Draft : : State Preview
Friday, May 25, 2012

Draft Preview: Minnesota

Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Perfect Game

In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.

Contributing: Allan Simpson

Minnesota State-by-State List
2011 Minnesota Overview

Minnesota Overview:
Brown's Continued Improvement Puts Him in Early-Round Mix

Century High righthander Mitchell Brown entered the 2012 season as a well-known commodity in the scouting community after routinely travelling to prominent national showcases and tournaments over the past year, while performing at a high level. With a fastball that spiked this spring to 94-95, however, Brown’s draft stock has risen to a point where he is now expected to be selected in the supplemental-first round or second round.

There is much speculation that the home-state Minnesota Twins, with two picks in the sandwich round (32nd
 and 42nd overall) and the third overall selection in the second round (63rd), will scoop up Brown with one of those early selections. The Twins are notorious for looking out for one of their own when it comes to the draft.

Should Brown be selected with one of the Twins picks in the sandwich round, he would become the highest selection from a Minnesota high school since the Twins selected catcher Joe Mauer with the very first selection in the 2001 draft. The highest in-state prep selection since was Chaska High lefthander Brad Hand, a second-round pick (52nd
 overall) of the Florida Marlins in 2008.

It's possible that Brown will be the only player in the state to go in the top 10 rounds, although University of Minnesota ace T.J. Oakes, a 41st
-round selection of the Twins a year ago as a draft-eligible sophomore, enjoyed a successful season and could be taken in rounds 8-10. The Golden Gophers have several other players expected to be selected later in the draft, including righthanders Drew Ghelfi, Austin Lubinsky and Billy Soule, as well as catcher Kurt Schlangen.

After last year’s disastrous season, when the roof of the Gophers’ home field at the Metrodome collapsed and the field was unusable all year, Minnesota (29-27, 11-13) failed to qualify for the Big Ten Conference post-season tournament this spring, and were upstaged in their home state by Division II Minnesota State-Mankato (48-10), which reached the D-II World Series for the sixth time. That school is not expected to have a significant draft, especially after last year’s ace, righthander Blake Schwartz, transferred to NAIA Oklahoma City for his senior year.

Minnesota in a nutshell:

Mitchell Brown.
WEAKNESS: Position prospects.
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3.


BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Minnesota Connection:
Blake Schwartz, rhp, Oklahoma City University (Attended high school in Rosemount).
Top 2013 Prospect: Logan Shore, rhp, Coon Rapids HS.
Top 2014 Prospect: Ben Meyer, rhp, University of Minnesota.


Draft History:
Joe Mauer, c, Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul (2001, Twins/1st round, 1st pick).
2006 Draft: Aaron Senne, of, Mayo HS, Rochester (Twins/13th round).
2007 Draft: Dan Lyons, ss, University of Minnesota (Nationals/14th round).
2008 Draft: Brad Hand, lhp, Chaska HS (Marlins/2nd round).
2009 Draft: Derek McCallum, 2b, University of Minnesota (Twins/4th round).
2010 Draft: Mike Kvasnicka, c/3b, University of Minnesota (Astros/1st round, 33rd pick).
2011 Draft: Jordan Smith, of, St. Cloud State University (Indians/9th round).


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 0/0.
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 2/1.


(Projected ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)

1. MITCHELL BROWN, rhp, Century HS, Rochester
No stranger to Perfect Game showcase and tournament events, Brown has continued to improve as a pitcher while refining his well-rounded repertoire. His fastball peaked at 95 mph this spring, while sitting at a steady 90-94. Brown has also begun to master an 87-88 mph cut fastball in which he takes a little off his usual heater to create hard, boring life, and also throws a sharp, upper-70s curve, low- to mid-80s slider and changeup, giving him five legitimate pitches that he can throw for strikes. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Brown has a sturdy, compact, powerful frame and has done a very good job of firming it up over the last 6-8 months; he routinely incorporates his full body into his delivery. Brown is a fierce competitor on the mound and isn't afraid to throw any of his pitches in any count. He is expected to be selected as early as the sandwich, making it unlikely that he steps on campus at the University of San Diego.

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