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Twins use final Day 2 pick on talented righty Irby

Twins use final Day 2 pick on talented righty Irby

Twins use final Day 2 pick on talented righty Irby

With their final pick on Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday, the Twins selected Samford right-hander Charles Irby in the 10th round (No. 290 overall).

Irby was an accomplished two-way player, serving as the Bulldogs' closer and designated hitter last year, and he starred in the Cape Cod League last summer before moving into the starting rotation this spring. The crown jewel of that junior season came on a March 22 trip to Furman, when Irby tossed a three-hitter with 16 strikeouts and just one run allowed.

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Irby's fastball sits around 90 mph as a starter and in the mid-90s as a reliever, with good movement. He mixes his fastball with a plus curveball.

His aggressiveness on the mound and lack of a quality third offering make Irby a better fit as a reliever. He is polished enough to move quickly through the Minor Leagues if his professional career begins in the bullpen.

"He might be the best baseball player we took," scouting director Deron Johnson said. "He was a closer last year, and our scouts saw him at 96-97. This year, he was put in the starter's role. ... [We] think his makeup fits that relief role, bullpen role. He didn't throw as hard as he did last year as a bullpen guy, but we see his velocity coming back once he gets back into his comfortable role coming out of the bullpen."

As a starter in 2013, Irby threw 91 1/3 innings with a 4.14 ERA and 90 strikeouts. He went .383 at the plate, with 59 RBIs and eight home runs.

A move to the bullpen would also highlight the unique way in which Irby sprints to and from the mound during his outings, a habit reminiscent of Todd Coffey.

Kelly Erickson 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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