June 8, 2010

Twins draft Ohio State pitcher Alex Wimmers in first round

Typically the Twins choose a high school hitter or a college pitcher in the first round of the draft and Alex Wimmers was frequently linked to them in various mock drafts, so their selecting the Ohio State right-hander with the 21st pick last night was anything but a surprise. Wimmers is the back-to-back Big Ten pitcher of the year, going 9-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 2009 and 9-0 with a 1.60 ERA this season.

He perfectly fits the Twins' preferred pitching mold as a strike-thrower with a low-90s fastball and good off-speed stuff, as special assistant to the general manager Joe McIlvaine effusively praised Wimmers' changeup in an interview with MLB Network immediately following the pick. Keith Law of ESPN.com called Wimmers one of the most MLB-ready prospects in the draft and Baseball America noted that "few pitchers in this draft can match the depth of his repertoire."

Wimmers is 6-foot-2 and about 200 pounds, usually works at 88-92 miles per hour, and is said to have the potential for a great breaking ball in addition to the excellent changeup. He also must be a pretty good athlete, because he holds the school record for career batting average at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, which is a well-known baseball program that has produced the likes of Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin.

Jim Callis of Baseball America noted that Wimmers "is not close to a finesse guy" despite being a polished strike-thrower and he missed plenty of bats with 273 strikeouts in 215.2 innings at Ohio State, including an 83-to-26 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 73 innings this year. John Manuel of Baseball America--who specifically follows the Twins along with editor-in-chief duties--called him "the closest thing to Brad Radke in this draft" and "fairly comparable to Kevin Slowey."

His upside definitely isn't as high as last year's first rounder, Kyle Gibson, but the consensus seems to be that Wimmers projects as a mid-rotation starter and should move quickly through the system. I'll have much more on Wimmers and the Twins' other draft picks tomorrow, but in the meantime thanks to YouTube (and ProspectJunkies.com) here are a couple videos of the 21-year-old righty in action for the Buckeyes this season:

16 Comments »

  1. Yaaayyyy another mid rotation guy!!!! Where is the ace we so desperately need? I suppose they typically aren’t found in the low 20′s….

    Comment by ? — June 7, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

  2. looks like a really violent throwing motion.

    Comment by james — June 7, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

  3. I wonder if the Twins gave any thought to Zack Cox. I was a little surprised to see him still available.

    Comment by Nick Ocho — June 7, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

  4. “Where is the ace we so desperately need? I suppose they typically aren’t found in the low 20’s….”

    So who followed this pick that would qualify as an ace?

    Comment by ? — June 7, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

  5. aces are not found out of nowwhere…and there are no 10+ aces in a draft in a year..real aces…are only 15 to 30 in the majors…and u find them in 10 draft years and not in 1 …so drafting 25…it is nice to get a big talent and hope for his development…never forget..some people go unsigned…or get injured or never make it to the majors.

    What about Repko/Jones??? Give them a chance please….!!!

    Comment by Chris — June 8, 2010 @ 1:33 am

  6. I too would have prefered Cox, even if he won’t stay at 3b

    Wimmers’ delivery loads the scapula with the controversial “Inverted W” technique that has drawn critisism for it’s alleged propensity for injury.

    Comment by Steve J — June 8, 2010 @ 7:03 am

  7. ..Granted, it’s not that exaggerated of an inverted W, but still…

    Comment by Steve J — June 8, 2010 @ 7:16 am

  8. I’m not so sure that it’s really a true inverted W that Wimmers employs. Sure his glove side arm flies open and makes it look like the inverted W, but from what I can see it doesn’t look like his pitching arm ever raises the elbow past the horizontal plane of the shoulder (although he does load by pulling it back behind the shoulder).

    Either way, as Twins fans lets hope that he’ll have a healthy and productive career for the Twins.

    Comment by Matt — June 8, 2010 @ 8:47 am

  9. I’d be thrilled if every first round pick they made actually made a MLB roster, and provided value in the majors. This guy may not have a huge ceiling, but he sounds to have a very high floor…..so, not Santana, but hopefully not a total bust either. This was a particularly weak draft, according to every website I visited, so if they actually get a legit MLB player or two out of this draft, that would be great.

    Comment by mike wants wins — June 8, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  10. There should be a law that if you whine about a draft pick (in any sport) you should be required to name your preferred alternative or have your computer go down for a day.

    Also, isn’t an Inverted W an M?

    Comment by DH in Philly — June 8, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  11. “There should be a law that if you whine about a draft pick (in any sport) you should be required to name your preferred alternative or have your computer go down for a day.”

    Agree, dont bitch about the player taken unless you have an alternative.

    Comment by ? — June 8, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

  12. No sour grapes here. Was hoping the Twins might pop Zack Cox, Ranuado, or Stetson Allie, but if some of the over-slot money went to Miguel Sano, I can live with that. Let’s remember Kyle Gibson was not a slot pick. Johnson & Radcliffe have earned a lot of rope in my mind, and it sounded like the Twins were on Wimmers throughout, I’m glad we got him.

    If Wimmers change-up makes him a bit of a fly-ball pitcher, Petco North will be a good place for him. Radke would have put up some insane numbers pitching in Target Cavern.

    Comment by good stuff — June 8, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  13. The “ace the Twins so desperately need” is Francisco Liriano.

    Comment by James M. — June 8, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  14. People people we all aren’t draft experts, we don’t follow these kids whatsoever… so I don’t need to give an alternative. I just look at the report and when I see his fastball doesn’t top out over 92 I get mad and say damnit another # 2-4 starter!!!! Nooooooooooooo

    Comment by ? — June 8, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  15. Why did the Twins sign Blackburn to an extension last year again?

    Comment by Algonad — June 8, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  16. When Blacburn’s sinker is working, he can beat the Yankees. When it’s not, he can’t beat anyone.

    Comment by Dave T — June 9, 2010 @ 9:22 am

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