Twins take first college position player in Round 6
Paul picked at No. 200, followed by Puerto Rican left-hander Moran
MINNEAPOLIS -- After taking three college pitchers and two high school third basemen through their first five rounds, the Twins took a college position player in Round 6, selecting Cal first baseman/outfielder Chris Paul with pick No. 170 in the 2015 Draft.
Paul, 22, is coming off a breakout senior season, as he hit .313/.399/.528 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 44 games to earn All-Pac-12 Conference honors. Paul, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Aliso Viejo, Calif., profiles as a right fielder, but can also play left field and first base. He was a career .260/.324/.417 hitter with 17 homers and 86 RBIs in 156 games at Cal.
"He's played all around," Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said. "Really good swing. He can play first, third or any corner outfield position. He's a good player."
Paul is the first college senior drafted by the Twins, but MLBPipeline.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo said it was a good value pick for Minnesota and he wasn't drafted simply because of his signability.
Round 7: LHP Jovani Moran, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (Puerto Rico)
With the Twins having success with Puerto Ricans in their system such as Kennys Vargas, Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios, the club selected Moran from the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico with the No. 200 overall pick in the seventh round.
Moran is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound athletic lefty with a fastball in the 88-90 mph range, but he could increase his velocity if he can build on his slender frame. He's committed to the University of South Florida and Broward Community College, so he has options if he decides not to sign.
"He has a really good delivery and a really loose arm," Johnson said. "He's anywhere from 87-90 [mph] and can spin the ball well. He has a good changeup. He's a classic-looking left-hander who is very projectable."
Round 8: 1B Kolton Kendrick, Oak Forest (La.) Academy
Looking for a power bat, the Twins selected Kendrick with the No. 230 overall pick in the eighth round. Kendrick, at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, has as much raw power as anyone in the Draft, but he lacks athleticism.
Some scouts believe he has the potential for 30-plus homers in the Majors, but the 18-year-old is regarded as a below-average runner with a fringy arm. He's limited to first base defensively.
"He was here at a workout," Johnson said. "He's a big kid who is going to be a big man. He probably has more raw power than anyone we took today; he can hit them a long way. He played third base not too bad in high school, but he projects as a first baseman."
Round 9: CF LaMonte Wade, Maryland
After taking left-hander Alex Robinson from Maryland in the fifth round, the Twins took his teammate in Wade. Wade is coming off a strong junior year, as he hit .335/.453/.468 with four homers, seven doubles and a triple in 42 games.
Wade, a 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, is a versatile defender who has seen time in the infield and outfield. The 21-year-old is from Owings Mills, Md. He was a career .275/.394/.385 hitter at Maryland.
"He's not your classic center fielder," Johnson said. "He's got a really good swing. I think he can really hit. He's got really good hand-eye coordination and can hit the ball to right field.
"It doesn't look he can run, but he can steal bases and is actually a really good center fielder. We project him as a fourth-outfielder type."
Round 10: SS Sean Miller, University of South Carolina Aiken
With their final pick on Day 2 of the Draft, the Twins went with their first shortstop in Miller, 20, with the No. 290 overall pick. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder is known for his defense, as there are questions about his hit tool.
"He's a really good defensive player," Johnson said. "He has really good actions, really good hands. He can throw. He's a magician with the glove. We thought he was one of the better defensive shortstops in the Draft. Light bat, but he can run."
The Crofton, Md., native hit .326/.359/.451 with four homers and 37 RBIs in 50 games as a junior.
The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 11 a.m. CT.