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Looking back: Twinkie Town’s staff predictions for 2020

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It’s 2020, so... you know.

FEB 22 1967, FEB 25 1967, MAR 8 1967; Representatives Of Roslyn Heights And Wheat Ridge High Schools
Members of the Twinkie Town staff confer and make arguments for their predictions.
Photo By Bill Johnson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Way back before the season started in July (that is weird to type), the staff here at Twinkie Town submitted their season predictions for the Minnesota Twins via facsimile except for James, who promptly tied his to a rock and threw it through my balcony window at three in the morning. Hey, whatever works. We did the same for the 2019 season, which you can take a look at by clicking the links in the “Related” box below if you so choose.

With a nod to Matt’s style of recapping our predictions for 2019, here are the results of the Twins’ 2020 season followed by each staff member’s best, worst, and most noteworthy prediction they made, in my opinion.

Twins’ 2020 season results

Season record, standings, and playoff result: 36-24, AL Central Champions, lost 2-0 to Houston Astros in Wild Card Series
Best hitter: If we’re going strictly off of batting average for eligible batsmen, Luis Arraez (.321) is the best hitter. I would argue that Nelson Cruz is the better hitter all-up, though.
Best defensive player: Byron Buxton with 1.2 dWAR (according to Baseball-Reference)
Best starting pitcher: Kenta Maeda. Not even a question.
Best reliever: Tyler Duffey or Tyler Clippard. Tyler someone.
Most homers: Nelson Cruz (16)
Most RBIs: Eddie Rosario (42)
Most strikeouts: Miguel Sano (90), Kenta Maeda (80)
Craziest play/blunder: That weird play that could have been a triple play but wasn’t.
Best celebration that adhered to CDC standards: Not really related to social distancing, but the robes were pretty neat.
Anything else of note? Shorter season be damned, the Twins from 2019 and 2020 both had two batters that posted batting averages over .300. Both were Arraez and Cruz. Fans got to see the advent of the future as Ryan Jeffers, Brent Rooker, Alex Kirilloff, Travis Blankenhorn, and Edwar Colina made their major-league debuts.

Ben Beecken

Best prediction: Although Luis Arraez didn’t hit above .350, he had the top BA of the Twins.
Worst prediction: The Twins taking the Astros to six games in the ALCS.
Most noteworthy prediction: Byron Buxton didn’t quite make it to 45 games this season, but was still the best defensive player on the squad.

Jonathan Gamble

Best prediction: Hey, Byron Buxton did get some MVP votes!
Worst prediction: The Josh Donaldson being the best hitter prediction didn’t pan out too well.
Most noteworthy prediction: Kudos for being a game back on the record guess!

Cooper Carlson

Best prediction: With all the Eddie Rosario talk lately, I was surprised to find out that he had the most RBIs this season, and Cooper correctly predicted this.
Worst prediction: A tie for most homers would be insane, yet it was a bold prediction.
Most noteworthy prediction: Although Josh Donaldson didn’t charge the mound, he did make a lasting impression by getting ejected after hitting a homer.

Matt Monitto

Best prediction: Indeed, Boomstick was the overall best hitter and is the home run king of the 2020 Twins.
Worst prediction: Jose Berrios wasn’t quite the best starting pitcher this season, although he turned a corner midway into the short calendar.
Most noteworthy prediction: At least Byron Buxton had two inside-the-park home runs this season!

Brandon Brooks

Best prediction: Pretty darn close on the sub-1.50 ERA for Tyler Duffey, and he was the best reliever in my book.
Worst prediction: It wasn’t quite the Year of the Dobnak, sorry, Brandon.
Most noteworthy prediction: Did Joel win the single-game rec record? (Let’s not find this out.)

Zach Koenig

Best prediction: Surprisingly, it ends up being the pitching that largely carries this club. They still swat the ball around, of course, but the HR rate drops from ’19 Bomba Squad levels and the team wins many more tight contests decide by clutch hits, not just beating opponents into submission. get the most RBIs this season.” Do you have a crystal ball or something?
Worst prediction: Max Kepler wasn’t quite the hitter Zach though he’d be this year.
Most noteworthy prediction: Zach was one of two writers to correctly predict that Eddie Rosario would notch the most RBIs on the club.

James Fillmore

Best prediction: Well, the Twins did lose their first playoff game this season...
Worst prediction: ...but they did not win the World Series.
Most noteworthy prediction: His prediction about Buxton missing two games in the playoffs was pretty darn close.

Bob Engvall

Best prediction: A couple of correct predictions with Nelson Cruz hitting the most homers and Miguel Sano whiffing the most at the plate.
Worst prediction: Taylor Rogers didn’t have a copy-cat season of 2019, unfortunately.
Most noteworthy prediction: Max Kepler’s name showed up three times in Bob’s predictions, but had a pretty quiet season.

Imakesandwichesforaliving

Best prediction: Well I only got one right, and that was Nelson Cruz being the best hitter.
Worst prediction: All of it? If I had to choose one, probably Jose Berrios hitting a home run.
Most noteworthy prediction: I just love Jose Berrios so much. Someday my predictions about him will be right...

JohnFoley

Best prediction: The Nelson Cruz predictions were spot-on and the record was also only one game back from the Twins’ actual record this season.
Worst prediction: Another Taylor Rogers prediction bites the dust...
Most noteworthy prediction: Jorge Alcala and Jhoan Duran did make the playoff roster, but on the taxi squad.


What was your favorite prediction?