Columnists and beat reporters get their chance to predict the future.

Sid Hartman

Predicted record: 80-82

AL Central finish: 4th

I was surprised they didn’t take a big step last year. There are reasons for optimism. Buxton, Sano and Kepler will have good years. There are other young players who should be OK. But the pitching is a big question mark.

 

Phil Miller

Predicted record: 74-88

AL Central finish: 3rd

It seems odd but perhaps inevitable that a 15-win improvement would be seen as another terrible Twins season, but they did this to themselves. Amid the most negative spring vibes in a long time, good things will sprout: They’ll score nearly 800 runs, most since their playoff seasons. Brian Dozier will go to the All-Star Game, and he won’t be alone. Byron Buxton will have the long-awaited breakout season and run away with the Sophomore of the Year Award. (There’s not? Oh.)

 

La Velle E. Neal III

Predicted record: 74-88

AL Central finish: 4th

Twins fans will be entertained by the development of the young position players. But rebuilds generally aren’t complete until the pitching staff is fixed. The Twins still have a way to go in that area. Still, 74 wins would be a 15-game improvement from last year’s debacle.

 

Patrick Reusse

Predicted record: 68-94

AL Central finish: 5th

The Twins have averaged 67.7 wins over the worst six-year stretch in the Minnesota history of the franchise. Let’s round it off to 68. Bad pitching meets suspect fielding on the left side meets cleanup hitter Miguel Sano still striking out at a ridiculous rate meets the likelihood of dumping Erv Santana and other veteran assets in July meets … yeah, 68 could be a bit on the high side.

 

Chip Scoggins

Predicted record: 71-91

AL Central finish: 5th

A year ago in this space, I predicted 86 wins. Just a bit off on that guess. The Twins won’t lose 103 games again, but the product on the field will remain a slow build. I just don’t see enough quality pitching on the roster for them to be competitive.

 

Jim Souhan

Predicted record: 72-90

AL Central finish: 5th

In the spring of 2016, I saw the Twins have one of their smoothest and most promising spring trainings. Coming off an 83-victory season, I thought they were on the way up. Then they lost close games in April, lost their All-Star closer and an important starter and fell apart. I think they have to be better this year. Better, but not good. Not yet. The lineup will be improved; the pitching might not be.