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Passan: Sano, Buxton Give Twins Hope

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 09:21 AM


Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan is looking at all 30 MLB teams and is already doing the Twins because they rank 28th in their rankings.

The summary is the offseason is fair, and of course, the future is pretty dependent upon The Big 2.

[FONT=Helvetica Neue]For those who follow the Twins, the upcoming months do not so much constitute a season as a countdown. This year will be separated into two eras: B.P. and A.P. – or before prospects and after prospects.

[FONT=Helvetica Neue]Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano represent so much more to the Twins than their future center fielder and third baseman. In a farm system that has struggled to produce any impact talent, they are the game's best overall prospect and best power-hitting prospect. For a team with a lineup that could threaten to score the fewest runs in the league, they are future No. 2 and 4 hitters around whom the Twins can sandwich Mauer. Considering the doldrums the thriving franchise of the 2000s has endured, they are hope.[/FONT]

#2 JustinCB


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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:11 PM

"[FONT=Helvetica Neue]Then the baseball gods said to Terry Ryan, "I will rain down talent from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and marvel at him enough for that day." And Ryan said to all the Twins fans, "In the evening you will know it was the baseball gods who brought you out of last place, and in the morning you will see the glory of the baseball gods, because they have heard your grumbling against them. And they have given you [/FONT]Byron Buxton[FONT=Helvetica Neue]." And everybody said amen."[/FONT]

#3 DocBauer


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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:49 PM

An interesting and pretty fair take I'd say. Though I don't understand the reference to Buxton as the future #2 hitter. I suppose he'd be a beast in that spot, but not sure I see another lead off hitter on the immediate horizon. I have a feeling Hicks will play out as an excellent corner OF with power and speed, possibly decent OB skills considering a pretty good eye in the minors, but not sure he'll hit for a high enough average at the MLB level. Which is fine! Great corner defense, a great arm, perpetual 20-20 threat with 30+ doubles and some triples tossed in is a dangerous and welcome player. Dozier/Rosario, regardless of position, appear to be potentially very good #2 hitters. I feel Buxton is odds on favorite for lead off sometime in the next year or so. Eventually, I feel he makes the move to #3 the way Puckett did. And I have to say, I found the reference to Eric Davis very interesting. I had thought Griffey Jr to be a good comparison, albeit with a little less power probably.

I'm a bit more optimistic as to this season than Passan in that I believe the SP signed are a better improvement than he is seeming to expect, particularly Nolasco and Hughes. And I do believe the offense will be better just having Arcia for a full season, despite some roller coaster moments no doubt, as well as a healthy Mauer and Willingham. Hopefully a repeat, or near repeat for Dozier. As I stated elsewhere, hope his power continues, but could see some regression there but with a higher Avg and OB. There is no great expected production or future development for Presley, I don't believe. But considering how dreadful our lead off position was last season, having him there for a full season would STILL be an improvement. Especially if he can show improvement in SB's this season, something his milb track record shows.

While OB skills are probably the most important prerequisite for a lead off hitter, I believe there is another school of thought that can prove fairly effective. A #1 hitter who actually can hit a little, get OB at least above a .300 clip, and provide some speed and XB power can still be valuable and still help ignite an offense. Think Dan Gladden back in the day.

No matter how deep and talented the Twins system is beyond our top, seems like they simply can't miss, prospects, you know a few of them simply will, for some reason or another. But when I look at Meyer, Gibson and Mays arriving soon, Barrios, Gonsalves and Stewart down the road, Polanco, Goodrum, Walker, Hicks, Vargas, Kepler and a few others, I get positively giddy! I almost wish we could skip ahead to 2015.