2024 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Busts: Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins players you should and shouldn't draft in 2024.

The 2023 Minnesota Twins sat atop the AL Central after 162 games with a record of 87-75. And although it played in the weakest of the six divisions, Minnesota still finished nine games ahead of second-place Detroit and eventually swept Toronto 2-0 to make it to the AL Division Series for the first time since 2002. 

Top-tier pitching took the Twins to a fifth-place spot in ERA (3.87) and the top slot in overall strikeouts (1,560), while a power-hitting ethos earned them a tie for the third-most homers in the majors with the World Series champion Texas Rangers (233). 

The all-or-nothing approach at the plate came with its drawbacks, however, as the Twins led the league in strikeout rate (25.9%), and placed 27th out of 30 teams in walk rate (7.4%).

With the weak AL Central expected to remain wide open in 2024, we can expect Minnesota to be a contender again. 

Let’s dive into two sleepers and two busts for the 2024 season!




Pablo López

I enjoyed the recent podcast interview on the Pitcher List YouTube Channel where López broke down a start from this past season with Nick Pollack. It was fascinating to see the dedication López has to each and every start. He keeps a notebook in the dugout and writes down notes on each hitter between innings. 

Lopez had a dominant first year in Minnesota in 2023, earning career highs in wins (13), innings pitched (194), K/9 (10.86), and xFIP (3.28). Lopez’ xFIP ranked fifth among qualified starters in 2023, and his K/9 secured him the seventh spot.

One of the biggest reasons for López’s success this past season came from the addition of a sweeper to his repertoire, which he threw at a 21.3% clip. The new pitch came at the expense of his cutter which was eliminated, and his changeup, which dropped 14.2 percentage points from the year prior.

Coming into his age-28 season in 2024, I’d expect López, who finished seventh in AL Cy Young voting, to keep it rolling for this Twins rotation.


Royce Lewis

After playing in just 12 games and earning 41 plate appearances in 2022 due to injuries, Lewis, the 2017 No. 1 overall MLB Draft pick, looks like a player with some serious potential. Among Twins hitters with at least 200 plate appearances, Lewis was first in average (.309), slugging (.548), OPS (.921), wOBA (.393), and wRC+ (155). Even his moderate strikeout rate (23%) stands out on a team that led the category in 2023. 

While he doesn’t project as a top-of-the-line power hitter, Lewis’ .309 average in his sophomore season ranked eighth in MLB among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances. 

Injuries have so far riddled the early part of the 24-year-old’s career. Lewis tore his right ACL prior to the 2021 season, sidelining him for what would have been his rookie year. In May 2022, Lewis tore the same ACL, keeping him on the injured list until exactly one year later, when he was able to play in 58 games in 2023.

A glance at the year-to-year changes chart on Baseball Savant shows Lewis’ improvements from 2022 to 2023. Some notable improvements were in the strikeout department, as evidenced by a 10.8 percentage-point increase in K rate and an 11.1 percentage-point increase in whiff percentage. And while the added strikeout numbers wouldn’t be ideal in and of itself, Lewis’ increased aggressiveness awarded him a 6-point increase in barrel rate as well.


A full season from Lewis has the potential to bring him from a relatively unknown third baseman to a star at the hot corner for the Twins.




Byron Buxton

Joey Gallo would have been a shoo-in for this spot, but he is a free agent after signing a one-year contract with Minnesota last offseason.

Buxton is great at baseball when he is on the field, the problem is he rarely sees the field. I know injuries are unpredictable, but Buxton is coming into his 10th year in the majors and has only played in more than 92 games once (140 in 2017) in his nine seasons.

Having been the second overall draft pick over a decade ago, the 30-year-old has largely been a bust considering the expectations that were given to him. If we take Buxton’s 670 total games played in his nine-year career and compare that to the maximum number of potential games played in that timeframe, then we can see that Buxton has been injured for about half of his career.

If you eliminate his 28-game season in 2018, Buxton put up his worst year in 2023 in terms of batting average (.207), and being on the wrong side of 30 should slowly diminish any potential for future stolen bags. Buxton hasn’t had double-digit steals since 2019.

Per Baseball Savant, Buxton had the 31st-worst plus/minus (-4.5) when comparing 2022 statistics with those of this past season.

Buxton will always be a home run threat when he’s at the plate. He earned a .230 ISO in 2023, good for fourth-best with Minnesota. But as a player overall, there are plenty of other outfield options who can deliver better numbers than Buxton.


Carlos Correa

For a team that placed third in homers in 2023, Correa finished 13th in isolated power (.169) among Twins hitters with at least 200 plate appearances. Using the same filter on FanGraphs, we can see Correa finished 14th in wOBA (.309) and 11th in OBP (.312).

Yes, Correa brings elite defensive numbers to the table at shortstop. He won the Gold Glove award in 2021 and finished near the top in voting this year, but was ultimately beaten out by New York Yankees rookie Anthony Volpe.

But the offensive numbers just don’t quite pop off the page for the 29-year-old. We’ve also seen the shortstop position loaded with star talent with the likes of Corey Seager, Bo Bichette, and Bobby Witt Jr., leaving Correa in the middle of the pack in many of the major offense metrics at the position.

Looking at Correa’s percentile rankings we can see a drop-off in offensive production populating his statistics from 2023, a year where he led the Twins in plate appearances (580) by a wide margin.

Overall, I am optimistic about this team with its elite pitching staff and all the young talent it has in guys such as Lewis, Edouard Julien, Jose Miranda, and Jhoan Duran, to name a few. I’d expect Minnesota to be a contender in the AL Central once again in 2024.

Hunter Langille

A lifelong Red Sox fan, I was born and raised in Massachusetts but now reside in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have a background in daily fantasy baseball and I also create content for the Sorare fantasy baseball game on my Substack and YouTube channel!

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