Minnesota Twins: 5 Free Agent Batters to pursue
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins finished the season with a top-10 offense. Here are some suggestions on how the offense can take the next step in 2018.
The offseason is underway for the Minnesota Twins and the rest of major league baseball. As soon as Tuesday, November 7th players can begin signing with new teams. Fans across Twins territory are hopeful that the Twins will make some significant additions to a team who surprised many by becoming one of the American League Wild Card teams this past season.
It was about this time last year that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine were just beginning to get settled into their roles in Minnesota. There was a lot of work to be done and free agency was only a fraction of that work. It is safe to say that many were disappointed in the lack of impact moves that were made.
Jason Castro and Chris Gimenez were the two signings the Twins made from a position player perspective. Both Castro and Gimenez were signed for their defensive attributes as much as their offense. Neither wowed us with their bat, but were both good in the roles they fill on what turned out to be a potent Twins lineup.
It is almost hard to say that the Twins lineup was lead by any single or handful of players in the lineup, as the lineup as a whole performed well. We saw Miguel Sano lead out of the starting gate. Joe Mauer was pretty steady all season long. There were also great performances from younger players like Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton among many others.
The lineup finished 7th in the majors with 815 runs scored. The Twins were also 9th in batting average (.260 average), 7th in on-base percentage (.334 OBP), and 6th in walk rate (9.5%). Just an incredible showing by a lineup that had plenty of question marks to open the season.
This offseason, while there isn’t a lot of improvement needed to the lineup there is one role that has become a glaring need. The Twins could really use a right-handed bat with some pop to give days off to the likes of Mauer, Rosario, and Max Kepler throughout the season. Here are a variety of guys that the Twins could look to in free agency to fill that role in their lineup.