The 2019 MLB Draft was conducted two weeks ago. While the Kansas City Royals drafted very high at pick two, selecting high-school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., the team wasn’t the only American League Central organization to pick highly.
That has everything to do with the Kansas City Royals being one of three A.L. Central organizations in full-blown rebuilds during the 2018 season. The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers also finished as bottom-five teams in the Majors.
Then there’s the curious case of the Minnesota Twins, a franchise that’s shown extreme Jekel-and-Hide (sorry) tendencies over the past six seasons. In 2014, the Twins’ last season under longtime manager Ron Gardenhire, they went 70-92. They followed that up by winning 83 games in 2015 under first-year manager Paul Molitor. In Molitor’s second season, Minnesota finished a league-worst 59-103.
Naturally, the Twins made the playoffs in 2017 after finishing 85-77, a 26-win jump on the previous season. Last season the team once again digressed, dropping to 78-84, costing Molitor his job, but landing Minnesota the 13th pick in the draft. While making that pick on June 3rd, the Twins found themselves in first place in the A.L. Central by a comfortable margin over the struggling Cleveland Indians.
Speaking of the Tribe, they picked the lowest of all the American League Central teams, at pick 24, after winning the division for the third straight season.
For this article, I’m going to take a look at the first-round selections for the White Sox, Tigers, Twins and Indians as well at least one other notable pick for each franchise. Recently, Leigh Oleszczak covered some intriguing picks by the Royals, so check that out.
Overall, it looks like that while the Royals struck gold with Witt at number two, the rest of the American League Central also hit on their first-rounders.
Let’s start with the Chicago White Sox and the team’s newest slugging first baseman out of Cal.