Twins 2017 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2017 Minnesota Twins predictions? The Minnesota Twins lost 103 games last season, a stark surprise for a club that had playoff aspirations. Hiring a new General Manager in Thad Levine (formerly the assistant General Manager of the Texas Rangers).
MLB Twins Predictions & Handicapping Insight
A big question will be can the Twins capitalize on their number one overall pick in the upcoming Amateur Draft. The last #1 overall selection turned out to be franchise cornerstone Joe Mauer, so if they can go 2-2 the team will be in good hands for the next decade.
2017 MLB Team Previews – Minnesota Twins
- American League Central -Off
- American League +Off
- World Series +Off
- Jason Castro
- Matt Belisle
Signing catcher Jason Castro to a three year, $24.5 million deal was the only big spending the twins did in free agency. This move isn’t surprising as they had a glaring hole to fill at the catcher position but did not want to overload their team with high priced veterans.
Castro hit just .210 last year for the Astros and had an on base percentage of .307, so don’t expect him to bring offensive firepower to the lineup.
Belisle will help the bullpen and comes in with a 1.77 ERA after a good stint with the Nationals last season.
Since the Twins are in a rebuilding mode I don’t expect them to be major players in the free agency market for the next one or two seasons.
- IF Trevor Plouffe
Plouffe had a pretty good season for Minnesota, but left in free agency for the Oakland A’s. His .260 batting average will need to be replaced by a younger prospect.
Twins Predictions: Projected Lineup:
- 2B Brian Dozier
- SS Jorge Polanco
- 1B Joe Mauer
- 3B Miguel Sano
- RF Max Kepler
- DH Kennys Vargas
- CF Byron Buxton
- LF Eddie Rosario
- C Jason Castro
The Twins projected lineup looks very strong at the top, with heavy hitter Brian Dozier in the leadoff spot. Dozier broke out in a big way in 2016, becoming one of the league leaders in homeruns (42).
Is a repeat performance something we can expect from the second baseman?
I do believe he can have another fine season, but back to back 40 home run years would be a bit of a stretch.
Although his batting average was a paltry .236, Miguel Sano can definitely knock them out of the park. He put up 25 home runs in his first full season with the club, but had an alarming 178 strikeouts.
For the Twins to have any shot at making the playoffs he will need to improve his batter’s eye, and avoid chasing balls that lead to inevitable strikeouts.
The 2017 season should be a great one for former top prospect Byron Buxton, who finished the season strong last September.
Buxton had 10 home runs and 10 steals in 92 games last season, so a 20-20 season could be in the works for the talented outfielder.
Twins Predictions: Projected Rotation:
- RH Ervin Santana
- RH Phil Hughes
- RH Kyle Gibson
- LH Hector Santiago
- RH Jose Berrios
Veterans Ervin Santana and Phil Hughes are clearly the best two starting pitchers on the team. Santana is creeping up there in age at 34 years old, but is still capable of putting in solid performances on a regular basis.
Hughes will be a big question mark after his season was cut short due to surgery in July. If he can stay the healthy the Twins can surprise some teams in the Central.
On the back end of the rotation keep an eye on Hector Santiago, the only pitcher in this projection with a record over .500.
He went 13-10 last year and should be considered a darkhorse for 16 wins this year.
Twins Predictions: Projected Closer:
- RH Brandon Kintzler
With an injury to Glen Perkins, Brandon Kintzler will be first in line to fill the closer’s role until he is 100% healthy.
He appeared in 54 games last year with a 3.14 ERA and 17 saves so he should do a good job as the fill in closer.
2017 Minnesota Twins Prediction:
After a franchise worst season in 2016, the Twins have nowhere to go but up. The youth movement is in full effect in the starting lineup and rotation, but it will be a surprise to see the Twins get to 70 wins in 2017.
Whoever they select with the #1 overall pick shouldn’t be expected to make an immediate impact, as I predict the new GM will look towards a player with a higher ceiling than someone who is ready for the majors.
A 65 win season is more likely, but the future does indeed look bright.
What do you think of our 2017 Minnesota Twins predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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