We’re closing in on the start of the regular season which seemed like a good time to check in on our friends around the AL Central. The first in the series are the Minnesota Twins and Ben Noble of Puckett’s Pond. We asked Ben a few questions and here are his answers.
Kings of Kauffman – What do the Twins need to do get the offense going this season?
Puckett’s Pond – Actual issues for the Twins offense replacing Denard Span and Ben Revere (finding a leadoff hitter, could be rookie Aaron Hicks), Trevor Plouffe needs to be more consistent at the plate, Chris Parmelee will most likely start the season in RF and needs to show that his AAA mashing can translate to the gigs. Josh Willingham is a candidate to drop off production in 2013.
KOK – Pitching was a problem last season for Minnesota what can we expect in 2013?
PP – Pitching should be better than last year, but that’s not saying much. Twins brought in a number of mid-level and bargain free agents, but they have a number of young stud pitchers who could see time with the big league club this year, notably Kyle Gibson and Trevor May. This rotation could look very different at the end of the season. Bullpen was very solid last year and should be again.
KOK – Expectations are low but what are your expectations for this season?
PP – Who knows, the offense has the potential to be pretty devastating, and the pitching should be poor but improved this is a team in flux, so rookies and young players could step up and help the Twins surprise, but realistically this is a team in transition, and by the end of 2013, you’ll start to see the pieces of a future contender trickling in. So in sum: the record is much less important than seeing the team moving in the right direction prospects/youngsters Hicks, Gibson, May, Parmelee, Oswaldo Arcia, Joe Benson and others could all see MLB time this year and start to form the core of a team that
should contend by 2016.
KOK – The Royals farm system is well know but how is the future looking for the Twins organization?
PP – The Royals farm system dropped off severely in national rankings this year, but the Twins farm system jumped dramatically we’ve got an at least top-7 system, higher in many publications. Span was traded for Alex Meyer and Revere for May, and the Twins drafted Byron Buxton, JO Berrios and a slew of college power arms last year. Here’s the top 5 with links to the top 40; we’re stacked and deep, and now sitting much better at pitching after the past year.