Ranking Minnesota Twins position groups heading into 2023 based on projected WAR
10. Designated Hitter - Projected WAR: 2.0
Best Players: Byron Buxton (1.1 WAR), Royce Lewis (0.4 WAR)
Losing Luis Arráez certainly hurt the Twins designated hitter pool, but power hitting has always been scarce in years past. Minnesota has never had a robust rotation of sluggers but there’s still a few options to like heading into the season.
Buxton could DH more thanks to having Michael A. Taylor able to hold the fort in centerfield. Things get a little dicier with Carlos Correa, who doesn’t have the same kind of depth behind him at short. His best support is Royce Lewis, who is also the second-best DH option in projected WAR but is also starting the season on the 60-day IL which is problematic in more than one way.
Nick Gordon has rotated in at DH over the last few seasons, and there’s also Ryan Jeffers to consider against left-handed pitching with Christian Vazquez able to hold things down as the starting catcher in that lineup.
11. First Base - Projected WAR: 1.9
Best Player: Alex Kirilloff (0.9 WAR)
What the Twins get out of a returning Alex Kirilloff dictates a lot of how things will go at first base, but there's not a ton of wiggle room in terms of room for error.
A major source of anxiety fans feel about Kirilloff's health is that there isn't depth behind him. Minnesota traded away Luis Arraez this winter, which helped the pitching staff but created a void left side of whoever that ends up being on the mound.
Adding Donovan Solano helps a bit and there's also Joey Gallo who can play first as well. But Solano might spend more of his time at second relieving Jorge Polanco from facing left-handed pitching, and Gallo hasn't played there since 2019.
Let’s not be overtly negative, though, as there’s a universe where things actually take a step forward at first. In a perfect world, the Twins are able to use Kirilloff, Miranda, and Solano at first base which could become a strong platoon. Kirilloff and Miranda have slugger potential, and Solano is a reliable veteran bat with all three being solid defensively.
There's a reason FanGraphs named this as the Twins weakest position group, though, and any anxiety being felt is extremely just.