Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

FANGRAPHS: Buxton and Sano would be two of Twins' top offensive players in 2014

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Twins fans Updated: December 16, 2013 - 3:59 PM

The ZiPS player projections for the 2014 Twins, released Friday on FANGRAPHS, can be read a couple different ways, we suppose.

In the short view, it offers a pretty pessimistic look at the potential lineup for 2014, as it stands now -- which of course is only Dec. 16 and not even halfway into the offseason. That's not terribly surprising, we suppose, since the Twins ranked 25th in MLB in runs scored a season ago and their only significant moves so far this offseason have dealt with starting pitching.

Nonetheless, here is what the projections say about the players currently on the 40-man roster: Joe Mauer will be the Twins' best offensive player, but with his move to first base his edge in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) will be diminished. We already knew that, we suppose, but the raw Mauer projections -- a .292 average with 10 homers and 60 RBI -- will not make anyone in Twins country happy. Mauer has a tendency to beat projections on batting average on balls in play; then again, he will be 31 pretty soon after the season starts. Per FANGRAPHS:

Part of that appears to be adjustment for BABIP: no player is reasonably forecast to record one above .350, even though Mauer has exceeded that figure each of the last two seasons. Part of that is likely a product of whatever aging curve Dan Szymborski’s math computer utilizes.

Perhaps more alarming for 2014 -- but encouraging, we suppose for the future, which is the other way to read these projections -- are the players listed directly below Mauer in terms of projected offense. The site lists players ranked in terms of WAR, and the next three are Josmil Pinto, Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton.

That is to say, one player who had a limited 2013 audition and two more who have never taken an MLB at-bat are projected -- if they were in the majors full-time in 2014 -- to be three of the Twins' four best offensive players in 2014. Sano would bat .227 but would hit 30 homers, the site says. Buxton would steal 30 bases. Pinto would hold his own at the plate.

Here is the list of the top 10 Twins players, projected by WAR, for 2014:

The bottom line: If these projections are to be believed or at least used as a starting reference, Terry Ryan still has a lot of work to do this offseason -- unless he and the on-field staff are ready to turn things over on offense to the prospects and ride it out. Or as FANGRAPHS notes, it isn’t great for the 2014 Twins that many of the best projections below are assigned to players unlikely to begin the season on the 25-man roster. What it is good for is the 2015 and 2016 and 2017 Twins, probably.

/Thanks to Aaron Gleeman for the heads up on the ZiPS release.

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 5:30 PM
Seattle
Miami 37 2nd Qtr 4:06
Boston 27
LA Lakers 1:00 PM
New York
Arizona 0 2nd Prd
Montreal 2
St. Louis 1 2nd Prd
Washington 1
Nashville 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Minnesota 2:00 PM
Vancouver
Miami-Florida 45 2nd Half 11:31
Florida State 41
Oakland 68 2nd Half 11:05
Youngstown St 55
Cincinnati 23 2nd Half
East Carolina 18
Michigan 24 2nd Half
Michigan State 29
Marist 1:00 PM
Canisius
Fordham 1:00 PM
Dayton
Manhattan 1:00 PM
Monmouth
Quinnipiac 1:00 PM
Niagara
Utah 1:30 PM
USC
Connecticut 2:00 PM
Houston
California 2:00 PM
Washington
North Dakota St 2:00 PM
Western Ill
Penn State 52 2nd Half 6:35
(22) Rutgers 57
(14) Texas 23 2nd Half
TCU 24
Coll of Charleston 23 2nd Half
Towson 37
Cornell 29 1st Half 0:03
Yale 24
Xavier 26 2nd Half
Providence 30
Drexel 36 2nd Half
UNC-Wilmington 30
Stony Brook 22 2nd Half
New Hampshire 18
Maine 16 2nd Half
Albany 16
Miami-Florida 32 2nd Half
Pittsburgh 37
(21) Georgia 25 1st Half 2:18
(10) Kentucky 32
Arizona 31 2nd Half
Colorado 41
Wake Forest 30 2nd Half
(4) Notre Dame 47
Loyola-Chicago 25 2nd Half
Illinois State 40
(24) Oklahoma 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Butler 1:00 PM
Creighton
St Johns 1:00 PM
Seton Hall
Delaware 1:00 PM
Hofstra
Binghamton 1:00 PM
UMass Lowell
Vermont 1:00 PM
Hartford
William & Mary 1:00 PM
Northeastern
Boston College 1:00 PM
(16) North Carolina
Virginia 1:00 PM
Clemson
(2) Connecticut 1:00 PM
Temple
Arkansas 1:00 PM
Alabama
Virginia Tech 1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Kansas 1:00 PM
(3) Baylor
Canisius 1:00 PM
Rider
Monmouth 1:00 PM
Fairfield
Quinnipiac 1:00 PM
Saint Peters
Wichita State 1:05 PM
Drake
Evansville 1:05 PM
Indiana State
(18) Miss State 2:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
Villanova 2:00 PM
DePaul
Georgetown 2:00 PM
Marquette
North Texas 2:00 PM
Rice
Auburn 2:00 PM
(12) Texas A&M
(11) Arizona State 2:00 PM
Utah
Missouri State 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Michigan 2:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
Minnesota 2:00 PM
Northwestern
Wisconsin 2:00 PM
Illinois
Bradley 2:05 PM
Southern Ill
Florida 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
(20) Iowa 3:00 PM
(5) Maryland
(1) South Carolina 3:30 PM
Ole Miss
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT