The Minnesota Twins may well be one of the sleepers of the 2016 season. In 2015 they surprised nearly everyone (maybe even themselves) by staying in contention late in the season, relying on an injury-prone rotation and a core of very young players.
The Twins have not been major players in free agency this year, much of their available cash likely involved in negotiating with six arbitration-eligible players. Despite this, there is a solid core of young players including Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Tyler Duffey and Max Kepler, who all made their Major League debuts in 2015.
With the addition of Byung-ho Park, who will likely fill the DH slot, and catcher John Ryan, picked up in a trade with the Yankees in exchange for outfielder Aaron Hicks, Minnesota hopes to improve an already promising offensive lineup going into 2016.
They are going to have to have one amazing breakout year from a lot of young players, and some luck, facing off with divisional rivals such as the reigning World Champion Kansas City Royals, but there is a lot to look forward to for Minnesota fans, and though it looks more like 2017 will be “the year,” considering the run the Chicago Cubs put together with just such a bunch of youngsters in 2015, it might get really interesting in Minnesota this season.
Still, here are five major questions for the surprising Minnesota Twins in 2016…