As MLB's youth movement heats up, Twins' core has gone cold

Minnesota has added some complementary pieces this offseason. But the Twins just don't know what they're going to get from a trio of once-promising prospects. AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

The temperature in Minneapolis this morning is minus-25, making it impossible to imagine that in less than two months, first-year manager Rocco Baldelli will jot down the Twins' lineup for their home opener against the Indians on March 28. The card that he will exchange with Cleveland manager Terry Francona (or bench coach Brad Mills, if Francona delegates the responsibility) should contain a batting order with more power.

The Twins finished 23rd in the majors in home runs in 2018, and since the end of last season, Joe Mauer -- someone who generated a lot of hits and walks but not necessarily a lot of home runs -- has retired, leaving open the power position of first base. The Twins will likely fill that spot with C.J. Cron, who mashed 30 homers for the Rays and for Baldelli, a Tampa Bay coach last season. Minnesota locked in a full-time designated hitter in Nelson Cruz, who clubbed 37 homers for the Mariners last season. When the Brewers decided not to tender a contract to Jonathan Schoop, the Twins quickly moved in and signed the second baseman, who accumulated 78 homers the past three seasons.

There is no mystery about what Minnesota has tried to do with its offense this winter, which is important, because the Twins will already go into spring training with more than their share of uncertainty.