he stars need to shine for the Twins to succeed, but think about the Cardinals' triumph in last year's World Series for a moment. It wasn't only Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter, Yadier Molina and Lance Berkman that led the way to the title. St. Louis found two diamonds in the rough, too, in third baseman David Freese and closer Jason Motte.
Few baseball insiders could have predicted that development last spring, but these are the types of subplots that must happen for teams to overachieve.
On Freese's page at baseball-reference.com, a list of 10 similar players includes Twins third baseman Danny Valencia. Last year was a disappointment for Valencia after his promising 2010 rookie season. Now the Twins need him to take the next step in his development by improving his defense and adding consistency to his offense.
Another player in this category is Ben Revere, who batted .326 coming through the minors and was a more pedestrian .267 for the Twins last year.
Valencia might have overachieved as a rookie in 2010, and Revere might have underachieved last year, but both could make a big impact if they take the necessary strides in 2012.