As the last few days prior to Spring Training come to a close, it’s time to take a look at what the Twins 2015 season may end up looking like in the broader sense. In what is really a bridge year before the Twins push for their big turnaround, 2015 should provide Minnesota with plenty of chances to surprise. Who does what, and where the excellence comes from remains the question.
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Taking a look at a few key questions that provoke thought into where the Twins could find themselves in 2015, a preview of what is to come came about. Paul Molitor is going to have his hands full with a young roster in transition of adding even more talent, and the Twins will have to answer the call. Here’s a couple of key areas we thought needed to be addressed when looking at the upcoming season.
Season predictions: including team’s overall standing in the division, top offensive player, top pitcher
The Twins had yet another 90 loss 2014, however 2015 is shaping up to start a drastic turnaround. The Twins should compete at around a .500 record and find themselves finishing 4th in the AL Central. Look for Joe Mauer to bounce back this season and the offense to be led by fan favorite Torii Hunter. While Phil Hughes had an amazing 2014, 2015 should be a great year for free agent acquisition Ervin Santana.
What player could surprise in 2015?
While he’s let down expectations the last two years, Aaron Hicks has a lot to gain by playing well this season. Now having played at both the Double and Triple A levels in succession, look for him to put things together at the major league level. He is going to need to do so if he wants to be figured into the Twins long term plans in the outfield.
What player might disappoint in 2015?
After signing a two-year extension last season, Kurt Suzuki is due for some regression. After being named an All Star in 2014, his offensive ability should come back down to earth. He isn’t going to be a complete disappointment, but it’s hard to see him replicating his 2014. Danny Santana may be a disappointment if you are expecting him to repeat his 2014, but his batting average simply isn’t sustainable. Both guys will still be assets, but to a lesser extent.
Three minor names to watch.
Eddie Rosario, Alex Meyer, and Trevor May. Rosario could make a huge impact for the Twins if he is called into action in the outfield. He tore up the fall league and looks ready for big league action. Meyer and May will be interesting stories depending on how they contribute for the Twins. Likely only one will factor into the starting rotation, and then the question becomes whether or not the other is a bullpen option.
Biggest offseason addition.
Without a doubt it’s Ervin Santana. The Twins now find themselves with three quality starting pitchers, and guys that can be counted on to round out the rotation. Santana provides a nice one-two punch with Phil Hughes, and he should be an asset to the Twins going forward. Tori Hunter is a bonus, but considering he leaves so much left to be desired on defense, his presence probably won’t be felt to the same extent.
Hole that still could be addressed.
Minnesota chose to go the nostalgic and offensive route in signing Torii Hunter this offseason. Starting Oswaldo Arcia in left and Hunter in right, the outfield defense may actually be worse. On the positive side, an internal option named Byron Buxton, should help to provide a boost when he is called up to the major league level. For the first time in a while, the Twins really don’t have any glaring holes in what should be their starting lineup.
As mentioned, we are just days away from Spring Training, and while that still means over a month until meaningful baseball starts, there’s plenty to be learned during the time spent in Florida. For this Twins team, the season could very well be won and lost down in Fort Myers; development is going to be key and it starts soon!
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