After drafting for power in the first round, the Twins focused on batting average and on-base percentage in the second, adding Tennessee outfielder Alerick Soularie with the 59th overall pick on Thursday.
Soularie, a preseason first-team all-SEC pick this spring, owns a .336 career batting average in two seasons with the Volunteers, and a career 1.034 on-base-plus-slugging in 76 Tennessee games. The 20-year-old Houston native, drafted by St. Louis in the 29th round in 2018 after a season at San Jacinto Junior College, also hit 16 home runs and drove in 63 for the Vols. Playing mostly in left field, Soularie was batting .267 but led the Vols with five home runs when NCAA seasons were suspended on March 13.
As the 59th pick, Soularie is budgeted for a bonus of $1.18 million under MLB’s slot system.
The Twins drafted power hitter Aaron Sabato, a first baseman from North Carolina, in the first round of the draft on Wednesday.
The Twins once obtained players like Frank Viola, Butch Wynegar and Jacque Jones in the draft’s second round, but their track record is far worse lately. No Twins’ second-round pick has appeared in more than 100 games with Minnesota since 2005 choice Kevin Slowey, a righthander who won 39 games from 2007-11.
Minnesota had no third-round pick, forfeited for signing free agent Josh Donaldson, and its competitive-balance pick, 67th overall, was traded to the Dodgers in the Kenta Maeda deal.
They selected pitcher Marco Raya with pick No. 128 in the fourth round. Raya, a righthander, is out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas.
With pick No. 158 in the fifth round, the Twins selected another big bat: high school outfielder Kala'i Rosario from Hilo, Hawaii.