Minnesota Twins: Six players poised for breakout seasons

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NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 03: Alan Busenitz
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 03: Alan Busenitz /

4. Alan Busenitz

The hard-throwing right-hander joined the Twins in the second half of the season and played a key role in late innings down the stretch. In 28 games, he had a 1-1 record along with an outstanding 1.99 ERA. He also had a phenomenal 0.98 WHIP in the limited action he saw in 2017.

While there’s an argument he broke out in a way last season, 2018 is an opportunity to prove that his first big league stint wasn’t a fluke. In addition, the Twins bullpen is in desperate need of dominant relievers and given the small sample size, he makes for a prime candidate to have a large role in his first full season with Minnesota. A role that could establish himself as a go-to arm in the back end of the bullpen.

That being said, the 27-year-old primarily relies on a fastball and curveball, rarely throwing the changeup, according to Brooks Baseball. With this in mind, developing that third pitch could prove crucial to becoming a key player out of the pen. Yes, the fastball is his best pitch, but having a third pitch to go to would make the fastball more effective. Basically, it gives batters another pitch to account for and makes them less likely to guess fastball.

Related Story: What could the Twins bullpen look like in 2018?

Even so, Busenitz, along with another pitcher on this list, have the opportunity to make the Twins bullpen far better than they were throughout the entirety of the 2017 season. If they prove to be reliable, dominant arms late in games, Minnesota is going to be a much better team than they were last season.