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Cornerback Desmond King could wind up being 2017’s biggest steal after being drafted in the fifth round. All in all, this looks like a haul.
Ziggy Hood Jersey The Twins sure are in first place. And [looks at calendar] it sure is May 4. Maybe that doesn’t seem weird to you! Given the Twins lost 103 games in 2016, though, and then did very little this winter besides fail to trade their best player — no, really, our Key Additionsection in their team preview was for their new general manager — it should shock you. Minnesota won on Wednesday, giving them a 14-11 record that puts them percentage points ahead of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.
It helps that they’re not necessarily there because of great luck or an absurd record in one-run games or anything like that. The Twins have managed to put up the fifth-best OPS+ in the majors to this point, powered by Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Brian Dozier, and Robbie Grossman, and in spite of a horrible start by Joe Mauer. Their pitching has been top-heavy, and Ervin Santana isn’t going to look like he’s trying to fit a Hall of Fame career into a single season forever, but the staff has been above-average overall, too.
Will they keep on winning? It’s hard to say! They were supposed to be a decent team in 2016 before literally everything went wrong, and this year a whole lot is going right even with Mauer struggling and Byron Buxton looking like he’s never seen a baseball before. They’ll likely need some rotation help and another bat to either pick things up or be brought in, but there’s no reason the Twins are worse pick to try to challenge the Indians than anyone else in the Central. At least, not while the good parts of the team continue to put 2016 behind them.