Tracking the Twins Milestone Watch in 2021
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY SportsNelson Cruz: 450 Home Runs
It’s crazy to think what Cruz has been able to accomplish over his career, especially since he didn’t play over 100 games in a season until he was 28-years old. Over the last 12 seasons, he has averaged 33 home runs to put him at 417 homers for his career. He hasn’t hit fewer than 33 long balls in a full season since 2013, so there’s a good chance for him to cross the 450 home run mark. The real question might be if the ageless wonder can reach 500 home runs before he retires. He is going to have to be one of the best players in baseball history over the age of 40, but why would anyone doubt him now?
Josh Donaldson: 250 Home Runs
Donaldson has hit 24 or more home runs in every season where he has played over 100 games. If that trend continues, he can cross the 250 home run plateau as he currently has 225 homers to his credit.
Steamer projections have him at 29 home runs and ZiPs projections have him at 22 home runs. Back in 2019, Donaldson hit 37 home runs on his way to being named the National League Comeback Player of the Year. Twins’ fans hope to see more of that version of Donaldson than the one that the club saw during his first year in Minnesota. Even if he misses some time this season, 25 home runs should be well within his reach.
Kenta Maeda: 800 Strikeouts
Considering he didn’t make his stateside debut until age-28, it’s remarkable to consider how many strikeouts Maeda has accumulated in fewer than 660 big-league innings. He enters 2021 with 721 strikeouts so totaling 800 strikeouts is well within his reach. In Japan, he accumulated over 1,200 strikeouts on the mound, so he is getting close to 2,000 strikeouts combined in Japan and the United States. Last season, he was used entirely as a starter for the first time in his career and he posted a 10.8 SO/9, which was the second-best mark of his career.
Jorge Polanco: 300 RBI
The hope is that Polanco’s ankles are healthy again and he can get back to his hitting ways from the 2019 season. With Eddie Rosario out of the picture, Polanco has an opportunity to hit more regularly in the middle of the line-up. He already has 245 RBI so he can crack the 250 RBI mark during the season’s first series versus Milwaukee. His career high in RBI was back in 2019 when he collected 79, but he batted second for most of that season. Hitting behind Max Kepler, Josh Donaldson, and Nelson Cruz should provide even more RBI opportunities.
Which milestone do you think will fall first? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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