World Series 2019: What the Minnesota Twins can learn from the Nationals and Astros
By Chris Schad
Trust your homegrown talent
The Twins have been toward the top of the organizational talent rankings for what seems like forever, but they’ve had issues seeing that talent make an impact at the major league level. While injuries have certainly played a part in that, patience usually pays off and both the Nationals and Astros have cashed in.
The Astros were one of the worst teams in baseball at the beginning of this decade, but things have turned around thanks to the work of their scouting department. By adding pillars such as George Springer (11th overall in 2011), Carlos Correa (1st overall in 2012) and Alex Bregman (2nd overall in 2015), Houston has been able to add solid veteran talent around them to produce one of the top lineups in baseball.
The Nationals have also utilized their farm system to build a strong team at the major league level. Trae Turner (13th overall in 2014), Anthony Rendon (6th in 2011) and Juan Soto (2015 international signing) are just some of the names the Nationals have used to get here and with a large investment in pitching and some shrewd signings, they too have been able to get over the hump for their first pennant.
Looking at the Twins current roster, they’re not far off. Byron Buxton (2nd overall in 2012) has been hampered by injuries, but 2019 was his most effective season yet. A trio of international signings in 2009 also have helped build a steady foundation with Miguel Sano, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco all having career years this past season.
With more reinforcements on the way in Alex Kirilloff (15th overall in 2016), Royce Lewis (1st overall in 2017) and Trevor Larnach (20th overall in 2018), the Twins have a strong foundation set. If they can put the right pieces around them, they could be in the same path as Washington and Houston.