A rival scout sizes up the TWINS
I don't think you'll see more offense out of JOE MAUER with the move to first base. He won't hit 30 home runs in that ballpark, but he can probably hit over .320.... OSWALDO ARCIA has the power to be an impact guy in the middle of the lineup, but he'll make mental errors in the outfield, not hitting the cutoff guy or not getting a good jump.... Injuries have taken a toll on JOSH WILLINGHAM. He's lost bat speed.... Moving BRIAN DOZIER from shortstop to second last year allowed him to relax, and his range and tools fit better. I was floored by his show of power.... The left side of their infield is shaky. PEDRO FLORIMON can really play shortstop, but they're not getting offense from him, and TREVOR PLOUFFE's not showing me the same pop as when he hit 24 home runs two years ago. Losing MIGUEL SANO for the year was a huge blow at third.... I always had high hopes for AARON HICKS, but he can't keep it together. Too many hitters think they're supposed to be power guys instead of learning how to handle the bat.... They're thinking 2015 for BYRON BUXTON, but if it gets to be July and their season is in the toilet while he's having a good year, they may just bring him up.... PHIL HUGHES and RICKY NOLASCO will be a tremendous upgrade to their staff.... Nolasco will give them stability, but he can show you great stuff and then the next time out get hammered.... I've never been a big MIKE PELFREY fan. When he got into traffic, it looked like his stress level went through the roof..... ALEX MEYER has a big fastball but hasn't learned to use it right. He could get called up in May or June.
2014 Projected Statistics and Run Totals by ROTOWIRE.COM
PROJECTED RUNS SCORED
AL AVERAGE 694
PROJECTED RUNS ALLOWED
AL AVERAGE 707
The Twins rushed prospect AARON HICKS to the majors last year after he had a big spring, and he proved to be overmatched at the plate: .192/.259/.338 in 81 games, with a 27% strikeout rate. While the crowd has moved on to phenom BYRON BUXTON, the Twins would be well served to remember Hicks, who played a plus centerfield, had an acceptable walk rate and showed good power when he made contact. Spacious Target Field and the Twins' pitching staff—the team signed fly-ballers RICKY NOLASCO and PHIL HUGHES this off-season—both demand outfielders who can chase it down, and Hicks fits that description. Time at Triple A wouldn't be out of the question, but Hicks shouldn't lose his spot to DARIN MASTROIANNI or ALEX PRESLEY without good reason. Hicks can't match Buxton's raw talent or upside; that doesn't mean he can't be part of the core around Buxton, a centerfielder, as Minnesota assembles its next winning team.
JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (MAUER)
STEVEN SENNE/AP (NOLASCO)