What could the Minnesota Twins lineup look like in 2018?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 08: Brian Dozier /
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1. CF Byron Buxton

Yes, Brian Dozier has been the mainstay at the top of the lineup over the last few seasons. But, it’s about time Byron Buxton steps into the role. In reality, he’s the perfect fit for the leadoff role, although he’s failed to take over the spot in his short time with the Twins.

Even so, he broke out in a huge way last season after a very slow start. While waiting for the five-tool player to break out took longer than most thought, he’s proved well worth the wait. Specifically, he finished 2017 with a .253 average, along with 16 home runs, 51 RBIs and 29 stolen bases. Yet, after the All Star break, he batted .300 with 11 home runs, 35 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases, so he looked like he finally figured out big league pitching in the second half.

More impressively, he set a Twins record with 24 straight stolen bases without being caught. In fact, he was only caught once all season. For a leadoff man, this is one of the top skills a player can have in order to set up RBI opportunities for other batters at the top of the lineup.

The only thing preventing Buxton from the leadoff role is his walk-to-strikeout ratio. Last season, he had one of the worst ratios in the league with .253 walks per strikeout. Of course, this ratio has to improve, but other than that, he has all the other tools to being a great leadoff hitter.