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Twins load up on arms in Day 2 of Draft

June 7, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — After not selecting any with their three first-day picks, the second day of the Twins’ 2011 First-Year Player Draft was heavy on collegiate pitchers.

Out of 29 picks on Tuesday, 13 were used on college pitchers, two on junior college pitchers and six on high school arms.

Not only did the Twins draft a lot of pitchers, they drafted a lot of left-handers and a lot of big pitchers.

Twelve of the 21 pitchers drafted by the Twins were left-handed. All but one pitcher selected was over 6-foot, with lefties Jason Wheeler at 6-foot-8 and Adam McCreery at 6-foot-8 being the tallest.

“We went with some pretty big-bodied pitchers,” said Twins scouting director Deron Johnson. “We got some guys that we liked, and some guys that we thought had a chance to start.”

Another trend for the Twins was shortstops, of which they selected four. Three of those were college shortstops, while one was a high school prospect.

It was a position the Twins were targeting on both of the Draft’s first two days, and they hoped to get some older middle infielders in their system to go along with the younger ones already there.

“It all started with Levi Michael,” Johnson said, referring to the Twins’ first-round pick. “It carried on down to Adam Bryant and Tyler Grimes.”

While they would have liked to get some catchers in the draft to build depth in the organization behind the plate, things did not line up well for the Twins to do so.

They selected just one catcher in the first 30 picks of the Draft.

“We definitely would’ve liked to get one up high,” Johnson said. “We got picked a couple times early in the Draft and it just didn’t fall this year. So we had to make an adjustment and we went elsewhere.”

Live coverage of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft resumes at 11 a.m. CT Wednesday on MLB.com, where fans will receive exclusive coverage of Day 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player.

You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Round 2, Madison Boer, RHP, University of Oregon
A native of Eden Prairie, Minn., Boer can run his fastball up as high as 96 mph and uses his slider as his out pitch. Boer also has a nasty splitter, and likely profiles as a starter or closer. He had a 2.27 ERA this year, striking out 74 batters against 34 walks in 99 innings.

Round 3, Corey Williams, LHP, Vanderbilt University
A power relief pitcher this year for Vanderbilt, Williams can touch 95 mph with his fastball. He had a 5.64 ERA in 24 appearances this year for the Commodores, after missing much of last season when his kneecap was shattered by a line drive against the Florida Gators.

Round 4, Matt Summers, RHP, UC-Irvine
Previously drafted by the Yankees, Summers was the Big West Pitcher of the Year in 2011. Summers was 11-2 with a 1.72 ERA, striking out 96 batters in 109 2/3 innings over 16 starts. He also tossed the fourth no-hitter in school history against Long Beach State.

Round 5, Tyler Grimes, SS, Wichita State
With 27 stolen bases in 31 attempts this season, Grimes’ speed is one of his biggest assets. Grimes is a pesky leadoff-type hitter, and he batted .300/.467/.420 for the Shockers this season with five home runs and 32 RBIs. He committed 30 errors in 329 chances in 2011.

Round 6, Ivan Rodriguez, CF, Monsignor Edward Pace HS (Fla.)
Son of former American League MVP and 14-time All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez, the younger Rodriguez has always been an outfielder. Once clocked at 95 mph on a throw from center field to home plate, Rodriguez has also tried his hand at pitching.

Round 7, Steven Gruver, LHP, University of Tennessee
Tossing two complete games, Gruver had his best collegiate season as a junior. He went 5-7 with a 3.95 ERA for the Volunteers, striking out 84 in 95 2/3 innings. For his career at Tennessee, he had 165 strikeouts in 184 innings.

Round 8, Jason Wheeler, LHP, Loyola Marymount
Named the Northwoods League pitcher of the year in 2010, Wheeler went 8-1 with a 1.35 ERA last summer for the St. Cloud River Bats. Wheeler went 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA as a junior at Loyola Marymount, striking out 71 batters in 103 innings while allowing just 24 walks.

Round 9, Nicholas Bryant, SS, Troy University 
One of 50 players named to the Golden Spikes List. Bryant, who goes by his middle name, Adam, hit .337 this year with a team-high 11 home runs and a .570 slugging percentage. He is Troy University’s all-time hits leader with 276 hits over his four-year career.

Round 10, Brett Lee, LHP, St. Petersburg Junior College
In his second year with the Titans, Lee tossed 80 innings over 19 games, posting a 5.06 ERA with 75 strikeouts against 25 walks. The native of Pensacola, Fla., is listed at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds.

Round 11, Tyler Jones, RHP, Louisiana State University
Previously drafted last year in the 21st round by the White Sox, Jones was a Junior College all-American at Madison Area Technical College, which he lead to the 2010 Junior College World Series. Jones was 4-0 with a 5.22 ERA in 14 appearances this year with LSU.

Round 12, Matthew Koch, C, Loyola Marymount
Named the West Coast Conference player of the month for May, Koch hit .313/.357/.483 this season for Loyola Marymount, with 22 doubles, four home runs and 39 RBIs. He was previously drafted by the Rays in the 22nd round of last year’s Draft.

Round 13, Steven Evans, LHP, Liberty University
Over 100 1/3 innings, Evans struck out 83 with 29 walks in 16 games (15 starts) for Liberty this season. He posted a 2.87 ERA while going 7-3 and earning second team all-Big South honors. Opposing batters only hit .211 off Evans, but he also hit 22 of them.

Round 14, Adam McCreery, LHP, Bonita HS (Calif.)
Committed to play collegiate baseball at Arizona State University, McCreery is a 6-foot-8 lefty. He missed much of the 2011 season with an elbow injury and was slowly worked back. He threw a one-hit shutout with eight strikeouts in a 5-1 victory last month.

Round 15, Josue Montanez, LHP, Miami Dade CC
Previously drafted by the Padres last year in the 25th round, Montanez went 7-2 this season with a 2.59 ERA, tossing 66 innings over 14 games. Montanez struck out 70 batters while walking just 19. He also gave up 33 runs on 58 hits.

Round 16, Austin Malinowski, LHP, Centennial HS (Minn.) 
A local product, Malinowski is committed to Arizona. Malinowski threw a one-hitter last month to lead Centennial past Andover for a 10-0 victory. The lefty made the All-Metro team as a junior after posting a 7-0 record with a 0.85 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 41 innings.

Round 17, Joshua Burris, RHP, LSU-Eunice
Listed as utility player for the Bengals, Burris went 1-1 with a 4.64 ERA in 13 appearances as a freshman. He earned one save while striking out 32 batters and walking 20 over 21 1/3 innings. He also batted .273 with a triple, a home run and seven RBIs.

Round 18, Corey Kimes, LHP, University of Illinois
Kimes went 4-4 this year with a 5.15 ERA for the Illini, striking out 57 batters with 39 walks in 16 games, 15 starts. The lefty was named the No. 9 prospect in the Prospect League by Baseball America after going 5-1 with a 2.64 ERA with the Springfield Sliders.

Round 19, Tyler Koelling, CF, Southern Mississippi
As a senior, Koelling was the recipient of the Cellular South Ferris Trophy, awarded since 2004 to the best collegiate baseball player in Mississippi. Koelling batted .362/.409/.500 in 55 games this season, with four home runs, 46 RBIs, and just nine strikeouts.

Round 20, Brian Anderson, SS, Deer Creek High School (Okla.) 
In addition to shortstop, Brian Anderson also was a pitcher in high school. In April, he came within one out of a no-hitter before allowing a single. Anderson helped lead Deer Creek to the Class 5A state championship game, where they lost.

Round 21, Michael Howard, LHP, Prescott High School (Ariz.) 
Committed to Baylor University next year, Howard is a 6-foot, 165-pound lefty. He threw a no-hitter in March against Sunset High School (Ore.) in the Coach Bob National Tournament, striking out 16 batters.

Round 22, James Ramsey, RF, Florida State University
A team leader on and off the field, Ramsey batted .358/.438/.591 this year for the Seminoles, with 10 home runs and 66 RBIs. He also walked 30 times and stole 11 bases in 14 attempts. FSU is still alive, facing Texas A&M in the Super Regional round this weekend.

Round 23, Timothy Shibuya, RHP, UC-San Diego
A native of Wyoming, Shibuya was 11-4 with a 2.12 ERA in 15 starts as a senior. He struck 109 against just 12 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Shibuya is the all-time wins and strikeouts leader at UCSD and was the California Collegiate Athletic Association Co-Pitcher of the Year.

Round 24, Nick Burdi, RHP, Downer’s Grove HS (Ill.) 
Projected to go much higher in the Draft by many, Burdi is committed to the University of Louisville. He has a fastball that reaches the upper 90s and a devastating breaking ball. One of the top Illinois prep pitchers this year, Burdi projects as a back-of-the-bullpen arm.

Round 25, Adam Pettersen, SS, University of Minnesota
A native of Minnetonka, Minn., Pettersen was a freshman All-American in 2009. Pettersen, who goes by AJ, batted .344/.394/.426 with one home run, 12 RBIs and eight stolen bases for the Gophers this year. He played in the Cape Cod League in 2010 for the Hyannis Mets.

Round 26, Trent Higginbotham, RHP, Clay Chalkville HS (Ala.) 
Committed to Shelton State Community College, Higginbotham is 6-foot-1, 170-pound right-hander. His fastball has been recorded as high as 89 mph, with little movement. He also has a big breaking curveball and a solid changeup.

Round 27, Chris Mazza, RHP, Menlo College (Calif.) 
He did it all for the Oaks, swinging a big bat, playing stellar defense in the infield and closing games on the mound. Mazza hit .337/.420/.517 as a senior this year, with 58 hits in 48 games. He also recorded a 2.73 ERA, going 3-4 in 19 appearances with nine saves.

Round 28, David Hurlbut, LHP, Cal State Fullerton
Nicknamed “Booty”, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound lefty models his game after Giants left-hander Barry Zito. Hurlbut was 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA, recording 20 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings for Cal State Fullerton this year. Opponents hit .275 off him.

Round 29, Derek Thompson, LHP, Teutopolis High School (Ill.) 
Committed to John A. Logan Junior College, Thompson, a 6-foot-3 lefty, helped lead the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes baseball team to a second consecutive Illinois Class 2A Championship as a senior.

Round 30, William Clinard, RHP, Vanderbilt University
A 6-foot-4, 225-pound redshirt sophomore, Clinard was 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA in 31 appearances for the Commodores this year. He recorded 36 strikeouts over 31 innings, while walking just eight batters. Opponents hit .274 off Clinard.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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