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Twins ink all three first-round Draft picks

Twins ink all three first-round Draft picks

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Twins ink all three first-round Draft picks
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins went almost all the way up to the signing deadline, but were able to sign all three of their first-round picks from the 2011 First-Year Player Draft on Monday.

The Twins had until 11:01 a.m. CT on Tuesday to come to terms with their draftees, meaning official notification had to be in the Commissioner's Office when the clock struck 11.

The Twins, though, were able to sign their first selection, North Carolina shortstop Levi Michael -- the No. 30 overall pick in the Draft -- as well as third baseman Travis Harrison from Tustin High School (Calif.) and right-hander Hudson Boyd from Bishop Verot High School (Fla.), who were both drafted in the compensation round.

"After a long, arduous process, we are thrilled to get Levi Michael signed and to have him as a member of the Twins organization," said scouting director Deron Johnson. "Levi is a switch-hitting 20-year old college shortstop with speed and top-of-the-order skills. We like his athleticism on both sides of the ball and he has the defensive skills to play either shortstop or second base. He is a hard worker and hard-nosed player."

Michael, who hit .289 with a .434 on-base percentage and 15 stolen bases in 65 games with the Tar Heels in his junior season last year, was the first college position player selected by the Twins in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft since the club took San Diego State first baseman Travis Lee with the No. 2 overall pick in 1996. He was recommended by Twins scout Ricky Taylor.

"As soon as I heard I was picked by the Twins, it was a huge sigh of relief," Michael said on Draft day. "I'm really excited about it and looking forward to it."

Harrison, the No. 50 overall pick, hit .486 with 13 home runs during his senior season at Tustin High School. Harrison was compensation for losing Orlando Hudson to free agency. He was also a 2011 Preseason Rawlings First-Team All-American, and was recommended by Twins scout John Leavitt.

"I really see myself as an all-around hitter," Harrison said shortly after being drafted. "I consider myself a power hitter, but I also consider myself a hitter for average."

And Boyd, selected No. 55 overall, posted a 0.44 ERA with 131 strikeouts and 26 walks in 80 innings in his senior year at Bishop Verot High School. Boyd was compensation for the departure of Jesse Crain via free agency.

Boyd originally pitched at South Fort Myers High School near the Twins' Spring Training facility before transferring, and was recommended by Twins scout Billy Corrigan.

"They were always in the backyard, so me and my buds, we would always sneak in and watch the Minor League Spring Training games because we didn't have to pay for those tickets," Boyd said after being drafted. "We always saw them play, and I've never heard anyone say anything bad about the Twins, so I couldn't be happier to be drafted by this team."

The Twins also signed Jason Wheeler (8th round), Brett Lee (10th round), Tyler Jones (11th round), Matthew Koch (12th round), Austin Malinowski (16th round), Josh Burris (17th round), Trenton Higginbotham (26th round) and Christopher Mazza (27th round).

The Twins signed 33 of the 52 players selected in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, including their first 15 Draft picks.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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