Going into the 2017 season, I don't think even Paul Molitor knew what he had. Many question marks coming into the season --
Could Buxton become a legitimate major league player?
Would Sano be able to continue to hit?
Would Dozier be affected by the trade talks during the off season?
Could the starters be more reliable?
How about the bullpen? Could the Twins find a couple of arms to use in high-pressure situations?
Some people felt that the team would have another lousy season, but I think they took a few steps to become a very good team. The kids played pretty well. Escobar, Polanco, Kepler, Rosario, Vargas, Granite, Adrianza -- all performed better than I expected offensively and at least were OK defensively.
The pitchers had some struggles but Santana and Berrios (who looked like he ran out of gas in September) look to be legitimate starters. When the Twins traded for Jamie Garcia, I thought they were really going for it. Then, a week later, they traded him to the Yankees and Brandon Kinzler to the Nationals. I wasn't sure if the Twins were in or out, but then August showed that the team had gelled into a pretty good team (leading MLB with a 19-10 record). The pickup of Bartolo Colon was a very good one. He showed that he could still get outs.
Onto the bullpen, I'm not really sure who gets the ball in the 9th next year. Several options include Belisle, Hildenberger, Moya, Curtiss, Pressley, May (when he comes back from TJ surgery) or even Perkins will get looks in spring training.
Overall, I would give the team a B+ for the season. They did a lot better than I thought they would.