Twins Draft SS Levi Michael with 1st Round Pick

6 Jun

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With their first round pick, the Minnesota Twins select Shortstop Levi Michael from the University of North Carolina. He just turned 20 years old in February. As a freshman in 2009, he hit .290/.382/.527 with 15 doubles, four triples, 13 HR and 57 RBI. He walked 26 times and struck out 56 times. In 2010, he hit .346/.484/.575 with 14 doubles, four triples, nine home runs and 54 RBI. He stole 22 bases in 24 attempts (after stealing 5 bases in 9 attempts his first year). He walked 44 times and struck out 26 times. In those first two years, he was hit by 31 pitches. In 2011, he hit .297with 14 doubles, three triples and five home runs. He was hit another 14 times. He walked 47 times and struck out 41 times. He played in 60 of the team’s 62 games although he was hurt early in the season as well.

He is generally touted the top college shortstop in the draft, although there are not a lot of high quality college shortstops.

Twins fans have become accustomed to the team selecting college pitchers and high school bats. Middle infield has been a problem area for the Twins for years, so it is actually nice to see the team go with a college shortstop this year. Of course, it is still likely to take him a couple of seasons to get to the Twins, but it does give the team hope for that shortstop position. Really nothing to complain about with this pick. Hopefully he will sign quickly and play up to Ft. Myers this season. He will then compete with the likes of Brian Dozier and James Beresford for who plays SS and who plays 2B in coming years.

Any thoughts on the pick, please feel free to leave them below.


13 Responses to “Twins Draft SS Levi Michael with 1st Round Pick”

  1. knucka11 June 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Seth, one thing I’ve found interesting watching the MLB Network coverage, they’re raving about all these guys who hit mid to upper 90’s, which many people would say is exactly what the Twins need (along with a fast rising shortstop), but through 3 picks they haven’t taken a single one. Now I realize by the time we get to picks 30-55 we’re looking at hard throwers with decent control issues unlike the Coles and Bauers of the early first round, but why haven’t the Twins at least taken a stab at one of them in their first 3 picks? I liked the Michael pick and Harrison sounds like he could kill the ball, so I’m fine with those, but then they take Boyd who is a “Bartolo Colon type” vs taking a shot at one of the many power arms. Why not take the shot? I do like them differing from the college control artist/toolsy h.s. outfielder mold, though.

    • Paul June 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

      I saw a couple people saying that Michael has a borderline arm for SS and he’s more likely to slot into a 2B role down the road, do you know anything more about that?

    • Steve L. June 7, 2011 at 8:57 am #

      Scouting reports I’ve read say Boyd can top out at 95 and has some projection left, so exactly how much velocity do you want?!? 97-100 MPH guys are a rarity, not commodity…

  2. toby June 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    DISLIKE the Michael pick. WTF is the upside? A defensively adequate SS with a 330 OBP? Precious little pop without the aluminum…

    • Jon June 7, 2011 at 8:37 am #

      Ive seen this kid play quite a bit and he is a nice, gritty little guy. The Twins DID NOT draft a shortstop here though. They are now going to pay a great deal of money for a guy that will compete against the Beresford, Dozier, Lockwood and Santana types and DOES NOT project better against the likes of any of them. Just wait until this undersized first rounder puts a wood bat in his hand! I don’t understand this pick in the first round at all when this kid will just blend in with the rest of this group, be paid a bunch of money and just contribute to an even bigger log jam in the minor leagues. Watch the organizational consequences now with this pick. I would expect a number of 23, 24 and 25 year old infielders are a little nervous about their job security today.

      • Seth June 7, 2011 at 8:50 am #

        The Twins need middle infielders… I’m a bit perplexed by the whining I’m reading when the Twins take the guy deemed the best college shortstop in the draft. If he moves to 2B, oh well. 2B is a position that needs to be in the lineup every day too.

        At 30, you’re never going to get a sure thing, so if you can get a guy with a really good chance to move quickly and contribute, you have to take him. If he competes with Dozier and Beresford, that says a lot about those two, and maybe the Twins didn’t have a middle infield problem after all.

        Which signable pitchers are there out there that throw 97-98?

  3. mike wants wins June 7, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Loved the pick. The top college SS. He had a minor injury this year. He’s only 20. Even if he moves to 2B, he’s a legit prospect to be a MLB player. 2-3 years from now, he’s either your starting SS or 2B.

    • Jon June 7, 2011 at 8:50 am #

      Top college shortstop in a very weak college shortstop pool.

      • Jon June 7, 2011 at 9:30 am #

        Not whining at all. You are right about organizations needing good middle infielders, you just don’t waist 1st round picks and a million dollars on questionable middle infield talent. You can get those guys later in the draft and develop them as the Twins are doing with many others (my point). I would have much rather seen strong pitching with this pick and settled for a guy like Michael in the latter rounds.

      • mike wants wins June 7, 2011 at 9:33 am #

        Settle for a guy like Michael, ranked by many as one of the 30 or so best prospects in all of the draft? Not sure we are reading the same scouting reports. Is he a sure thing? Of course not. Mahtook (sp?) would have been my pick.

      • Jon June 7, 2011 at 9:42 am #

        My scouting reports are those written by actual scouts not Baseball America, Perfect Game, etc…

  4. Matt in SoDak June 7, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I can’t believe how many people are hating on the Michael pick. Every year the Twins draft a toolsy outfielder or soft-tossing pitcher, and everyone complains about not getting a college position player. Now they do, and people are upset again???

    Sounds like Michael’s ankle injury really slowed him down this past year, so if he gets healthy, I think some of the anger will melt away. His numbers as a freshman (as a high schooler who graduated a semester early, by the way) and sophomore are pretty solid. I’m excited. Even if his “upside” is a solid, role-playing 2B, that is something we need in our system!

    Harrison’s videos look sick! That kid can hit the heck out of the ball. Sounds awesome coming off his bat.

    Boyd I know nothing about, but a HS kid who is throwing 95 with a decent curve is always pretty solid. He apparently still has some upside from what I have read and if Terry Ryan saw him in person and wanted him, that makes me feel a little better, too. Also, I think the Colon comps are supposed to be a positive 🙂

    Anyway, excited about the Twins again these days, and hope they grab some more guys to get excited about.

  5. DH in Philly June 7, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    WOW Jon’s an insider. I must listen to him.

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