The Minnesota Twins may have finished the 2016 season with a victory, but their record ended at 59-103, the worst in Major League Baseball. Not only was it the worst record in baseball, it was the worst in the history of the Twins franchise. It’s safe to say that the fans and organization are glad its over. Minnesota ended up in line for the #1 draft selection in 2017 as a result. There may not be many positives to mull over this year, but let’s take a look at the Twins season in review.
Minnesota Twins 2016 Season Review
The Ugly Side
After an 83-79 season in 2015, when they missed the playoffs by only three games, it appeared that the Twins were trending upward. For some reason, the 2016 team simply couldn’t get it done. They never got out of a losing element that started with the first series in Baltimore and stuck with them for the majority of the season. It started out bad and only got uglier.
When your pitching allows the second most runs per game of any team in the league, and your park actually slightly favors pitchers, you’re going to have a bad time. Not a single member of the pitching staff that ended the season with the Twins had an ERA under 3.00.
The Terry Ryan Dilemma
Twins General Manager Terry Ryan was fired in July. The team then finally got a president of baseball operations when they hired Derek Falvey, the assistant general manager of their division rival Cleveland Indians. Hired in 2007 as an intern, he assisted in amateur and international scouting for three years, then spent 2011 as the assistant director of baseball operations. He was then named the director of baseball operations, and focused on player personnel and acquisitions. He held that role until he was named assistant GM last year.
The departure of Ryan ends a career with the team that dates back to his time as a pitcher with the Twins organization in the mid-70s. Stories came out regarding his departure and how ownership clashed over the future direction of the team. Ryan had known for about a month that he was finished as GM, but the team allowed him to keep his job until he was ready to end his tenure in mid-July. However, that put the Twins in a terrible spot as far as getting a new GM in place to negotiate the trade deadline.
The Silver Lining
Second baseman Brian Dozier was nothing short of phenomenal in 2016. His stats really blasted off in the second half of the season on a power hitting surge that put him with the elites of all time in numbers as a second baseman. His final numbers were very sound, as he hit .268/.340/.546 with 35 doubles, five triples, 42 home runs, and 18 steals, scoring 104 runs and driving in 99.
While the Twins may have intended to build through youth in 2016, the season took a bad turn quickly, so they cut the youngsters loose. This could very well help the team in the grand scheme of things. Players like Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, and Eddie Rosario all received at least 250 plate appearances and they were all under the age of 25.
This may be the most intriguing off-season in Twins history. With the new general manager, a new coaching staff, and possible trades, this might usher in the beginning of a new era in the Minnesota Twins organization. Ideally, this gives fans plenty to be hopeful for in the near future.