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2016 Recap & 2017 Outlook

Minnesota lost 103 games last season, and the only bright spot was Brian Dozier's 42 home runs. Will we see him go for 40 again? Probably not. His average was also at a career high, which will likely tread back down to his career .246 norm. As for the rest of these guys, we have some youthful names like Miguel Sano, Kennys Vargas, and Byron Buxton still trying to find consistency in the big leagues. It looks like another year of experimenting with that, which means GPP territory for most of these names. Ervin Santana is the best arm on in the rotation, which says a lot about it. Jose Berrios is still an exciting prospect, but has not shown the ability to hang in the bigs year.

Offseason Moves

Additions: Jason Castro

Subtractions: Kurt Suzuki

Park Factors

Target Field has been referred to a pitcher's park, which isn't necessarily true. During the cold months, this place is death to hitters, but that tends to be the case with most offenses in cold weather. Target Field was actually ninth in runs last season, and 16th in home runs. It plays neutral to both lefty and righty power, and enhances doubles from the right side, and triples from the left. As the weather warms up, you will see this park play fairly small, so keep that in mind during the summer time.

Projected Lineup

Lineup OrderPlayerPosition2016 wOBA vs. RHP2016 ISO vs. RHP2016 wOBA vs. LHP2016 ISO vs. LHP
1Brian Dozier2B.362.262.397.331
2Jorge PolancoSS.314.119.356.206
3Joe Mauer1B.343.138.272.095
4Miguel Sano3B.330.218.345.258
5Max KeplerOF.335.219.262.119
6Kennys Vargas1B.286.206.514.422
7Byron BuxtonOF.300.201.311.213
8Eddie RosarioOF.315.189.266.026
9Jason CastroC.329.194.219.092

2016 Statistics Used

Projected Rotation

Rotation SpotNameIPK%FIP
1Ervin Santana181.119.93.81
2Hector Santiago61.113.75.82
3Kyle Gibson147.115.94.70
4Phil Hughes57.112.85.20
5Jose Berrios58.117.46.20

Pitching Outlook & Notes

DFS Rotation Grade: D

DFS Studs:

Minnesota is lucky that San Diego is around, because they would likely have the worst rotation in baseball. Although, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Miami also rival them. The message is, after Ervin Santana, this rotation is bad. When Santana is your "ace" there is a problem. Santana was superb in the second half, allowing a .277 wOBA, resulting in a 2.65 ERA. He dropped it by a run and a half from the first half of the season. I doubt we get a full season of second half Santana, but he will be a decent option some nights.

Jose Berrios is the most talented pitcher in this rotation, and won't start in the majors this season. At just 22, there is still time to work out the kinks, which are his control issues. We saw the filthy stuff he has in the World Baseball Classic, but his role there cost him a spot. He will be up at some point this season, yet we need to see him limit the home runs, miss more bats, and limit walks. Yes, that is a lot of work.

Lineup Outlook & Notes

DFS Stacking Grade: C-

DFS Studs: Brian Dozier

Minnesota's offense was one of the more all around boom or bust teams in baseball. They were tied for eighth in team ISO, and were also top ten in K%. With names like Max Kepler, Miguel Sano, Kennys Vargas, and Byron Buxton, we can see why the OBP was bottom ten last season. There is massive upside with all these guys, but you will find them in the tournament sections around the industry. Sano has a 36% strikeout rate and a .227 ISO. Kepler has a .189 ISO and a 20.8% strikeout rate. You get the point. Unless these guys cut down their strikeout rates substantially, and mainly Buxton Vargas, and Sano, they will be tough guys to rely on.

Brian Dozier hit 20 points above his career norm, and crushed 42 home runs. Both were career highs. Duplicating those numbers in unlikely, but Dozier is one of the higher upside second baseman to consider on a daily basis. The power has been trending upwards for quite some time, but the 30 mark is a good estimate. This is still excellent by second base standards. Dozier remains a lefty masher, boasting a .397 wOBA off southpaws last season.



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