The Twins lineup will be shifted around and look a bit different without the power hitting third basemen Miguel Sano in there. Here is how I imagine it will look on opening day.
1.) Max Kepler, RF
2.) Jorge Polanco, SS
3.) Nelson Cruz, DH
4.) Eddie Rosario, LF
5.) Marwin Gonzalez, 3B
6.) Jonathan Schoop, 2B
7.) C.J. Cron, 1B
8.) Jason Castro, C
9.) Byron Buxton, CF
1.) I have Max Kepler in the leadoff spot because he is currently the Twins best player when it comes to walks, the Twins really don’t have a leadoff hitter and he seems like a good candidate to hit 20+ home runs. Kepler is also 6-12 with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs in 5 games in the leadoff spot this spring.
2.) The number two spot goes to Jorge Polanco. He could easily slide in anywhere at 1-3 but with Kepler leading off and power threats available at 3 I think Polanco will be great in the two hole. In 60 career games when batting second Polanco has a .269/.314/.407 line.
3.) For Nelson Cruz, I put him in the third spot because I like the idea of getting him an at bat in the first inning every game. I also don’t want him leading off the second inning if he was in the four spot. Two of the better on base guys (Kepler & Polanco) will give Cruz a lot of chances to drive them in.
4.) Eddie Rosario gets the cleanup role in my lineup. The left/righty combo of Cruz and Rosario could be very dangerous and easily interchangeable. Rosario has a lot of experience in the fourth spot (50 games, .265/.288/.513 line) and if he can just boost the on base percentage he will be even better.
5.) Marwin Gonzalez is my fifth hitter. He basically takes the place for Sano here and I believe he can be just as productive to start the year. He is at his best in the 5th spot hitting a career .273/.337/.443 line in 102 games. He will also be nice platoon insurance for any pitcher after they have to face the righty/lefty combo of Cruz and Rosario.
6.) I am so unbelievably high on Jonathan Schoop. I have unreal expectations for him. I really believe he can get back to his 2017 All Star year of .293/.338/.503 with 32 home runs. If he can do that then the Twins will have an amazing 6th hitter who will eventually move up. The Twins have a potentially lethal 1-6 in the batting order.
7.) C.J. Cron was the hardest player to find a spot for on this team so I just went with the first one really available. The 30 home run potential C.J. Cron will start the year hitting 7th I think. Cron has a career line of .266/.328/.476 when hitting seventh. If he can repeat last season then having him seventh will be great.
8.) The starting catcher, Jason Castro will bat eight because he can play defense so he has to bat somewhere. Until Mitch Garver develops his defense further, which I of course believe he will, then Castro will start this season. He and Garver will have a very nice platoon all year with one catcher to play defense and one specializing in offense.
9.) Here we go again with Byron Buxton, except this year he will be good I promise. After an offseason everyone heard about where he gained insane muscle and the speed/fielding ability he has, there is no hiding that talent forever. I just want him to have an OPS above .800 and it will make the team so much better.
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