Minnesota Twins: Breaking Down the 2022 AL Central Rivals-Cleveland
By Otto Johnson
Minnesota Twins: AL Central Rival Projected Lineup
- C: Austin Hedges
- 1B: Bobby Bradley
- 2B: Yu Chang
- SS: Andres Gimenez
- 3B: Jose Ramirez
- LF: Amed Rosario
- CF: Myles Straw
- RF: Josh Naylor
- DH: Franmil Reyes
Unlike the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland’s lineup is not expected to be a strength, but there a few bright spots. Jose Ramirez is still a superstar, Amed Rosario, Myles Straw, and Franmil Reyes are solid bats, and Bobby Bradley offers some pop. Steven Kwan has some potential as a prospect. Unfortunately, the roster is far from settled aside from them.
Josh Naylor will miss the start of the year, and while Austin Hedges and Andres Gimenez are good defenders, their bats are not the same caliber. On top of that, the lineup could look totally different come Opening Day, with Owen Miller, Oscar Mercado, and Ernie Clement as possible starters, even though it might not be the best decision for the team.
This lineup won’t win enough games to take home a Wild Card spot, but there is help on the way. In addition to Kwan, top prospects Gabriel Arias, Tyler Freeman, and Nolan Jones should make their MLB debuts. The big question is: where will they play? If the team is going to get better, trading Franmil Reyes and Ramirez could open up more playing time and bring back more young talent.
Here’s how Steve DiMatteo felt:
"The lineup is likely going to struggle at times, especially if the team insists on trotting out the likes of Bradley Zimmer instead of an intriguing rookie like Steven Kwan. If Cleveland really wants to roll with a youth movement, the Guardians need to do it in earnest. Kwan is a trendy AL ROY pick after making the Opening Day roster, though I’d expect to see Gabriel Arias sooner than later as well, and he could easily take the starting shortstop job immediately upon his entrance to the big leagues."