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Front Page: Handing a Qualifying Offer to Michael Pineda

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:25 AM
The Minnesota Twins are going to be looking at filling a starting rotation that has just one guaranteed arm for 2020. A top-tier talent o...
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Front Page: Can the Twins Become the New Astros? Part 1

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:15 AM
After recently reading both Ben Reiter’s Astroball and The MVP Machine by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Shawchik, both highly recommended, I f...
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2019/2020 Twins Minor League Coaching Changes

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:15 AM
http://www.startribu...tes/562941602/   According to the Star Tribune, the Rochester Red Wings will have a new coaching staff in 20...
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Front Page: Twins Trade Targets: 4 Potential Starting Pit...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:15 AM
The Minnesota Twins are in store for a starting rotation overhaul this offseason with only Jose Berrios and Martin Perez under contract....
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2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

Other Baseball Today, 10:16 AM
With the season winding down, let's talk about what manager spots will be open this winter. Already open: Kansas City - Ned Yost retirin...
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Twins' Offense Having a Barrel of Fun

Minnesota’s offense has been one of the best in the American League. It’s been looking more like the club has few weaknesses from top to bottom in their line-up. They have also been able to produce at a high level with players like Nelson Cruz, Mitch Garver, and Miguel Sano spending time on the injured list.

So how has Minnesota’s offense emerged this season? It’s all about barreling up the ball.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Barrel of Fun
Entering play on Tuesday, Minnesota ranks as the top team when it comes to barreling up the ball. Minnesota has barreled up the ball on 2.0 % of pitches. Atlanta is Minnesota’s closest competition in the barrel department with a 1.7% total. The big-league average is 1.35%. No other AL Central teams rank in the top 15 and Cleveland has the fifth worst total in all of baseball.
Attached Image: Barrels by Club.png
Catcher Power
It’s no secret that Minnesota’s catchers have been producing at quite the rate to start the year. Neither Jason Castro or Mitch Garver qualify for the league leader in Barrel % but they are both near the top on the Twins leaderboard. When it comes to Barrel %, Castro’s 26.7% mark is nearly 10% higher than the second place Twins player, Nelson Cruz. Garver is tied with C.J. Cron for third on the team with a 16.9% Barrel %.

Barreling up the ball also shows up in some of the catcher’s other StatCast data. Castro and Garver only trail Cruz when it comes to average exit velocity. Castro’s 92.9 exit velocity ranks as the 18th best in all of baseball. Garver is 0.9 mph behind Castro which is good for 41st overall. Also, Castro only trails the recently activated Miguel Sano in Hard Hit %.

Team Effort
Minnesota’s catchers have been strong, but other players have also helped the team’s early offensive output. Cruz has been a prolific power hitter for most of the last decade and that trend has continued in a Twins uniform. He has the seventh best exit velocity in all of baseball and he has the AL’s fifth best average. Cruz’s 17.2 Barrel % is in the top 5% of the league and he ranks in the top 2% when it comes to xwOBAcon.

CJ Cron has also been a pleasant surprise in the Twins line-up. Cron ranks in the top 15 in barrels per plate appearance, which places him in the top 7% of the league in Barrel %. Since both catchers don’t qualify currently, Cron only trails Cruz on the team’s Barrel % leaderboard.

Byron Buxton is another player getting a lot of attention and Parker did a great job of analyzing his swing yesterday. From 2016-2018, Buxton’s exit velocity averaged near 85 mph. This season he has increased to 91.5 mph. Last year, his hard hit % was 27.0 and this year he has jumped to 42.5. One of Buxton’s biggest jumps is in Barrel %. He was at a very low 1.6% and he has improved to 9.4% this season.

Overall, Minnesota ranks in the top 1% in the league in relation to Barrel %, XSLG, XWOBA. They rank in the top 3% in xWOBAcon and WOBA. Also, the team ranks in the top 7% in WOBAcon.

Can the Twins keep up this pace? How will more Miguel Sano impact the numbers? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

  • Mike Frasier Law, dbminn, Minny505 and 4 others like this

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3 Comments

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ScooterDance
May 21 2019 08:45 PM
Great insight thanks!

Quick question which likely just highlights my own ignorance. How do we rank in the top 1% of the league? If there are 30 teams we’re either in the 96th percentile or the 100th, aren’t we?
    • ashbury, Minny505 and MN_ExPat like this

Well done, Cody.

 

Just as remarkable, the Twins are hitting the ball hard but not striking out. They have the third lowest K% in the majors at 19.5%. They are waiting for their pitch and nailing it, whether it's the 1st pitch of the at bat or the end of a long count. That takes talent, preparation and patience.

    • Minny505 likes this
Thank you Cody. I think your point would be better displayed if you flipped the x and y axis.

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