The Twins were surprising wild-card contenders in 2015, winning 83 games. That raised hopes for even better in 2016, especially given the presence of exciting young players like outfielder Byron Buxton, DH Miguel Sano and pitching prospect Jose Berrios. As it turns out, neither Minnesota nor those under-25 prospects were ready for primetime: Buxton, Sano and Berrios (among others) all battled injuries and poor performance, and the Twins collapsed to a 59-103 record, the most losses in the majors and the franchise's most since it moved to Minnesota for the 1961 season.
Any improvement from that dismal figure will rely again on that trio, as well as outfielders Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario and the development of a ragtag pitching staff. A potential trade of All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier, who seems a lock to be dealt after his 42-homer season, would add to that depth. But all of that concentrated top-100 talent means nothing if manager Paul Molitor and his coaches can’t turn it into results. This year might represent their last chance to do that.