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That’s more like it. The Twins averaged nearly six runs a game through August, but entered Thursday averaging just 4.4 runs per game so f...
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Magic Number Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:08 PM
Why no magic number thread?     Why can't I post pictures?      BYTO was fun.    
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Game Thread: Twins vs KC 4:40 PM PST (6:40 PM CDT) 9/19/19

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:30 PM
The Twins took two steps forward toward the goal of winning the division during the series of games against the Sox. Unfortunately, after...
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Handing Out Minnesota's First Half Awards

It’s been an entertaining first half and Minnesota has three All-Stars for only the second time since 2009. Many fans were disappointed that the likes of Max Kepler, Taylor Rogers, and Eddie Rosario aren’t joining their teammates in Cleveland. It’s a great honor to be named to the All-Star team, but it’s also nice for players to get a chance to reset amid a grueling season.

Which Twins players would be in consideration if the team’s end-of-season awards were being handed out today? With a team 5.5 games up in the division, there are plenty of contributing pieces. Sometimes it can be hard to narrow the list down to one player.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
All WAR totals listed in the headings are courtesy of FanGraphs. Looking at Baseball Reference’s WAR totals would probably result in similar results as listed below, but likely would have been more definitive for the winning players.

Most Valuable Player
Candidates: Jorge Polanco (2.9 WAR), Max Kepler (2.8), Jose Berrios (2.7), Byron Buxton (2.5), Jake Odorizzi (2.2)
On Tuesday night, Jorge Polanco will represent the Twins as the AL’s starting shortstop in the All-Star Game. His maturation on both sides of the ball has been critical to Minnesota’s first half success. Max Kepler is an interesting name because he has come on strong in recent weeks. If he continues trending upward, both he and Polanco could be in the AL MVP conversation.

Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi will join Polanco in Cleveland. For Berrios, it will be his second straight appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic. Both pitchers have been integral in the Twins avoiding long losing streaks. Byron Buxton seems to be putting things together. Everyone knows about his defensive skills, but he’s also been able to add some pop to his bat. Buxton might be on top of this list if he’d been healthy for the entire first half.
MVP: Jorge Polanco

Pitcher of the Year
Candidates: Jose Berrios (2.7 WAR), Jake Odorizzi (2.2), Martin Perez (2.0), Taylor Rogers (1.2)
At different points in the first half, Minnesota’s top three starting pitchers all looked like Cy Young candidates. Most fans knew what to expect from Jose Berrios as he was coming off an All-Star season. Jake Odorizzi and Martin Perez have both exceeded expectations. Odorizzi has currently collected as much fWAR as Justin Verlander and that puts him just outside the AL top 10. Perez has come back to the norm after a tremendous stretch to start the year.

Berrios could have a shot at the Cy Young with a strong second half. Pitchers like Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, and Charlie Morton aren’t exactly household names when it comes to Cy Young voting. Berrios is leading the pitching staff of one of baseball’s best teams and he could help drive a playoff run.
Pitcher of the Year: Jose Berrios

Reliever of the Year
Candidates: Taylor Rogers (1.2 WAR), Ryne Harper (0.6), Trevor May (0.4)
This award isn’t much of a race at this point. Taylor Rogers has been a savior for a paper-thin bullpen. Rogers is on pace to have one of Minnesota’s all-time best relief seasons. He’s also doing this when being asked to pitch in a non-traditional closer role. If Minnesota is going on a long playoff run, Rogers will be a key piece to getting big late inning outs. It’s clear rookie manager Rocco Baldelli has full trust in Rogers and that’s the way it should be for a contending team.
Reliever of the Year: Taylor Rogers

Rookie of the Year
Candidates: Luis Arraez (1.0 WAR), Ryne Harper (0.6 WAR)
For a team in the thick of a playoff hunt, this is a two-man race. Besides Taylor Rogers, Ryne Harper has been a godsend to Minnesota’s bullpen. He made the Twins claimed a roster spot out of spring training and he has never looked back. Twins Daily readers named him the Sire of Fort Myers and he has lived up to that title. He has been contributing to the team for the entire season and that certainly adds value.

There’s no doubt about Luis Arraez and his hit tool. Many of the other facets of his game were in question. In nearly 100 plate appearances, he is hitting .393/.453/.524 with a 10.5 BB% and an 8.4 K%. As a 22-year old, he has shown an advanced approach at the plate and it’s certainly looking like he needs to part of Minnesota’s long-term plans. Harper has been critical, but Arraez has been more than valuable as a replacement player.
Rookie of the Year: Luis Arraez

Who would you vote for in regards to the awards listed above? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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13 Comments

Can’t argue with a single choice!
    • glunn likes this
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South Dakota Tom
Jul 08 2019 07:55 PM
I would vote Harper for rookie, just having seen his impact for the full season. Lots to like about Arraez as well.

 

Can’t argue with a single choice!

 

What he said.Love to see mah boy Arraez get some credit.Blows me away at how under the radar someone can be just because they didn't sign a multi-million dollar bonus or was drafted in the early rounds.The kid's for real and barely got credit until he debuted.

    • jimbo92107, mikelink45, blindeke and 1 other like this
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IndianaTwin
Jul 08 2019 08:07 PM
Comeback Player of the Year? Buxton seems the obvious choice, but it’s hard to argue against Perez, or even Pineda.
    • diehardtwinsfan, jimbo92107 and woolywoolhouse like this
I also agree with every choice to this point. Also agree Buxton could be the guy if he hadn't missed a little time, I think the same could be said for Rosario as well.

Just a couple quick comments:

1] What seals it for me, regarding Berrios, is a recent 3 game stretch where he pitched brilliant in 2 games, very good in a 3rd, (though he went a little longer than expected and kinda took one for the team with 6R, 4 earned to help save the pen) and received 2 no decisions and 1 loss, if I recall correctly. But despite W-L results, he really manned up for the team in that stretch.

2] Love Arraez and agree, despite a fairly SSS and a lot of season to go. Really like this kid! And yes, I am a fan and believer, but I wonder if a fully healthy Astudillo wouldn't have changed the votes? He looked good early, then went to the IL. He looked bad when be cam back, raked at Rochester, and seemed to look good again before his latest IL stint. Just speculating out loud.
    • scottz, jimbo92107, mikelink45 and 2 others like this
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sampleSizeOfOne
Jul 08 2019 08:26 PM
I know i am caught in game thread levity mode when i read the title of this article and think "first half awards? We are pretty clever if no one has given out half an award before. Go us!"

I am still waiting for Arraez to pass the 100 at bat threshold and for announcers to go on how he has a better carreer average than Ty Cobb.

Best Free Agent Signing: Nelson Cruz

    • glunn, scottz, blindeke and 5 others like this

Best Free Agent Signing: Nelson Cruz


Adding to that: MIP, Most Influential Player. Nelson Cruz.

He's been everything we hoped for when signed. It has been reported how he has worked with Buxton in regard to seemingly simple things like asking him, when he came back to the dugout, "Did you have a plan? Did you have fun?"

I don't doubt he's had an influence on other players as well.
    • glunn, scottz, jimbo92107 and 2 others like this

I'd split the award for Rookie between pitchers and position players. That way, Harper gets one, too. 

 

No doubt about Arraez, baby. This kid has star written all over him. The batting stance looks like a blend of Rose and Gwynn. Flips his wrists like Carew. Reacts to every pitch like he's his own umpire, passing judgment on each one.

 

And OhMiGod, when he decided to really crank one... He pounded it onto the pavilion in right field. That's Jim Thome territory! Yo, Twins FO - keep this kid happy. 

    • scottz, DocBauer, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this

No Rosario?He's the MVP for me.

    • scottz likes this

 

No Rosario?He's the MVP for me.

I feel like the lineup is most different when Rosario is out, so it's a good argument.

 

I'd say the atmosphere is the most different without Austudillo.

 

 

 

Best Free Agent Signing: Nelson Cruz

I'd have to agree with that opinion, which is something I didn't think I would be saying a few months ago. I know that most on this board thought the Cruz signing was a very good one at the time, but I had my doubts. An aging slugger approaching 40 years old? How much can he have left in the tank? Well, quite a bit it looks like. I'm happy to have been proved wrong about my less than enthusiastic reaction to his signing. And hey, that Martin Perez signing looks pretty good too!

    • Sconnie, MN_ExPat and Aerodeliria like this
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Aerodeliria
Jul 15 2019 08:31 AM

Adding to that: MIP, Most Influential Player. Nelson Cruz.

He's been everything we hoped for when signed. It has been reported how he has worked with Buxton in regard to seemingly simple things like asking him, when he came back to the dugout, "Did you have a plan? Did you have fun?"

I don't doubt he's had an influence on other players as well.

Adding to that: MIP, Most Influential Player. Nelson Cruz.

He's been everything we hoped for when signed. It has been reported how he has worked with Buxton in regard to seemingly simple things like asking him, when he came back to the dugout, "Did you have a plan? Did you have fun?"

I don't doubt he's had an influence on other players as well.


Thanks for this info. One more reason to love Cruz.

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