Minnesota Twins: Time for Max Kepler to step up

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 29: Max Kepler
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 29: Max Kepler /
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This is a big season for the Minnesota Twins to prove they’re ready to contend. Last season, they managed to shock the American League and make the playoffs after losing over 100 games during the 2016 season.

For the Minnesota Twins to make another playoff run this season, they will need contributions from everybody on the roster. Luckily, they are blessed with one of the best outfields in MLB. This is the season Max Kepler needs to step up and show he can handle Major League pitching.

Kepler has been one of the more highly touted prospects in the Twins system over the last few seasons. He has made his presence felt in field, however, his bat hasn’t quite made it to the Majors.

Throughout his Minor League career, Kepler always demonstrated good plate discipline. However, his time in the Major Leagues has shown a different story. He only had more than 68 strikeouts during a season once in more than 250 Minor League games. However, Kepler has struck out more than 200 times in only 263 games in the Majors.

However, Kepler has proven to be an above-average defender in right field throughout his career. He has committed only nine errors while playing over 2000 innings in right field for the Twins. Kepler has shown great value with his glove, even if he has been inconsistent with his bat.

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Why 2018 is a big year for Kepler

The Minnesota Twins are on a collision course with the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central this season. Kepler will play a huge role in the success of the ’18 season for the Twins. This will also be the season that Kepler needs to show he belongs as the everyday right fielder for the future.

The Twins have a few players ready to make an impact at the Major League level in the outfield. Zack Granite is the one auer who can push Kepler for playing time. Granite is a natural centerfielder who will be even better defensively than Kepler, but he won’t hit for the same kind of power.

Kepler is still young, and has multiple years of team control, so he makes for a valuable trade chip. Minnesota has enough talent not the way that they can afford to part with a player like Kepler for the right price.

As the ’18 season rolls along, Kepler will surely come up during trade talks. If the Minnesota Twins can acquire a front line starting pitcher, they should consider making the deal. One way or another, Kepler will play a huge role in the success for 2018 Minnesota Twins.

Next: Who will be in the bullpen for the Twins?

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