I've enjoyed doing this the last few years, but I'm glad I waiting a couple of weeks longer to do it this time. So, how does our offense look this year? Make the jump to find out...
After Mauer's power explosion last summer, I feel comfortable giving him a healthy home run total for the first time. As a whole I expect the catchers to be a strong group, with Morales continuing to show himself capable of being a strong backup. Third catcher options are a total shot in the dark, but certainly there will be a point this season in which Butera and/or Ramos will be called upon. The week or two in April, and of course September, will provide some of those opportunities.
This is a massive group of infielders, but unless the Twins bring in another third baseman I expect a lot of shuffling around to occur. Certainly some of these guys will only get a sniff in September. In all it's another strong season from Morneau, Hardy is slated for a bounceback, Thome will get more than 300 plate appearances and Punto will simply be Punto. Of course, someone like Tolleson might have his Minnesota future put in jeopardy since the Twins have yet to make room on the 40-man roster for Thome.
The outfield, as powerful as it's been in a long, long time. I had Delmon pegged for a bigger year, but the signing of big Thome is going to sink a bunch of his opportunities. Still, I have him performing better that he has in the past, even if that's in part-time duty. Span, Kubel and Cuddyer remain parts of what should be a pretty potent Twins offense.
As a whole this Twins team has the potential to be more powerful than last year's club, and a combined .447 slugging percentage in these projections represents that potential.
How do you expect the offense to perform this year?