Sep 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Kennys Vargas (19) hits a single in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Despite suggesting that he is going to be the Twins fourth leading home run hitter, it took some self convincing. Down the stretch last season, Vargas struggled at the plate. After his promotion, he went on a tear and found his average resting in the .300’s for most of the season. In September however, it plummeted and dropped his season line to .274/.316/.456. That slash line is likely more reflective of what his projections should be going forward.
Even with the regression he experience during September, Vargas launched five long balls during the final month, in just over 20 games. I expect him to be pushed mightily this season for designated hitter at bats. He will have to fend off time from Pinto, Joe Mauer, and even Miguel Sano. That being said, there is no denying his power stroke.
53 games in 2014 produced nine home runs for Vargas, I think it’s safe to expect that number to at least double. Being slated as the every day designated hitter, and the lone backup first basemen, he should find himself playing in over 150 games. I’d guess Vargas launches somewhere around 21 home runs this season.