[table id=1339 /]
Phil Hughes had a remarkable season in 2014 that did not get enough credit. Hughes became the de facto ace of the Twins due to his unparalleled control. He only issued 16 walks all season. Additionally, Phil Hughes won 16 games and gave up 16 homers this past season. His impeccable control and 21.8% strikeout rate led to a league-best 11.63 K/BB among all starters.
While Hughes had a 3.52 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 2014, his 2.65 FIP, 3.18 xFIP, and 3.17 SIERA all served to demonstrate how special Hughes was in 2014. A pitcher having an ERA higher than his peripherals is a good sign for next year, but these projections are considering his three-year average and the fact that Phil Hughes issuing only 16 walks again is almost an unrepeatable feat. While 2014 may be the best season of his career, I still think that Hughes will beat his projections next year.
The Twins have a Santana in the rotation again, but it is sadly not Johan Santana. Nonetheless, Ervin Santana could have fantasy appeal. Ervin Santana has posted a sub 4.00 ERA in four of the past five seasons, but his 2012 season with the Angels was absolutely dreadful. In 2012, Santana had a 5.16 ERA and gave up homers all the time. I think the projection in the table is in line with what I expect from Santana.
Glen Perkins will be a solid closer for your fantasy team. He should improve your ratios and provide a steady influx of saves. Perkins has had a strikeout rate north of one batter per inning for the past four seasons with the Twins. He is a solid option and a top 20 closer.
Alex Meyer is the most intriguing pitching prospect for the Minnesota Twins, but he probably will not be of much fantasy value in 2015. Meyer certainly holds value in keeper leagues, especially because the 6’7” righty is a strikeout machine. In 2014, Alex Meyer recorded 153 K’s in 130.1 IP for the Twins’ AAA affiliate.
Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball has created all of the projections seen in this post. You can read about how he develops his projections here. His projections are invaluable to this site. You can also visit his site at www.smartfantasybaseball.com.