Minnesota Twins


Minnesota Twins


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Team Strengths: Even with the struggles of Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, the Twins finished 13th in the majors in runs scored last year. Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler and Jake Cave led an underrated outfield, while Jorge Polanco continued to grow into a solid-hitting shortstop. The Twins added Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop in free agency, fixing a righthanded power shortage, as well as versatile utilityman Marwin Gonzalez.
Team Weaknesses: The Twins drafted and signed 21 pitchers in the top three rounds from 2008-15 and have just two starters to show for it. While Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson are staples in the rotation, the struggles to develop further depth has left the Twins short of arms and contributed to a 4.50 ERA last season, 22nd in the majors.
What They Did About It: The Twins largely stayed in-house to address their pitching shortage. Fernando Romero, Stephen Gonsalves and Kohl Stewart all made the debuts last year and have a chance to play larger roles this season. Michael Pineda, who signed last year as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, will make his Twins debut this year as well.
Final Outlook: Added power and greater pitching depth have the Twins in better position to compete than a year ago. Whether Sano and Buxton can find their 2017 form will go a long way toward determining if they challenge the Indians.

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