4 exciting Twins players who'll be squeezed off Opening Day roster

Part of making some tough roster decisions means keeping some guys on the outside looking in.

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Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Austin Martin, OF/INF

This might end up being the most surprising omission from the Twins initial roster, even if it's grown less surprising as the offseason unfolded.

At one point Martin looked like a lock for the Opening Day roster, specifically as centerfield depth behind Byron Buxton. He checked a ton of other boxes, as he's a right-handed hitting outfielder who can play infield positions and is also one of the team's biggest top prospects. Martin was acquired as part of the Jose Berrios trade back in 2021, but injuries stunted his ascension (which is a macabre rite of passage among Twins prospects).

He had an injury scare last spring but bounced back to slash .263/.387/.405 with 28 RBI and a.791 OPS at St. Paul. It was the sort of uptick with his offense that seemed to suggest he might be ready to make the jump to the majors, especially when combined with his ability to play at important positions.

All hope of Martin debuting on Opening Day ended when the Twins traded for Manuel Margot, who took both Martin's role behind Buxton and his 26-man roster spot.

That's not the end of the story, though. While most prospects who got edged off the roster might have to wait a while to get a shot, Martin seems to be in a next-man-up situation. He's an injury away from getting called up, something that happened to Edouard Julien last April when he was left off the Opening Day roster. After Joey Gallo hit the IL following Minnesota's first home series of the season, Julien was called up and has been a key piece of the lineup ever since.

Perhaps the same trajectory we can expect with Martin even if we have to wait for him to make the jump.

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