As I am anxiously waiting to head Downtown and enjoy the pregame atmosphere at Brothers Bar & Grill, I decided to write about my Twins predictions for this season.
Record: 84 - 78, 2nd in division
At one point, it looked like the Indians were in a sell mode, but they were able to keep the core of Lindor, Ramirez, Kluber, and Bauer together while replacing Edwin Encarcion with Carlos Santana. I think this team is still a high 80's win team.
Postseason: Loses Wild-Card Play-In Game to NYY (again)
I hate to say it, but I don't see the Twins surviving the Wild Card game against the Yankees or Red Sox. Even if they were to surprise people and win the division they would be pitted against a 100 win Houston Astros team. Lets just be happy with a playoff appearance this season.
MVP: Nelson Cruz
I was a big fan of the big stick signing and think it will pay off big time, especially with Sano out for the first two month or so.
Cy Young: Jose Berrios
Improving each of the last three seasons and coming off of his best year at the Major League level, this is the year Berrios takes off.
Most Improved: Byron Buxton
IF he can stay healthy, his floor for 2019 will be 2017. I think this is, and has to be, the year that Buxton figures it out at the plate.
Reliever of the Year: Trevor May
May was one of the best relievers in baseball at the end of the last season and that will continue this season. He'll solidify himself as, not only the Twins closer, but also one of the top closers in baseball.
Rookie of the Year: Stephen Gonsalves
Fernando Romero pitched 55 innnings (limit is 50) in 2018, which no longer makes him a "rookie" by MLB's definition. Otherwise, he'd be the easy selection. If all goes well this year (the baseball gods owe us after last year), then there shouldn't be a need for any significants contributions from a rookie this season. That said, after Romero, I think Gonsalves is the next pitcher in line to receive some big league innings for a spot start or to fill-in during an injury.
What are your predictions for the season?