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2016 Twins

Posted by tobi0040 , 11 August 2014 · 1,296 views

The 2016 Minnesota Twins

Some of the young players have emerged and a few others are close or knocking on the door, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the 2016 roster (and get a free pizza).

Position Players - Near Locks:

1B – Joe Mauer – Joe Mauer will be under contract thru 2018 and it is really hard to see a scenario where Joe is not with the team. His contract is next to immovable, even if he was having a typical .330, 10 HR pace. He, of course is not. I have never been a huge proponent of playing a guy to play for someone else and the Twins aren’t going to do that. My person view is that the Twins view Joe's contract as part player contract, part marketing expense anyway

3B/DH Miguel Sano – Sano should break through in June of next year and be a fixture on this team. Even at the low end of his range, .250 and 30 HR, some BB’s, he will hit his way into the lineup. The best case is 3B, otherwise he could DH or play corner OF as a long shot.

CF – Byron Buxton – I was arguing with my friend about the likelihood of Buxton flopping. He is in the camp of prospects fail and some truth exists to that theory. My only caveat was barring a serious injury, this kid will be the CF for the Twins. That may be as early as spring training next year, but more likely June or August/September of next year. My point was that Buxton is going to provide plus defense (both range and arm) in CF and he should be able to steal 35-40 bases even if for some reason he struggles to get on base. Given that, even if he hits .250 with 10 HR, he should provide value from that position. I know his ceiling is much, much higher than that all around. I think Carl Crawford offensively (.300, 15 HR, 60 SB) with much better defense.

C – Kurt Suzuki, I felt I had to put Kurt on here because he is still under contract. Whether he is starting or splitting we will find out

2B – Brian Dozier – With talent coming up at the position, the Twins could trade him and he would provide a ton of value. I would just rather have a 20-20 type 2B that plays good defense at a reasonable price on our team

Position Players – In the mix

Arcia – He is young and has potential with his bat. The issues thus far are left handed pitching and where he will play. He could DH obviously, but he may run into competition there. His odds are better if his defense in the OF improves.

Rosario – Rosario has hit too well to not be in the mix. But the issue for him is position. My understanding is the Twins appreciate that he tried to become a 2B, but it didn’t really work out. He is in the mix for a corner OF spot, but will need to hit enough to justify the position.

Hicks – Hicks is in a similar position as Rosario. He isn’t going to play CF and he may struggle to hit enough for a corner OF spot. He looks like he could get on base a ton if he could only hit about .260. I think Rosario and Hicks are in competition for one corner OF spot. We likely can’t have two softer hitting/good defensive players in the corners. Both should be able to stick as a 4th OF.

Vargas – He is in the mix and having a great year. I just can’t put him as a lock given he may find a crowd at the DH spot and he may be the least flexible defensively. Prior to this year, he didn’t look like he was going to hit enough for the DH role

Plouffe – In some ways, Plouffe’s future is dependent on whether or not Sano can stick at 3B. I think the Twins will have a tough time finding a better 3B if Sano can’t stick. If Sano does stick at 3B, I think Plouffe would be a great bench guy as he can play multiple positions and hit lefties very well. It would just be a matter of whether or not he would provide more value via trade

Santana – He has hit well, but it is hard to see him sticking in the outfield on this team and it is hard to know how the Twins feel about him at short stop

Polanco – I also don’t know how the Twins feel about him at SS. His best path would be if Dozier gets traded.

Unlikely

Pinto – I just don’t think the Twins will ever give this kid a chance at catcher and I don’t think he will hit enough for DH

Gordon – I don’t believe he will be quite ready in 2016

Starting Pitchers – Near Locks

Hughes – I really loved the signing and I think even if this year is on the high end, he will be a valuable member of this rotation

Gibson – Kyle has taken a step forward this year. It would be nice to see some more K’s and I think those will come in time given his minor league numbers

Meyer – Barring injury, this kid is going to be special

Nolasco – Still under contract and hopefully he rebounds. I don’t think we would be able to move that contract if he doesn’t and I doubt we will have five pitchers that are better. Especially if you think at least one of the “locks” is hurt.

Starters – In the mix

Berrios – I did not put him in the lock category. I wanted to, but I just hope this year was not an aberration

May – I am higher on May than most people are, but his numbers the previous two years were not great at AA. He has the stuff, control maybe an issue but I think he will likely figure it out. If he fails as a starter, I think he could excel as a reliever a la Perkins. My guess is he would throw upper 90’s and he has a good breaking ball

Milone – He has a good track record and career ERA across three seasons. So he has to be in the mix regardless of how fast he throws

Unlikely

Kohl Stewart – I don’t think Kohl will be quite ready, although I am high on him

Thorpe – Probably a tad early, he may break through in 2016

Relievers

Perkins – Still under contract, hopefully still healthy and getting batters out

Burdi – I think this kid is going to be special. Granted he was probably in the wrong league and he was recently promoted, but he had 25 k’s in 12 IP at Cedar Rapids

Relievers – In the mix

Frankly, too many to name and they could come from our minors, failed starters, or free agency. It is hard to speculate 2 years out. Tonkin, Guerra, and Achter should for sure be in the mix though

When putting this list together, one thing that I find interesting is payroll. The only players at this point that will not be in their rookie deals are Mauer ($23M), Dozier (say $6M), Perkins ($5.5M), Suzuki ($6M), Nolasco ($11M) and Hughes ($8M). So you have $59M plus a bunch of rookies. Pretty interesting and room to supplement through free agency and lock up players early.




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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 11 2014 05:19 PM
Regarding Mauer, it may be hard to see a scenario where he's not with the team through 2018, but it's also hard to see a scenario where he IS with the team through 2018. Honestly, not to knock him, but you just wonder at that contract, his skills as a hitter (hitting singles and drawing bases on balls) and the possibility that even playing first base he's going to miss a month or two of every season. Sano and Vargas have both been discussed as first base candidates, not to mention some lower level guys in the system who play first. I wouldn't be surprised if the Twins try to rework that contract or redefine his role, with all possibilities on the table. Just a feeling.

Regarding Mauer, it may be hard to see a scenario where he's not with the team through 2018, but it's also hard to see a scenario where he IS with the team through 2018. Honestly, not to knock him, but you just wonder at that contract, his skills as a hitter (hitting singles and drawing bases on balls) and the possibility that even playing first base he's going to miss a month or two of every season. Sano and Vargas have both been discussed as first base candidates, not to mention some lower level guys in the system who play first. I wouldn't be surprised if the Twins try to rework that contract or redefine his role, with all possibilities on the table. Just a feeling.

 

I still don't see how he isn't with the Twins until then.  I guess part of that is I don't see him as a .250 hitter with 2 HR a year or whatever.  If he comes back to any level of normalcy, it is hard to see how he isn't at .280/.360 type guy at least. He won't be replaced at that point.

 

I also don't think he would be allowed to re-work his contract in order to take less money.  It is my understanding that was not allowed in MLB.

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 11 2014 07:46 PM
Gotcha. Obviously the best scenario is that he rebounds next year and in future years.
Tobi, love to argue with you man, but I think you not only hit the nail on the head, I think you just about hammered it! Just a few points of opinion from me: I would put Berrios in the lock category. He's athletic, talented, coach able, hardworking, a seeming natural with tremendous stuff. I think the only thing that could hold him back....and I don't want to say it...I don't want to even think it....is injury. I just have this feeling he can't and won't be denied, will be good to very good, and then, after gaining a little experience, might just explode as a #1 or #2. I'm higher on May than some. He's a big strong, strapping kid who has the ability to throw a lot of innings. He throws consistently in the mid 90's with SO's and some nasty stuff. Lots of pitchers struggle with control, at least to some degree, power pitchers probably more so. I see his floor as a #3. Honestly, no disrespect to Meyer and his potential, but he has the potential for a 1 or 2. Nolasco may have to be moved by sometime in 2016. It would be a nice problem to have to be sure. Arcia is also a lock for position players. Too much talent. It's going to click! Sano is our future 3B, at least for a few years. He's worked hard to make himself a solid, competent and still improving defensive player. He is not a pitcher. His injury is not going to be debilitating. His strong arm will still be strong, and probably stronger a year later. He may be a big man, but the former SS is a quality athlete who is showing he can play the position. Unless he eats himself out of the position or something, people need to quit worrying so much. I love the 3-part race for LF! (And 4th OF spot) Santana is speed, defense, potential avg. with some OB and gap power, some HR power, and potential position flexibility. Rosario offers defense, CF ability, great pure hit ability, some OB, with gap power, and I believe, decent HR power. Despite decent speed, he'd probably never match Santana's SB potential. But he'd probably hit better with more power. Hicks is a mystery after what we've seen the last couple of seasons, but still offers huge potential as a defensive OF at all 3 spots, speed and power potential with OB ability, but maybe not as much avg. potential as Rosario or Santana. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but if Polanco can be at least average defensively, isn't he the best and most exciting SS option? I fully agree on the pen. There's almost too many good arms to count over the next year or two to settle on a list. Man, the next year or so could and should be very exciting!

Tobi, love to argue with you man, but I think you not only hit the nail on the head, I think you just about hammered it! Just a few points of opinion from me: I would put Berrios in the lock category. He's athletic, talented, coach able, hardworking, a seeming natural with tremendous stuff. I think the only thing that could hold him back....and I don't want to say it...I don't want to even think it....is injury. I just have this feeling he can't and won't be denied, will be good to very good, and then, after gaining a little experience, might just explode as a #1 or #2. I'm higher on May than some. He's a big strong, strapping kid who has the ability to throw a lot of innings. He throws consistently in the mid 90's with SO's and some nasty stuff. Lots of pitchers struggle with control, at least to some degree, power pitchers probably more so. I see his floor as a #3. Honestly, no disrespect to Meyer and his potential, but he has the potential for a 1 or 2. Nolasco may have to be moved by sometime in 2016. It would be a nice problem to have to be sure. Arcia is also a lock for position players. Too much talent. It's going to click! Sano is our future 3B, at least for a few years. He's worked hard to make himself a solid, competent and still improving defensive player. He is not a pitcher. His injury is not going to be debilitating. His strong arm will still be strong, and probably stronger a year later. He may be a big man, but the former SS is a quality athlete who is showing he can play the position. Unless he eats himself out of the position or something, people need to quit worrying so much. I love the 3-part race for LF! (And 4th OF spot) Santana is speed, defense, potential avg. with some OB and gap power, some HR power, and potential position flexibility. Rosario offers defense, CF ability, great pure hit ability, some OB, with gap power, and I believe, decent HR power. Despite decent speed, he'd probably never match Santana's SB potential. But he'd probably hit better with more power. Hicks is a mystery after what we've seen the last couple of seasons, but still offers huge potential as a defensive OF at all 3 spots, speed and power potential with OB ability, but maybe not as much avg. potential as Rosario or Santana. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but if Polanco can be at least average defensively, isn't he the best and most exciting SS option? I fully agree on the pen. There's almost too many good arms to count over the next year or two to settle on a list. Man, the next year or so could and should be very exciting!

 

I could be convinced regarding Berrios. I tend to be more conservative with predictions.So the distinction between Meyer and Berrios is the track record, Meyer has 3+ years of great numberse. Berrios has one, albeit maybe better than any year Meyer has had.The fact that he has done it at such a young age is very encouraging too.

 

I think Arcia will click too. think if he can put up OK numbers against lefties he will be hitting 4, 5, or 6 for us for a long time, we will find a place for him.He is young too.

 

I wasn't thinking TJ was going to determine whether or not Sano could stick at 3B.He has had a ton of errors, and keeps growing.I am very high on him regardless of where he ends up.

 

I agree with you regarding Polanco, it is just a matter of if the Twins accept less than a gold standard defensively at short.Historically I believe they would rather have a guy that can get to every ball versus a guy that will let 15 go through, but have another 45 hits.Doesn't make sense to me but it is what it is.

Good topic... Great discussion.