The Minnesota Twins have one of the best farm systems in baseball. It took a blow with Miguel Sano needing Tommy John surgery last season, but he’s already impressing everyone at Spring Training.
The Twins are only expected to win around 70 games this season, but if a few of their young players catch fire, they could make some noise.
The AL Central is top-heavy with Detroit looking like a lock to win the division. Chicago and Kansas City made a lot of moves this offseason and Cleveland brings back their entire core group of players. Can Minnesota squeeze their way into that group in the standings?
Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the Minnesota Twins.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 70-92
Key Additions: SP Ervin Santana, OF Torii Hunter, RP Tim Stauffer & RP Blaine Boyer
Key Losses: 1B Chris Parmelee, RP Jared Burton, RP Anthony Swarzak, SP Yohan Pino, 1B Chris Colabello, DH Jason Kubel & SS Pedro Florimon,
Interleague Schedule: NL Central
Projected Starters: Kurt Suzuki, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, Danny Santana, Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks, Torii Hunter & Kennys Vargas
Projected Starting Rotation: Phil Hughes, Ervin Santana, Kyle Gibson, Ricky Nolasco & Mike Pelfrey
Closer: Glen Perkins
Fantasy Sleeper: DH Kennys Vargas – If Vargas had 1B or OF position eligibility, I’d love him, but he’s only available as a DH. It’s difficult to carry a player like that for an entire season. I had David Ortiz on a team last season and it was hard to put together a daily lineup. He would take up my Utility spot and it paints you into a corner. Keep an eye on Vargas as he could end up with another eligible position at some point.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: 3B Miguel Sano – 2014 should have been the season Sano made his debut in the Majors. He injured himself early in Spring Training and needed season-ending Tommy John surgery. I expect him to spend most of the season in the minors to get his timing back. He has plus power and will be a future All-Star in the league.
Team Analysis: Minnesota has a lot of potential. They have been rebuilding their team through the draft and some of those players will make their debut in 2015. Miguel Sano, Jose Berrios and Alex Meyer are a few pieces Minnesota will rely on by 2016. Unfortunately, mega-prospect Byron Buxton isn’t expected to be called up this year. They are being patient with the young phenom.
Minnesota may not win the AL Central this season, but they will be fun to watch. They have power (Arcia), speed (Santana) and defense (Hicks). Brian Dozier had a 20/20 season in 2014. If he becomes more patient at the plate, he could become one of the best hitting second baseman in the league.
Minnesota knows they aren’t ready to contend yet, but that didn’t stop them from signing Ervin Santana this offseason. Their starting rotation is shaping up pretty nice. Once some of their elite pitching prospects are ready to be called up, the Twins could have one of the best rotations in the AL Central.
2015 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 71.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 72-90 (5th in AL Central)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.