Recapping Draft Day 2002

Span was the Twins first-round choice.

In 2002, the Twins put together one of their better drafts in recent memory. During those 50 round, they picked up their top centerfield prospect, one of their better relief pitchers, a future Major League starter, and possibly their next closer. Here is a look at some memorable selections from that day.

1st Round: Denard Span
Span was the Twins' first overall pick in the 2002 draft, and since then, he has turned himself into the number one outfield prospect in the organization. A nice blend of speed and the ability to get on base, Span is a legitimate Major League prospect, and was definitely worth taking in the first round. Span had a career batting average of .288 coming into the 2006 season, and had stolen at least 14 bases in each of his three seasons in the Minors. With the trade rumors surfacing around Torii Hunter, Span could be in the Major League by 2007.

2nd Round: Jesse Crain
After signing with the Twins, Crain was fast tracked to the Major Leagues, and has turned into a great relief pitcher. After posting a 1.94 earned run average in three Minor League seasons, Crain went on to win 12 games as a rookie in 2005, and set the American League record for most consecutive wins by a relief pitcher to start a season. He has struggled this season, posting a 7.52 earned run average in 20 appearances.

6th Round: Patrick Neshek
Neshek is currently the Twins' top relief pitching prospect in the Minor Leagues, and he continues to get better. After being one of the best closers in the Eastern League in 2005, he has taken a liking to the International League, and is currently one of their best closers. Most believe he should be in Minnesota by the end of the season, but if the bullpen continues to falter, it could be sooner than later.

9th Round: Douglas Deeds
Deeds was one of the better overall hitters in the Twins' farm system in 2005, and many believed he was slated for Triple-A ball this season. However, he is back in Double-A ball, and is currently heating up in the month of May. He is batting .297 in May, as he tries to shake off an April that saw him hit only .206. If he continues to hit the ball, his bat may be needed in Rochester by the end of the season.

15th Round: Adam Harben
Harben may be the Twins steal of the draft, as he has developed into one of the better right-handed pitching prospects in the Twins organization. After dominating the Florida State League last season, leading the league in ERA, Harben has been stellar in his first taste of Double-A ball in 2006. In nine appearances this season, making eight starts, Harben has posted a 2.92 earned run average, and has allowed over three earned runs only once.

17th Round: Adam Hawes
Hawes led the Appalachian League in earned run average in 2005, but he has struggled as a starter in 2006. Luckily for him, he has been pretty impressive in his two relief appearances, having yet to allow an earned run. He has also been good at home this season for Beloit, posting a 1.83 earned run average in his two appearances, which include his only win of the season. A move to the bullpen may be in his best interest, as there is a plethora of right-handed starting pitching talent in the Twins organization.

23rd Round: Daniel Matienzo
Matienzo is one of the better power hitting prospects in the Twins organization, and is currently one of the top run producers in the entire system. A former catcher for the University of Miami, Matienzo has made a smooth transition to first base, and in the process, has given himself a better path to the Major Leagues. One more successful season in New Britain and Matienzo could find himself on the cusp of the big leagues.

35th Round: Tarrence Patterson
I never thought I would say this, but Patterson may be the best stolen base threat in the Twins organization. No offense to Mr. Span, but T-Patt is a demon on the base paths, and seems to be always willing to take a base. Patterson has been improving on his entire game since breaking into professional baseball, and is hitting a respectable .279 at Beloit so far this season.

38th Round: Toby Gardenhire
The 2002 draft was one of the many times the Twins have taken Gardenhire in the draft, and he finally signed with the team last season. A utility infielder with a great baseball mind, Gardenhire is currently a backup with the Beloit Snappers. The son of Twins' manager Ron, Gardenhire is an asset to any Minor League team due to his willingness to play whatever, and whenever asked.

42nd Round: Kyle Geiger
Catcher is one of the weakest positions in the Twins organization, but Geiger has been an exception to that rule, and is currently one of the better catching prospects in the organization. For a guy who was drafted in the 42nd round, Geiger has really made a name for himself within the organization, especially after batting .291 with Quad Cities in 2004. He has been struggling this season, batting only .235 in 33 games.

49th Round: Brock Peterson
If anybody is going to challenge Harben for being the biggest steal of the draft, it may be Peterson. For a guy who was drafted in the 49th round, a round that is usually reserved for players you never hear from, Peterson has put together a nice career so far. He is currently batting .292 this month, and is one of the main bats in the Fort Myers lineup.

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