Could this be the year?


Designed by Casey Cumberland

The new-look Minnesota Twins come into 2019 looking to make a playoff push.

Casey Cumberland

After a very hopeful 2017 season that showcased the Twins in the wildcard game with a roster filled with a young, core group of talent, as well as some veteran leadership. They looked like they would continue to get better, but the Twins suffered many setbacks in 2018. Although the Twins ended the season in second place in their division for back to back years, they ended with just 78 wins, and the young players that were expected to take big strides forward did not perform to expectations. Perhaps the biggest loss for the Twins in 2018 is the loss of some of the biggest faces of the franchise: Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier.

The 2019 Twins features many new faces and players with some impressive past seasons. The free agent additions of Nelson Cruz, Jonathan Schoop, Marwin Gonzalez and C.J. Cron come into the 2019 season hitting a combined 104 home runs in 2018. These additions will hopefully bring some explosiveness to an offense that averaged about four runs a game in 2018, which was the middle of the line compared to the other MLB teams. Two of the young, hopeful, up in coming sluggers for the Twins, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, both were signed to extensions late in the offseason, and the team will look for them to continue to improve in 2019. As for former top prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, arguably the biggest disappointments of 2018, it seems like its every year people say this will be the year-Sano will have a year that replicates his fantastic rookie year at the plate- but Sano will start 2019 on the injured list and will get a late start to the season. As for Byron Buxton, he has shown great ability on defense, winning the 2017 American League platinum glove in 2017. Buxton has the ability to be a great player, but his hitting needs to improve.

On the other side of the game, the Twins may have a future ace in Jose Berrios; they will look for him to continue to get better with his control, which if he can do, paired with his nasty breaking balls, he could be a cornerstone in this Twins pitching rotation. Veteran pitchers Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi will look for consistency in the middle of the rotation. Somewhat of a question mark in the Twins starters is Michael Pineda, who missed all of last season after recovering from surgery. Pineda has had a good career with lots of strikeouts, and he will look to bounce back in 2019.

For non-Twins or non-baseball fans, the thing to watch on this Twins squad has to be the electric play of Willians Astudillo. The 5’9” 225 lbs. Venezuelan isn’t is not the stereotypical baseball player, but there isn’t anyone with more energy and hustle.

The Cleveland Indians are three-time defending Central Division champions, and the Twins will be tough pressed to catch them in 2019, but there is no reason the Twins can’t compete for a playoff spot in 2019. Check out the 2019 Twins Schedule here.