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2014 Fantasy Baseball Top Five: The Minnesota Twins

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Fantasy Baseball 2014: The Top Five Minnesota Twins

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Steve Mitchell-Getty Images

I’m surely not breaking any news to fantasy baseball owners, but the Minnesota Twins have not been flush with great fantasy options in recent years. Joe Mauer has been productive when healthy, but the pitching staff has been virtually untouchable and only a handful of other position players have offered any sort of noteworthy production.

The Twins have two of the top prospects in all baseball in their minor league pipeline, and outfielder Byron Buxton and third baseman Miguel Sano are both top options in keeper leagues. But fantasy owners should not expect anything of note from either guy until at least 2015. With some other young talent also likely to arrive at Target Field over the next couple years, the Twins may be chalked full of notable options for fantasy owners in short order.

The Twins did add Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to their starting rotation this offseason, but to call either one anything more than a middle of the road pitcher from a fantasy perspective is overly optimistic.

Mauer is the most notable player the Twins have, in real or fantasy baseball, and with the team’s struggles over the last three seasons the rest of the team may be overlooked by the majority of fantasy owners. So those that do a bit of homework and don’t simply dismiss the rest of Minnesota’s roster as worthless could find some excellent value on draft day.

Taking league format (mixed, American or National League-only) and size into account where applicable, here are my top five fantasy options on the Minnesota Twins’ roster for 2014.

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5. SP Phil Hughes

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Al Bello-Getty Images

Hughes is a fly ball pitcher (46 percent in 2013), so the move out of Yankee Stadium for roughly half his starts should benefit him greatly. The time has likely passed for Hughes to become an ace, in real or fantasy circles, but owners that are looking for a way to fill a final pitching spot at the end of a draft can do a lot worse in terms of upside potential. Just don't expect anything close to the win totals he posted in 2010 (18) or 2012 (16).

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4.C Josmil Pinto

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Kurt Suzuki was signed to help fill the void behind the plate for the Twins with Mauer moving to first base, but I think it will only be a matter of time before Pinto sees the majority of the playing time. Mixed leagues owners can probably ignore him on draft day, outside of very deep leagues, but Pinto can be drafted as a second catcher in AL-only leagues.

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3. 2B Brian Dozier

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Leon Halip-Getty Images

Dozier emerged as a solid multi-category producer last season, with 18 home runs, 66 RBI, 72 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. Fantasy owners should not bet on a full repeat this year, and his batting average (.244 in 2013) hurts his value some, but Dozier is still a solid upside target for owners that wait to draft a second baseman.

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2. C/1B Joe Mauer

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Mauer is still a top-five fantasy catcher this year, but his move to first base means he only has one more year as an elite fantasy option at his position.

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1. RP Glen Perkins

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A lot of fantasy owners may not realize Perkins had 36 saves in 2013, along with elite-level ratios (11.1 K/9, 0.93 WHIP). If the Twins show even marginal improvement this year, 40 saves is a definite possibility and Perkins could come at a relative value in mixed league drafts when compared to other top closers.