Entering last year, no one expected the Oakland Athletics to win 97 games. They could do that again this year but with a lackluster rotation I doubt that happens. So as the A’s move over, who is the team ready to shock everyone? The answer is the Minnesota Twins.
Think I’m crazy? I may be but if you look at it Minnesota has plenty of talent to reach the postseason. They only won 78 games last year but have so much potential to surpass that number in 2019. Former number one prospect Byron Buxton is already tearing up Spring Training after adding 21 pounds in the offseason.
At that same time Miguel Sano (who has always struggled with his weight) showed up to Twins camp lighter than he was at any point last season. If those two get on track the Twins could have a solid lineup, especially if free-agent signings Jonathan Schoop and Nelson Cruz produce like they can. Minnesota was 13th in the MLB in runs scored last year and if you think they are worse with Schoop, Cruz, and an improve tandem of Sano and Buxton you are the crazy one.
The only thing to be worried about is the starting rotation. The difference between the A’s of last year and Minnesota in 2019 is the fact that they have some pieces in the rotation. The A’s ended last year with a rotation completely made up of stuff out of the scrap heap. Edwin Jackson did not have a bad year but at the start of the season would you believe me if I said he would be in the rotation of a playoff team? No chance. But my point is that with Jose Berrios getting better, Kyle Gibson figuring it out, and Jake Odorizzi hopefully performing better than his 2018 ERA of 4.49, the Twins have something to build on.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)