It’s been a while since the first installment of this series, so I decided to do another one of these because I figure there are some questions that still need to be answered. So, here you go!
Where do you see the Twins in five years?
I think it’s very possible that the Twins are still division contenders in 2025 with all the young talent this team has currently and in the farm system. Some players will be in the prime of their careers come 2025. I see no reason the Twins aren’t still contenders in five years.
What needs to happen for the Twins to beat the Yankees in the playoffs?
Pitching was a huge issue for the Twins in the 2019 ALDS. The Twins offense wasn’t performing like they should’ve, but the offense isn’t the problem. The pitching gave up far too many runs in the ALDS. I do think that the additions of Maeda and Hill will help this team a lot in the playoffs. Both are experienced and good in the playoffs.
Which Twins player will have the biggest breakout season?
I think there are several candidates to have a big breakout season for the Twins. Cave, Buxton, Adrianza, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Dobnak, Littell, and more are all candidates to have big breakout seasons. For hitters, I think Buxton will have the biggest breakout season. If he can play a full season, he is very capable of putting up a 5.0+ fWAR season. For pitchers, I think Zack Littell is a good choice to have a breakout season. I think he can make more of a name for himself and further prove how good and reliable he can be.
Which pitchers do you see the Twins signing in free agency next offseason?
There are a few good starting pitchers hitting the free agent market next offseason. I’ll name a few I could see the Twins re-signing, signing, or attempting to sign. I think the Twins will do almost everything they can to bring back 2019 All-Star Jake Odorizzi. He’s in a good position to potentially get himself a big contract, hopefully from the Twins. A few pitchers I could see the Twins going after are Trevor Bauer. He had a little bit of a down year in 2019, he posted a 4.34 FIP, 4.33 xFIP, 4.14 SIERA, and a 3.3 fWAR. However, in 2018 he had the best season of his career with a 2.44 FIP, 3.14 xFIP, 3.21 SIERA, and a 5.8 fWAR. Definitely wouldn’t mind Trevor Bauer in a Twins uniform. Another pitcher I think the Twins will heavily pursue is James Paxton. In 2019, he produced a 3.86 FIP, 4.03 xFIP, 3.93 SIERA, and a 3.9 fWAR. Since 2016, the lowest fWAR he has produced in a season is 3.5, coming in 2019.
Will Donaldson or Cruz have a better 2020 season?
I don’t expect Cruz to have a huge drop off in production in 2020, but I do think Donaldson will have a better season because he is younger. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cruz almost repeated his 2019 season though.
What does Rosario need to do to improve?
One big thing Rosario needs to change in order to improve is cut back on swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone. In 2019, he swung at 46.3% of pitches he saw outside of the strike zone. Overall he swung at 51.9% of all pitches he faced. Those numbers are not good. There’s a reason pitchers threw outside of the zone 62.4% of the time compared to 58.6% in 2018. If he could change that issue, I think he could be a great hitter. A good amount of power and decent speed too.