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4 TWINS

Author:

OVERALL RANK 13

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP MINNESOTA

There's a reason all these guys had 5 ERAs last year. The Twins used to have success developing guys who didn't throw hard but could command the fastball. Now they don't throw hard and they have no command.... Ervin Santana's their ace, but he's actually a three.... José Berrios still hasn't turned the corner. I'm unimpressed by his ability to command the fastball.... Glen Perkins hasn't pitched much this spring. If he can't close for them, they're in big trouble. Well, they're in big trouble anyway.... They gave Jason Castro a lot of money to be their front-line guy. They had a good defensive catcher in Kurt Suzuki and let him walk. I would rather have Suzuki than Castro.... Joe Mauer's health is in question, like always. He's an opposite-field hitter now. If there's a man on third, he will get him home, period.... Brian Dozier is a dead high-ball hitter, but even if he hits 30 home runs, they could lose 100 games. They should have moved him.... Minnesota has brought a lot of guys up before they're ready. Byron Buxton is still a dead pull hitter. With his speed, he should be going the other way, he should bunt, and he doesn't.... Miguel Sano can swing the bat, but he's not very good at third. You hope he knocks in more than he lets in.... . They keep touting their outfield—Eddie Rosario, Buxton, Max Kepler. They all have good arms, but in the major leagues your corner outfielders have to be offensive players.... This team has a chance to be the worst in the league.

MANAGER PAUL MOLITOR

3RD SEASON WITH MINNESOTA

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

CF BYRON BUXTON [DEFENSIVE STAR] [RISING]

R-R .225 .284 .430 1.9

2B BRIAN DOZIER [TEAM MVP] [BARGAIN]

R-R .268 .340 .546 6.5

1B JOE MAUER [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

L-R .261 .363 .389 2.2

3B MIGUEL SANO [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R-R .236 .319 .462 0.8

RF MAX KEPLER [DEFENSIVE STAR]

L-L .235 .309 .424 2.4

DH KENNYS VARGAS

S-R .230 .333 .500 0.7

SS JORGE POLANCO [RISING]

S-R .282 .332 .424 0.6

C JASON CASTRO [NEW ACQUISITION]

L-R .210 .307 .377 0.9

LF EDDIE ROSARIO [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

L-R .269 .295 .421 1.1

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

INF EDUARDO ESCOBAR

S-R .236 .280 .338 -0.6

OF ROBBIE GROSSMAN

S-L .280 .386 .443 0.3

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

RH ERVIN SANTANA

7--11 3.38 7.4 3.8

LH HECTOR SANTIAGO [DECLINING]

13--10 4.70 7.1 1.0

RH KYLE GIBSON [DECLINING]

6--11 5.07 6.4 0.6

RH PHIL HUGHES [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

11--9 4.40 5.4 1.8 [2015 STATS]

RH JOSÉ BERRIOS

3--7 8.02 7.6 -1.7

SV ERA K/9 WAR

LH GLEN PERKINS [INJURY RISK]

32 3.32 8.5 1.2 [2015 STATS]

RH RYAN PRESSLY

1 3.70 8.0 1.0

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

(R) ROOKIE

*2015 STATS

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

Last September, Byron Buxton showed flashes of the kind of star he can be, slugging .653 with nine home runs and 10 walks in 101 at bats. The Twins have used him in the leadoff spot this spring, however, and that may be an overbid. Buxton's power, speed and defense all play right now, but he may not have the OBP skills for batting first. His success last season came batting ninth, and leaving him low in the order is the best way to leverage his talents at the moment. In Brian Dozier, Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler and Joe Mauer, the Twins have other players who can bat at the top of the lineup.

BOTTOM LINE

Some budding stars to get excited about, but—as usual—too few of them are pitchers.