Goodrum makes his call for pro ball

Goodrum makes his call for pro ball

MINNEAPOLIS -- The newly-drafted players in the Twins' organization have a decision to make -- try to make it to the big leagues now or go get a college degree.

For Cartier "Niko" Goodrum, the decision was easy: "pro-ball, all the way."

Draft Central

The majority of the 29 players chosen on Tuesday in the First-Year Player Draft were either high school seniors or in the middle of their college careers.

The Twins took eight high school seniors on Day 2 of the Draft.

The day started with one of them, Goodrum, in the second round. He was drafted as a shortstop, but could also be used as an outfielder down the road.

Deron Johnson, director of scouting for the Twins, said the organization is going to try to keep him as a shortstop, but depending on how he grows into his body, it could be best to move him to center field.

Goodrum said he started two games in high school in center, and spent many afternoons working out with the outfielders, so he is familiar with the fundamentals of the position.

"I'd like to play shortstop, but if they want to move me to outfield, that's fine with me," Goodrum said. "I'm going to try to play shortstop as long as I can though."

Another trend on Day 2 was the amount of pitchers chosen by the Twins. The drafting of 14 pitchers started in the third round with left-hander Pat Dean of Boston College. The Twins' first-round Draft pick, Alex Wimmers, also is a pitcher out of Ohio State, bringing the total to 15.

Two of those pitchers are seniors in high school and Dean, among others, just completed his junior year of college.

Johnson said pitching is what the Twins were targeting all Spring, saying it was something the team really wanted.

"I'll say it was an organizational need," said Mike Radcliff, vice president of player personnel. "We need pitchers, everybody does. Once you get to this part of the Draft, 50 percent of each round is pitchers."

The Twins also took a hometown boy in the ninth round, catcher Kyle Knudson from Minnesota. Knudson grew up in Maple Grove and his family still resides there.

Knudson said he felt having college experience under his belt will help set him apart from players drafted right out of high school. Of the three catchers picked on Day 2, one is a high school senior.

At Minnesota, Knudson called the games, so he said he has knowledge that younger players might not have acquired yet. But more than anything, he said he is excited to play for the home team.

"I've been a Twins fan my whole life, so it's great," Knudson said. "It's definitely something I've dreamed of since I was little. I'm just excited to get the opportunity to play for them."

The signing deadline for these players is Aug. 16.

Radcliff and Johnson said they already predict signing more draftees than the team usually does. Radcliff said the team normally signs about 24 of the 50 total Draft picks, but this year they are expecting to sign above 50 percent.

The First-Year Player Draft will conclude on Wednesday with rounds 31-50.

Here's a closer look at the Day 2 picks:

Round 2: Cartier "Niko" Goodrum, SS, Fayette County High School, Fayetteville, GA:
Although he played shortstop in high school, Goodrum will most likely make the switch to outfield in the big leagues. He is considered to be a threat on the bases, but the biggest concern comes at the plate. He is a switch-hitter who has some raw power, but isn't expected to be much more than an average batter.

Round 3: Pat Dean, LHP, Boston College:
Ranks ninth all-time at Boston College in career strikeouts with 172. His 2009 season total of 90 ranks third all-time for strikeouts in a single season.

Round 4: Eddie Rosario, RF, Rafael Lopez Landron High School, Puerto Rico:
Rosario was the first player from Puerto Rico to be taken in the 2010 Draft. He was expected to go behind Dickie Thon, but Thon wasn't drafted until the fifth round.

Round 5: Nathaniel Roberts, CF, High Point University:
Played for Parkland College his first two seasons, where he helped lead them to the NJCAA World Series national championship. He set a series record with a .710 batting average.

Round 6: Logan Darnell, LHP, Kentucky:
Had an ERA of 5.62 in 2010 with a record of 5-3. Led all starters with 55 strikeouts in his junior season.

Round 7: Matthew Hauser, RHP, San Diego:
Had a 3.67 ERA in his senior season, a 4-3 record, and gave up 37 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings.

Round 8: Lance Ray, RF, Kentucky:
Led team with a .356 batting average as a junior, while 22 of his 42 hits this season were for multiple bases. Also led team with a .720 slugging percentage and a .458 on base percentage.

Round 9: Kyle Knudson, C, Minnesota:
A hometown boy from Maple Grove, he was second on his team with a .342 batting average. He also had a .994 fielding percentage, committing only two errors last season.

Round 10: JaDamion Williams, SS, Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School, Tampa, Fla:
Batted .449 his senior season. He was ranked 95th-best senior in the nation by MaxPreps.

Round 11: Tyler Kuresa, 1B, Oakmont High School, Roseville, Calif.:
The lanky infielder who is capable of making hard contact at the plate. His body allows for room to get bigger and is capable of turning into a power hitter.

Round 12: Steven Maxwell, RHP, Texas Christian:
Had to redshirt his sophomore season to undergo Tommy John surgery. In his redshirt junior year, he had an ERA of 2.51 and an 11-1 record.

Round 13: Ryan O'Rourke, LHP, Merrimack College:
He was the Division II Rawlings Gold Glove Starting Pitcher. He is the all-time strikeout leader at Merrimack with 193 through three seasons. He finished his collegiate career with program-best 1.95 ERA.

Round 14: DeAndre Smelter, RHP, Tattnall Square Academy, Macon, GA:
Although his mechanics are considered "raw," he can still crank the ball up to 95 mph. His three best pitches include the fastball, changeup and slider.

Round 15: Thomas Girdwood, RHP, Elon University:
Had a 3-2 record and a 5.33 ERA in the 2010 season. He had 25 strikeouts in 27 innings.

Round 16: Clinton Dempster, LHP, Nicholls State:
Played for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College his sophomore season, where he put up a 1.84 ERA and recorded 113 strikeouts.

Round 17: Devin Grigg, RHP, Cal State East Bay:
Had a 2.89 ERA and a 5-1 record in his senior season. He didn't allow any home runs in 2010.

Round 18: David Gutierrez, RHP, Miami:
Was the only pitcher for Miami this season to throw a complete game.

Round 19: Matthew Arguello, LHP, Davidson High School, Mobile, Ala.:
An Alabama All-Star who led his team's starting rotation his senior season. He is considered a hard-throwing lefty.

Round 20: Cody Martin, RHP, Gonzaga:
Had a 6.55 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 88 innings, to go with a 5-7 record.

Round 21: Nathan Fawbush, RHP, Georgia Perimeter Collge:
He had a 3.69 ERA and a record of 4-2 in the 2010 season. He also had a team-leading two saves.

Round 22: Dillon Moyer, SS, The Pendleton School, Bradenton, Fla.:
Son of Phillies' pitcher Jamie Moyer. Posted a .375 batting average and stole seven bases his senior season.

Round 23: Justin Gallant, RHP, Sam Houston State:
Was 3-8 with a 4.82 ERA in his junior season. He allowed a team-high nine home runs in 2010.

Round 24: Michael Quesada, C, Sierra JC:
He had a .287 batting average and 19 RBIs in 2010.

Round 25: Andy Leer, SS, University of Mary:
Led his team with a .353 batting average and also led his team with nine homers. He became the career hits leader (188) for the Marauders.

Round 26: Kelly Cross, C, Pearland High School, Pearland, Tex.:
Spent time as both a pitcher and catcher in high school. Earned a spot in the starting rotation his senior year alongside his younger brother, Kyle.

Round 27: Brandon Henderson, CF, Fresno CC:
A quick runner, he racked up six triples in the 2010 season and was tied for fourth in the league in triples.

Round 28: Jamaal Hawkins, SS, Jacksonville University:
Was third on his team last season with a .332 batting average. He had 50 RBIs on the season.

Round 29: Brian Burke, 3B, Lewis-Clark State:
Second on the team with a .378 average and led his team with 16 home runs and drove in a team-best 64 runs.

Round 30: Sergio Perez Dernal, SS, Palmetto Ridge High School, Naples, Fla.:
A recent high school graduate who stands only 5-foot-9, could provide speed to whatever team he plays on.

Jocelyn Syrstad is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.