Five Twins Players’ Resolutions
Image courtesy of Ken Blaze-USA Today SportsJose Berrios
Resolution: Increased strikeout rate in 2018
Berrios has pitched over 200 innings at the big league level. During his five minor league seasons, he posted a 9.6 strikeout per nine rate. At the MLB level, that total has dipped to 8.3 strikeouts per nine. His base on balls has also increased from 2.5 to 3.7 and his hits per nine has gone from 7.3 to 9.0. Berrios has shown flashes of dominance in the big leagues but he needs to find some more consistency. If he is able to find a consistent out-pitch, he should see some improvement in all of his numbers in 2018.
Resolution: Avoid a slow start
As a Georgia native, Buxton might not get along with the cold Minnesota springs. His struggles at the beginning of last season were well documented as he was striking out at a historic rate. After hitting under .250 through the season’s first three months, Buxton hit over .320 in July and August while averaging a .973 OPS. For the entire second half, he hit .300/.347/.546 with 24 extra-base hits. It might be tough to keep that pace to start 2018 but it should be easier for Buxton to avoid duplicating his slow start from 2017.
Resolution: Earn a rotation spot
Gonsalves was close to making his debut in 2017 but he wasn’t on the 40-man roster. One hurdle is over as he was add to the 40-man this off-season. There’s plenty of rumors swirling about the Twins looking at adding a top of the rotation starter. Plenty of players sit ahead of Gonsalves on the team’s current depth chart. If he has an impressive spring, he could make it hard to send him to Rochester. Gonsalves will debut in 2018 and he has the opportunity to win a rotation spot.
Resolution: Go win that Gold Glove
Mauer watched Byron Buxton and Brian Dozier walk away with the hardware in 2017. Mauer was robbed of even being a finalist when his numbers clearly put him near the top of the American League. Mauer’s defense was strong and his offensive numbers also improved in 2017. He hit over .300 and had an OPS above .800 for the first time since 2013. Only two players, Darin Erstad and Placido Polanco, have won a Gold Glove at multiple positions. Mauer should join that small group in 2018.
Resolution: Solve Minnesota’s revolving door at shortstop
It’s been a long time since Minnesota has seen some consistency at shortstop. The position has seemed to be a revolving door dating all the way back to the Metrodome days. In 133 games, Polanco batted .256/.313/.410 with 13 home runs and 30 doubles. As a prospect, there were questions about his defense but he seemed to be able to hold his own at the big league level. Other prospects like Nick Gordon and Royce Lewis are moving towards Target Field. Polanco needs to show his value to the club.
What other players have resolutions for 2018? Do you have a resolution for the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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