Minnesota Twins: Predicting the Best and Worst Case for 2022 2.0

Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton takes the field prior to the first inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox during spring training. (Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton takes the field prior to the first inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox during spring training. (Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /

Opening Day is now just two days away, and the Minnesota Twins are headed into a pivotal season. If things go well, the team, led by superstars Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton will march through the regular season and win the team’s first playoff game in over a decade. If not, a long rebuild will be straight ahead.

Two months ago, I broke down two potential scenarios: one where the team earned its first World Series since 1991, and another where the team lost 105 games and everyone was fired for the worst season in franchise history. Since then, the Twins have dramatically reshaped their roster, so there are new highs and lows the team could reach.

We predict the best and worst case scenarios for the Minnesota Twins in 2022.

Trading away Josh Donaldson and Mitch Garver and replacing them with Carlos Correa and Sonny Gray, among other moves have changed the trajectory of the season and created brand new best and worst case scenarios, so we’re here to break those down, starting with the best.

Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa connects for a base hit against the Boston Red Sox. (Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins 2022 Best Case Scenario

With Carlos Correa now on board, the Minnesota Twins’ ceiling leaps up dramatically. Correa is one of the game’s biggest stars at the most important position in baseball, and one who has some serious playoff experience.

He joins Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco, who form the best up-the-middle trio in baseball. Buxton plays 140 games and he and Polanco repeat their performances from last year. Buxton wins MVP behind a 40 homer-20 steal season.

Ryan Jeffers looks like the 2020 version of himself and leads the league in games played by a catcher. Alex Kirilloff also plays 140 games and lives up to his potential while Jose Miranda and Trevor Larnach join the team in July to form the best lineup in all of baseball.

On the pitching side, Sonny Gray shows last year was a fluke and looks like a true ace, supported by Chris Paddack and Joe Ryan who both look like legit No. 2 starters. Bailey Ober and Josh Winder take over as the back-end of the rotation that surprises.

The bullpen is still a little thin, but Jhoan Duran proves he’s ready for the bigs and is a flamethrowing closer by season’s end. The Twins add another reliever at the deadline, and the Twins win 105 games and roll through the postseason to it’s first World Series title behind its pair of superstars (Buxton and Correa).

Minnesota Twins
Bailey Ober of the Minnesota Twins looks to receive the ball during a Grapefruit League spring training game. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Twins 2022 Worst Case Scenario

As fun as the best case scenario is, the worst case scenario is just as likely. From the gate, the team is riddled with injuries. Byron Buxton, Alex Kirilloff, and Carlos Correa combine to play just 162 games between the three of them, and the team’s lack of catching depth hurts them.

Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez bomb in their new city, and Max Kepler somehow looks worse. Jorge Polanco regresses to 2020 levels and Ryan Jeffers proves he’s not the answer behind the plate. Miranda, Larnach, Royce Lewis, and Austin Martin aren’t ready by year’s end and the lineup is one of the worst in baseball.

In the rotation, Gray pitches like he did in 2021, and Archer, Bundy, and Ober look like they don’t belong on a big-league roster. Joe Ryan gets hurt, Chris Paddack gets worse than last year, and the Twins are forced to blow it all up at the deadline, causing the team to drop 95 games and finish last in the division

How will the Minnesota Twins really do in 2022?

It will most definitely be somewhere in between. This roster probably isn’t good enough to win a World Series, but they’re definitely not bad enough to lose anywhere near 95 games. This team should win 88-93 wins, make the playoffs, and bring home its first playoff win in 18 years, laying the groundwork for a big year in 2023.

Next. Minnesota Twins: Grading the Chris Paddack-Taylor Rogers Trade. dark