Friday, February 10, 2012

2012 Twins Draft Preview- Pick #42

After looking at the #2 & #32 picks in the upcoming draft, I wanted to look at a couple of players who could be available when the Twins select at #42.

Andrew Heaney- LHP School: Oklahoma State Ht: 6'2" Wt: 175

If any player in the top 100 fits the Twins profile for pitching it would be Heaney. He is a command/control lefty who gets people out by pounding the strike zone and changing speeds. His "fastball" usually sits in 88-90 range but has been up to 91-92 in shorter stints. He features a couple breaking balls including a a sharp curve that could be an above average pitch and also mixes in a change and cutter that help keep righthanders from teeing off on his below average fastball. He will change his arm slot and speeds to keep hitters off balance dropping almost to below a 3/4's slot against lefties. He still has room to fill out in his frame and is known to be a great teammate and a hard worker.

Video Clip: Click here

Video Analysis: Heaney is the first minute of the video and at first I thought that maybe he was just taking his warm ups really lightly. After seeing the little game footage Heaney needs some work with his mechanics. He is all arm and doesn't use his lower half at all leading to a lot of effort in his delivery. His arm slot is pretty low and would lead me to believe he would struggle to keep the ball down in the zone and stay on top of his breaking balls. If the Twins could get him to use his lower half he may even be able to add a couple of mph to his fastball and ease the wear and tear on his shoulder and arm. If not, I see him more then likely destined to be a Loogy as he would not be able to hold up to a full season workload as a starter or even middle relief.

Nolan Sanburn-RHP School: Arkansas Ht 6'1" Wt: 205

If Heaney fits the current Twins mantra of pitch to contact then Sanburn would fit the supposed new need for "Power Arms" I have heard Terry Ryan mention this offseason. Though he is currently a reliever some scouts believe he should be given the chance to start in the pros and the Twins have tried, albeit not successfully (see Carlos Gutierrez), to take College relievers and turn them into big league starters. Sanborn features a hard 91-94 mhp fastball that has reached 98 and basically tries to overpower hitters with it. In the Northwoods League this past summer he was used as a starter and was able to hold his velocity okay to give the belief that he could transition to the rotation. His secondary pitches need work but his 81-85 mph slider shows the potential to be a plus pitch. His Change-up needs work and the development of that pitch would indicate if he can stick in the rotation or would move to the bullpen. As a draft eligible sophomore he has age on his side and at worst he could develop into the Twins version of Drew Storen who was also taken as a soph out of college though Storen was a lot more highly regarded as a prospect.

Video Clip: N/A

Video Analysis: N/A

Jesse Winker- 1B/OF B/T: L/R School: Olympia HS, Orlando

Winker reminds me of Chris Parmalee a bit as a prospect and is projected to be one of the better high school bats in the draft. He doesn't fit the Twins preferred mold of an athletic outfielder but he can hit and has the potential for bit time power. Scouts say has a pretty left handed swing and generates power with his hips and torso. He gets good extension with his arms and should continue to show good bat speed as he grows. He is not supremely athletic and profiles as a LF or a 1B so the bat is going to have to blossom for him to be a impact player.

Video Clip: Click Here

Video Analysis: He shows a prototype lefty swing with good extension and hip rotation but he almost traps his hands behind his body leading to a longer swing and creating a small hole up and in. He would need to correct that keeping his hands even and not dropping them in the load and it is a fairly fixable hitch it just takes repetition.


  1. "Good extension" is the biggest fallacy in hitting since "rolling your wrists." You lose all credibility when analyzing a swing if you think you extend you arms at any point before contact.

  2. I agree that the extension does not come before contact, rather as contact is made and through the follow through. Good extension means he doesnt cut his swing/follow through off which can sap a hitters power and lead to irregular solid contact. Would be curious to know why you think "rolling your wrists" is a fallacy?

  3. Full extension does not come at the point of contact. It comes after the ball has already left the bat, and is generally done by everyone. It is not worth while to look at because it happens naturally for all hitters who hit rotationally. Rolling your wrists is a fallacy because it also happens (significantly) after the point of contact, and happens naturally as a way to slow your hands down.