MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins got started a bit later than most clubs on Tuesday, as they did not have a third-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. That went to the Cardinals as compensation after Lance Lynn rejected St. Louis' $17.4 million qualifying offer and instead signed with Minnesota.•
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins got started a bit later than most clubs on Tuesday, as they did not have a third-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. That went to the Cardinals as compensation after Lance Lynn rejected St. Louis' $17.4 million qualifying offer and instead signed with Minnesota.
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Still, Minnesota stuck to chief baseball officer Derek Falvey's plan and took whom they perceived as the best player available with each pick, instead of drafting for need. Minnesota selected seven players during Day 2 of the Draft, four from the college ranks and three out of high school. The Twins have yet to reach official agreements with any of their selections, and will wait until the end of the collegiate season to negotiate with those still in postseason play.
"At the end of the day yesterday, there was a scenario that unfolded where we [lost out on a pick] a couple of times -- right in front of us -- so some guys that we thought were going to make it fell short," Twins scouting director Sean Johnson said. "So today we had a few mental wins, I would say. We felt like we got some guys. With less than $6 million we still made a lot of our pool. We felt good walking out of there today, like we did last year, not the same volume, but we were able to get some guys that we really liked with some upside."
:: 2018 Draft coverage ::
Round 4: OF DaShawn Keirsey Jr., University of Utah
DaShawn Keirsey Jr. was a rising prospect during the 2017 season before sustaining a hip injury after running into the outfield wall in late May, derailing his season. He bounced back nicely in 2018, batting .386 with four home runs and 22 RBIs while playing standout defense in center field. Keirsey was a bit of a late bloomer as a high school baseball prospect and didn't play much summer ball because he was often involved in 7-on-7 football. He is a three-time First-Team All-Pac 12 selection and was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 144th best prospect in the Draft. Keirsey is from the same high school as Twins prospect Jake Reed, who is at Triple-A Rochester.
Round 5: RHP Cole Sands, Florida State University
The first pitcher the Twins selected in this year's Draft was Florida State starter Cole Sands. He is the brother of Cubs farmhand Carson Sands, whom Chicago selected with the 109th pick of the 2014 Draft. Cole Sands, 20, battled some bicep tendinitis in late May, but bounced back to finish the season. He went 7-4 this season with a 4.54 ERA while striking out 88 over 75 1/3 innings. He was drafted by the Astros in the 22nd round of the 2015 Draft out of high school, but did not sign.
"I kind of compare him to a gentlemen I had the pleasure of coaching when I was at the University of Oklahoma by the name of [Angels right-handed pitcher] Garrett Richards," Florida State associate head coach Mike Bell said. "Garrett was, I don't wanna say a late bloomer, but he was a guy who always had potential, always had the stuff. And really it wasn't until his junior year that he put the whole package together. I think you're gonna see Cole's career take off at the next level."
Round 6: SS Charles Mack, Williamsville East HS (NY).
Committed to Clemson, Mack was a standout prep shortstop in New York who might end up at third base. Ranked at No. 133 on MLB Pipeline's Top 200, Mack was named a 2018 Rawlings Perfect Game Third-Team All-American and Northeast All-Region First-Team pick. Mack was advanced enough at an early age that he played six years of varsity baseball at Williamsville East.
"There's a New York state law if you're in middle school where, if you can pass a test, you can play up with the varsity while you're still in middle school," Williamsville East HS head baseball caoch Jerry Gasz, who is in his 49th year coaching at the school, said. "So he played for me for six years and so did his brother. I had assigned one of my senior captains to keep an eye on him. But he didn't need that -- he was mature upon his years."
Round 7: RHP Josh Winder, Virginia Military Institute
The Twins added another college arm in Winder, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound righty who is the 31st player ever to be drafted out of VMI. He is the third-highest player to be selected out of the school. The 21-year-old Winder finished his junior season with a 5-6 record and a 5.40 ERA and 91 strikeouts over 85 innings. He was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in the Southern Conference and was the conference's preseason pitcher of the year. He finished his career with 273 strikeouts in 42 starts.
"It's an honor to be selected by the Minnesota Twins," Winder said in a statement released by VMI. "Playing professional baseball has been my dream since I was a little kid, and for that to come true is unbelievable. Thank you to my family, friends, teammates and coaches for helping me to get where I am today."
Round 8: C Chris Williams, Clemson
A finalist for the Johnny Bench Award in 2018, Williams hit .281 with 17 homers and 72 RBIs. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Williams split time at catcher and in the infield. He was drafted by the Rays in the 31st round of the 2017 Draft, but chose to return for his senior season. He played strictly at catcher in 2016 and 2017 before transitioning to first base in 2018.
Round 9: CF Willie Joe Garry Jr., Pascagoula HS (MS)
Minnesota selected a player with a connection to a former Twins standout. Garry Jr. was coached at the youth level by Matt Lawton, who was selected as an All-Star for the Twins in 2000 when he hit .305. The left-handed hitting Garry Jr. was ranked as the 415th prospect by Perfect Game. His father was the cousin of Southern Miss running back legend Ben "Go Go" Gerry, who was the school's all-time leader in rushing yards when he left the school in 1977.
Round 10: RHP Regi Grace, Madison Central HS (MS)
The Twins went with a pair of Mississippi prep standouts to finish the day, rounding out the afternoon by taking the 18-year-old Grace. Listed at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Grace was named a 2018 Rawlings Perfect Game All-American. In 32 games for Madison Central High School, Grace went 7-2 and struck out 98 batters over 64 innings and ended the season with a 1.31 ERA.
Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.