Minnesota Twins Opening Day Projection: Starting Lineup

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Brian Dozier
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Brian Dozier /
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Minnesota Twins
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 31: Brian Dozier /

Second Base: Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier spent all of last offseason seeing his name in trade rumors. On the heels of a 100-loss season, he seemed like the key to quickly inject some positive energy into a flailing organization. Instead, the Twins front office didn’t see Dozier’s value met in any trade offers and held on to him. Dozier performed well in 2018 and in a complete reversal, he has spent all offseason secure in knowing he will be starting in Minnesota this season.

Last season Dozier hit .271/.359/.498 and added 34 home runs and 30 doubles. In what was a surprise to even Twins fans, Dozier won his first Gold Glove award. Even though it was a surprise, Dozier does provide some solid defense for the Twins at second base.

There isn’t much for Dozier to improve on as he has been an All-Star caliber starting second baseman for several years. One thing that would save Twins fans a lot of panic would be if Dozier could figure out how to hit like he does from the start of the season. Dozier has regularly been a slow starter and last season he hit .242/.328/.417 and 13 home runs versus .304/.394/.591 and 21 home runs in the second half.

Minnesota Twins
CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 25: Third baseman Eduardo Escobar /

Third Base: Eduardo Escobar

Before you start throwing virtual tomatoes my direction, please know I believe this will (hopefully) be a temporary reality. With everything surrounding Miguel Sano between injury and possible suspension, I have my doubts on whether or not he will land as the starting third baseman. Enter our friend Eduardo Escobar.

In 2017, Escobar hit .254/.309/.449 and added 21 home runs and 16 doubles. He put those numbers together over 129 games and almost accumulated 500 plate appearances. From August 20th on, Escobar took over as the Twins starting third baseman when Sano initially fouled that ball off of his shin. From that time until the end of the 2017 season Escobar went on to hit .256/.301/.525 and 10 home runs.

Escobar serves the Twins best as a utility infielder who is able to bounce around and give the regulars a day of rest. The Twins could also do quite a bit worse at that position trying to replace Sano if they didn’t already have Escobar waiting in the wings. I do still have some concern long-term if Sano doesn’t return to third base (something I wrote about here) but if Escobar can continue his 2017 production in 2018 that will put the Twins in a good position.