Nov 2, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton against the East during the Fall Stars Game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball 2014: Minnesota Twins Hitting and Pitching Projections

Watching a Minnesota Twins game last season was gawd awful. I was fortunate enough to have excellent seats at several games but I simply spent the entire games crying into my nacho helmet. I’m an emotional eater, so when the nachos didn’t work I’d go grab a Cuban sandwich from Tony Oliva‘s stand. I’d leave the ballpark 10 pounds heavier and I still felt awful about the team.

Talking about finding fantasy value from the 2014 Minnesota Twins lineup will make for a very short post, but read on because I have a surprise for you.

Projected 2014 Minnesota Twins Offense

1. Alex PresleyCF28L44851104012.266
2. Brian Dozier2b26R54666166214.242
3. Joe Mauer1B30L5237210631.312
4. Josh WillinghamLF34R4606122753.234
5. Oswaldo ArciaRF22L5045622633.267
6. Parmalee / Maestro / KubelDH
7. Trevor Plouffe3B27R5026220582.241
8. Josmil PintoC24R3674413440.270
9. Pedro FlorimonSS27S4134885114.221


Crackerjack Fantasy Options: Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham, Brian Dozier, Oswaldo Arcia, Josmil Pinto

Josh “Hammer” Willingham has always shown power when he is healthy. Unfortunately, he hasn’t always been healthy. He’s borderline undraftable based upon his age and disappointing 2013, but keep an eye on him as he isn’t long removed from a 35 homer season. At this point in his career he’s the type of fantasy player that you keep an eye on and make a waiver claim only if he comes quickly out of the gate.

Brian Dozier could make a fine second baseman in deeper leagues or he’d be excellent as a middle infielder (MI) in large roster leagues. Click here for a full profile on Dozier.

Oswaldo Arcia has real promise as a 3rd or 4th fantasy outfielder. Here’s a full profile on him.

More on Joe Mauer and Josmil Pinto in a moment.

Projected 2014 Twins Pitching

Rickey Nolasco31R195481411004.021.33
Glen Perkins30L6515723303.121.11


Crackerjack Fantasy Options: Glen Perkins

The pitching. Oh, the pitching…

GM Terry Ryan has been active this offseason signing $85 millions dollars worth of mediocre pitchers. It ain’t pretty, but it’s what a major league pitcher costs nowadays, and someone has to pitch the roughly 1450 innings for the Twins in 2014.

It’s doubtful that any Twins starter has an ERA under 4.00, but Rickey Nolasco has as good a shot as any I suppose. (Wow, that sounded confident.) Phil HughesKevin CorreiaMike Pelfrey, Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond, Vance Worley, and Kyle Gibson will combine to pitch the Twins into mediocrity and shouldn’t be rostered on your fantasy team.

Glen Perkins should be on your fantasy team. A full profile on Perk is here.


Fantasy Star: Joe Mauer

What has made Joe Mauer great is that he’s always been a catcher who could hit like a first baseman. Now he’ll get his chance to play as a first basemen.

It’s easy to focus on what Joe doesn’t do (hit homers) while forgetting what he does do (hit for average and score runs). True, he doesn’t have the power to hang with the sluggers at first base and this makes him a more likely corner infield option. But there are very few players in baseball with a better shot at hitting over .300 and that shouldn’t be overlooked.

His excellent on base skills also insure that he’ll be a good source of runs and the RBI he contributes won’t be bad either. Make sure you take advantage of his 2014 season, as that will be the last year he has catcher eligibility.


Fantasy Bust

The Twins are so ‘meh’ that it’s pretty hard to identify a bust. After all, no one is expected to do much of anything, so it’s difficult to be disappointed when your expectations are so low.


Prospect Watch

And now the surprise you’ve been waiting for. The Minnesota Twins have the best crop of prospects in baseball and it’s not even close. Prospects like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, Kohl Stewart and Eddie Rosario deserve their own post. So that’s what I did. Click here to peer into the crystal ball at the Minnesota Twins of 2016.


Fantasy Sleeper: Oswaldo Arcia and Josmil Pinto

Arcia really impressed me when I took my head out of my bowl of nachos and watched him live at Target Field. Although Target Field suppresses lefty power, Arcia has extra power to spare and a good approach at the plate to put it to use. I think he could have 25 homers and a .260 average in 2014 and I look at him with further depth here.

Josmil Pinto hit like Joe Mauer in his limited look in 2013. But that’s a small sample and it’s wise to temper your expectations. While he’s certainly no Joe Mauer with the bat, he is likely to be a slightly above average major league catcher for his career. The upside is there for him to be the #9-11 fantasy catcher in 2014, but with the depth at the catcher position, it’s wise to take a pass unless you play in a two catcher league, particularly because he’ll lose at bats to Kurt Suzuki.


Final Thoughts

While the Twins don’t have much to offer fantasy owners, it’s still unwise to completely overlook them, even if it’s a flyer on Dozier or Arcia, or drafting Perkins as your second closer.

It’s dynasty leagues where the Twins really get you excited. Not only do they have the best prospects with the highest ceiling, but they have depth of reserve behind those. It’s likely that you’ll be drafting a Twin or two in the first round of 2016’s fantasy baseball draft.


Further Reading

Tags: Brian Dozier Byron Buxton Joe Mauer Miguel Sano MInnesota Twins Oswaldo Arcia

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