Perkins’ boyhood dream comes true: drafted by Twins in first round

The Minnesota Twins selected the Stillwater native with the 22nd overall pick.

by Kent Erdahl

Playing baseball as a kid in Stillwater, Minn., Minnesota’s Glen Perkins never imagined himself skidding his knees on a catch against Ohio State or blowing a high fastball past a flailing Michigan batter.

Instead, Perkins thought only of suiting up for another local team – the Minnesota Twins.

Perkins is one step closer to his dream after last week, when the Twins chose Perkins with the 22nd overall pick in the Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft.

“I’ve been following the team ever since I can remember, so it’s a great feeling,” Perkins said. “To be drafted with the 22nd pick in the first round is an honor not many people have had. It was nice not having to wait around to hear my name called.”

Despite leaving with two years of his eligibility remaining, Perkins was not always such a highly regarded prospect.

Perkins was named a Rawlings All-American as a senior at Stillwater High School in 2001, but was not drafted by any major league team.

Minnesota’s coaches saw Perkins’ ability when he joined the team the following year, but they decided to redshirt him and keep him off the mound for a season.

“We didn’t want him to wear out his arm after pitching so much in high school,” coach John Anderson said. “It was probably a blessing in disguise because he developed a great change-up and never missed a start for us in the next two years.”

Perkins’ numbers speak for themselves. Since seeing playing time in 2003 he went 17-0 against Big Ten teams with a 2.09 ERA, and set a new career strikeout record against Big Ten teams with 130.

His long list of accolades includes the 2004 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year title and two second-team All-American honors.

“He made a huge impact on our program and our team during two successful seasons,” Anderson said. “He was always a constant for us.”

Perkins’ consistency, combined with the tools he acquired from the coaching staff, made him the fourth-lowest-selected Gopher since 1970.

Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor and Dan Wilson were the only three players drafted lower than Perkins.

“I never realized what I was a part of (at Minnesota) until it was done,” Perkins said. “I was not drafted out of high school and virtually an unknown. To be drafted with the 22nd pick two years later says a lot about the quality of the coaching staff and the impact they’ve had on me.”

Molldrem, Steidl picked

Minnesota seniors Craig Molldrem and Sam Steidl were also drafted.

The Florida Marlins selected Molldrem in the eighth round with the 248th overall pick. Molldrem finished the season with a 6-3 record and 3.62 ERA.

Steidl became the third Minnesota player picked in the draft when the Dodgers selected him in the 12th round – 358th pick.

Steidl, the Gophers’ captain, finished second in career hits in Minnesota history with 309 and played in more Big Ten games than anyone in school history.

“It was awesome to hear his name announced by Tommy Lasorda,” Sam Steidl’s father Mike Steidl said. “It’s nice to see the team recognized with three picks in the first 12 rounds. I think it’s a testament to John Anderson and the entire program.”