I didn’t have internet access when it happened so you’ll have to forgive me for being late, but the Twins have inked their supplemental first rounder Luke Bard, who signed for the recommended pick slot of 1.227 million.
Bard is the brother of Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard and he was a great pitcher out of the Georgia Tech bullpen this year when he pitched. The problem was he didn’t pitch much as he tore an arm muscle in March. I think it was a bit early to take Bard given the injury history, but if he does show that he’s healthy he could be a good pick. The Twins plan on converting him into a starter, where he hit 97 this year (as a starter) and has a plus slider. Mike Radcliff has said that he thinks Bard could develop a good changeup as well. Bard’s ceiling is probably that of a #2 starter, but there’s a good possibility he ends up in short relief as well.
With Bard signing, the Twins are 208,500 under budget according to Baseball America, and their highest drafted unsigned pick is Christian Powell, a right handed pitcher out of the College of Charleston.
The Twins have continued their draft signings, inking Rice reliever JT Chargois for a $712,600 bonus according to Baseball America’s Jim Callis. That is the full pick value, which strikes me as a little dumb to give to a college reliever, but who knows. It seems they could save 100k or so and give an extra post 10th rounders 200k.
In any event, Chargois profiles as a back end of the bullpen type, and hopefully a high leverage guy. He has a slider that scouts say should be a plus pitch and a fastball that touches 98. His main drawback is that he was also an every day player for Rice and is relatively new to pitching. It’s good in the sense that he has a fresh arm, but he could be the rare college reliever that takes a bit to get to the big leagues. However, concerns about his mechanics and his high effort delivery pretty much demand he gets to the big leagues in a hurry.
I hate taking college relievers early, but Baseball America ranked him 77th before the draft and if he develops into a good high leverage reliever who they can have on the cheap for 6 years (or 4 or 5 before trading him for prospects) he will have definitely been worth the pick.