Minnesota Twins Opening Day Projection: Starting Lineup
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins are underway with spring training and as they compete for Opening Day positions we try to predict them, starting with the lineup.
The Minnesota Twins have spring training underway and even a few games with real box scores under their belt as well. As they start to get ready for the season it seems only appropriate to start giving our best guesses at who will be making the team for Opening Day and in what roles. Today we begin with the starting lineup.
In 2017 the Twins continued to roll out a potent lineup. That was due to a lot of young players taking leaps in their development and a few breaking out in ways that few probably expected. Miguel Sano got off to a hot start and carried the team on his back for the first couple months of the season. Eddie Rosario caught fire like no one expected and because of that we all waited for him to fall back into old habits, but he just never did.
Joe Mauer rediscovered himself, or finally saw progress in his recovery from concussions and put together a solid offensive season. After being awarded some patience during the earlier part of the season Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco both were able to find themselves as the season went on both putting together incredible second halves of 2017.
We could go on and on about the ways that this team really found an identity offensively. It wasn’t just our eyes that told that story. The numbers back it up as the Twins found themselves in the top ten for team offense in several categories when compared to other Major League teams.
The Twins were seventh in runs with 815 and ninth in average at. .260. The Twins also found themselves at seventh in OBP coming in at .334 and 9th in wOBA at .329 as a team. What may be even more impressive is their 4th place finish in the majors with an average of 5.03 runs per game. Something the team certainly needed in order to help compensate at times for the shortcomings of the starting rotation.
With a young and productive lineup in 2017, as one can imagine there isn’t a whole lot the Twins are looking to change coming into this season. With a few places that present a question or competition let’s go ahead and take a look at what is ahead for the 2018 lineup.