MLB 2014 Predictions: AL Central – Who Can Catch The Detroit Tigers

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Minnesota Twins first baseman

Joe Mauer

(7) Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


The Twins get the nod over the White Sox because their rotation has a higher upside, and there are a couple of proven run producers in the middle of their line up. Minnesota spent some money to strengthen their rotation, and if those moves pay dividends, the Twins will be far from a push over.

HITTING: Joe Mauer is the one true star in Minnesota, and he is moving to first base in an effort to reduce the wear and tear on his big frame. He is still a terrific hitter, and he may still see a few games behind the plate. Josh Willingham will hit behind him and offer some protection.

The Twins have a young, developing infield with Pedro Florimon, Trevor Plouffe, and Brian Dozier. Two more youngsters are looking to step forward in the outfield. Aaron Hicks had a rough rookie campaign but has a lot of tools. Oswaldo Arcia showed some skills in 2013 but needs to continue to get better.

Throw in veterans Jason Kubel at DH, making his return to Minnesota, and Kurt Suzuki behind the plate, and this has the potential to be a very dangerous line up at times.

PITCHING: Minnesota added Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to the their rotation. Holdovers Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey, both who signed before the 2013 season, give the Twins a deep, veteran rotation. While none of the guys are stars by any stretch, they should provide steady production.

Kyle Gibson beat out Sam Deduno for the 5th spot, despite a good spring by Deduno. This gives them a deep rotation, with Deduno in the pen, in case of injury or poor performance.

In the bullpen, Glen Perkins remains the closer. The All-Star was just signed through 2018, so he should be the anchor for years to come. There are not a lot of household names in the bullpen but if they can get the ball into Perkins’ hands, chances are he will hold down the victory.

This roster has enough talent that is things were to go very right for them, they could actually move up this list. For now, they have to be slotted 4th.