What I Got Wrong about the Minnesota Twins in 2020

Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins congratulates teammate Luis Arraez on scoring a run. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins congratulates teammate Luis Arraez on scoring a run. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

There have been plenty of surprises for the Minnesota Twins in 2020, and I go over some of the players who have surprised me the most.

Before the season, I try and make Minnesota Twins player predictions to see how I think certain players will pan out over the course of a season. Before the season, I was skeptical of Luis Arraez and Kenta Maeda, who have beat my expectations. On the flip side, I was big on Jose Berrios and Taylor Rogers, who have thus far underperformed.

In statistics, there is a theory of the law of large numbers, which states that as the sample size goes up, the mean reverts closer to the true average.  Due to a shortened 2020 season, we will not have a big sample size, but what we can look at is what we have in front of us. I plan on reassessing where I might have went wrong in my preconceived notions of the four players mentioned above.

Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins /

Kenta Maeda of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game at Target Field. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Minnesota Twins who have Outperformed my Expectations

Kenta Maeda: Maeda worried me quite a bit coming into the season. The main reason was his 5.12 ERA away from Dodger Stadium in 2019. However, Maeda has adjusted very nicely to the AL Central as he has been arguably the Twins’ most consistent pitcher. He has appeared dominant (almost throwing a no hitter) and I have full faith that he can carry the Twins into the playoffs.

Luis Arraez: Arraez has turned out to be a very solid table-setter for the Twins and has outperformed my expectations. I always worry about a sophomore slump for hitters. Yet, Arraez has adjusted pretty well in his second season. Arraez adds extra value with his glove at second base. His numbers will not be eye-popping, but he has certainly held his own thus far.

Minnesota Twins
Jose Berrios of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

The Players who have underperformed my expectations.

Jose Berrios: Berrios at the young age of 26, really has yet to put it together for the Twins this season. His ERA sits in the upper 4s and the walks have skyrocketed to nearly 4.5 walks per 9 innings. This is the exact opposite performance I expected of Berrios.

I liked that Berrios controlled the walks and had a solid strikeout rate. I figured that, with time and experience, Berrios would be able to take the next step in his career. I still have faith he can put it all together at some point, but the early season struggles are a little worrisome.

Taylor Rogers: Rogers has been nothing shy of amazing during his time with the Twins. However, this season has been rocky for the closer. An ERA of over 4.50 and two losses in 12 appearances has left Twins fans worried about the security of late-game situations.

I had high hopes for Rogers coming into the season, and I even had him as a potential dark-horse Cy Young candidate. I am more willing to chalk these few shaky outings up as anomalies due to the small sample size. My colleague, Otto Johnson, seems to agree that Rogers has been better than his stats show. His walks are still down and his strikeouts are still up, pointing to a potential rebound for the closer.

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