2019 Minnesota Twins Depth Chart
The Minnesota Twins have been slotted into an area of handcuff, creating a grey area for the organization. This limitation comes at the production of high-end prospects. Panning out their talents has not been a problem for this team in the past, in terms of pitching. Production reduction from top talents like Bryon Buxton and Miguel Sano has left the team in a bind. Each player possesses a unique skill set and are relatively new to pro-level competition. Their young age still favors a level of growth and maturity within the game but favoring the waiting process has took a toll on the overall outlook of the organization. Waiting in the wings is a steady influx of infield and outfield talents. Royce Lewis has the future of the short stop position firmly within his grips and Alex Kirilloff is progressing quickly, bidding for an outfield position next season. Trailing the focus back to the major league squad and you have a large collection of talents that you can not prospect to the correct niche area of performance or influence.
|Catcher||Mitch Garver||Alex Avila||Willians Astudillo|
|1st Base||C.J. Cron|
|2nd Base||Luis Arraez||Travis Blankenhorn|
|Shortstop||Jorge Polanco||Ehire Adrianza|
|3rd Base||Josh Donaldson||Miguel Sano||Marwin Gonzalez|
|Left Field||Eddie Rosario||LaMonte Wade|
|Center Field||Byron Buxton||Jake Cave|
|Right Field||Max Kepler||Luke Raley|
|Designated Hitter||Nelson Cruz|
Experience is the major, lacking component within the starting rotation. Ervin Santana plays owner to the most seasons accrued with 13 under his belt. The remaining 4 starters have combined to only 14 years within the league. Jose Berrios is the team’s ace. He was the youngest starter within the rotation until Kohl Stewart got the call-up. His usage rate is through the roof, playing starter in 29 contests with an 11-11 record. He dropped his ERA below the 4.00 mark for the first time this season, which would look better on paper if he had an offense to back his performances. Jake Odorizzi is the team’s second most experienced starter with 6 years in the league. He hasn’t responded as well to the increased usage and only claims 5 wins out of his 29 starts on the season. The bullpen also lacks the experience needed to slot guys into desired set-up, long-relief or closing roles. Oliver Drake is the only player aged over 30 in the bullpen, offering experience as a starter. Drake’s time as a starter was mirrored with an excessive ERA and limited effectiveness from his main 3 pitches. Placing him in a relief role gives the team a veteran presence in the pitching staff and creates teaching moments for the younger guys in the organization. Thankfully, the organization still has a stronghold building within the farm system. Stephen Gonsalves and Brusdar Graterol are a few steps away from cracking this rotation in 2019, keeping a healthy level of contribution waiting in the wings.
The Twins organization has historically been a hot bed for Latin American influence. Both Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano hail from the Dominican Republic with Ehire Adriananza coming from Venezuela. These players came over on large signing bonuses with tame contract exceptions. This limited the cap hit the team took when taking their chances with these players. The Miguel Sano project has failed to take flight. Batting slightly over .200, Sano has yet to near the .300 mark that the team had hoped for. His power production is lowered, and his run production has been severely limited due to strikeout issues. Polanco is the infield leader in batting average, trending at a .274 clip. His limited playing time has hurt the prospect of offensive production being found elsewhere within this infield. Joe Mauer is the practiced veteran on the team but playing in his 15th season has took a toll on the effectiveness of his game. Mauer made the switch from catcher to first base to ease up on his usage and limit wear from season to season. His batting average remains high, but outside of that promise remains little production to be found in other statistical categories.
The main area of intrigue comes at the outfield tier. Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario lead the way for this team extension. Kepler and Rosario have played back and forth for the lead in home runs, RBIs, runs scored, slugging, and on-base percentage. With few in sight of their production, it is a major point for the team to feature these bats day in and day out. High usage rates spell disaster for Kepler’s batting average but have taken little tolls on the output of Rosario. Limited depth in the outfield has also placed heavier constraints on these two, something that must be cleared prior to next season.
The starting lineup is usually a mirage of platoon players and role players. With nothing left to play for in 2018, there are hopes that the team can call-up some younger guys to play fillers. This will help relieve some of the constraints placed on their star players, affording them rest and increasing their stamina in preparation for future considerations. Expect to see a showcase of some of the team’s top, high-end talents as the season nears a close. We will gain a glimpse of what the team looks to shape around and locate areas of improvement once these prospects get their moment in the sun in 2018.