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Front Page: Dealing with Wheeler Gets Minnesota an Ace

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:40 AM
This offseason the Minnesota Twins chief focus is going to be on acquiring impact pitching. The front office has suggested as much, and w...

2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

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Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Awards: Most Valuable Player

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The 2019 Twins were propelled to 101 victories by a wide range of contributions, and that dynamic was reflected in our polling for team M...

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Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Award: Pitcher of the Year

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For most of the past decade, the Minnesota Twins have had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Pick a meaningful statistic for p...

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Developments Starting Strong for Minnesota

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 10 April 2019 · 1,699 views

minnesota twins jorge polanco mitch garver jose berrios byron buxton
Over the winter, the Minnesota Twins invested heavily on their infrastructure throughout the organization. Not only were a handful of new coaching and developmental staff brought in, but new technology was introduced to generate more production out of the same players. We’re just a couple weeks into the 2019 season, but there’s some very promising developments that have taken place on the 25-man roster.

Any number of storylines could be generated from the early performances a handful of Twins players have put up. Without a bit more substantiation to the numbers though, I think it’s just worth noting some of the eye-popping production that has taken place thus far.

Jorge Polanco began his 2019 with a bang, becoming the 11th player in Twins history to hit for the cycle. Just a couple days later, he missed the feat by falling a double short. Through nine games, his 0.8 fWAR is tied for 8th in baseball, and is already half of his career best season (2017). A 51.6% hard hit rate is almost double his career average, and the contract extension is looking like a massive bargain for the Twins.

Mitch Garver owns the second highest fWAR among Twins position players, and his 16.7% barrels/plate appearance ranks 6th in all of baseball. He became the third player ever to hit two home runs off Jacob deGrom in a single game, and his offensive prowess looks as evident as ever. Behind the dish his defensive adjustments have been evident and generating extra strikes by presenting a stronger zone has seemed to show up plenty.

Jose Berrios has been as advertised. A dark horse Cy Young candidate, his 0.7 fWAR is tied for third in baseball among pitchers. Command has been sharper than it’s ever been, and the addition of a devastating changeup has him looking like a whole new level of lethal. Across three starts, he’s absolutely dominated the two better teams (Cleveland and Philadelphia), en route to posting a 2.18 ERA. He’s looked the part of a staff ace for a while, but the emergence to a true ace is something that would be more than welcomed.

Byron Buxton is familiar with slow starts, but 2019 hasn’t been anything close to that. He’s batting .292 and owns an .846 OPS through his first 26 plate appearances. Looking more aggressive at the plate, Buxton has sat on pitches to generate a career best 33% hard hit rate. He’s laid off the breaking ball down and away, and he’s ripping off doubles at an impressive pace. Staying healthy will remain a key focus here, but it looks like the breakout we’ve been waiting for is finally upon us.

We’ll need to wait for things to play out in order to draw any concrete conclusions this season. With over 150 games still to go, we’re just getting started. If any of these early indications for the Twins turn out to hold significant weight as the schedule draws on though, we should be in for quite the ride.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • Danchat, tarheeltwinsfan, nclahammer and 3 others like this



Odorizzi is still showing he isn't more than a 5 inning pitcher again however.  

 

Martin Perez has flashed a 97 MPH fastball which is promising but he has been wild and hittable.

 

and Pineda looks to be great and is still being brought back up to a 6-7 inning pitcher slowly.

 

I don't know if we have enough reinforcements in AAA or AA for the rotation but I think we should take a closer look into offering Keuchel a 1 to 3 year deal and get him going if Perez doesn't turn a corner real soon.The added benefit of Keuchel is his ability to pitch 6-7 innings consistently saving some wear and tear on the bullpen.  

 

The offense is too good not to take an extra step like this.