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 Draft debacles—some more haunting than others." 
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Post Draft debacles—some more haunting than others."
The MLB Draft is a fickle thing. There are seldom—if ever—surefire guarantees. In fact Andrew Benintendi Jersey , fewer than 67% of first-round picks ever make it to The Show. When you look at rounds 12–20, the percentage slips to just under 10%.Some players pan out. Some flame out before reaching the bigs. And all teams, of course, deal with their own issues when trying to land the next big thing. Over the years, the Minnesota Twins have missed out on their fair share of top-tier talent.So, without further ado, here’s a look at some notable players the Twins drafted but were unable to sign. In other words, here are the ghosts of what might have been.Steve Garvey, 1B (Career stats: 2,599 hits/272 HR/1,308 RBI/.294 AVG)The Twins selected Garvey in the third round of the 1966 MLB Amateur Draft. However, Garvey passed on the offer in favor of attending college. Two years later, the Dodgers drafted him with the 13th overall pick. Appearing in eight straight all-star games, garnering four consecutive Gold Gloves and winning an MVP award Luis Tiant Jersey , you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better first baseman during the mid ’70s to early ’80s.Mark Grace, 1B (Career stats: 2,445 hits/173 HR/1,146 RBI/.303 AVG)The Twins drafted Grace in the 15th round of the 1984 MLB Draft. Instead of signing with the Twinkies, Amazing Grace transferred from Saddleback Community College to San Diego State. In 1985, the Cubbies landed him in the 24th round. The sweet-swinging lefty went on to play for 16 seasons making three all-star appearances and racking up four Gold Gloves along the way.Jason Varitek, C (Career stats: 1,307 hits/193 HR/757 RBI/.256 AVG)Much has been said about Varitek’s storied holdouts (with both the Twins and Mariners) and, sure, the career numbers may look a little soft. But had the Twins successfully signed Varitek in the 1993 MLB June Amateur Draft, he certainly would’ve provided an excellent stopgap until Joe Mauer’s arrival. Plus, he did this.George Springer, OF (Career stats: 642 hits/121 HR/330 RBI/.265 AVG)Taken in the 48th round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft, Springer ultimately hit the books at the University of Connecticut rather than hit bombs for the Minnesota Twins. The Astros selected him with the 11th pick in the 2011 draft , and he’s averaged a not-too-shabby 110 runs scored, 28 home runs, and 79 runs batted in per season since 2016. He’s ridiculously clutch come postseason play, too.J.D. Martinez, OF (Career stats: 993 hits/195 HR/606 RBI/.292 AVG)Another Amateur Draft casualty for our beloved ball club. In 2006, Martinez and Minnesota couldn’t reach a deal, prompting the slugger now known as Flaco to enroll at Nova Southeastern University. The Astros nabbed him in the 20th round of the 2009 MLB and, although it took Martinez a few years to figure out his swing, he’s become one of the game’s greatest offensive threats.Honorable Mentions: Jay Bell, SS/2B—Career WAR: 37.2; Jesse Orosco, RP—Career WAR: 23.2; Bret Boone*—Career WAR: 22.8; J.J. Putz, RP—Career WAR: 13.1*Boone would have the last laugh as he hit .170 and racked up an anemic -1.1 WAR in 14 games with the Minnesota Twins in 2005. Save one pitch, Merrill Kelly and the D-backs pitchers looked quite good. The offense, on the other hand..."Record: 9-10-2. Change on 2018: -2. 5-inning record: 9-9-3.The Diamondbacks offense has not been having the best of springs. After 21 games and almost seven hundred at-bats Tony Conigliaro Jersey , they are hitting a collective .250/.320/.373. The resulting .693 OPS ranks ahead only of the Cardinals this spring. Now, we all know exactly how predictive spring training statistics are - hardly at all. But when the numbers do line up with pre-season concerns about the offense seen as potentially struggling to score runs, we can be forgiven for loosening our shirt collars nervously. In particular, the fourteen home-runs hit by Arizona this spring is the fewest of any team in baseball. This afternoon at Tempe Diablo, Arizona were held to just four hits: singles by 2B Wilmer Flores, SS Ildemaro Vargas and RF-CF Matt Szczur, and a double off the bat of SS Nick Ahmed. Flores and Ahmed each had a walk. The D-backs had only two at-bats with a runner in scoring position, and only scored their solitary run on a wild pitch. They have managed just sixteen runs over their last six games, dating back to the first game in Mexico. Too early to panic, naturally. But with less than two weeks to go until Opening Day, I’d rather they started poorly, and rounded into form as we moved through the spring. Still, the best-hitting teams last spring? The Padres, Indians , Giants and Royals. The lack of offense perhaps overshadows another decent outing from Merrill Kelly, who was probably one mistake from five shutout innings. Albert Pujols may fall a long way short of justifying his $27 million salary for the Angels this year, but he still is apparently capable of clobbering poorly-located pitchers into the bleachers. I trust Merrill has learned a valuable lesson from this. He went 4.2 innings, allowing the two-run shot to Pujols, as well as two other hits, while walking one and striking out two. Marc Rzepczynski walked two before getting the last out in the fifth. Nick Green tossed a pair of scoreless frames, though walked two and struck out none, and Alex Young had a clean eighth. Tomorrow, the Cubs come to Salt River Fields, with Matt Koch starting for the D-backs. It’s a radio game, available on ESPN Phoenix 620.

Wed May 15, 2019 1:08 am
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