Remembering the Exciting 2015 Twins Season
Image courtesy of Fox Sports NorthThe 2015 season was a much needed year for Twins fans after we suffered through 2011-2014, also known as the “Chris Parmelee Era.” It was certainly nice to see winning baseball in 2015, although it definitely wasn’t supposed to be like that. Here are some quotes from before the 2015 season…
Mike Axisa previewed the Twins for CBS Sports and said this: “There are now four years left on the over-hated Joe Mauer contract -- seriously, you wouldn't believe how many Twins fans dislike Mauer because of his injuries and perceived lack of clutchness… Minnesota looks like a lock for the AL Central cellar this year.” And this is something all of us would have agreed with.
Well, all of us except for the TwinsDaily crew back in 2015. Nick Nelson actually talked about the Twins potentially surpassing a .500 record and he must have talked that into existence.
Now onto the actual season, here is how the Twins lined up for opening day.
SP: Phil Hughes
- Danny Santana, SS
- Brian Dozier, 2B
- Joe Mauer (bearded), 1B
- Torii Hunter, RF
- Kennys Vargas, DH
- Trevor Plouffe, 3B
- Oswaldo Arcia, RF
- Kurt Suzuki, C
- Jordan Schafer, CF
Things didn't really start to go well for the team until May rolled around. The team went 10-12 in April, but in May the Twins had their best month since 1991 by going 20-7. How on Earth did this team do that?
It all started with Twins prospect Eddie Rosario hitting the first pitch he ever saw for a home run. He has been a fan favorite ever since. May also saw Torii Hunter (159), Brian Dozier (163), and Trevor Plouffe (157) have a wRC+ over 150. Hunter was an excellent addition and he had a Nelson Cruz like impact off the field for the younger players. One of the most memorable things he did as a leader was introduce the dance parties after every Twins win.
Again, what a strange but fun year this was.
Moving onto just before the All Star break, Brian Dozier had one of the most memorable weeks in recent history. On July 7th after being snubbed from the All Star Game he blasted a walkoff home run against Baltimore in the 10th inning of a 2-2 game.
He would once again prove he deserved to be an All Star when the Tigers came to town on July 10th. The 9th inning started with the Twins trailing 6-1 and the Tigers win probability was at 99%. Mauer started the inning with a single, then Sano doubled but Plouffe struck out. Luckily, Eddie Rosario singled and Soria came in to pitch for the Tigers. He walked Hicks and hit Suzuki with a pitch which led to an RBI single from Danny Santana making it 6-5 Tigers. Dozier came to the plate after finishing second in the final vote for the ASG and he once again proved he deserved that spot, blasting a walkoff homer to left. As Dick Bremer said, it was “the most electric moment at Target Field in years!”
Just a day later, Brian Dozier was announced to the All Star Game where he would hit a home run to deep center field in his only at bat. That home run capped off an excellent week for the Twins second baseman.
After the All Star game, the story for the rest of the season was the debut of Miguel Sano. He played in only 77 games that season, but he hit 18 home runs and finished with the best wRC+ (152) and best OPS (.928) on the team. He was on a pace for 37 homers in a full season. This was his best season prior to what we saw from him in 2019.
The Twins kept pace in the wild card race all the way until the 161st game of the season when they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Royals.
This 2015 season was just a fun one all around that had many exciting story lines and weird events like these:
- Joe Mauer had an excellent beard.
- Torii Hunter/Brian Dozier dance parties.
- Eddie Rosario hit 15 triples which set a Twins rookie record.
- Plouffe tied Killebrew for the Twins record for most double plays in a season at 28.
- Eduardo Nunez couldn’t keep his helmet on.
- Buxton, Sano, Kepler, Polanco, and Duffey all debut.
- We saw prime Shane Robinson on the pitching mound.
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