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Article: Let’s Go Crazy: Off-The-Wall 2018 Predictions

byron buxton joe mauer jose berrios brian dozier max kepler
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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 07:30 PM

Baseball is almost officially back. I’ll let that comment sink in a minute. No more practice games where the starters are removed early. No more waiting for free agents to sign contracts. After the Twins front-office compiled a sneaky good off-season, the games will actually start to matter.

Plenty of national publications will be making predictions in the days ahead. You will read about the likely front-runners for the major awards and how the playoff picture will shake out. Here are three crazy predictions about the 2018 Minnesota Twins (Spoiler alert: all three could come true).2018 American League MVP: Byron Buxton
As a 23-year old, Byron Buxton radically changed his swing while playing every day at the big league level. Say good-bye to his leg kick and say hello to a completely different player at the plate. In the second-half, he hit .300/.347/.546 with 11 home runs and 13 other extra-base hits. His speed also makes him a menace on the bases as he was successful in 29 of his 30 stolen base attempts. The only time he was thrown out, he beat the throw and overslid the bag. His defense was also the best in the league as he was at or near the top according to most advance metrics.

For Buxton to be in the consideration for MVP, he is going to have to continue to make strides on the offensive side of the ball. He needs to get better at pitch recognition so he can cut down on his high strikeout total. Buxton also needs to avoid injuries with his reckless pursuit of fly balls in the outfield.

Minnesota has the opportunity to be in the playoff hunt and Buxton has the chance to be the best overall player on the team. He might be a long shot for the 2018 AL MVP but he could be in the discussion if he makes some small improvements.

2018 American League All-Star: Jose Berrios
Minnesota bolstered its starting staff with the likes of Lance Lynn and Jake Odorizzi. Both pitchers helped to add depth to the rotation but neither is considered an ace. Jose Berrios has a chance to be the leader of the pitching staff this season and he could end up as a 2018 All-Star. His walk-rate shrunk from 5.4 BB/9 in 2016 to 3.0 BB/9 last season. He was also able to post a strong 8.6 K/9 strikeout rate because of his devastating sinker.

Berrios will need to improve away from Target Field this season. He made 15 road starts last season and scuffled to a 5.17 ERA because of 12 home runs allowed. His change-up was his least used pitch last season but mixing in more breaking pitches could help to increase his strikeout rate. He’s had plenty of success in the minor leagues and this season will be his opportunity to take the next step at baseball’s highest level.

It’s going to take a hot start to the season to get Berrios the recognition he will need to head to the Midsummer Classic.

2018 Gold Glove Winners: Byron Buxton, Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, and Max Kepler
Minnesota had multiple Gold Glove winners last season with Buxton and Dozier taking home the honor. Barring injury, Buxton should lead the planet in most defensive metrics. Dozier made quite the defensive turnaround in 2017 as he only trailed Ian Kinsler in SABR’s Defensive Index. With Dustin Pedroia injured to start the year, Dozier’s main competition might come from the 35-year old Kinsler and Jose Altuve, last year’s AL MVP.

Joe Mauer was robbed of being a Gold Glove finalist last season. He ranked as one of the top-3 AL first basemen according to SABR’s Defensive Index, while Eric Hosmer, the eventual winner, was ranked as the second worst. Max Kepler is going to have a tougher hill to climb. He ranked as the fifth best right fielder and Mookie Betts lapped the field. For Kepler to steal a Gold Glove, Betts would need to get injured or shift to a different position.

There you have some of my crazy predictions. Do you have any crazy predictions for 2018? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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Cody Christie
@nodaktwinsfan
 


#2 mickeymental

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 07:44 PM

comeback player of the year: jorge polanco

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#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 08:05 PM

Here's a bunch -

 

AL Central final standings:

Twins 92-60

Tigers 81-81

Cleveland 80-82

Royals 68-94

White Sox 62-100

 

I think the Twins have three all-stars - Buxton, Sano and Dozier.

Rodney finishes #3 in saves but no one trusts him in the post-season

 

Buxton finishes top 5 in MVP voting.

Sano finishes top 5 in HR.

 

Sano, Morrison, Dozier all top 35 HR

 

Kepler is traded as part of a package for Archer during the season.

 

Kiriloff is minor league comeback player of the year. Baddoo has a huge jump in prospect rankings. Twins draft Tristen Pompey in the first round.

  • howieramone2 and bighat like this

#4 drbob524

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 08:15 PM

Mine: Joe Mauer will contend for, but not necessarily win, the batting title. 

My wife's: Twins make the playoffs, and finally beat the Yankees in a playoff series

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#5 mikelink45

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 08:33 PM

My only prediction is that this will be a really enjoyable season for fans.

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#6 Tuba

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 09:09 PM

Eduardo Escobar builds on his numbers from the end of last year and becomes a starting 3B for someone in 2019. 

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#7 Twodogs

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 09:12 PM

Dozier .270 30 hrs 75 rbi
Mauer .320
Sano .250 35 hrs 100 rbi
Morrison .250 30 hrs 90 rbi
Buxton .280 20 hrs 85 rbi
Kepler .270 20 hrs 75 rbi
Rosario .280 25 hrs 80 rbi
Castro .230 15 hrs 45 rbi
Garver .240 10 hrs 30 rbi
Polanco .270 10 hrs 35 rbi
Escobar .275 15 hrs 60 rbi
Rest of team .240 10 hrs 40 rbi

Santana 10 - 10 3.95 era
Berrios 14 - 9 3.10 era
Odorizzi 13 - 10 4.00 era
Lynn 11 - 9 4.10 era
Gibson 9 - 12 4.50 era
Hughes 2 - 4 5.50 era

Rodney 2 - 5 35 saves 3.30 era
Reed 4 - 3 5 saves 2.70 era
Duke 6 - 3 3.50 era
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You cannot succeed without hate for your enemy


#8 DocBauer

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 09:38 PM

Putting on my Twins-red/rose colored glasses:

1] The Twins have 6 players with 20 or more HR, another 3 with double digits.

2] Mauer wins his Gold Glove this season, is even a bit more productive, overall, from his 2017 season and signs an extension for 2 years for around $8-9M per.

3] Santana comes back healthy and strong with as good or better of a slider than before. He wins 13/14 games despite time missed. Berrios becomes the top SP with 17 wins. Odorizzi is again the solid pitcher he was in Tampa, and the better one he was the final couple of months in 2017, and joins Santana in the 13/14 win club. Not to be outdone, Lynn is stronger a full year removed from TJ, and Gibson's transformation the second half of last season is NOT a mirage. BOTH will also win 13/14 games. The Twins will win 90-ish and people will be dumbfounded the Minnesota Twins actually have a top and viable staff.
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"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#9 theBOMisthebomb

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 05:14 AM

Twins - Dodgers World Series. Then, revenge for 1965.
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#10 Comrade Bork

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 05:23 AM

We are going to see Nick Gordon!
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I get my opinions from media guides.

#11 USAFChief

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 05:31 AM

I bet I can predict 80 percent of what Bert Blyleven says.
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Cutting my carbs...with a pizza slicer.


#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 06:17 AM

 

I bet I can predict 80 percent of what Bert Blyleven says.

Only 80%? Feeling a bit off your game this morning, I see.

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#13 Tommygun921

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 06:28 AM

I'll predict the Twins win the division with 92 wins over the Indians 90. Sano, Morrison, Dozier and Rosario all hit 30+ homers. Mauer and Buxton with gold gloves. Dozier and Buxton finish top 6 or 7 in MVP votes. Mauer has his best season since 2009 getting a new 1 yr deal for 2019.
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#14 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 06:35 AM

  • Twins win 95 games.
  • Mauer contends for batting title.
  • Sano and Buxton contend for MVP, neither wins b/c they split the vote.
  • Twins actually win a playoff series.
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#15 kab21

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 06:45 AM

Rosario - struggles the first couple of months and the forum is flooded with demote him and should have traded him comments. He finishes the season up strong with a .275/.320/.440/.760 OPS.

 

Ervin Santana - Everything falls apart for Santana this season (surgery). He posts a 5.75 ERA in 18 GS and doesn't get his option picked up.

 

Escobar - .260/.300/.400 14 HR

 

Dozier - 40 HR

 

Mauer - .325/.400/.440/.840

 

Garver - 150 PA .825 OPS

 

Rodney - 45 SV 4.75 ERA

 

 

Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

Offseason (noun) - a time to propose trades assuming opposing GM's can't do the same basic analysis


#16 big dog

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 06:51 AM

Sano manages to play 145 games.


#17 Thegrin

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:22 AM

a flurry of small injuries hits our starters.  Duffy is picked as a starter and pitches brilliantly. 2nd coming of Bert.  Completes the season as a starter and wins a post-season start.  :D


#18 slash129

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:38 AM

Byron Buxton got his caught stealing out of the way in ST.He'll break Vince Coleman's consecutive stolen base record.

 

Byron Buxton will win his second consecutive Platinum Glove.

 

Brian Dozier will extend his all-time Twins consecutive 100 run seasons to 5.

 

Brian Dozier's 1000th hit will be a lead-off home run off Sean Manaea on September 23rd.

 

 

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#19 Brandon

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 08:29 AM

6 pitchers will have at least 10 wins.

Buxton steals 50 bases with 3 caught steals and hits 25 doubles, 16 triples, and 24 hrs.

Mauer goes .450 OBP / .450 slg to OPS at .900 for the season.

Berrios has 200+ strikeouts

The Twins have 5 30 Hr hitters, Sano, Morrison, Dozier, Kepler, Rosario

Dozier, Buxton, Berrios, Sano all sign extentions of 4 or more seasons.

I win free trip and tickets to see Twins in World Series.

And i catch a hr or foul ball at a game this year... from the stands.
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#20 Respy

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 08:30 AM

I wanted to mention a few upcoming All-Time-Twins milestones:

 

1. Mauer needs 39 hits to pass Killebrew (2024), 100 hits to pass Carew (2085 Twins uniform hits).

2. Dozier needs 13 homeruns to pass Brunansky (163).

 

Also: 

 

3. Sano needs 29 homeruns to reach 100 career homeruns.

4. Dozier needs 10 SB to reach 100 career SB.

5. Ervin Santana only needs 1 win to reach 150 career wins.

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