Twins spread the wealth with Draft picks

No. 1 overall pick Lewis sets tone for new regime

June 14th, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins wrapped up their first Draft under chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and new scouting director Sean Johnson, going heavy on pitching on the third and final day of the Draft on Wednesday.

Of Minnesota's 30 selections on Wednesday, 15 were pitchers, and of their 41 picks, 21 were pitchers. They also selected nine infielders, eight outfielders and three catchers. They were also heavy on college players, as 31 of their 41 picks were from the college ranks. But the highlight of their Draft was selecting shortstop Royce Lewis with the No. 1 overall pick on Monday.

Lewis is expected to sign for roughly $1 million less than the slot value of $7.7 million associated with the first pick, and it could become official as soon as Friday. That allowed the Twins to be more creative with their MLB-leading $14.1 million of bonus pool money, selecting players who are expected to sign for more than slot, such as third-round prep right-hander Blayne Enlow and fifth-round junior college third baseman Andrew Bechtold.

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"There's a sense of accomplishment for our group," Johnson said. "We feel like we got good players and spread our money around. Being able to pick at the top of each round and having that amount of money to spend gave us more opportunity to give more money to players and spread it out. While most teams were running out of money, we still had money to play with."

Lewis, 18, is considered the crown jewel of the Draft, and while he'll sign for less than slot, the Twins had him high on their board with his combination of speed, hitting ability, fielding at shortstop, eventual power and leadership. They also discussed figures with the University of Louisville's Brendan McKay, but he wanted more money and reportedly received a $7 million over-slot deal with the Rays after being selected with the No. 4 overall pick.

Day 1: Twins select Lewis No. 1 overall 

"When you look at this Draft, there were players throughout that were really good," Falvey said. "We made a lot of difficult decisions here down the stretch, and we couldn't be happier with what we got. A number of players in this Draft were really well reviewed by those guys in that room. I think when you come into a Draft, you're picking 1-1, you're looking at all the players, we want to make sure we're as objective as possible. We couldn't be more excited about Royce Lewis."

Other notable picks include Competitive Balance selection Brent Rooker (Mississippi State outfielder), second-rounder Landon Leach (Pickering HS, Canada, RHP), fourth-rounder Charlie Barnes (Clemson, LHP), sixth-rounder Ricardo De La Torre (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, SS) and seventh-rounder Ryley Widell (Central Arizona College, LHP). Leach, Barnes and Widell are projectable pitchers, while Rooker was perhaps the best college bat available in the Draft and De La Torre has above-average power for a middle infielder.

Day 2: Twins take Enlow with the first pick of the third round 

"You're always excited about the first guy but we're also excited about a lot of the guys we got on Day 2," Johnson said. "We feel like a lot of these guys have a chance to be something. Having three picks on Day 1, there was a lot of talent there. And even yesterday, there were some guys who we feel are real prospects."