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From Worst To First, The Twins Are Locked In

Quite possibly the hottest team in Major League Baseball, the Minnesota Twins have gotten off to a great start. While the current pace is going to be tough to uphold, there's little reason to believe this team can't continue the positive roll.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Today is June 1 and the Minnesota Twins are not only atop the AL Central, but they own the best record in the entirety of the American League. A season ago, in which the Twins lost 90 games for the fourth consecutive year, the home nine owned a 25-28 record as the calendar flipped to June. With summer baseball ready to heat up, the Twins are locked in, and they are probably more loaded than being given credit for.

With a start like the Twins have had, it can be somewhat difficult to see future results without looking through the lenses of Twins colored glasses. Knowing that a few Twins starters still have ERA's that don't reflect their FIP (fielding independent pitching) numbers, and that the offense has been scorching with RISP, things are bound to even out. That being said, the level of sustainability over the course of the season appears to be in a good place.

Depth has no doubt been something that has plagued the Twins in recent seasons. Looking at the Opening Day rosters of recent years, it would appear Minnesota was entering an uphill battle from the get go. This season, there has been more talk about how to shuffle the roster and include all of the options than the team can currently handle. With not one top prospect yet called up, the Twins are winning with players like Shane Robinson, Tim Stauffer, and Eduardo Nunez rounding out their 25 man.

Although advanced analytics may suggest that a decline is coming, accounting for an added boost is something that numbers can't compute. This theory could be tested as early as this week. With Ricky Nolasco leaving his most recent start due to an ankle injury, the Twins could be looking at re-inserting Tommy Milone into their starting rotation. Not Yohan Pino or Samuel Deduno of years past, Milone is a major league caliber starter and owns a 0.70 ERA through five starts in Rochester. While Nolasco has been great recently (2.41 ERA over his last three starts), the injury doesn't carry a doomsday scenario.

Outside of injury, the Twins are in a position to allow for earned promotions for the firs time in a while. Forget the fact that the club will welcome back a de facto number two starter in July (Ervin Santana), but they also have offensive additions to be made. Kennys Vargas is being forced to earn his way back to the big leagues (.333 AVG 3 HR in 11 games at AAA), and Josmil Pinto could force his added pop into the lineup as well. Now more than a handful of names into the farm system, it's also apparent that two huge names have yet to be mentioned.

Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, the top two organizational prospects haven't yet figured into the equation. Both had a wasted 2014 due to injury, and the rust showed early. While each has settled in somewhat over the month of May, neither appears to be ready for the big leagues just yet. However, knowing that they could be solid additions to a competitive squad in August, the Twins find themselves in a position to improve significantly, and it comes from within.

Should Buxton or Sano prove worthy of a late summer call, it would stand to reason that the Twins are pairing budding talent with an already solid opportunity. The big league club doesn't have to feel forced to rush either player to the show, but their appearance could help to further push Minnesota into the postseason discussion. By the time the summer comes to an end, this level of baseball will have already created plenty of buzz. Should the Twins add two top notch prospects into the mix, Target Field should again be looked at as the place to be.

On June 1, it's probably still too early to be crowning the Twins a playoff team of postseason contender. After all, the hot streak is no doubt going to come to an end, and a cold spell could follow. On the reverse however, it's been more than time to move on from comparing this squad and organization (in it's present state) to that of years past. Regression is going to come at some point, but expecting it to be widespread and others to fail in picking up the slack doesn't seem like a good bet.

Baseball remains one of the least predictable sports, and as long as the Twins continue to put themselves in positive positions, the offense should be expected to continue to keep things interested. The Twins are locked in, and because of how the organization has been built, they are more than loaded for an exciting summer.