2015 Minnesota Twins' Projected Lineup: The Crystal Ball

Henry Dorgan@HDthaTVmanContributor IApril 20, 2011

2015 Minnesota Twins' Projected Lineup: The Crystal Ball

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    The Minnesota Twins have lots of good prospects, and although they are not doing too well now, they will be able to filter these young stars into the majors in the future. The Twins have turned from a "homegrown" team (where players who were in your farm system are now on the team) to a team with more free agents.

    That doesn't mean the Twins aren't going to play the players in their farm system, but they are transitioning to finding players that are on the market, which is a reason why their payroll has dramatically risen.

    In case the Twins stop acquiring players from other teams, these new players could be the next MLB stars.

Catcher: Steve Holm

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    I'll be getting some flack for this, but I believe that Joe Mauer will play elsewhere on the Twins when 2015 comes around. Holm is the Twins' only in-organization option. 

    Holm is a career .265 hitter with 1 home run and 6 RBI, and these are not stellar numbers.

    The Twins will either trade or pick up a better option than Holm by 2015. Don't worry fans, this is just for the sake of the slideshow.

1st Base: Joe Mauer

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    Bring it on readers, mark my words, Joe Mauer will be the first baseman for the Twins. The Twins could put him at third or DH, but I don't think the Twins are going to have a DH who is making $23 million a year. The reasons why he will play first base are:

    1. His knees will cause him to move positions.
    2. First base and catcher have many similarities, like how you need to be able to catch what is thrown at you, keep the ball in front of you, and you need to be flexible.
    3. Justin Morneau is not an outstanding first baseman, so it wouldn't be a huge loss at first.

    Leave a comment if you have any more reasons, or disagree with mine.

2nd Base: Tsuyoshi Nishioka

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    This is risky because he only signed until 2013, and Twins fans haven't seen him play very much. I don't have enough information on his style of play to give you a lot of information due to his broken leg.

    I predict he'll blossom into quite the MLB second baseman. That is all, my friends.

3rd Base: Danny Valencia

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    Danny Valencia reminds me of Carlos Gomez. They both seem like a spark plug and they both have speed, but Valencia can get on base. 

    Valencia was snubbed by receiving Rookie of the Year talks last year, although he entered in the middle of the season. That may sound like a dumb comment, but he helped the Twins so much and he solved their third baseman problem. He batted .311, had 8 home runs and 41 RBI, which sounds like a solid season for only playing half of it. 

    He has a lot of potential, and in the long run, he could blossom into the best third baseman in the Twins organization since Gary Gaetti.

Shortstop: Miguel Sano

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    Photo by Adam Foster

    Finally, a fresh face to some of you Twins fans. This is 17-year-old Miguel Sano out of the Dominican Republic. He can play either third base, shortstop, or first base. The Twins signed him with a $3.15 million signing bonus, which is the highest signing bonus to a Latin American baseball player not from Cuba. 

    Now that you know who he is, here are his stats in the Dominican Summer League and the Gulf Coast League combined:

    • At-bats: 212
    • AVG: .307
    • HR: 7
    • RBI: 29

    Sano has a lot of potential, and I encourage you to follow him in his quest to become a MLB player.

Left Field: Delmon Young

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    When the Twins traded for Delmon Young, everyone remembered him as the guy who threw the bat at the umpire. When he was playing for the Twins before last season, I thought he was an average MLB player.

    Then he lost 35 lbs. 

    He blew out of the gates in 2010, hitting .298 with 21 home runs and 112 RBIs. He finished 10th in AL MVP voting, which is an unknown fact to most.

    Delmon has many more years wearing a Twins uniform.

Center Field: Denard Span

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    Denard Span came out of nowhere. In 2008, he gave up the starting Centerfield job to Carlos Gomez, and was sent down to AAA Rochester. 

    In 2009, he burst onto the Minnesota Twins, hitting .311 with 8 home runs and 61 RBIs. Not bad for a guy who hit his mother with a foul ball. In 2010, he was signed to a five-year $16.5 million contract. He didn't do as well as 2009, and hit .264 with 3 home runs and 58 RBI.

    No need to worry though because he is off to a hot start, hitting .313 with 1 home run and 5 RBI. 

    If he keeps this up throughout the 2011 season, he will have no problem securing his position in years to come.

Right Field: Ben Revere

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    Ben Revere had a taste of Major League Baseball last year, and he wants to forget it. He batted .179 with 0 home runs and 2 RBI. When I watched him, he seemed to be very nervous. He was swinging at pitches he shouldn't have, which is why he struck out 5 times in 28 at bats. 

    He is now refining his skills in AAA Rochester, and he is hitting .244 with 0 home runs and 3 RBI. His average isn't too good, but it's early in the season. Baseball America ranked him the Twins' best hitter for average, so I wouldn't worry about that.

    Another thing Revere possesses is blazing speed. He was ranked the Twins' fastest base runner by Baseball America, and in 11 games in AAA Rochester, he already has five stolen bases. His speed will help him get to fly balls in right field, and it will help him swipe bases against MLB catchers.

Designated Hitter: Justin Morneau

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    Justin Morneau will have to make room for Joe Mauer at first base because Mauer could play first, and the Twins aren't going to have a $23 million DH.

    Morneau is an exceptional hitter, and he'll fit in well at a position where your job is to hit.