When the clock strikes midnight tonight, many people around the world will take on New Year’s resolutions: they’ll commit to making some sort of change in their lives or set a goal for themselves in 2021. The Twins are no exception to this trend, and here’s what I think a few of them should take on as resolutions.
Mitch Garver: Get back to mashing fastballs
In Garver’s elite 2019 season, he was death to fastballs. Garvsauce sent many a fastball screaming back from whence it came (or often, much, much further) in 2019, but struggled to do the same in 2020. As I covered a month ago, Mitch simply had a hard time hitting the ball last season. If he can get back to his career norms, we should see more mashing from Mitch in 2021.
Jose Berrios: Finish off batters
There was really two ways I could have gone for our young ace-in-waiting (hopefully). He needs to work on his consistency, as it’s often been a tale of two seasons for La Makina. However, I think that something that would help with this would be to finish batters off more quickly when he’s ahead in the count. It seems that too often Berrios is unable to get the swing-and-a-miss that makes a 7-pitch at bat into a 4-pitch at bat, and if he’s able to develop a knockout pitch, he should find himself pitching deeper into games more often.
Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton: Stay Healthy
Enough said on this one.
Jorge Polanco: Take bigger cuts
Polanco became somewhat infamous in 2020 for his “excuse-me” swings in the batter’s box. He seemed to be flailing away, just hoping to make contact, rather than leaning into pitches and driving the ball. Polanco has had great success in his career by roping hard line drives all over the field, but last season, this approach was absent far too often. There’s still good in Polanco if he can get back to his old habits at the plate.
All in all, the Twins have many resolutions to take on for 2021. The good news is this: so many things went wrong in 2020, whether it be player health or player performance, and the team still took the division. The White Sox may be up-and-coming, but let this be a warning: no man outruns regression (whether negative or positive). Happy New Year’s.