The Minnesota Twins announced tonight that they have selected outfielder Alex Kirilloff from Plum High School in New Kensington, PA with the 15th overall selection in the first round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
The 18-year-old high school senior was rated as the 15th best prospect in the draft by Baseball America. Through 19 games for Plum this season he was hitting .544 with a .645 on-base percentage, 1.000 slugging percentage, three home runs and 23 RBI. He has 17 extra-base hits and has walked 17 times and struckout once.
The New Kensington, PA native (a suburb of Pittsburgh), was named a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game First-Team All-American and Atlantic All-Region First-Team selection. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder primarily played first base, and also pitched, throughout high school. Kirilloff is the fourth player from the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League to be drafted in the first round, the most recent being Neil Walker (11th overall in 2004 by Pittsburgh).
The left-handed hitting Kirilloff won the 2015 Perfect Game All-American Classic Home Run Challenge, hitting 34 home runs at Fowler Park at the University of San Diego and PETCO Park. He plays for Plum High School but does not attend class there, rather he studies at home and attends the Pennsylvania Cyber School, a public charter school with an online schedule. His father, Dave Kirilloff was a scout with the Pirates and a coach at various levels of baseball from amateur to collegiate.
This year marks the 33rd time the Twins have picked in the top 15 in the MLB Draft, and the fifth straight season in the top 15. This marks the second time the Twins have had the 15th overall pick, the only other time coming in 1977, selecting outfielder Paul Croft out of Morristown (NJ) High School. This is the first time the Twins have selected a high school position player since selecting infielder Nick Gordon with the fifth overall pick in 2014. This is the first time the Twins have selected a high school outfielder since selecting Byron Buxton second overall in the 2012 Draft.
Since the 2001 Draft, 12 of the Twins first round selections have reached the major leagues and five are on the Twins active roster, including Byron Buxton (2nd overall in 2012), Kyle Gibson (22nd overall in 2009), Trevor Plouffe (20th overall in 2004), Glen Perkins (22nd overall in 2004) and Joe Mauer (1st overall in 2001).
Alex Kirilloff was recommended by Twins scout Jay Weitzel.