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Twins prefer flamethrowers in '15 Draft class

Jay, Cody top picks on Day 1, with position players added later

MINNEAPOLIS -- After selecting a pair of hard-throwers on Day 1 of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft, the Twins picked a slew of position players on the second day before wrapping up the final day with 30 more picks on Wednesday.

Their crown jewel is Illinois left-hander Tyler Jay, who was taken with the No. 6 overall pick and is regarded by experts as the most Major League-ready player in the Draft. Minnesota added another college flamethrower in the Competitive Balance B Round, selecting 6-foot-7 right-hander Kyle Cody.

They both fit the mold of the type of pitchers the Twins have been drafting in recent years, as they've moved away from taking soft-tossing strike-throwers.

Draft Tracker

"We've been kind of been trending toward power arms," scouting director Deron Johnson said. "It's a philosophy we've gone to the last few years. A lot of our scouts are scouting that way as well."

On Day 2, the Twins went with six position players among their eight picks, including a pair of highly regarded high school third basemen in Travis Blankenhorn and Trey Cabbage. They also nabbed a pair of lefties in Maryland reliever Alex Robinson and Puerto Rico high school starter Jovani Moran.

Twins select Blankenhorn on Day 2

Moran was one of three Puerto Ricans selected by the Twins, joining catcher Kerby Camacho (10th round) and right fielder Lean Marrero (16th). The Twins have had success adding Puerto Rican players in recent years with talents such as Kennys Vargas, Eddie Rosario and top prospect Jose Berrios.

"It's kind of our niche," Johnson said. "We're a threat there. We have good scouts down there and we like those players."

Among their 40 selections, the Twins drafted 11 right-handed pitchers, seven left-handed pitchers, six infielders, 11 outfielders and five catchers. Of those 40, 26 were drafted out of college and 14 out of high school. Minnesota also made two local selections, picking University of Minnesota lefty Dalton Sawyer (27th round) and Bloomington Jefferson High School right-hander Jake Irvin (37th).

Sawyer chosen by hometown Twins

Johnson said he expects that more than 20 of the players drafted will sign, and said he doesn't anticipate having any trouble signing any of their top 10 picks. They have $7.39 million total in slot money for their first 10 picks, which ranks as the 12th most in the Majors.

They could save money with their seventh-round selection, Cal senior Chris Paul, to free up more money for later picks. Minnesota took a pair of intriguing high school pitchers in right-handers Kyle Wilson (19th round) and Colton Eastman (20th), and could use any extra money to try to sway them from their college commitments.

Even if they can't sign either pitcher, Johnson said he still comes away pleased with the way the Draft went with the Twins.

"We got some guys we liked," Johnson said. "But it's always tough to say now because we'll have to wait five years. But overall, I'm happy with the guys we drafted and the guys we're probably going to sign."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.
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