Plenty of odes and statistical breakdowns have chronicled the Twins' dramatic improvement on defense from 2016 to 2017, but I don't think I've read one that impressed me as much as a recent effort from ESPN's Peter Keating.

Keating was able to crystallize not just the "what" — that the Twins are vastly improved on defense — but the "why" and "how" of what makes attempting that sort of turnaround both smart and cost-effective.

He referenced a study of open market contracts in MLB since 2006, noting the conclusion that "Front offices paid more than twice as much for offense as for defense."

The Twins chose to spend some on defense (Jason Castro) while also using young, inexpensive players in the outfield and left side of the infield. The result? One of the worst defenses last season has been one of the best this year, with a record to reflect it.

Read Michael Rand's blog at