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Crazy Twins Stats at the Halfway Point

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When Chris Colabello's season off to an insanely hot start, I remember multiple people commenting to me excitedly about how he was on pace for something like 200 RBI.

Some folks just love to extrapolate those grandiose "on pace" figures when a guy has a great first couple weeks. It's fun early season fodder, but of course, it's all utterly meaningless.

Projecting hypothetical full-season totals at the halfway point is a bit more sensible, because at this point we've got 50 percent of a season as our sample. That's not enough to preclude fluky performances, but 81 games is 81 games.

I thought I'd examine some of the crazier first-half stats on the Twins, in the context of what the numbers will look like at year's end if the player replicates his first three months.

Joe Mauer is on pace for four home runs and 52 RBI.

And he hasn't even missed much time. He played in 75 of the team's 81 first-half games, piled up 336 plate appearances, and managed a total of two home runs and 26 RBI.

Many people hoped, perhaps misguidedly, that the transition to first base would yield more prototypical power numbers. Others would have been satisfied with the usual Mauer, whose production would have been good -- not spectacular -- at an offense-oriented position.

Instead, Mauer is on pace to play a career-high 150 games and drive in 52 runs. Part of that is on his teammates. Part is bad luck. But… man.

Brian Dozier is on pace for 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

Dozier has been pretty cold lately, so it might be a little difficult to envision him reaching this heralded milestone combo at the moment, but he's proven over the last two years that he's capable of catching fire at any time.

Here's a list of players that have joined the 30/30 club since 2010: Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun (twice), Ian Kinsler, Mike Trout. That's it.

Dozier's growth continues to amaze. In the minors, he topped out at nine home runs and 24 steals in a season.

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Eduardo Escobar is on pace for 46 doubles.

OK, this really came out of nowhere. I have long wondered if the young infielder might have hidden offensive upside, to the extent that he might be a superior option to Pedro Florimon, but there was little in Escobar's track record to suggest this kind of two-bagger tear was possible.

The 25-year-old entered this season with a .228/.280/.307 MLB hitting line. In eight minor-league seasons, he slugged .358 and topped out with 26 doubles in a campaign.

Last year, only nine major leaguers hit more than 40 doubles, so if Escobar comes anywhere near the projected total it'd be wild. This has the makings of one of those half-season flukes, but if Escobar can keep it up, a doubles-machine shortstop with a decent glove is a quality asset.

Phil Hughes is on pace to issue 20 walks.

… In 32 starts and 206 innings. Wow. That would be less than half the walks that Hughes allowed in 145 innings last year with New York, and even then his total wasn't bad.

Ricky Nolasco is on pace to allow 250 hits.

The Twins have had some hittable, contact-heavy staffs over the years -- they've given up the most hits of any team in the majors since 2011, in fact -- but in the past decade only one Minnesota starter has allowed 250-plus hits in a season: Carl Pavano (262). Ironically, that was in 2012, right after he'd signed what was at the time the most expensive free agent contract for a starting pitcher in franchise history.

I don't actually think Nolasco is going to give up 250 hits. I expect big improvement in the second half, and hopefully we saw the beginning of that on Tuesday night. But if he keeps getting knocked around, the Twins aren't going to have much choice but to keep trotting him out.

Glen Perkins is on pace to save 40 games with a 90-to-12 K/BB ratio.

Obscene.
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  1. tarheeltwinsfan's Avatar
    Fun figures, Nick. 52 RBI's from the # 3 (primarily) batter will not result in many wins. I am a huge Dozier fan because of who he is as a person...therefore I hope the 30/30 season happens for him, plus a BA improvement to at least .265. Do you think Escobar's doubles will ever increase to HR's as he matures even more? OK, OK, I'll take the doubles and be happy. Hughes' 20 walks projection has resulted in Rick Anderson developing a man crush on Hughes. Hughes has been everything we Twins fans had hoped he could be. If Nolasco starts 32 games and averages 5-6 innings in each game, and if he will allow only 6.25 hits per game, he is on pace for 200 hits. Less than 1 hit per inning would be preferred for all pitchers. But with a weak fielding OF, which we have, it is more difficult to get fly ball outs, and limit extra base hits. But if Nolasco can limit his walks, that will help. He's a pro and he is ready every 5th day. I'd like to see Gardy leave Nolasco in longer in individual games. The Twins have gotten what they expected from Ricky. No surprises here. Perkins is doing his usual good job at baseball's most over-rated position...closer. I'm currently reading Mariano Rivera's autobiography, The Closer. Although I hate the Yankees, I tip my hat to Rivera. He has been dominate at his position and a class act. I will admit it is a great psychological advantage for a team to have a lights out, durable, strike-em out closer...but a team in the lead in the 9th inning will usually win anyway, whether Rivera is on the mound or whomever. Usually these mid season stats move toward the norm (whatever that may be) as the second half progresses, but it sure is fun to look at what you correctly titled, "Crazy Twins Stats". Thanks for an interesting and fun article.
    Updated 07-02-2014 at 08:40 AM by tarheeltwinsfan
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