AL Central Division: Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins used to be a perennial Central Division Winner, winning the Division 6 times from 2002 to 2010. That was until they have finished 5th each time in the last two years. They still have a great heart of the lineup but there are lacking in the other areas of their lineup as well as pitching. They traded away two very good defensive outfielders in Denard Span and Ben Revere but did get some good pitching in return. One of those is 25 year old Vance Worley who will be their Opening Day starter. I think that they should have kept either Span or Revere to keep the leadoff spot and centerfield position stable for a while. Here is what I think will suit the Twins best throughout this year.
1. CF Darin Mastroianni – doesn’t have much experience in CF or in the league, only 78 games, but is their best option right now.
2. 2nd Jamey Carrol – 39 year old who hit .268 last year but the two years before with LA he hit .290 and .291. Not sure how many more years he has but will give the Twins something to plug in to develop other players such as Brian Dozier, who will get some playing time this season.
3. C Joe Mauer – one of the best players in the league, doesn’t hit for power but knows exactly what to do with the ball and how to do it
4. LF Josh Willingham – a great addition who had a big year last year, 35 HR’s and 110 RBI’s, and was one of the bright spots in the year.
5. 1st Justin Morneau – last year was his first full year back since his concussion and he struggled a bit but showed signs of the Justin Morneau of old, hopefully he will get back to what he was.
6. DH Ryan Doumit – another great addition to the lineup who can play 1st, RF or catch. Will be their DH to start the year but will be a great guy to have with his ability to give Mauer, Morneau and Parmelee breaks without changing the lineup
7. 3rd Trevor Plouffe – another guy who can play multiple positions, 3rd, SS and RF. Hit 24 HR’s last year but didn’t hit them in a timely matter. 18 of the 24 were solo home runs and only 5 of the 24 were after the All Star break.
8. RF Chris Parmelee – only played in 64 games last year and hit .229. He will start in RF but can also play 1st. A good contact hitter that is disciplined and will hit line drives to the gap.
9. SS Pedro Florimon – will be the Twins 8th opening day SS in the last 8 years. Great defensive player that will struggle at the plate.
I think that the Twins are going to stay at the bottom of the AL Central especially with the offseason moves that the Royals and Indians made. Their pitching staff is arguably the worst in the Division even with the addition of Worley. The heart of the order is pretty good but they won’t be able to carry the rest of the lineup.
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