Minnesota Twins with Something to Prove No. 4: Ryan Jeffers
The last player on this list is younger than the others and is in a different situation. Ryan Jeffers is under team control through 2027 and has excellent pedigree as a former second round draft pick in just 2018.
He flew threw the minors and earned a cup of coffee in 2020 where he played well enough to generate some conversation as a potential rookie of the year candidate. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned. Jeffers hit 14 homers and showed good defense, but he struggled mightily to hit the ball consistently and get on base well at all, striking out 108 times in 85 games.
In just one season, Jeffers went from the heir apparent to Mitch Garver to a player that would never be more than a backup, and while Jeffers won’t be as bad as he was last year, 2022 needs to be the year he proves he has starter potential.
Jeffers is about 100 days away from his 25th birthday, so it’s not like he’s getting old by any means, but he has to prove that he’s more than just a backup. Jeffers’ power and continually improved defense set his floor, but there’s a real chance he could have the ceiling of a starter if he has a strong 2022. Let’s hope he reaches that mark.