When a club is in the rebuilding process like the Minnesota Twins, it can be tough to know which players need to stay and which players need to go. Fans are connected to a lot of the players that have been here for multiple seasons and it can be tough for the team to part ways with some fan favorites.
In the end, it is up to Terry Ryan to decided what is best for the future of the franchise. He had to make the tough decision to trade away Denard Span and Ben Revere this offseason. Those were tough calls to make but they were important moves for the future of the franchise.
Rebuilding can be frustrating for fans to watch. It isn't a fast process and it will most likely take multiple seasons for the team to get back to the top of the AL Central. When going through this rebuilding process, it is interesting to consider which players are critical to the future of the club.
This brings out an interesting question...
If you were the General Manager of a team and you had the opportunity to start a franchise, which player in the Twins organization would you pick to be your cornerstone player?
There choices from the big league roster all the way down to the rookie leagues so let's take a look at some of the candidates.
The Catcher: Joe Mauer could be in the midst of a Hall of Fame career. This would be a hard player to ignore when starting a franchise. His ability to play an important defensive position also helps his candidacy. There will continue to be questions about his lack of power and one has to wonder how long he will stay behind the plate. For now, Twins fans get to watch one of the sweetest swings in the game even if it doesn't result in a bunch of home runs.
The Top Prospect: He might still be at the Single-A level but Miguel Sano has already put together some impressive numbers in the minors. His power swing is the stuff of legend but there are some flaws with his game. On the defensive side of the ball, he is a little shaky at third base but his arm is great from that position. He's a couple years away from Target Field but he could be the cornerstone of the future.
The Number Two Pick: Byron Buxton might have been the best player in last year's draft and the Twins were happy to select him with the number two pick. He has all of the skills to be a five-tool player in the Twins outfield for a big chunk of the next decade. His speed is amazing and his power was better than the Twins thought in his first season. He's further away than Sano but he could be quite the player to build around.
The Flamethrower: The Twins didn't have a ton of arms with some upside until the team traded away their two center fielders. Alex Meyer can hit in the upper 90's with his fastball and he has the breaking pitches to make him scary for any batter. He is a rarity in the game of baseball and many teams go searching for someone with his pitching talent. There are still questions about him but he could be a future ace.
The Others: There are other candidates in the organization. Each one might have some flaws but they could be stars of the future for the franchise.
- Kyle Gibson looks ready for the big leagues but does he have the stuff to be an ace?
- Oswaldo Arcia has the swing to be in the middle of the Twins line-up for multiple years.
- Aaron Hicks is supposed to have all of the tools and he should get an opportunity to prove himself this year.
- J.O. Berrios has impressed the coaches in camp with his raw stuff but he has a long way to go to get to the top.
- Eddie Rosario is trying to get comfortable in the middle infield while his bat continues to be very advanced for his age.
There are some of the top candidates from the Twins system. If you had to pick one player to start a franchise, who would it be? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.