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Twins add offensive depth through draft

Twins add offensive depth through draft

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MINNEAPOLIS -- A deep farm system on the mound caused the Twins to look elsewhere in the First-Year Player Draft. But team officials are excited about the outcome, even if it doesn't follow past results.

The Twins continued their first-day trend by spending more than half their overall selections on position players with hopes of bolstering an offense that has become a weakness with the club's past drafts favoring pitching.

"This talent wasn't as good as some other years, but you do the best you can," said Mike Radcliff, Twins scouting director. "You have the objectives you have, and you try to meet them. We certainly believe we have some bats with some upside."

As of Wednesday evening, the Twins hadn't signed first-round pick Chris Parmelee, the 20th overall selection. Radcliff said Parmelee, an outfielder from Chino Hills (Calif.) High School, could be inked within the next two weeks.

The 18-year-old hit .407 with 11 home runs and 26 RBIs as a senior this season.

"There's no issue that this guy wants to go to school," Radcliff said. "He's ready to sign."

All in all, the Twins made 51 selections -- 30 high school and 21 college prospects. The team selected 18 pitchers and 33 position players, including 18 in their first 22 picks.

Only five of the Twins' 18 pitching prospects were selected on Day 1. One-third of the hurlers are left-handers, including third-round pick Tyler Robertson. The total is substantially lower than the past.

In 2005, the Twins used 31 of their 53 draft picks on pitchers. In 2004, 34-of-54 picks were pitchers.

But pitching is the organization's strength, especially in the lower Minor Leagues, and Radcliff said that's where the team's draft focus has been the last four or five years. Radcliff, who holds the longest tenure of Major League scouting directors, couldn't remember a year when the number was so skewed.

"Never," he said. "The objective was to go after bats. I hope we didn't overreact."

The club drafted eight catchers -- an unusually high number, including seven on Day 2. Six of the prospects come from the high school ranks, although Radcliff said most will be draft-and-follow players.

"That wasn't by design," Radcliff said. "Those were the best players we liked."

The Twins also selected three Minnesota natives, including two outfielders on the first day -- Aaron Senne and Mark Dolenc. The team used its last pick (1,493rd overall) on Derek McCallum, a shortstop from nearby Hill-Murray High School in St. Paul.

McCallum is expected to honor his commitment with the University of Minnesota's baseball team.

Jason Brummond is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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