2018 Minnesota Twins positional grades and 2019 roster predictions
By Matt Smith
After looking at the Minnesota Twins’ past, present, and future at each position, we’ll go through a quick recap with Matt’s full 2019 predictions.
If you’ve followed along with my 2018 Minnesota Twins positional recap and 2019 predictions series, thanks for reading! If you fell behind or want to read through a certain position again before moving forward, here’s some links for you:
I wanted to post up a quick recap of this series to bring everything back together all in one place and share my predictions for the 2019 Minnesota Twins roster. It’ll be fun to dig this up again in March after the final roster is announced and see how accurate I was!
First off, let’s go through a quick summary of how the 2018 season went for each position. I’ll try to give each position a grade, taking into consideration the output from the position during the season, how much the position improved, and how stable of a position it is heading into 2019. This may be a little bit difficult since nearly all positions have several players that need to be taken into consideration, but I’ll do my best to justify my grade with a sentence or two. Just for fun, I’ll include a gif or short clip of one of my favorite moments from the 2018 season at each position as well.
While it was unfortunate to lose Jason Castro for the season, the emergence of Mitch Garver was a huge success as he improved throughout the year and gave the Twins reason to consider him as their next long term catcher. Willians Astudillo did a good job when he got his chance, giving the Twins 3 good options for 2019.
First basemen: B-
A solid final season from Joe Mauer isn’t quite enough to balance out a dreadful year from Logan Morrison. The acquisition of Tyler Austin gives the Minnesota Twins an exciting power bat, but questions remain how the team will handle first base in 2019.
Second base: D
We still love him, but Brian Dozier was never able to get it going this year. After Dozier was traded, Logan Forsythe played adequately at second to finish the year, but the Twins currently have no true second baseman on their roster and will have to address the issue this offseason.
Jorge Polanco loses a lot of points for getting suspended for the first half of the season, but earns some of them back with a strong second-half performance. Ehire Adrianza reminded us all that while he’s pretty good as a backup utility player, we probably don’t want to have to rely on him as a starter.
Third base: D
Despite a fantastic first half from Eduardo Escobar before being traded away, third base earns a D here due to about as poor of a season as we could have imagined from Miguel Sano. With uncertainty surrounding Sano’s ability to play a full, quality season, the Minnesota Twins may need to bring in a third baseman this offseason.
It’s so hard to pick a single Eduardo Escobar highlight! His name game during spring training never fails to make me smile.
A fantastic season from Eddie Rosario roughly balances out another disappointing season from Byron Buxton. Max Kepler continued to play solid baseball, and Jake Cave hit some mammoth home runs while playing well in his major league debut.
Starting rotation: B+
Fantastic seasons from Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson make up for a few poor performances from others. With the addition of Jake Odorizzi and lots of potential in Fernando Romero, Stephen Gonsalves, Adalberto Mejia, and others, the Minnesota Twins starting rotation is no longer a team weakness.
Some pitched well (Taylor Rogers, Trevor May, Addison Reed), some struggled (Matt Belisle, Trevor Hildenberger), some were traded (Ryan Pressly, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke). The 2019 bullpen needs some refining, but there’s a good core to build around.