Minnesota Twins: Taking stock of the outfield
I know, I sound like a broken record while talking about the Minnesota Twins outfielder. However, once again the man in right field is yet another young homegrown talent with a bright future.
Max Kepler has the look of a good Major League outfielder for the Minnesota Twins. He numbers don’t jump out at you and he doesn’t make too many “wow” plays. However, Kepler has proven to be a solid player in right field.
The best part about this is that Kepler is still young and entering only his third full Major League season. He has shown enough in the past to make Twins fans believe in his future. However, Kepler needs to take a step forward in 2018 in order to prove he is the long-term starting right fielder for the Twins.
What to expect from Kepler in ’18
Kepler has been a productive hitter for Twins over the last two seasons. He hit .239 with 36 home runs and 132 runs batted in over 1015 plate appearances. Expectations will be high for Kepler entering his third season in Major League Baseball, and the Twins will need Kepler to deliver if they want to contend.
He hit 19 home runs and had 32 doubles last season, showing that he has plenty of pol in his bat. He was an extra base machine in the Minors and looks ready to take the next step in Major League Baseball.
Kepler is fortunate that he has Byron Buxton playing alongside him in center field. He doesn’t have to worry about covering ground in right, so he can focus on making the routine plays. However, his true value may be elsewhere for the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins have set themselves up to contend for the American League Central division, if not the American League pennant, and Kepler will play a big role in that happening. He has been a solid player for the Twins and will continue to improve.
However, there is the possibility he could be the centerpiece to a trade down the road. The Twins, along with most teams in MLB, will always need pitching and Kepler could net a big arm. That leads us to Zack Granite, the fourth outfielder for the Twins, yet another young homegrown player for Minnesota.