Previewing and predicting how MLB teams are going to do in the upcoming season is hard. I get it. No one can predict the future. Freak injuries are going to happen. Some players are going to have breakout years while others do the exact opposite. That’s part of the fun of watching baseball—anything (sort of) can happen!
You’d think, though, the best baseball predictors out there would be the professional scouts. I mean, their whole job is studying players and making predictions, right?
That’s probably why Sports Illustrated recently ran a piece where they asked anonymous scouts for their opinions on each MLB team. What a good idea! Apparently, though, when they got to the Twins, the anonymous scout said, “Hold my beer,” and gave the following evaluation:
There's a reason all these guys had 5 ERAs last year. The Twins used to have success developing guys who didn't throw hard but could command the fastball. Now they don't throw hard and they have no command.... Ervin Santana's their ace, but he's actually a three.... José Berrios still hasn't turned the corner. I'm unimpressed by his ability to command the fastball.... Glen Perkins hasn't pitched much this spring. If he can't close for them, they're in big trouble. Well, they're in big trouble anyway.... They gave Jason Castro a lot of money to be their front-line guy. They had a good defensive catcher in Kurt Suzuki and let him walk. I would rather have Suzuki than Castro.... Joe Mauer's health is in question, like always. He's an opposite-field hitter now. If there's a man on third, he will get him home, period.... Brian Dozier is a dead high-ball hitter, but even if he hits 30 home runs, they could lose 100 games. They should have moved him.... Minnesota has brought a lot of guys up before they're ready. Byron Buxton is still a dead pull hitter. With his speed, he should be going the other way, he should bunt, and he doesn't.... Miguel Sano can swing the bat, but he's not very good at third. You hope he knocks in more than he lets in.... . They keep touting their outfield—Eddie Rosario, Buxton, Max Kepler. They all have good arms, but in the major leagues your corner outfielders have to be offensive players.... This team has a chance to be the worst in the league.
Is this... am I being punked?
The Twins do have bad pitching and Miguel Sano isn’t a great third baseman, I’ll give them that. But there is so much to unpack here:
- Glen Perkins hasn’t pitched “much” this spring? He hasn’t pitched at all, because he’s recovering from a TORN LABRUM.
- Kurt Suzuki is better than Jason Castro... specifically because of defense?
- This is the first discussion I’ve ever seen of Jason Castro that didn’t even mention pitch framing, so there’s that.
- Did something happen to Joe Mauer that I somehow missed? I feel like it would be pretty hard to miss a Mauer injury.
- And wait, Mauer is an opposite-field hitter now? What the hell was he before?
- Oh yeah, duh, the Twins should have traded Brian Dozier! Why didn’t they even try that?
- Literally doesn’t even mention shortstop, the biggest non-pitching hole on the team.
- Byron Buxton—the guy who just yesterday pulled a double on what would just be a single for anyone else—is wasting his speed? He should be hitting to the opposite field and bunting instead?
- Sure, corner outfielders should be offensive players, but what does this guy want? Miguel Sano in the outfield?!
Who is this anonymous scout? An NFL scout? Did Sports Illustrated read this before they just printed it?
Because geez, Sports Illustrated, you could have just asked me to be your anonymous scout.
José Berrios is 22 years old and hasn’t even won a Cy Young award yet. I’m unimpressed with ability to be totally dominant in the majors even though he debuted less than a year ago... Miguel Sano is hitting home runs, but he should be bunting. Imagine how confused everyone would be lol... Jason Castro’s probably never had a rally beer in his life. I would rather have A.J. Pierzynski... Joe Mauer isn’t even that tall... The Twins don’t have a shortstop, but Manny’s new Japanese team gives him unlimited free sushi. They are in big trouble... Trevor May hasn’t pitched for awhile, which is bad. There’s no reason for Trevor May not to be pitching more. What’s going on? The Twins should be having him pitch more... Brian Dozier is a power hitter now. He can hit home runs, but he’s not very good at bunting. Let’s hope he hits more home runs than he bunts... The Twins brought up a lot of guys before they should of. Byron Buxton needs more time in Triple-A. The Twins have many other options to play center field, like Danny Santana... Yes, I am a real scout. Why do you ask?