How do the Minnesota Twins stack up defensively?
The Minnesota Twins are the only team in MLB history to lose over 100 games one season, and then make the playoffs the next. The defense and clutch hitting lifted them to the Wild Card game during the 2017 season.
However, the defense for the Minnesota Twins has been spotty to this point of Spring Training. They have 26 errors as a team, and that is alarming. On top of that, Jorge Polanco has a team-high seven errors, and that’s the starting shortstop for the 2018 season.
Before anybody hits the panic button, let’s take a deep breath and relax folks. This is only Spring Training so it’s always a little bit more sloppy than when the games count. Furthermore, the Twins had one of the top defenses in baseball last season, and Byron Buxton is still in center field, so they’ll be among the best in 2018 as well.
Why the Twins will be solid defensively
Leading the charge defensively for the Minnesota Twins is obviously Buxton. He can cover gap to gap, and that’s not giving him enough credit. Having him in center, with Eddie Rosario in left field and Max Kepler in right field gives the Twins a superior defensive outfield.
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The Minnesota Twins will be solid up the middle of the infield with Polanco and Brian Dozier. Polanco will shake off his rough showing this Spring and be an above-average defender at short. Dozier is quietly one of the top defensive second basemen in baseball and will continue to provide stellar play at the keystone during the ’18 season.
The only question for the Minnesota Twins is at the hot corner. Miguel Sano was average at best during last season and will need to improve to stay at third. However, Joe Mauer has first base on lock and the Twins should be considering a contract extension with him.
Mauer was quietly a Gold Glove caliber first baseman during last season for the Twins. Too often fans harp on his lack of power for a first baseman while overlooking his exceptional overall fit at the position.
The Minnesota Twins upgraded the pitching staff this off-season, and with he defense behind it, runs will be hard to come by. The American League better take notice because Minnesota has built something special heading into this season.
Next: Who will be part of the Twins bullpen in 2018?
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