ESPN released their 2018 MLB Power Rankings on Thursday, and the Minnesota Twins were ranked at #19.
Every year at the end of a particular sports season, ESPN releases their power rankings for the following season. They generally don’t mean much given that it is so early, but it’s interesting to see where your team ranks. With the end of the 2017 MLB season upon us, ESPN released their 2018 MLB Power Rankings. The Minnesota Twins were slotted in at 19th. ESPN senior writer David Schoenfield wrote:
"I think they were a little bit of a fluke. I feel bad saying that. I like the Twins. Love that airport. Still remember Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett as mainstays on my Pursue the Pennant team. I’ll even buy into much of that offensive production the final two months, when the Twins led the majors in runs scored. Byron Buxton playing center field was as lovely as the sound of a child’s laughter. Still, the rotation and bullpen give me jitters, with a strikeout rate that ranked 19th in the majors."
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It’s hard to disagree with anything Schoenfield writes here. The Twins have been fluky for the past two seasons, significantly underperforming in 2016 and likely overperforming in 2017. The real Minnesota Twins are somewhere in between.
The stats he lists pretty much back up what we saw all season: the Twins can hit but they just don’t strike enough hitters out. If they hope to make a run at the postseason next year, those numbers have to improve.
The good thing about these rankings is that they don’t mean much. So many things can change between now and Spring Training. Free agency hasn’t started yet, so several players will likely be changing teams. Hopefully the Twins can snag some quality arms for the rotation and bullpen in the offseason.