Cedar Rapids Kernels pitching coach Gary Lucas has some new toys to play with in the months and years ahead.
Twenty-three of them, to be exact.
The Minnesota Twins picked 23 pitchers in the Major League draft this past Thursday through Saturday. Sooner or later, most of them will end up working with Lucas in Cedar Rapids or at Minnesota's training camp in Florida.
"The past couple of years the Twins have been focusing on trying to stockpile some good arms," said Lucas, a former Major League pitcher. "I think that's a good way to go."
The Twins selected Kohl Stewart, a 6-foot-3 righthander from St. Pius X High School in Houston, with the No.4 overall pick in the first round.
They used the 43rd overall choice to nab Ryan Eades, a 6-3 righty from LSU.
Minnesota tabbed 17 right-handed pitchers and six lefties.
"We won't sign them all. We'll sign 15 of them, maybe," Minnesota scouting director Deron Johnson told twinsbaseball.com. "We drafted a lot of pitchers and we're going to sign most of them ... You can never have enough pitching."
Lucas does not expect to see too many of the new pitchers in Cedar Rapids this season in the Midwest League, but did not rule it out.
"I think probably the best thing for most of those guys out of the draft is to go to the Gulf Coast League or Elizabethton (in Rookie ball) and get their feet wet in pro ball," he said. "This league can get your attention."
Minnesota selected 30 college players and 10 high school players in the draft. Sixteen of the 23 pitchers are college guys.
"It does a world of good for our organization to have as many of those as we can," said Lucas. "We can make some of them relievers down the road and if they've got a three-pitch mix then they probably project as starters."
Minnesota drafted seven outfielders, six infielders and four catchers. One of the outfielders is Chad Christensen, a Cedar Rapids Washington graduate who starred at Nebraska.
Here are Minnesota's draft picks:
No.4 - Kohl Stewart, RHP, 6-3, St.Pius X HS (Texas)
No. 43 - Ryan Eades, RHP, 6-3, LSU
No. 78 - Stuart Turner, C, 6-2, Mississippi
No. 110 - Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, 6-5, Cathedral Catholic HS (Calif.)
No. 140 - Aaron Siegers, RHP, 6-10, Indiana
No. 170 - Brian Navarreto, C, 6-2, Arlington Country Day School (Fla.)
No. 200 - Brian Gilbert, RHP, 6-1, Seton Hall
No. 230 - Dustin DeMuth, 3B, 6-2, Indiana
No. 260 - Mitchell Garver, C, 6-1, New Mexico
No. 290 - Charles Irby, RHP, 6-1, Samford
No. 320 - Nelson Molina, SS, 6-3, Antonio Lucchetti HS (Puerto Rico)
No. 350 - Ethan Mildren, RHP, 6-4, Pittsburgh
No. 380 - Brandon Peterson, RHP, 6-1, Wichita State
No. 410 - Zack Granite, CF, 6-0, Seton Hall
No. 440 - Derrick Penilla, LHP, 6-2, Mt. San Antonio College
No. 470 - Brandon Bixler, LHP, 5-11, Florida Gulf Coast
No. 500 - Tanner Mendonca, RHP, 6-4, Sacramento State
No. 530 - Ryan Walker, SS, 6-0, Texas-Arlington
No. 560 - Jared Wilson, RHP, 6-4, Cal-Santa Barbara
No. 590 - Jason Kanzler, CF, 6-0, Buffalo
No. 620 - Tyler Stirewalt, RHP, 6-3, Fresno State
No. 650 - Alex Swim, C, 6-0, Elon
No. 680 - Zach Hayden, RHP, 6-1, South Carolina-Aiken
No. 710 - Brandon Easton, 1B, 6-4, Lakeland CC
No. 740 - Chad Christensen, OF, 6-3, Nebraska
No. 770 - Ryan Halstead, RHP, 6-4, Indiana
No. 800 - Taylor Blatch, RHP, 5-11, Jensen Beach HS (Fla.)
No. 830 - Chris Erwin, LHP, 6-0, Grayson HS (Ga.)
No. 860 - Logan Shore, RHP, 6-2, Coon Rapids HS (Minn.)
No. 890 - Tanner Vavra, 2B, 5-11, Valparaiso
No. 920 - A.J. Bogucki, RHP, 6-3, Boyertown HS (Pa.)
No. 950 - Carlos Avila, SS, 5-11, Cal State-Dominguez Hills
No. 980 - Steven Sensley, OF, 6-1, University HS (La.)
No. 1010 - Ivory Thomas, CF, 5-9, Cal State-Dominguez Hills
No. 1040 - Nick Lemoncelli, LHP, 6-4, Lower Columbia College
No. 1070 - Joseph Greenfield, RHP, 6-4, Eastern Illinois
No. 1100 - Julien Seervice, OF, 6-3, Northeast Texas CC
No. 1130 - Javier Salas, RHP, 6-4, Miami
No. 1160 - Seth Wagner, LHP, 6-8, Mifflin County HS (Pa.)
No. 1190 - Kelly Starnes, CF, 6-1, Los Medanos College
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