Twins look to add high-impact talent to system

Twins look to add high-impact talent to system

The 2015 Draft will take place from Monday, June 8, through Wednesday, June 10, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Monday at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 75 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of Day 2 begins with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, with exclusive coverage of Day 3 beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of over 1,700 Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Twins, whose first selection is the No. 6 overall pick.

In about 50 words
The Twins have a pick within the first six selections of the Draft for a fourth straight year, which allows them to add another high-impact talent to a farm system that's already viewed as one of the best in baseball.

The scoop
After taking shortstop Nick Gordon with the No. 5 overall pick in last year's Draft, the Twins went heavy on pitching, as their next seven picks were all pitchers, including highly regarded relief prospects Nick Burdi, Jake Reed, Michael Cederoth and Sam Clay.

According to mock drafts from MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, the Twins have been linked to several pitchers for their first pick. But they also have been linked to Florida high school outfielder Kyle Tucker, Georgia high school outfielder Daz Cameron and Louisiana State University shortstop Alex Bregman.

First-round buzz
The Twins have interest in UC Santa Barbara right-hander Dillon Tate, but he could be off the board by the time they make their selection. If Tate is unavailable, they could turn to Missouri State right-hander Jon Harris, Illinois left-hander Tyler Jay or California high school left-hander Kolby Allard.

Allard, from San Clemente High School, suffered a stress reaction in his lower back, but if his medicals check out, the Twins could go with a high school pitcher with their first pick for the second time in three years after taking right-hander Kohl Stewart with the No. 4 overall pick in 2013.

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

The Twins have $3.89 million available for their first pick and $839,700 for their second pick. They also have $7.39 million total for their first 10 picks, which ranks as the 12th most in the Majors.

Shopping list
The Twins prescribe to the strategy of taking the best player available regardless of position. But Minnesota has loaded up on arms with their early selections in the last four years and could look to replicate that again this year. The Twins are always looking to add to catching depth, and didn't take a catcher until the 19th round last year after taking three catchers with their first nine picks in '13.

Trend watch
Last year's Draft was notable for the Twins, as they took eight college pitchers among their first 10 picks. They went with hard-throwing college arms with relief experience who could move quickly through their system such as Burdi and Reed. But it was likely just a one-year trend for the Twins, who still value high school talent.

RECENT DRAFT HISTORY

Rising fast
Byron Buxton, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 Draft, remains the No. 1 overall prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. He's currently at Double-A Chattanooga after missing most of last season with various injuries, but could make his Major League debut later this season. Fellow 2012 first-round pick Jose Berrios, who was taken in the supplemental round, is also having a strong year at Chattanooga and has emerged as a top pitching prospect. Berrios is ranked as the No. 31 overall by MLBPipeline.com.

Cinderella story
Reliever Michael Tonkin was a 30th round pick in 2008, but has pitched out of the bullpen for the Twins in each of the last three seasons. Fellow reliever A.J. Achter was selected in the 46th round of 2010 Draft, which is a round that doesn't exist anymore. He's currently pitching well at Triple-A Rochester, and made his debut with the Twins last year as a September callup.

In the show
Outfielder Eddie Rosario, a fourth-round pick by the Twins in 2010, made his Major League debut on May 6, and promptly homered on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues. Right-hander Kyle Gibson, a first-round pick in 2009, has emerged as one of the club's top starting pitchers, while catcher Chris Herrmann, a sixth-rounder in '09, has been Minnesota's backup catcher all season. But the Twins haven't had any players taken since '11 reach the Majors yet.

The Twins' recent top picks
2014 -- Nick Gordon, SS, Class A Cedar Rapids
2013 -- Kohl Stewart, RHP, Class A Advanced Fort Myers
2012 -- Byron Buxton, OF, Double-A Chattanooga
2011 -- Levi Michael, SS, Double-A Chattanooga
2010 -- Alex Wimmers, RHP, Double-A Chattanooga

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.