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Molitor, does he actually "get it"?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:49 AM
This game was as poorly managed as I have ever seen, guy hasn't improved at all. Baring a playoff berth he better be gone at seasons end.
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Benching Sano two days in a row

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:06 AM
Seriously? Good lord, every time Molitor takes a step forward he takes 3 steps back. Benching your best player back to back games bc of a...
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Game Thread: Twins v Rays, 5/28 @ 1:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:03 PM
My ten years as a stringer – a freelance sportswriter for The Associated Press – spanned two distinct baseball eras. During the first, 19...
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Gimenez vs Garver

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:00 PM
Personally, IMHO, part of the overall success and quality play of our beloved Twins this season has been the addition of Castro and Gimin...
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Powering Toward 200 Home Runs

It’s been a really long season for the Minnesota Twins and their fans. Way back in mid-February, as spring training was getting underway in Ft. Myers, Nick wrote an article called Dreaming of 200 Home Runs.

In the article, Nick wrote, “For this year’s club it is an unlikely yet not unfeasible possibility.”

The Twins have six games remaining; three in Kansas City and three in Chicago against the White Sox. They are currently sitting at 193 home runs. If they hit seven home runs over those final six games, it will be the first time the Twins have hit 200 home runs since 1964. When the Twins hit their 196th home run of 2016, it will match the number hit by the 1986 and 1987 Twins.

While we believed coming into this season that the Twins had a chance to be a powerful, home-run hitting team, the fact that they will likely finish with the third-most home runs in Twins history is very impressive.
Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson, USA Today
In 1964, six players accounted for 181 of their 221 home runs (82%). That team had six players with 20 or more home runs. Harmon Killebrew led the way with his record 49 home runs (which he did again in 1969). Bob Allison and Tony Oliva each had 32 home runs. Jimmie Hall hit 25 homers. Don Mincher hit 23. Zoilo Versalles hit 20 home runs. Two others, Earl Battey and Rich Rollins, added 12 homers each. Those eight players in double-digits accounted for 93% of that team’s home runs.

The 2016 team has nine players with double-digit home runs. It’s certainly been fun following Brian Dozier through his 42 home runs, most of which have come in the season’s second half. Miguel Sano has 24 homers. Max Kepler is third on the list with 17 homers. Trevor Plouffe, Byungho Park and Eduardo Nunez each hit 12 homers (and we know none of them will hit more for the Twins this season). Joe Mauer and Robbie Grossman have each hit 11 home runs. Eddie Rosario joined the double-figure homer club with his 10th homer shortly before his season came to an end. Those nine players in double-digits have accounted for 78% of the team’s homers.

This is the second time in the team’s history that nine players have reached 10 or more home runs. The other time came in 2004. That year Corey Koskie, Jacque Jones and Torii Hunter all had 23 to 25 home runs. Justin Morneau, Lew Ford, Michael Cuddyer, Shannon Stewart, Henry Blanco and Luis Rivas all had between 10 and 19 homers that year. As interesting, Matthew Lecroy ended the season with nine homers, and Cristian Guzman added eight home runs.

As the Twins have six games left in the 2016 season, there are three players sitting at eight homers on the season. Kurt Suzuki, Kennys Vargas and Byron Buxton need two more home runs to join the double-digit dinger club.

The Twins have shown some prodigious power in 2016 and hit 193 home runs through their first 156 games. While there are many reasons for the Twins second 100-loss season, the fact that Twins pitchers have allowed 218 home runs so far certainly doesn’t help.

Dozier’s Final Week

Brian Dozier still has plenty to play for over the final six games. Last week, he hit his 42nd home runs of the season. 40 of those homers have come as a second baseman which set the American League record for home runs by a second baseman in MLB history. If he can hit two more homers this season he will tie Davey Johnson (Atlanta 1973) and Rogers Hornsby (St. Louis 1922) for the Major League record.

You’ve seen or read that statistic. However, he’s also approaching another Twins record that I think is just as impressive. To go with his 42 home runs, Dozier has 35 doubles and five triples. That’s 82 extra base hits which is two behind the current Twins record. In 1964, Tony Oliva was a 25-year-old rookie. He won the batting title, the Rookie of the Year award and was an All Star. He hit .323 with 43 doubles, nine triples and 32 home runs. That’s 84 extra base hits which has been the team’s record for 52 years. With three more extra base hits, Dozier would break that Twins record.

Dozier went past 100 runs scored for the third straight year. Only Chuck Knoblauch has done that in Twins history.

He is sitting at 99 RBI. With one more RBI, he becomes the third Twins player this century to have 100 runs scored and 100 RBI. In 2001, Corey Koskie had 100 runs scored with 103 RBI. In 2006, Michael Cuddyer scored 102 runs and drove in 109 runs.

Dozier’s season OPS is sitting at .905. Looking back through the 26 seasons since the 1991 season, Dozier should finish with a Top 10 season (by OPS). Here are the Top 25 Twins seasons in the last 25 years by OPS. If Dozier can keep his OPS above .900, he’ll be just the 7th Twins player in that time period to do so.

1 - Joe Mauer - 2009 - 1.031
2 - Chuck Knoblauch - 1996 - .965
3 - Joe Mauer - 2006 - .936
4 - Justin Morneau - 2004 - .934
5 - Chuck Knoblauch - 1995 - .965
6 - Jason Kubel - 2009 - .907
7 - Brian Dozier - 2016 - .905
8 - Kirby Puckett - 1995 - .894
9 - Chili Davis - 1991 - .892
10 - Josh Willingham - 2012 - .890
11 - Joe Mauer - 2013 - .880
12 - Justin Morneau - 2012 - .878
13 - Justin Morneau - 2008 - .873
14 - Joe Mauer - 2010 - .871
15 - Michael Cuddyer - 2006 - .867
16 - Matt Lawton - 2000 - .865
17 - Joe Mauer - 2008 - .864
Matt Lawton - 1998 - .864
Kirby Puckett - 1992 - .864
20 - Michael Cuddyer - 2009 - .862
21 - Joe Mauer - 2012 - .861
22 - Shane Mack - 1992 - .860
23 - Torii Hunter - 2002 - .859
24 - Paul Molitor - 1996 - .858
25 - Jacque Jones - 2002 - .852
Six games to go. Still plenty of reasons to watch and several milestones still up for grabs.


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13 Comments

Compared to the rest of the league this year, the Twins are average in the number of home runs.In 1964 221 HR as a team led the league by a large margin.  

The late great Earl Weaver loved the 3 run HR. It would be nice if once in a while if the current Twins could accomplish that.

    • frightwig and TheLeviathan like this

Brian Dozier, and Max Keplers streak there a couple months back have been the bright spots for me. 

I think of those White Sox teams a few years back that lived and died off the Home Run. Power hitting is really fun to watch, and certainly a great tool. But it can't be the only thing, and is most effective with runners on. I want to see more of that.

 

The thing that stood out most on that last list for me was Joe Mauer. Wow, it is so easy to forget how good he was. 

    • messed up and gagu like this

 

The thing that stood out most on that last list for me was Joe Mauer. Wow, it is so easy to forget how good he was. 

 

Which is why the criticism is so annoying. People have seemingly forgotten how great he was as a player, as a catcher, before the injuries started piling up and his body kind of failed him. 

    • messed up likes this

 

Compared to the rest of the league this year, the Twins are average in the number of home runs.In 1964 221 HR as a team led the league by a large margin. 

 

That's an important point. If we're talking about how the Twins power surge stacks up in team history, it should be noted that their current 193 HR ranks 9th in the AL this year. In fact, homers have jumped so much, the 2872 HR in the AL as of this morning has already smashed the league record.

 

Do the Twins really have a great power-hitting lineup, now? Looking ahead, should we expect them to build on this HR total next year? I'd say, probably not.

    • USAFChief likes this

 

 

Do the Twins really have a great power-hitting lineup, now? Looking ahead, should we expect them to build on this HR total next year? I'd say, probably not.

Not sure - probably depends on how the young hitters evolve.  Sano should certainly win a few HR titles in his time.  

Seeing that HRs are way up across baseball something has changed! A "juiced" baseball maybe? Dozier wasn't the only player to experience a huge increase come summer. Or, is it a change in hitting style? Perhaps the pitchers aren't very good? But basically across all MLB? A headscratcher? Or a conspiracy theory grist mill?

    • frightwig likes this

I had intended to put some of the numbers together, but this season has made clear that the debate about Target Field being a black hole for home runs has clearly been resolved. Notice the talk of moving the fences in has completely gone away.

Photo
TheLeviathan
Sep 27 2016 12:47 PM

So the chicks are digging baseball again huh?

This year, the Twins have had a nice, albeit far too streaky, offense.  Provided things are not blown up too much over the offseason, the kids should start showing more consistency.  

 

Better pitching and defense will help their bats cash in a few more wins and might even help their streakiness a bit.  

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ScrapTheNickname
Sep 27 2016 02:57 PM

A 2017 hot stove dream:

 

Sano 3B            40 HR

Dozier 2B          35 HR

Park DH            30 HR

Vargas 1B         30 HR

Buxton CF         25 HR

Kepler RF          20 HR

Rosario LF        15 HR

Polanco SS       10 HR

 

 

 

    • Doomtints and gagu like this

 

I had intended to put some of the numbers together, but this season has made clear that the debate about Target Field being a black hole for home runs has clearly been resolved. Notice the talk of moving the fences in has completely gone away.

 

HR Park Factor, Target Field (via ESPN.com)

 

2016 - 0.986 (18th)

2015 - 1.058 (13th)

2014 - 1.022 (14th)

2013 - 0.845 (27th)

2012 - 1.031 (14th)

2011 - 0.913 (20th)

2010 - 0.641 (30th)

 

It was a black hole for HR at first, but generally has become more HR-neutral in the last 5 years. Must have been the cement drying.

    • gagu likes this

HR Park Factor, Target Field (via ESPN.com)
 
2016 - 0.986 (18th)
2015 - 1.058 (13th)
2014 - 1.022 (14th)
2013 - 0.845 (27th)
2012 - 1.031 (14th)
2011 - 0.913 (20th)
2010 - 0.641 (30th)
 
It was a black hole for HR at first, but generally has become more HR-neutral in the last 5 years. Must have been the cement drying.


Or the trees in center.
Photo
Champuckett
Sep 28 2016 12:48 AM

Never forget.. the trees.

 

 

Also Willingham devirginized the left field home run porch area and taught Dozier his methods.  Dozier took full advantage and the rest is history.


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