AL Central wrap: Max Scherzer the real deal 

November, 16, 2010
The moves are already starting to occur this baseball offseason -- though I'd argue there really is no off time anymore -- so let's continue the blog series discussing each and every team from 2010 and looking ahead to 2011. The National League is complete, the American League East has been covered, so now we resume with a look at the AL Central.

Minnesota Twins

Delmon Young
Steven King/Icon SMIDelmon Young finally had that breakout season we've been waiting for.
What happened: Not only did Joe Mauer's power regress, he didn't even end up as the team's top option on the Player Rater. Honestly, if we had given you 10 guesses in March which Twin would finish higher, would you have said Delmon Young? Yep, Young's batting average didn't deviate much from its norm, but the power developed, as he hit 21 home runs and knocked in 112 runs. Hey, the guy is only 24. Meanwhile, Mauer went from 28 home runs to nine, but the .327 batting average helped lessen the pain for owners. Justin Morneau felt pain as well, as his MVP path (.345 batting average, 18 home runs in 81 games) was derailed indefinitely by concussion. In other Twins news, Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano had good campaigns, Jim Thome can obviously still hit, and Danny Valencia got Rookie of the Year votes.

What will happen: Fantasy owners will carefully watch the injury reports not only on Mauer, who dealt with knee and shoulder problems, and Morneau, but also on recovering closer Joe Nathan, who missed the entire season following Tommy John surgery. Nathan could again be a top-10 closer, but you likely won't need to draft him that way. The Twins should also have a few rotation parts healthier -- Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey are each capable of knocking their respective ERAs down a full run -- making the overall rotation more formidable. Bump Mauer and Morneau down in your rankings a bit from preseason 2010, but remember how talented they are.