3. The Sano And Buxton Arrival
We have heard about them both for years, but now more than ever, the arrival of both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton appears imminent. Having both struggled with injuries a season ago, neither player projects to start 2015 with the Twins. That being said, it could be argued that Miguel Sano is more than major league ready at the plate, and he will be pushing for at bats very early in the summer. Buxton will likely start the year in Double-A with manager Doug Mientkiewicz, and be accelerated through the system. Expect to see him make his debut in the latter half of the year.
Looking at both players, positions on the 25 man roster are theirs for the taking. Trevor Plouffe had a solid year a season ago without the pressure of being pushed by Sano. He showed an advanced defensive ability at the hot corner, and his bat played admirably. This season, he won’t have the luxury of knowing Sano isn’t breathing down his neck, and a slump could open the door. With his bat, Sano could also be gunning for time out of the designated hitter spot behind Kennys Vargas.
Byron Buxton will be hoping that 2015 provides less time spent on the shelf than that of a year ago. Removed from the injuries, health will be the key. He has all the makings of a major league center fielder already, and Aaron Hicks is probably on his last straw to hold onto the job. Minnesota has no reason to rush Buxton, but the thought that he is ready already has to be creeping into the front of their minds.
No matter when they arrive, or in what capacity, it looks to be a certainty that we see both players make their debut sometime during the 2015 campaign.