Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN has a tremendous amount of information on the upcoming MLB draft in the most recent edition of his weekly "Scoops" column. Here are some highlights from his highly informative piece (though there is much more to see in the full column)...
- Twins VP of player personnel Mike Radcliff spoke with Wolfson at length Wednesday afternoon and said that the team's draft board for the No. 4 overall pick is down to four players: "We have enough guys we have no problem taking," Radcliff said. "Dollars, risk, creativity, we can go many ways."
- Wolfson adds that at least one of the potential players would be someone the Twins could sign well below slot value, in order to spend more heavily on their second- and third-round picks. He adds that that player is likely high school catcher Reese McGuire, as has been rumored occasionally over the past few weeks. Asked about McGuire, Radcliff side-stepped the question a bit: "Well, we want a catcher every draft," he said. "Looking for a star catcher is the hardest thing to find."
- The Twins have had a scout in attendance to see "every pitch" from Kohl Stewart over the past couple of years. Radcliff and scouting director Deron Johnson have seen him multiple times.
- The Twins have a great relationship with Matt Sosnick and Adam Karon, who are advising McGuire and Nevada right-hander Braden Shipley. They're believed to be more interested in McGuire than Shipley. Sosnick, the agent for current Twins Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit, also advises high school arms Matt Krook and Andrew Church, plus San Francisco right-hander Alex Balog and Cal infielder Andrew Knapp. Each of those prospects ranks in the Top 100, per Baseball America.
- Johnson has seen Arkansas righty Ryne Stanek numerous times, and the Twins have done more work on him than any team in this year's top 10.
- High school lefty Hunter Green, who ranks as the draft's No. 31 prospect (per BA), is among the prospects who will attend a workout for the Twins on Monday. High school outfielder Austin Meadows did not attend a recent workout the team held for Georgia-area prospects.
- The Twins aren't likely to pursue Minnesota high school outfielder Ryan Boldt with their second pick (No. 43). They will look at another hometown product in Gophers lefty Tom Windle at that spot, however. Boldt was considered a first-round talent before a meniscus tear ended his season. He hopes to be ready to play by August.
- The Twins have the fourth-largest pool to sign international prospects this year, and Radcliff says they will be "major players" in this year's market. Wolfson adds that the Twins very much like Dominican outfielder Lewin Diaz.
- The team didn't have scouts in attendance to watch Japanese hurlers Shohei Otani and Masahiro Tanaka in Japan this past week.