5 potential breakout candidates for Twins in 2024

  • Potential playoff-caliber starter
  • Former rookie looking to bounce back
  • Dark horse MVP candidate
  • Here are some breakout candidates for the Twins this season

Minnesota Twins v Colorado Rockies
Minnesota Twins v Colorado Rockies / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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Matt Wallner, LF

Edouard Julien and Royce Lewis got most of the credit for being the faces of the Twins youth movement last year, but Matt Wallner played just as important a role.

It's hard to overstate just how unexpectedly great Wallner was, as he came up with hardly the amount of fan fare that Julien and Lewis did but pretty much matched them in offensive impact. Last year Wallner slashed .249/.370/.507 as a rookie, which was better than almost half the league average. Wallner also mashed 14 home runs, which was tied for seventh on the team and just one shy of what Lewis ended up with.

All of that was a display of his ability as a power hitter, which is something that is surely going to continue developing this season.

Wallner is projected for .234/.336/.427 slash this year according to ZiPS, and his WAR is around 1.5; neither of those stats are taking the team over the top but it seems to be more of a floor than what he's likely to top out at. Baseball Reference has him projected for a .817 OPS which goes a long way in replacing power at the plate lost in trading away Jorge Polanco, and Wallner getting stretching his 2023 production across even more plate appearances then Twins will have one of the top left fielders in the league.

That seems to be the expectation, as MLB.com listed him as a Top 10 player at his position in its early rankings and it's worth keeping a close eye on if he can live up to it this season.