Grading My 2016 Minnesota Twins Preseason Predictions

scottwessels
Sep 28, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; A baseball sits on the field before the game between the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; A baseball sits on the field before the game between the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

A+. “Pitcher, Nolasco. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Perkins is dealt if his velocity issues persist. Position player, <a rel=. 5. Which player is the most likely to be traded this year?.

Two for two! Ricky Nolasco was traded for Hector Santiago in July, after Eduardo Nunez was dealt to the San Francisco Giants. But the first player dealt was Arcia, to the Tampa Bay Rays on June 24th. Arcia had been designated for assignment the week before.

D-. “As I stated earlier, I think it will be Suzuki. He will have lots of RBI opportunities. A repeat of his All-Star 1st half from a couple years ago wouldn’t surprise me at all. I think Byung-ho Park is the real deal. Him hitting 30+ HRs wouldn’t be a surprise, or “breakout” to me.”. 6. Who will be the Twins breakout player of 2016?.

Wow, I was all in on Suzuki in March. Instead, Suzuki hit most of his marks for career averages across the board. Not really a “break out” season. Twins will start over at the catching position next year. Let’s move on.

7. Who is the biggest risk to be a bust?. . A-. “I’ll agree with Martin. Buxton does have some “bust” in his plate approach. Too many strikeouts. Gotta cut down on that swing like Kirby did early on and just make good contact. In a year or so, the power will follow as his confidence at the plate grows.”

First off, I’m upset with getting this pick right. Secondly, I’m glad Buxton started proving me wrong near the end of the season.

After a horrid start, and bouncing between AAA and the majors, Buxton finally produced in September, slashing .287 / .357 / .653 / 9 HR / 22 RBI for the month.

Truth be told, he played great defensively, even while he was struggling at the plate. While he didn’t win the AL Rookie of the Year as many predicted, he at least showed flashes of promise as 2016 wrapped up.

F. “Silver Slugger and maybe a Gold Glove for Dozier? Rookie of the Year to Park. I’ll go all in on Suzuki and give him a Silver Slugger for catcher. Go big or go home with these predictions, amirite?”. 8. Will any Twins win awards at the end of the year?.

Worst prediction award goes to this question. Park didn’t even make it to the All-Star game before being sent down, and Suzuki disappointed me here as well.

But, while Brian Dozier probably won’t win either the Silver Slugger (Jose Altuve won 2016 award) or Golden Glove, he should be in the top two or three for each award.

Dozier had a career-defining year, hitting 42 HR / 104 R / 99 RBI. A mini-slump during the season’s last week kept him from becoming a 100/100 runs and RBI hitter. He did score over 100 runs for the third consecutive season.

It will be interesting to see how Dozier does (if he’s not traded) with the Twins after hitting coach Tom Brunansky was let go. Dozier has blossomed into a power hitter under Bruno’s tutelage.

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