In 2012, the Minnesota Twins were not the team that MLB fans have grown accustomed to watching over the past decade. Looking to rebound from their worst year since 1999, the Twins are going to have to improve upon hitting the ball over the fence.
Last year the Twins ranked 26th in home runs as they smashed just 130 as a team. Although Target Field is considerably longer than the Metrodome was, the Twins still have to find a way to put balls in the seats there in 2013. Looking at the AL Central, Minnesota will simply not be able to compete with the Detroit Tigers nor the Chicago White Sox if they can not manufacture runs with one swing of the bat.
Minnesota failed to make a noteworthy move this offseason, but the Twins still have players on this roster who can make strides in the home run category. Josh Willingham is perhaps the best kept secret in the baseball and last season was no different as he nailed 35 home runs to go along with 110 RBI. American League pitchers definitely fear Willingham the most out of anyone in this lineup–an accolade that used to belong to Justin Morneau. Perhaps another season free of concussions can bring the former AL MVP back into All-Star mode.
Joe Mauer was phenomenal in 2009 as he sent 28 balls into the bleachers, but since that season Mauer has just 22 home runs. I don’t expect Mauer to hit more than 15 this year, but he could definitely have a power surge waiting in the wings in 2013.
Either way, the Twins decided to stand pat this offseason, so they must have faith that the aforementioned sluggers can turn it around in a big way this Summer.