Over the past few seasons, the Minnesota Twins have quietly been one of the best teams in the league.
They have performed consistently well during the regular season, competing at the top of the American League Central.
However, they haven’t been able to get over the hump in the playoffs.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) February 23, 2021
In 2020, the Twins won their division but were swept by the Houston Astros in the Wild Card Series matchup.
Now, the franchise is looking to put it all together once again and make a run in the playoffs.
Here is a look at the projected Twins lineup for 2021.
Twins 2021 Projected Lineup
If the season started today, the Twins lineup would look like:
- Max Kepler, OF
- Luis Arraez, 2B
- Josh Donaldson, 3B
- Nelson Cruz, DH
- Miguel Sano, 1B
- Alex Kirillof, OF
- Byron Buxton, OF
- Ryan Jeffers, C
- Andrelton Simmons, SS
On offense, this team’s power numbers once again jump off the page.
This has been a trend for the franchise, who set the MLB record by most home runs hit by a single team in a season in 2019.
The middle of their lineup is devastating for opposing pitchers to face.
Donaldson struggled with injuries in 2020 but is just one year removed from slugging 37 home runs in 2019.
You've gotta see this Josh Donaldson homer. pic.twitter.com/h8kztCi2Lt
— Cut4 (@Cut4) September 17, 2020
Meanwhile, Cruz has arguably been the most consistent power hitter over the past seven seasons, hitting more than 40 in four of those.
Even as he enters his age 40 season, he shows little signs of slowing down.
Pair them with the bats of Kepler, Arraez and Buxton, and the team has one of the deepest lineups in the league.
This was even further bolstered by the addition of Simmons this offseason, giving the team a legitimate two-way shortstop.
The offense will be difficult to stop, and it will be up to the pitching staff to keep them in games and make a true run in the playoffs.
Projected Pitching Rotation
The Twins rotation has a lot of potential.
They have the electric arm of Jose Berrios, who has shown glimpses of being a dominant ace in the MLB.
Look for him to take the next step forward as he enters his sixth season in the majors.
He went 6-1 and posted a 2.70 ERA in the COVID-shortened season.
Kenta Maeda has not allowed a hit through 8. 👀
— MLB (@MLB) August 19, 2020
This was a major step forward for Maeda as he had failed to be truly dominant since coming to the MLB from Japan.
He gives the team a potential ace at the top of their rotation.
Beyond those two, the team has more question marks when filling out their pitching staff.
Their offseason signing of J.A. Happ gives the rotation even more experience, but his production may be questionable.
They also made some big signings for their bullpen, adding Hansel Robles and Alex Colomè.
Each of them will be solid options out of the bullpen, quietly giving the Twins one of the better relieving staffs in the league.
Twins 2021 Outlook
When you put all of this together, it becomes clear that the Twins should have a solid team in 2021.
They should be one of the favorites in the AL Central, with a high chance of making it to the playoffs.
.@fangraphs has announced their projected postseason odds. 👀
Let us know what you think ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/1itTsNyf3B
— MLB (@MLB) February 16, 2021
It will likely be an interesting race between these two teams.
If their pitching staff can hold up, look for them to be true contenders out of the American League.