We wrap up the bottom half of the power rankings with the Minnesota Twins.
Projected Record: 84-78 4th in the AL Central
Potential Lineup: CF Buxton #25, 2B Dozier #2, 1B Mauer #7, LF Sano #22, DH Park #52, 3B Plouffe #24, RF Rosario #20, C Murphy #12, SS Escobar #5
Potential Rotation: 1.Hughes #45, 2.Santana #54, 3.Gibson #44, 4.Nolasco #47, 5.Milone #33
Potential Bullpen: CL Perkins #15, 8th Jepson #49, 7th May #65 Mid Relief: Fien #50, Abad #TBD, Tonkin #59, #Pressley #57
Potential Bench: C Suzuki #8, IF Santana #39, IF Nunez #9, OF Arcia #31
A Twins team stacked with young talent took a lot Major League Baseball by surprise by winning 83 games and finishing second in an AL Central that was supposed to be among the best divisions in baseball with the Twins finishing in the cellar. Instead the Twins had a very successful 2015 and stayed in the playoff race until the last week of the season. Looking ahead to 2016 the Twins have nearly the same roster as a year ago with not many additions or subtractions. The Subtractions being Outfielders Tori Hunter who retired following the 2015 season, and Aaron Hicks who was traded to the Yankees for John Ryan Murphy a young catcher who batted .277 in 67 games played as the back-up catcher to Brian Mccann in the Bronx. Murphy fills the Twins hole at Catcher and also makes the team more flexible with their outfield. The Twins will have Miguel Sano a rookie of the year finalist a year ago move into Left Field in 2016, That will move an underrated outfielder Eddie Rosario to move to Right Field, and allow the MLB’s top prospect Byron Buxton to become the starting Center Fielder. The Twins offense was pretty strong a year ago scoring the 12th most runs in Baseball and with the addition of the Korean Byung Ho Park who slugged out 53 home runs in Korea a year ago the Twins hope to have an even more powerful offense in 2016. As for the pitching the Starting Rotation the Twins finished around league average in starting pitching ERA at a combined 4.14. An ex factor for the Twins will be Ervin Santana who missed 80 games due to a suspension. In Santana’s return he pitched to an ERA of 4, and won 7 games in 17 starts. If Santana can have a full season and pitch effectively the Twins rotation could improve in 2016. The Twins will also hope for a bounceback year from Phil Hughes who was excellent in 2014 his first year in Minnesota but struggled a year ago giving up 29 home runs, and pitching to an ERA of 4.40 if Hughes can pitch like his 2014 self where he had an ERA of 3.52 the Twins rotation may be in very good shape entering 2016. The Twins bullpen finished 21st ERA as a unit. Yet the Twins do have two very talented relievers in the back end of their bullpen in three time all star closer Glen Perkins, and Kevin Jepson who pitched to a 2.33 ERA in 2015 splitting the season with Tampa Bay and Minnesota. If the Twins can prove they have enough pitching they can make a playoff run in 2016 due to the load of young talent they have in there every day lineup.