Though the Twins haven’t been good for awhile, this year is different. It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s a new era!
1. It can’t be worse
The Twins lost 103 games last season. That’s a lot. Like, a lot-a lot. That’s the most games the Twins have ever lost in a season in the history of Twins.
No one expected the Twins to be quite that bad in 2016, and it took a bit of spectacular luck with injuries and the like. It’s nearly impossible for the Twins to have that bad of a season again—so much so that if it happened, I’d be more impressed than disappointed.
- How the 2016 Twins currently rank against the worst teams of all time
- Where The Twins Have Gone Wrong: A History
- Your requisite “The Twins Were Really Bad This Year” post
- What’s the worst case scenario for the 2017 Twins?
2. A whole new front office
Listen up, you cry babies: You can no longer whine that the Twins never change, because guess what? They finally did. They fired former GM Terry Ryan—who’d been in the organization for 30-plus years!—and hired a new Chief Baseball Officer and a new General Manager both from outside the organization. They even finally got rid of Bill Smith.
CBO Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine—or, “Falvine”—are in control now, and are bringing new ideas to the Twins. It will be fun to watch what they do in 2017 and beyond, once they get even more settled in. After that, you can go back to your complaining, if you so wish.
- Derek Falvey Officially Hired By Twins
- Twins officially announce Thad Levine as GM
- Who and why is Thad Levine?
- Twins introduce Derek Falvey and Thad Levine
- Things Derek Falvey Might Conceivably Be Doing Right Now
- Advantages of a less-insular front office
3. Byron Buxton is gaining steam
Byron Buxton, for several years, was the number one prospect in the country. The only reason he hasn’t been anymore is because he’s been playing in the majors, and therefore, is not considered a prospect.
But Buxton hit hit .287 with 9 home runs last September, and nearly everyone thinks this year will be his big breakout. Keep your fingers crossed (even though you probably don’t eve have to).
4. The outfield defense should be phenomenal
Last year, the Twins Opening Day outfield included Oswaldo Arcia, Byron Buxton, and Miguel Sano. While we all know Buxton is capable of a lot... that was still not an inspiring outfield, especially defensive-wise.
This year? The Twins have Eddie Rosario, Byrong Buxton, and Max Kepler—which is an insane defensive upgrade. In fact, statcast has them rated as one of the best defensive outfields in MLB.
I’ll take it.
- Let's take a look at the Twins' catch probability stats!
- To the Max: An appreciation of Kepler’s defensive development
Believe it or not, the Twins could be good for some dingers this year! Miguel Sano—he should definitely hit some dingers! Kennys Vargas? If he gets healthy, and called up, him too. ByungHo Park? He should be on the Opening Day roster hitting dingers, but isn’t.
In any case—the Twins have a lot of guys who can actually hit the ball out of the yard. That’s not a normal thing for the Twins. This should bode well, somehow, for the upcoming season.