Minnesota Twins: 5 questions that need to be answered before the end of the season

npalmer
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 01: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to striking out against the Cleveland Indians during the ninth inning of the game on August 1, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 2-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 01: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to striking out against the Cleveland Indians during the ninth inning of the game on August 1, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 2-0. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – AUGUST 25: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates at the plate with teammate Byron Buxton #25 following his three-run home run during the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 25, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

What is up with Buxton and Sano?

Next to Jorge Polanco’s suspension, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano’s seasons are likely the biggest contributors to what has made 2018 such a flop for the Twins. Without Buxton and Sano able to contribute not only is 2019’s ability to compete in jeopardy but it puts the franchise in a concerning place potentially for the next several seasons.

As has been well documented, after slashing only .203/.270/.405 to begin the season Sano was sent to Single-A Fort Myers to work on his fitness level and approach at the plate. Now just five games back in the major leagues, Sano looks much leaner and has improved at the plate. He looks to be making better contact and is hitting .250/.333/.375 and has two doubles.

While an injury may have hindered Sano in his offseason preparation for 2018. Injuries have completely made 2018 a lost season for Buxton and things aren’t really looking good for him going forward either as he has been shut down for the near future. Concussion, toe, and a bad wrist have all prevented Buxton from finding a rhythm at the plate. The speedy center fielder will always be able to contribute to a major league team with his defense, but just how good he can be will depend on things clicking at the plate.

For these two former top prospects, it isn’t a matter of figuring out if they can play. Instead the Twins really need to figure out how to make these two players consistent major league level contributors.

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