With Spring Training well under way, we predict the Minnesota Twins 2020 opening day lineup.
The Minnesota Twins are by no means the same team they were under Terry Ryan. One season from setting the home run record, they look prepared to play deep into October. After bolstering one of the best development staffs in baseball, the new regime under Derek Falvey and Thad Levine look to compete with the top teams for a long time to come. We’ll go over lineup prediction for this record-breaking offense on opening day.
Top of the order:
1. Luis Arraez (Bats: L, Second Base)
Luis Arraez makes the most sense for the top spot in the order. The Venezuelan native came out of nowhere last season to take the second spot by storm. His .334/.399/.439 slash line looks like your average leadoff hitter, and he should fit in this spot the foreseeable future. His ability to get on base and offer tough at bats for opposing pitchers should give extreme value for the Twins for years to come.
His defense did struggle last year, posting -8 DRS at second base. Look at that number to improve this year as he continues to adjust to the majors. He will be be able to focus on one position instead of being a utility man who should improve his defense as well.
2. Jorge Polanco (Bats: S, Shortstop)
Jorge Polanco burst on to the scene last year in his first full season since 2017. After signing a multi-year extension with the Twins before the 2019 season, he quickly made it look like the deal of the century. He was the workhorse for the Twins last year and finished 13th in AL MVP voting. Polanco plays like your average second baseman, but is playing shortstop due to necessity. Thankfully, his value comes from his bat and not his defense.
He posted a .295/.356/.485 slash line last season over a career-high 153 games. He will look to improve that line this year by getting some more rest thanks to the Twins’ depth. The switch hitter should be able to get on base and hit in Arraez and our No. 9 hitter whenever possible.
3. Nelson Cruz (Bats: R, Designated Hitter)
Nelson Cruz is the man who seems to only get better with age. He will turn 40 years old this season, but doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon. The designated hitter had his team option picked up this offseason after posting a 1.031 OPS last year. Until Cruz proves otherwise, he will likely stay in this spot for the foreseeable future. He had a .311/.392/.639 slash line along with 41 home runs last season. If you want to get out to a hot start by hitting the top two guys in, Cruz is the man to turn to.