Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:54 PM
I know it sounds like an over simplification, but really, the offense can't be worse than last season, and should be better simply from a better health standpoint, and at least a small influx of talent that may not be over yet.
Mauer doesn't need a sudden surge, though it could happen of course. Just being healthy and producing at a rate he was last year, but over a full season would show improved production in itself. Now, fresher legs and hands certainly could show at least some improvement.
Willingham healthy, and just hitting at or close to his "career norm" would also be a marked improvement. He doesn't have to duplicate 2012. And I still believe a transition to DH is in order, and he has a perfect mentor in Molitor.
Arcia will no doubt prove streaky. But the talent is wonderful. And when the smoke clears and dust settles, I believe his numbers will be solid and a bright future is ahead.
i am on board with Dozier. Even if the power regresses, and it might not, in another posting I commented on other players who develop power later and make adjustments, but even if it does and he shows an increase in Avg and OB%, which he showed n the minors, you've got a really solid contributor.
Now Presley is nothing special. But there is no question he has more upside than the Clete Thomases of the world. I'm hoping he, or he and a healthy Mastro, can keep the lead off spot from being a black hole until Buxton arrives.
I see a decent 1 through 5 with some questions in the lower half. The optimistic side of me sees Hicks down there somewhere, as previously stated, showing some speed and power, (with defense) and improving his Avg at least 20-30 points. If so, his combination of skills can still help as he continues to gain experience and find his game. Plouffe is an enigma who is still young enough and talented enough to provide at least a little hope, especially if we can find a nice complimentary player to spell him from time to time and hit LH. Floriman and Escobar as a platoon might bring up production at 9. And while I don't expect Pinto to set the world on fire immediately, there is no question the kid has talent and knows how to hit. Without heavy wear and tear, Suzuki can hit and help at least a little.
As much as I would love to put faith in Kubel, I can't. He could turn out to be a real steal as a buy low possibility. But unless the Twins go out and sign Drew, or make some other move at SS, I feel the best course of action is a nice role player or two to come off the bench and fit in; e.g. Baker, Betemit, Young, etc.
The future is very bright with Sano, Buxton, Arcia, Pinto, Rosario and others further down the line. But in the meantime, a healthier lineup of what we have, a couple good role players, and I think we will see at least decent improvement. Someone mentioned a 100 run improvement. Perhaps optimistic, but not unrealistic.