Warne Out (6/12): Power Ranking the Current 25-Man Roster of the Minnesota Twins

(image credit: Brian Curski, Cumulus Media)

Power ranking things can be a fun exercise.

It can be exhausting.

But few things get people talking as much as seeing their favorite things — be it baseball teams, foods or pop culture phenomena — ranked in an orderly list.

We’ve done this in this space before, but here’s how we’d power rank the current 25-man roster of the Minnesota Twins. Like most power rankings, a special formula is used with room for the human — in this case, me! — to make slight changes to the order that it spits out, including adjustments for recent performance.

  1. SS Jorge Polanco – Came into Wednesday night hitting .341/.401/.582 on the season and has been the team’s most consistently productive offensive player since Opening Day. May end up starting at shortstop in the All-Star Game. xxx
  2. SP Jake Odorizzi – Tough call between Polanco and the AL’s leader in ERA (1.92), with the nod going to the everyday player — but not by much. Odorizzi has skillfully navigated the upper half of the strike zone while keeping the ball in the ballpark, which is not an easy thing to do.
  3. CF Byron Buxton – This was neck-and-neck between Buxton and Kepler, with the former getting the nod due to better defense at a more premium spot. Buxton has played sparkling defense in center, and isn’t terribly far off Kepler’s offensive pace.
  4. RF Max Kepler – Kepler is playing terrific defense in his own right and has really taken off with the bat, hitting .263/.340/.536 coming into Wednesday’s action. He could be in line for a four-win season.
  5. C Mitch Garver – The only thing keeping him down the list is that he’s seen action in just 31 games after missing time with a high ankle sprain. Garver is hitting .317/.410/.693 overall and crushing it against lefties and on the road.
  6. SP Jose Berrios – Would be the team’s All-Star representative in almost any normal season, but now might be part of a numbers crunch from the team. Came into Wednesday’s start with a chance to push his ERA under 3.00 (3.14).
  7. LF Eddie Rosario – The creator of the “Bombas” leads the team with 19 home runs and is playing respectable defense in left. This has to be one of the more productive offensive outfields in the game.
  8. 1B C.J. Cron – Cron has been perhaps the most underrated pickup by the team in the offseason, as he’s silky smooth defensively at first and has provided adequate thump out of the lower-middle part of the order. Another 30-homer season feels likely. He’s already at 14.
  9. C Jason Castro – He and Garver have split time behind the plate and both have been tremendous offensively. Castro is just a half-step behind at .274/.367/.589.
  10. 2B Jonathan Schoop – He’s allergic to walks — seriously, he has more homers (12) than free passes (nine) — but everything else checks out for the first-year Twin, who is hitting .246/.300/.483 while providing capable defense at the keystone.
  11. UTIL Marwin Gonzalez – He’s been a godsend for the team with Sano’s early-season injury and his versatility. With Gonzalez on the team, there’s always at least one capable hitter on the bench at all times. Has come on strong of late after slow start.
  12. DH Nelson Cruz – He’s been great, but he missed time due to a wrist injury and doesn’t play defense. Offensively he’s right up there at the top of the class.
  13. RP Taylor Rogers – Sat out Tuesday’s save opportunity with a back issue but otherwise has answered the bell whenever Rocco Baldelli has called. Could be a little better against righties (.756 OPS, all four homers he’s allowed) though.
  14. SP Kyle Gibson – He’s not coming off one of his strongest outings of the year, but since his early-season/spring health issues, he’s been really good. Gibson has a 3.25 ERA over his last nine starts with 59 strikeouts and just nine walks in 52.2 innings.
  15. SP Martin Perez – Things have been rocky of late, but even still Perez has a sub-4.00 ERA (3.97) and decent peripherals. Will have to mix-and-match with his changeup and cutter moving forward to avoid the regression monster.
  16. IF Ehire Adrianza – Adrianza has been sneakily valuable for this team, as he’s played capable defense all over the infield while hitting .258/.360/.409 — including a ridiculous .419/.500/.674 over his last 18 games.
  17. RP Ryne Harper – It just shows how deep this team is that a reliever with an ERA near 2.00 is justifiably ranked here. Harper has quickly become one of Baldelli’s trusted assets out of the bullpen, with four of his last five outings coming in fairly big leverage spots per Baseball Reference.
  18. 3B Miguel Sano – He’s hit perfectly fine (.232/.316/.580) and hasn’t looked out of place on defense, but it’s hard to put up that much value in 18 games when the rest of the offense has been clicking for two-plus months.
  19. RP Trevor May – The only issue has been walks. May is issuing nearly as many of them (5.1) as hits (7.0) per nine innings, leading to a worrisome WHIP (1.35) for someone who aspires to pitch late-inning, pressure spots.
  20. RP Mike Morin – Morin has been really, really good in limited spots (1.35 ERA), but the peripherals don’t back it up (3.37 FIP). Almost all of his work has been in low-leverage spots, too.
  21. RP Tyler Duffey – You could make the case to flip-flop Morin and Duffey and I wouldn’t beat you up over it. Duffey’s shown better raw stuff, but has also allowed nearly three times as many home runs per nine innings (1.93) than Morin (0.68). He hasn’t seen much high-leverage work, either.
  22. RP Ryan Eades – This is about the dividing spot between net negatives and positives. Eades has one MLB appearance and it was in a game the Twins lost by six runs. Everyone beneath this has had a rough go this year.
  23. SP Michael Pineda – The velo looked better last time out — there were more 95s and a few higher — but the problem all year has been home runs, of which he’s allowed two for every nine innings pitched. He’s allowed exactly three earned runs in each of his last five outings — a 4.50 ERA. Thoroughly meh.
  24. RP Blake Parker – Parker’s been fairly good at times this year but his peripherals couldn’t be uglier: 7.2 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, .193 BABIP and nearly two homers per nine make for a really, really shaky combination.
  25. RP Matt Magill – He’s pitched better than the numbers show (6.19 ERA/3.90 FIP) but it’s hard to put him anywhere else after the blowup at the Trop. There’s still plenty to work with here. Mid-90s with a nasty curveball doesn’t just come around every day.
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(image credit: Brian Curski, Cumulus Media)


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