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MLB Minnesota Twins

Analyzing the Minnesota Twins’ Opening Day Lineup

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Analyzing the Minnesota Twins' Opening Day Lineup

Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins
Getty Images

With the 2014 MLB regular season right around the corner, the Minnesota Twins are anxious to start what they hope will be a bounce-back campaign. The pieces are beginning to fall into place in Minnesota, but the team still has questions to answer within the upcoming week.

With specific roster decisions yet to come, here's a close look at the Twins' likely opening day lineup.

1. CF Aaron Hicks

Aaron Hicks
Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

1. CF Aaron Hicks

Aaron Hicks
Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

Despite producing a rookie line of .192/.259/.338 in 2013, it appears that Aaron Hicks has reclaimed the starting CF job in Minnesota over Alex Presley. Hicks has stepped up his spring-ball play lately, but will enter 2014 on thin ice, as an outstanding spring last preseason failed to transfer to regular season success. Going 2-for-43 as a leadoff hitter, Minnesota needs more from Hicks in 2014, and can't afford to wait for it to happen.

2. 2B Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier
Tommy Gilligan-USA Today Sports

2. 2B Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier
Tommy Gilligan-USA Today Sports

Quietly emerging as one of the best second basemen in the American League, Brian Dozier fits perfectly in the No. 2 spot for Minnesota. Dozier will compete for an AL Gold Glove award this season, and should continue to improve on his first full season in the bigs. In 2013, Dozier produced 18 home runs, 66 RBIs, stole 14 bases and produced a .244/.312/.414 line.

3. 1B Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer
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3. 1B Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer
Getty Images

Joe Mauer is still one of the best hitters in MLB. Moving from behind the plate to first base in 2014, Mauer will see more at-bats in a single season than he ever has before, and while rested, could add some power numbers to his repertoire. Mauer carries a career .323/.405/.468 line over 10 seasons, and put up as many as 28 home runs in his 2009 AL MVP campaign.

4. LF Josh Willingham

Josh Willingham
Getty Images

4. LF Josh Willingham

Josh Willingham
Getty Images

After struggling through an injury-plagued 2013 season, Josh Willingham will look to get back to his usual slugging ways this year. Last season was easily the worst year of Willingham's career, and stands as an outlier to his consistent career line of .256/.359/.471, and his 28-home-run, 91-RBI per 162-game career average. Willingham will be a powerful presence as Minnesota's cleanup man in 2014.

5. DH Jason Kubel

Jason Kubel
Jonathan Dyer-USA Today Sports

5. DH Jason Kubel

Jason Kubel
Jonathan Dyer-USA Today Sports

Only two years removed from a 30-home-run season in 2012, Jason Kubel will return to the Twins' lineup in 2014. Kubel carries a career .264/.330/.455 line, but struggled greatly with both the Indians and Diamondbacks last season. A prototypical DH, Kubel will look to get back on track with his former team, and produce solid power number for Minnesota in the upcoming months.

6. 3B Trevor Plouffe

Trevor Plouffe
Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

6. 3B Trevor Plouffe

Trevor Plouffe
Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

Coming off his best and deepest season in the big leagues, Trevor Plouffe shows great promise at third base in Minnesota. He's developed a reliable glove at the hot corner, and can hit for average or power to all parts of the field. With Miguel Sano's recent injury struggles, Plouffe could cement himself in the Twins' future third base plans with another solid season. A career .240 hitter, expect Plouffe to hit .275 and add 20-25 homers in 2014.

7. RF Oswaldo Arcia

Oswaldo Arcia

7. RF Oswaldo Arcia

Oswaldo Arcia

At only 22 years old, the sky is truly the limit for Oswaldo Arcia. Last season, his rookie campaign, Arcia put up 14 homers and 43 RBIs within a .251/.304/.430 line. Locked in as the opening day right fielder, expect Arcia to break away from his prospect label in 2014, and have a standout season.

8. C Kurt Suzuki

Kurt Suzuki

8. C Kurt Suzuki

Kurt Suzuki

Signed to a one-year, .75 million deal this offseason, catcher Kurt Suzuki will start behind the plate for the 2014 Twins. Once a solid presence at the plate, Suzuki has regressed to the status of reliable defensive option, and clubhouse leader. Suzuki will bring experience to the Twins' lineup, but likely not much else. Don't be surprised if he splits time with Chris Hermann as Minnesota prepares the long-term position for Josmil Pinto.

9. SS Pedro Florimon

Pedro Florimon

9. SS Pedro Florimon

Pedro Florimon

Now recovered from an appendectomy, Pedro Florimon will again start at shortstop for Minnesota in 2014. A defensive specialist, Florimon has good speed, but won't bring much to the table offensively. He has good speed and an outstanding glove, but has produced only a .219/.278/.323 career line. Florimon will share time with utility infielder Eduardo Escobar throughout the season.