It would be sweet to be a Minnesota Twins draftee and get to play there Monday."