Top Bounce-Back Candidate For 2023: Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins need a few players to have bounce-back seasons if they are to make the noise they hope to make in the AL Central this season. But the most intriguing candidate, simply because he has so low a floor to bounce back from, is Joey Gallo.

The former 2-time All-Star had a dreadful couple of seasons in New York with the Yankees, and now that he's in a lower-pressure environment, it's totally feasible to suggest that he'll be more relaxed, and able to get back to doing what he does best: crushing baseballs.

“The Minnesota market is different than the New York market,” Gallo said recently. “I always just wanted to play baseball, have fun, hang out with the boys... I guess [Minnesota] is more my vibe, you know what I mean?”

Target Field in Minnesota not only gives him a better vibe, but also one in which he's found plenty of success in a limited sample size over his career: In 15 games in Minneapolis, Gallo has a .954 OPS and six homers. 

Gallo has always had trouble with his batting average, but after a pair of seasons in which he hit well below the Mendoza mark, expect that to get a bump this season, with some of the credit going to the new ban on infield shifts (although one team has already tried the 'outfield shift' on Gallo this spring).

The 29-year-old has topped the 40-HR mark twice in his career, and launched 38 just two years ago. And even with that career .199 average, he still carries a lifetime OPS+ of 109 — 9% better than the average hitter. 

So don't expect a .300 hitter by any means, but a return to some big power numbers could be in the cards for Gallo.

Photo: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports