Coco Crisp will have an outstanding season on both offense and defense. I have no basis for this really, but I'm feeling it. I think part of his problems in Boston were in his head. Give me something around .290/.360/.450 with 25 steals.
Kyle Davies will be considered our second best starter by the end of the year. Ahead of Meche, behind Zack Attack. Not that I don't believe in Gil, but I love, love, love Kyle for this year. Something clicked for him at the end of last year. I am not sure what took him so long to decide to be aggresive, but when you have three above-average pitches...stop worrying about being Greg Maddux and just throw strikes. Put me down for 13 wins, a 3.8 ERA, and 155 strikeouts.
I have no confidence in any starters after Luke Hochevar, who I consider our #4. None. Horacio Ramirez or Brian Bannister inspire no confidence. Bruce Chen? Lenny DiNardo? Brandon Duckworth? I like the front 4, but were going to need a solid #5 to challenge for the division title. Maybe we'll get lucky.
This is Billy Butler's year to starting raking. Baby, attitude, whatever...he's just way too talented to not hit. He'll be the primary 1B by the end of the year thanks to his improved physical conditioning. I'll put him down for .303/.362/.490 right now, and honestly, that power might be conservative.
We will finish tied for tied for 2nd with the White Sox in the division with 84 wins. The Twins will win it with their excellent pitching. *** This prediction assumes Mauer's back problem is not serious enough that he'll miss a large portion of the season.