Off-season options: Candidates to start with 2021 Twins DH

The Minnesota Twins Designated Hitter position has been in the talented hands of veteran Nelson Cruz since 2019-20. But with Cruz currently on the free agent market, what are your plans for DH? Will the Twins re-sign Cruz, rely on a platoon of players currently on the roster, or sign another free agent?

Last season, DH for the Twins featured 10 different players, but only two of them, Cruz (52 games) and Brent Rooker (2), started multiple games there.

It may take some time for the Twins to decide which way to go in the DH position. Spring training begins in less than three weeks and it is not yet known if the National League will feature DH in 2021. MLBPA reportedly rejected Universal DH and expanded the playoffs in a proposal sent by MLB on Monday.

With no further effort, let’s reach it and run some options to become the club’s main starter in DH:

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Alex Kirilloff

Kirillov, who is currently scheduled to be a left fielder and starter on the first day of the Twins, was able to see a considerable amount of time in DH. The first round of the previous pick was the Twins 2018 Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .362 / .393 / .550 in 130 games with Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers. He also recorded a batting average of .283 with 29 extra-base hits in 94 games at the 2019 Double A Pensacola. And everyone knows that after he stays calm and makes his MLB debut 1 to 4, he’s ready for a major league workload. September 30 – Playoff elimination game with Houston.

Brent Looker

As mentioned above, Luke was the only other twins player to make multiple starts in last season’s DH … only two. But what is it? Not known for having flashy gloves in the outfield, the designated hitter could be in the near future of Luke anyway. Would you like to start him there in 2021? He was a minor and had no difficulty hitting the ball and clubped 54 big flies in 259 minor league contests, including 22 in 2018 Double A Chattanooga. 7 contests will be 1 homer, 2 doubles and 5 RBIs will be 6 to 19 (average 0.316). His bat will be a plus at the DH spot even at the age of 26. Outfield between Kirillov and Luke-DH Platoon? Twins can get worse.

Free contract player

Ryan Braun

If MLB does not bring DH to NL in 2021, Brown will be able to cross St. Croix and end his twins career. Hey, Paul Molitor did it! Most of Brown’s aggressive numbers have declined over the past few years, but his power has gone nowhere. Brown mashed eight home runs last season and recorded his best mark since 2012, the .256 ISO (SLG-AVG). Of course, the previous MVP could choose to retire instead.

Nelson Cruz

In the last two Twins campaigns, no offensive player was as important as Cruz, who led the team in both the home run and OPS + seasons. He will fit well into their 2021 lineup again. However, at the age of 40, Cruz may require the team to sign a contract for at least two years. Do the twins want to risk signing Cruz on an expensive two-year contract just to see him decline? Or do you have a year or two left on the Cruz bat? His production in 2019 and 20 (a combination of 57 Dinger and .308 / .394 / .626 slash lines in 173 contests) suggests he still has gas in the tank. I am. Cruz told the media that he wanted to return to Minnesota in 2021 after the Twins suffered a 3-1 defeat at the end of the season in Houston.

Shin-Soo Choo

Chu struggled in 2020 as he was limited to 33 contests last season due to injury and recorded a low career of 96 OPS +. If the twins spend money elsewhere (left fielder, relief, starting pitcher, etc.), Choo can land cheaply. He was removed from the 2018 All-Star Campaign for just two seasons when he defeated 21 home runs and drastically reduced .264 / .377 / .434.

Adam Duvall

Another solid-powered veteran, Duval, drastically reduced .237 / .301 / .532 with 16 RBIs and 33 RBIs in 57 games in Atlanta in 2020. Duvall posted the two best OPS + seasons in the last two years. There are 117 seasons in 2019 and 113 seasons in 20. And he’s not out of the Twins price range.

Mitch Moreland

Moreland, an all-star in Boston in 2018, averaged 20.2 home runs per season in 2015-19, adding 10 in 42 games last season. Moreland’s 2020 campaign got off to a great start (.328 / .430 / .746) before being traded to San Diego on August 30th. Moreland’s batting average with the Padres dropped to .203 in 20 regular season games. 4 to 8 (.500) in 4 playoff games. It would be an interesting situation if the twins signed Moreland. Moreland definitely has better gloves than Miguel Sanó, who launched 52 contests for the Twins in 2020. Perhaps first baseman, Moreland-Sano Platoon and DH will work well.

Marcell Ozuna

Ozuna is one of the largest remaining bats on the free agent market. He led the NL last season with a total of 145 home runs, 18 home runs and 56 RBIs, and won his second Silver Slugger Award. Ozna has participated in NL throughout his career in Miami (2013-17), St. Louis (2018-19) and Atlanta (2020) and enjoyed the DH position when introduced to NL last season. It seems that it was out. He started 39 games in the DH for the Braves and 19 games in the left fielder. If the Twins don’t re-sign Cruz, Ozna fits nicely and could probably start 75% of the other games in the DH and outfield.

Yasiel Puig

Puig’s career, which was considered one of the brightest young stars in the game after finishing second in the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year vote after Jose Fernandez, is endless. He was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to Cincinnati after the 2018 season, and Puig was distributed to Cleveland by the 2019 trade deadline. He continued to hit solid numbers in 2019, significantly reducing .267 / .327 / .458 with 24 home runs and 19 stolen bases in two clubs. But in 2020, Puig was not signed. He was scheduled to become infected with Atlanta in mid-July before his COVID-19 test was positive. After that, the team showed no interest. At this point, the twins were able to get him cheaply. But do they want?

Non-Roster / Minor Leader

Trevor Larnac

In a corner where the entire minor league career was outfielder, if Larnak rushes into the big league in 2021, there is a possibility that some representatives will open in DH. 2019 High A Fort Myers and Double A Pensacola 13 home runs and 66 RBI 458. He is ready for the phone.

Off-season options: Candidates to start with 2021 Twins DH

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