Powering Toward 200 Home Runs
Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson, USA TodayIn 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.