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  1. Five Best Signatures in Twins History

    I don’t think it’s burying the lede here to note that Harmon Killebrew’s signature is going to be number one on this list. He’s got some of the greatest penmanship we’ve seen in any era, and it was a craft he took great pride in. You’ll often hear stories from more recent players where they’ll quip about the times Harmon noted they needed to clean up their signature.

    Given the recent explosion of the trading card collecting hobby it seemed only fitting to explore the guys that have followed his advice best. Surprisingly, there’s more than a few modern candidates on this list. Without further ado, let’s get into it:

    5. Paul Molitor

    After playing 15 years in Milwaukee for the Brewers, Molitor ended his Hall of Fame career with the hometown team. The St. Paul native was well past his prime when he joined the Twins, but Molitor still put up an .858 OPS at age-39. There was no shortage of autograph requests given the local fanfare, and those continued when he became manager, and eventually Manager of the Year, following his playing days.

    [attachment=13683:Molitor.jpg]

    The signature is a compressed one, and the letters are all tight together, but getting every character is something rarely seen today.

    4. Bert Blyleven

    This is a weird case in which the signature is awesome, but it’s one that typically comes with caveats. Blyleven is also a Hall of Famer and played 11 of his 22 big league seasons in Minnesota. He is still connected to the team as a broadcaster, and while his capacity is slowly being phased out, it will never not be true that he was among the best to put on the uniform.

    [attachment=13680:Bert.jpg]

    Much like Harmon’s style, Blyleven makes sure to get out his full name fully and visibly when signing. For collectors he’ll generally ink his name in undesirable places or attempt to devalue whatever he is signing for the fear of secondary market flipping. At any rate, the signature itself is a gorgeous one.
    3. Torii Hunter

    As the first modern day inclusion on this list Torii Hunter represents a guy bound by principles. He has often talked about things gleaned from his time listening to Harmon, and he too represents that type of retired veteran constantly passing information down. Hunter played the role of mentor and leader on multiple teams, and it’s not hard to see why doing things the right way would be of importance to him.

    [attachment=13684:thumb.jpg]

    Hunter’s autograph is loopier and more cartoonish than the previous two entries, but it’s plenty obvious who the inscription belongs to when reading it. Often accompanied by his number, Torii takes any piece of memorabilia up a notch by putting his name on it.

    2. Michael Cuddyer

    One of my favorite autographs in all of baseball, Cuddyer combines principles from the three players before him. He was a Twins for 11 of his 15 Major League seasons and there was never a time in which he wasn’t fighting to cement his place as a regular. Often seen as the utility player that could contribute everywhere, Cuddyer went about all of his processes the right way.

    [attachment=13681:cuddyer.jpg]

    Without sounding too sappy Cuddyer’s signature has an elegance to it. As a fan of photography, often taking pictures at away ballparks, maybe there was even an artistic tie to the swoops of his pen. Each time his name came out though, it looked as good as the last.

    1. Harmon Killebrew

    As I said when starting this off, it’s pretty impossible to look at any group of people under this subject and not determine Harmon as the gold standard. Playing 21 of his 22 illustrious seasons with the Minnesota franchise (after relocating from Washington seven seasons in) the Killer racked up accolades like no one’s business. An inner circle Hall of Famer doesn’t need to bother themselves with signature requests, but Killebrew took it upon himself to treat each as if it were his last.

    [attachment=13682:harmon-killebrew-single-signed-baseball-2288.jpg]

    There will never be a time that the importance Killebrew placed on a well-respected signature isn’t a story that’s shared fondly among Twins fans. Although it doesn’t resonate with every future player, it’s great to see the trickle-down effect and know that his presence remains even though he has left us.

    Who's missing that you would add to this list?

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    • May 21 2020 11:53 AM
    • by Ted Schwerzler
  2. Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters)

    Twins fans fans may have been spoiled by the team in their first decade. The second decade started out strong with 98 wins and a playoff berth in 1970. That was their lone playoff appearance of the decade. In 1971, they finished in fifth place in the division. Each other season, they finished either third or fourth in the AL West.

    Some of the Twins stars of the 1960s were still around and contributing early in the 1970s, though generally just a shell of themselves after 1971. Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven certainly led the way during the decade, but there were other really solid players throughout the decade. The 1976 and 1977 Twins won 85 and 84 games. The 1977 team scored 867 runs, but the pitching was not real strong.

    Bill Rigney began the decade as the team's manager. He was replaced by Frank Quilici midway through the 1972 season. Gene Mach took over in 1976 and remained through the decade. He managed his nephew, Roy Smalley who was voted the starting shortstop for the American League in the 1979 All-Star Game.



    Let's get to the lineup... and be sure to leave your thoughts on this roster, or who I missed.





    C - Butch Wynegar (1976-1979)
    577 games, .256/.344/.350 (.694) with 85 doubles, 31 homers, 250 RBI.

    Wynegar was the Twins second-round pick out of high school in 1974 and debuted just after he turned 20 in April of 1976. He finished second to Mark Fydrich in 1976 Rookie of the Year voting, and he was an All-Star his first two seasons. He caught between 131 and 146 games in each of his first five seasons.


    1B - Harmon Killebrew (1970-1974)
    634 games, .247/.373/.451 (.824) with 68 doubles, 113 homers, 391 RBI.

    After winning the AL MVP in 1969, Killebrew hit 41 homers and finished third in the voting in 1970. He was an All-Star in 1970 and 1971, his 10th and 11th of the year. While things went downward from there, the Twins great and future Hall of Famer was still the easy choice for this position. His 113 homers from over these five years still led the organization by 25.


    2B - Rod Carew (1970-1978)
    1,248 games, .345/.407/.460 (.867) with 226 doubles, 57 homers, 584 RBI.

    Carew was the choice in the 1960s for second base as well, but he was just getting started. Look at that, a .345 average over NINE seasons. He didn’t hit under .307 in any season, and he led the league in batting average six of those nine years. He was the AL MVP in 1977 when he hit .388/.449/.570 (1.019) with 38 doubles, 16 triples, 14 home runs and 100 RBI. He had four other Top 5 MVP seasons as well. He was an All-Star each of the 12 seasons he played with the Twins. If you’re into bWAR, his 53.7 mark is 36.5 more than anyone else in the organization during the decade.



    3B - Steve Braun (1971-1976)
    751 games, .284/.376/.381 (.757) with 103 doubles, 35 homers, 273 RBI.

    Braun was the team’s 10th-round pick in 1966 out of high school. He debuted with 128 games in 1971. He spent six seasons with the Twins. He played around the diamond, but mostly at third base the first three seasons and then in left field the next three years. He had a good, patient approach at the plate. In 1973, he hit .283 but also had a .408 on-base percentage.


    SS - Roy Smalley (1976-1979)
    573 games, .261/.346/.388 (.734) with 96 doubles, 51 homers, 264 RBI.

    Smalley was the Rangers' first-round pick in 1974 from USC and debuted in 1975. On June 1, 1976, he came to the Twins as part of a package for Bert Blyleven. His best season was in 1979. He was an All-Star and received MVP votes. He led the league in games played and plate appearances. He hit 28 doubles and a career-high 24 homers. Side note - It’s inexplicable to me why Roy Smalley is not in the Twins Hall of Fame.



    LF - Larry Hisle (1973-1977)
    662 games, .286/.354/.457 (.811) with 109 doubles, 87 homers, 409 RBI.

    Hisle was traded to the Twins from the Cardinals after the 1972 season and spent the next five seasons in a Twins uniform. He immediately became an impact player, hitting for average, getting on base and showing some power. He was good the first four years, but in 1977, he hit .302 with 36 doubles, 28 homer and a league-leading 119 RBI. He was an All-Star and earned MVP votes. That offseason, he left via free agency and signed with Milwaukee where he had one more really strong season.

    CF - Lyman Bostock (1975-1977)
    379 games, .318/.366/.416 (.812) with 78 doubles, 18 homers, 179 RBI.

    Bostock was the Twins 26th-round pick in 1972 out of Cal State, Northridge. He debuted at the start of the 1975 season. He hit .282 in 98 games as a rookie. Then he hit .323 in 1976. In 1977, he hit .336/.389/.508 (.897) with 36 doubles, 12 triples and 14 home runs. He became a free agent and signed with the Angels. He was tragically killed in September of 1978.




    RF - Cesar Tovar (1970-1972)
    459 games, .293/.348/.384 (.732) with 85 doubles, 13 homers, 130 RBI.

    Tovar continued to play all over the diamond in the early 1970s. In 1970, he led the league with 36 doubles and 13 triples. In 1971, he led the league with 204 base hits. He batted .300 in 1970 and 1971 and received MVP votes. He was traded to the Phillies after the 1972 season and played through the 1976 season.


    DH - Tony Oliva (1970-1976)
    764 games, .299/.345/.446 (.791) with 116 doubles, 88 homers, 412 RBI.

    Oliva was a star for the Twins in the 1960s, and he entered the 1970s as one of the best players in the league. In 1970, he hit .325, finished second in MVP voting and led the league with 204 hits and 36 doubles. In 1971, he won his third career batting title by hitting .337. He also led the league with a .546 slugging percentage. Knee injuries cost him most of the 1972 season and lowered the trajectory of his career. He kept playing through the 1976 season.


    Your turn. Who would make your Twins 1970s All-Decade team? And what might that lineup look like?

    • Apr 17 2020 06:18 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  3. Episode 15: Get to Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona)

    The Twins came to Minnesota before the 1961 season and had a really good first decade. The team won 89 or more games in six of the nine seasons. They took the Dodgers to Game 7 of the 1965 World Series. They had some batting championship, Pitchers of the Year, lots of home runs and gave Twins baseball fans some great excitement.



    You may know Dave Mona from his great work at WCCO, hosting The Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave. But as you'll hear in this episode, he remains busy, working throughout the community. He has long been a huge supporter of all Minnesota sports. He worked at Met Stadium in the 1950s, when the Minneapolis Millers played there. He ended up at the Minneapolis Tribune and he was the Twins beat writer during the 1968 and 1969 seasons.

    In this episode, we discussed the top Twins hitters and pitchers of the 1960s. Mr. Mona has so many great stories from covering the team and from remaining in the sports media since then. He's got great stories of Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Ron Perranoski and most of the All-Decade team. And there are great stories regarding Billy Martin, and Reggie Jackson, and others.

    This was one of the most enjoyable conversations I have had,and I really believe you will enjoy the conversation. There were so many great Twins players in the 1960s, and Dave Mona tells some great stories! Please listen and discuss and comment below.



    You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. Please leave ratings or feedback.

    And did you know that you can listen to the Get To Know 'Em podcast by asking Alexa to "Listen to the Get To Know 'Em Podcast."

    PAST EPISODES

    Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado)
    Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker
    Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter
    Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer
    Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells
    Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade
    Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells)
    Episode 8: Get to know: Caleb Hamilton, Austin Schulfer, Nick Anderson
    Episode 9: Get to know: Andy Young, Billy Boyer (and Ten Minutes with Tyler)
    Episode 10: Get to know: Wesley Wright (Twins Pro Scout)
    Episode 11: Get to know: John Manuel(Twins Pro Scout)
    Episode 12: Get to know: Marshall Kelner(Mighty Mussels broadcaster)
    Episode 13: Get to know: Dick Bremer (Twins broadcaster, author)
    Episode 14: Get to know: Anthony Slama (former Twins pitcher, entrepreneur)


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    • Apr 09 2020 08:24 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  4. Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters)

    As you know, the Twins came to Minnesota from Washington DC where they were known as the Senators. In 1961, they won just 70 games. Then they won 91 games each of the next two seasons. 1964 was disappointing as the team finished just below .500. In 1965, the Twins made it all the way to the World Series where they lost in seven games to the Dodgers. They won at least 89 games the next two seasons but then fell below .500 again in 1968. In 1969, under Billy Martin, they won 97 games.

    The 1960s was the Twins first decade in Minnesota. As you look through the top hitters below, you might want to ask yourself if the 1960s Twins All-Decade team might just be the best of the six decades.

    Share your thoughts. Who did I miss? Who would you name the player of the decade?

    THE HITTERS

    C - Earl Battey (1961-1967)
    853 games, .278/.356/.409 (.765) with 115 doubles, 76 homers, 350 RBI.

    Battey spent parts of five seasons with the White Sox but came to the Senators in 1960. That season, he won his first Gold Glove Award. In his seven seasons in a Twins uniform, he was an All-Star in four seasons. He won two more Gold Gloves. He finished in the top ten in MVP voting twice.

    1B - Harmon Killebrew - 1961-1969
    1,305 games, .266/.388/.547 (.935) with 164 doubles, 362 homers, 933 RBI.

    When the Twins came to Minnesota, he had already spent parts of seven seasons with the Senators.In the ‘60s, he was an All-Star all but one year. His 362 homers were best in the organization by over 150 homers. He hit 39 or more homers in seven of the seasons and led the American League five times. He won the 1969 MVP award and finished in the Top 5 in MVP voting five times.

    2B - Rod Carew - 1967-1969
    387 games, .299/.346/.408 (.754) with 79 doubles, 17 homers, 149 RBI.

    Carew didn’t debut until 1967, but he made an immediate impact. He played in all three All-Star games. He was the 1967 AL Rookie of the Year. He led the league with a .332 batting average in 1969. It was just the beginning for the future Hall of Famer whom the American League batting championship is now named after.

    3B - Rich Rollins - 1961-1968
    888 games, .272/.333/.398 (.727) with 117 doubles, 71 homers, 369 RBI.

    Rollins was an All-Star (twice). He finished eighth in MVP voting. He had at least 40 extra-base hits each year from 1962 through 1964. As the decade advanced, he became more of a part-time, platoon player.

    SS - Zoilo Versalles - 1961-1967
    1,065 games, .252/.299/.387 (.686) with 188 doubles, 86 homers, 401 RBI.

    Versalles had played parts of two seasons with the Senators. He became a regular in 1961. He was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner in 1963. In 1965, he was an All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and the American League MVP. That season, he led the league in doubles (45) and triples (12). It was the third straight year he led the league in triples.

    LF - Bob Allison - 1961-1969
    1,189 games, .255/.361/.482 (.843) with 162 doubles, 210 homers, 635 RBI.

    Allison debuted with the Senators in 1958 and was an All-Star and the AL Rookie of the Year in 1959. He was a starter throughout the 1960s. He was an All-Star in 1963 and 1964, his two best seasons. He hit over 30 homers twice and over 20 homers seven seasons in the decade. His .911 OPS led the American League. He was a leader of the 1965 World Series team and his catch is still one of the great highlights in World Series history.



    CF - Jimmie Hall - 1963-1966
    573 games, .269/.334/.481 (.815) with 73 doubles, 98 homers, 288 RBI.

    Hall debuted as a 25 year old in 1963 and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. He hit .260 with a career-high 33 homers. He was an All-Star in 1964 and 1965. A left-handed hitter, he started just two of the seven World Series games in 1965 because he didn’t play in the games started by Sandy Koufax or Claude Osteen. He hit 20 or more homers in all four of his Twins seasons before he was traded to California after the 1966 season.

    RF - Tony Oliva - 1962-1969
    912 games, .308/.359/.500 (.859) with 213 doubles, 132 homers, 535 RBI.

    Oliva played in 16 games between 1962 and 1963. In 1964, he hit .323 and was the AL Rookie of the Year. He won batting titles his first two seasons. He was an All-Star in 1964 and for each season through the rest of the decade. He twice finished runner up in AL MVP voting, including to Versalles in 1965. He led the league in Hits four times during the decade and in Doubles four times. His 213 doubles was tops in the organization.

    DH - Cesar Tovar - 1965-1969
    631 games, .271/.329/.371 (.700) with 108 doubles, 25 homers, 189 RBI.

    Obviously there wasn’t a designated hitter in the 1960s, but we are going to have one… because, well, why not? With the hitters in this lineup, Tovar likely wouldn’t be the regular DH in actual games. He would play all over the diamond with different guys DHing each game. Tovar debuted in 1965. In 1966, he became a regular. In 1967, he led the league with 164 games played (and plate appearances and at-bats). He received MVP votes each season from 1967 through 1971.


    What an impressive group of players, led by several Hall of Famers, Twins Hall of Famers and Baseball Hall of Famers.

    Check back tomorrow for the Twins Pitchers of the Decade of the 1960s.

    • Apr 08 2020 05:57 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  5. Recapping the All-Time Favorite Twins Player Bracket

    World Series Region
    After a Hall of Fame career and multiple heroic World Series moments, Kirby Puckett was named the tournament’s number one overall seed. Kent Hrbek was the number two seed in the region and these two seemed destined for an Elite Eight match-up. Both would advance before Puckett took out Hrbek to make the Final Four.

    Jack Morris might have been the one surprise in this region as he was able to defeat Tom Brunansky in the first round. Morris was the higher seed, but he only played one season in Minnesota. Still, his one season was a magical one and he pitched one of the greatest games in baseball history. It also helps that he has continued to have a media presence in the Twin Cities since retiring.
    [attachment=13580:World Series Region.jpg]
    Current Twins Region
    The Tournament Committee might have underestimated some of the players in the Current Twins Region. The biggest upset of the tournament happened in this region and it was the only region where a non-number one seed was able to make the Final Four. Nelson Cruz was given the number one seed in the region after being named the team’s MVP.

    Cruz made it all the way to the region final, but he was upset by Max Kepler, the region’s three seed. Kepler took out Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton along the way. The bracket’s biggest first round upset might have been Jose Berrios, the region’s number two seed, being taken out by Byron Buxton, a seven seed. Buxton’s Cinderella story ended in the next round, but he was able to handily beat the team’s two-time All-Star and scheduled Opening Day starter.

    [attachment=13581:Current Twins Region.jpg]
    Metrodome Region
    Of all the regions, this one might have included some of the biggest tournament snubs. Jacque Jones, Nick Punto, Doug Mientkiewicz and others were left out of the tournament with names like Lew Ford and Francisco Liriano beating them out. Joe Mauer was the easy selection as the number one and he had enough to beat out Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter to make the Final Four.

    The closest match-up in the entire tournament was between Johan Santana, the three seed, and Torii Hunter, the two seed. Heading into the final hour of voting it was deadlocked at 50-50. Hunter used a last-minute run to overtake Santana and head to the Elite Eight before eventually losing to Mauer.
    [attachment=13582:Metrodome Region.jpg]
    Early Twins Region
    Many fans on social media are far removed from the early Twins and their impact on this franchise. Harmon Killebrew earned the number one seed in the region and the number two overall seed and he seemed like the front-runner for the championship. He fell short of this goal, but it might have been connected to recency bias instead of his overall greatness.

    Minnesota has seven retired players eligible for this bracket and four of them made it through the first round. Realistically, the Mount Rushmore of Twins players includes multiple players from this region that wouldn’t be represented in the Final Four. Bert Blyleven and Tony Oliva weren’t able to upset the higher seeds and it set up a Killebrew vs. Carew final for the ages.
    [attachment=13583:Early Twins Region.jpg]
    Final Four
    Both semifinal matchups turned out to be no contests as the most recent legend in Twins history, Joe Mauer, beat out an all-time legend in Harmon Killebrew. Max Kepler, out of the Current Twins region, hasn’t made any big catches or hit any big home runs in the World Series, so it made sense for him to be demolished by Kirby Puckett.

    Puckett versus Mauer would be the final and it looked close at the beginning of the voting. After about eight hours of voting, both players were nearly tied for the top spot. Some on Twitter thought it would be atrocious for Mauer to beat-out Puckett, the World Series hero. Stronger heads prevailed and the top seed in the tournament, Puckett, cut down the nets.


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    • Mar 29 2020 09:38 PM
    • by Cody Christie
  6. Miguel Sano and Minnesota’s Legendary Defensive History at First Base

    Harmon Killebrew
    Killebrew moved all over the field during his big-league career as the Twins shuffled him between the left field and both corner infield spots. He spent more time at first base than any other position. His fielding percentage at first was the best of any position (.992). His total zone rating in runs above average was -6, but at third he was a -51 and he was a -19 in left field.

    Like Killebrew, Sano is in the Twins line-up because he can put baseballs into orbit with his powerful swing. Unlike Killebrew, the designated hitter role could impact Sano as his career progresses. Killebrew was forced to play a defensive position because the DH didn’t exist until the tail-end of his career. If Sano struggles with the transition to first, he could move to DH after Nelson Cruz vacates that position for the Twins.

    Rod Carew
    While Killebrew and Sano share similarities, Rod Carew and Sano might be the furthest thing apart when it comes to body type and approach at the plate. Carew did not move full time to first base until his age-30 season and his lone MVP award came in his second full season at first base. He played three full seasons there before leaving for the Angels and he amassed an 18 total zone rating. His best season at first base actually came in 1982 when he posted an 18 total zone rating, a career high. With a .991 fielding percentage, he and Killebrew posted nearly identical marks for their careers.

    Like Carew, Sano started his professional career at another defensive position where he wasn’t exactly strong defensively. Carew provided a -3 total zone rating in nearly 9,500 innings at second base. This included a bad season (1971: -11 TZ) and a couple of good seasons (1969, 1975: 6 TZ). Sano had multiple seasons with a -10 TZ rating at third including last season. His best season (4 TZ) was in 2016 when he was limited to 42 games at third.

    Kent Hrbek
    Both players above made the Hall of Fame, but Kent Hrbek was Minnesota born and he was part of some of the most famous plays at first base in team history (See: Final out 1987, Ron Gant). Hrbek posted a .994 fielding percentage at first with a 16 TZ rating. He had multiple seasons with a TZ rating higher than five, but he also had two of his final five seasons with a -7 TZ. Arguably, his best defensive season was 1984 when he finished second for the AL MVP.

    Like Hrbek, the Twins hope Sano can provide a big target for infielders especially Minnesota’s current middle infield duo. Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez are both below average on the defensive side of the ball. Last season, Polanco was saved multiple times by CJ Cron after throwing the ball in the dirt. With a big target at first, the team’s advice for this season is to throw it high because those types of throws will be easier for a less experienced first baseman.

    Joe Mauer
    Joe Mauer won multiple Gold Gloves in his career, but all of them came as a catcher which is considerably harder defensive position than first base. Most people thought his transition from catcher to first base would be smooth because of his athleticism, but it was a skill he had to improve. In his first three seasons at first, he combined for a -6 TZ ranking, but over his final two seasons he posted positive totals to end his career with an overall 0 TZ at first. He also combined to have a .996 fielding percentage, a higher total than any player mentioned above.

    Like Mauer, Sano has played his entire career in an advanced analytical age and this means more defensive data to gauge player effectiveness. SABR’s Defensive Index has been used to help pick the Gold and Platinum Glove winners in each league since 2013. Back in 2014, Mauer finished tied with Albert Pujols (3.8 SDI) for the top SDI ranking at first. He tied that SDI total in 2017, but it was only good enough to finish third overall at first base. Last season, only two players ranked worse than Sano (-6.8 SDI) at third base according to SDI.

    What do you remember about these different defenders? How good can Sano be at first? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    • Mar 23 2020 06:17 PM
    • by Cody Christie
  7. Looking Back at the Twins in Baseball’s Previously Shortened Seasons

    1972
    Record: 77-77 (3rd in the AL West)
    The first player strike in baseball history took out the first two weeks of the 1972 season. Players wanted an increase in their pension fund payments and salary arbitration added to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. A total of 86 games were lost over 13-days with most teams losing six to eight games. With teams playing a different number of games, the Detroit Tigers won the AL East by half a game because they played one more game than the Boston Red Sox.

    Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven were the Twins team leaders in WAR. Carew hit .318/.369/.379 (.749) with 27 extra-base hits in 142 games. Blyleven pitched nearly 290 innings and posted a 2.73 ERA with 228 strikeouts and 69 walks. Harmon Killebrew led the team with 26 home runs, but Bobby Darwin was close behind with 22. Dick Woodson nearly matched Blyleven with 251 2/3 innings and a 2.72 ERA.

    1981
    Record: 41-68 (7th in the AL West)
    Every team played roughly 107 games in 1981 after the players walked out on June 11 and didn’t return until August 10. Owners were pushing for draft pick compensation when losing a free agent player and they also wanted to be able to take a player off the roster of the team where the free agent signed. Because the stoppage was in the middle of the year, MLB had division winners from the season’s first and second halves face off in a division series before moving on to a championship series. Unfortunately for baseball, the teams with the top two records (Cincinnati and St. Louis) missed the playoffs because of this format.

    Minnesota’s final season in Metropolitan Stadium was certainly one to forget as the team struggled out of the gate in the first half and finished with a 17-39 record. The second half went a little better as the team ended up fourth in the AL West with a 24-29 record. There were few notable names among the team’s top WAR contributors. Doug Corbett, Albert Williams, John Castino and Pete Redfern are not exactly a top-tier list of former Twins greats.

    1995
    Record: 56-88 (5th in the AL Central)
    In what might be baseball’s most famous work stoppage, the 1994 season had ended early and baseball’s strike wouldn’t end until the beginning of April 1995. Players were given three weeks to get themselves in playing shape at a shortened spring training before heading into a 144-game season. It would be the first year where the playoffs would use a three-division format with a wild card team.

    For Twins fans, a moment occurred in 1995 that no one saw coming, Kirby Puckett’s final game. On September 28, Puckett stepped in against Dennis Martinez and took a pitch to the head. He would play during spring 1996 before waking up with blurred vision in his right eye. Beside Puckett, Chuck Knoblauch and Marty Cordova were the team’s WAR leaders. Cordova beat out the likes of Garret Anderson and Andy Pettitte to win the AL Rookie of the Year.


    Baseball messed up the playoffs in 1972 and 1981, so it will be interesting to see how the season will unfold when and if the teams return to action. Minnesota hasn’t fared well in any of baseball’s previously shortened seasons, but on paper, the 2020 version of the Twins are certainly set up to do well.

    How will this season’s delay compare to the previously shortened seasons? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    • Mar 16 2020 02:28 PM
    • by Cody Christie
  8. Get to Know: Dick Bremer, Twins Broadcaster, Author

    The 2020 season will be Dick Bremer's 37th season covering the Minnesota Twins on TV. It also marks the 60th season that the Twins will be play in Minnesota.

    To mark the occasion, Bremer has been working with Triumph Books on an autobiography of sorts. In his typical self-deprecating way, he wrote about his life with 108 "Stitches" or short stories, most of which somehow tie back to the game of baseball.

    I truly enjoyed chatting with Dick Bremer in the press box at Hammond Stadium earlier this month. His passion for the Twins comes through very clearly. His passion for the history of this organization overflows. His pride in working with some of the great players in Twins history over his career behind the mic, from Harmon Killebrew, to Tommy John, to Bert Blyelven, Roy Smalley and now Justin Morneau.

    If you are a fan of the Minnesota Twins and watch them on TV regularly, and if you enjoy the history of the organization, the book is a Must Read, and I think that this podcast is a Must Listen.




    Earlier this month, Bremer celebrated his birthday. He was born just a couple of years before the Twins moved to Minnesota. He grew up admiring Bob Allison. He wrote about growing up in west-central Minnesota and getting to a couple of games each year. Even when his family moved to Missouri, he was able to listen to Twins games late at night on the radio and remained a Twins fan even though the talented Cardinals were much closer.

    His family returned to Minnesota. He went to St. Cloud State. There are some fun stories from his years in Cedar Rapids that Kernels fans will certainly enjoy.

    He's got a bunch of stories about the team in the Metrodome. There are stories of the 1987 and 1991 Twins and the players we all remember so fondly. Sure, there were some lean years too, but there were still some fun stories. There are also some emotional stories from Bremer's life that he shared.

    The book is comprised of 108 short stories, making it great for the coffee table, or for a bathroom reader.

    So again, on Tuesday, March 17, Dick Bremer's Game Used: My Life in Stitches with the Minnesota Twins will be available at bookstores around the Upper Midwest as well as wherever you get your books online (where they are already available for pre-order).

    Join me in this fun, recent conversation with Dick Bremer about the book and about his life with the Minnesota Twins. We even talked about the 2020 Twins, though please note that this conversation took place just over a week before news came out about the delayed started to the season.

    If you haven't listened to a previous Get to Know 'Em podcast, this is the one to listen to.




    You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. Please leave ratings or feedback.

    And did you know that you can listen to the Get To Know 'Em podcast by asking Alexa to "Listen to the Get To Know 'Em Podcast."

    PAST EPISODES

    Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado)
    Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker
    Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter
    Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer
    Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells
    Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade
    Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells)
    Episode 8: Get to know: Caleb Hamilton, Austin Schulfer, Nick Anderson
    Episode 9: Get to know: Andy Young, Billy Boyer (and Ten Minutes with Tyler)
    Episode 10: Get to know: Wesley Wright (Twins Pro Scout)
    Episode 11: Get to know: John Manuel(Twins Pro Scout)
    Episode 12: Get to know: Marshall Kelner(Mighty Mussels broadcaster)


    Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.

    • Mar 16 2020 09:26 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  9. Miguel Sano with Sights Set on Hall of Fame Records

    The Minnesota Twins are celebrating their 60th season and bringing back the powder blues in 2020. A slugger that wore those uniforms prior to them becoming throwbacks was none other than Harmon Killerbrew. Known as Killer, Harmon clubbed a ridiculous 573 career homers. Twice, in 1964 and 1969, he blasted 49 in a single season. As a no-doubt Hall of Famer it’s hard to fathom Sano reaching that rarified air, but matching him for a calendar year? Yeah, I can get behind that.

    During the 2019 season Sano played in just 105 games. He missed the beginning of the year after suffering a gash on his heel in a freak accident. After debuting in mid-May, the Dominican native posted an .853 OPS through his first 23 games. There were seven longballs hit in that stretch, but it was bookended by an ugly five-strikeout affair in a 0-for-7 performance against the Boston Red Sox.

    Working with the since departed James Rowson on a teardown and rebuild of his swing while facing Major League pitching, Miguel performed admirably. Given the determination he’d shown throughout the offseason, it shouldn’t be a surprise he’d work tirelessly to get this right. Over his final 82 games he tallied a .944 OPS and 27 homers. From July on that OPS was at .955, and in September alone it was a whopping 1.067.

    Owning a top five barrel rate and one of the best hard-hit rates in all of baseball, it’s not a surprise to see the pill leave the yard when Miguel makes contact. He’ll obviously whiff plenty, but even a 36% strikeout rate couldn’t keep him down a year ago. The mix tells us everything we need to know. This is a three true outcomes guy that recorded an insane 36% HR/FB rate. Now what happens if he’s on the field more?

    Moving over to first base could present some challenges for Miguel, and he’ll definitely need to grow into the new position. If he can continue to separate his play on the field from that in the batter’s box, the rigors of the role should put less of a strain on him, however. Also, barring some unfortunate development, he’ll be entering the year with a clean bill of health.

    Extrapolating Sano’s numbers over the course of a full season surpasses the 50-home run plateau. It’s something that Killebrew never did and reaching 43 would put him beyond Nelson Cruz’s number last year (41) as well as Brian Dozier’s in 2016 (42). For a guy that was sent down to Single-A less than two years ago to now be capable of the heights Miguel is achieving is nothing short of extraordinary. He’s put in the work, he’s committed to be the best version of himself, and in 2020 it could culminate into some chart-topping tallies.

    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
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    • Jan 30 2020 03:35 PM
    • by Ted Schwerzler
  10. 2019 Killebrew Award Winner - Calvin Faucher (Ft. Myers Miracle)

    Calvin Faucher was the Twins 10th-round draft pick in 2010 out of UC-Irvine. He signed quickly and spent that summer in Elizabethton. He pitched mostly in Cedar Rapids in 2018. In 2019, Faucher moved up to Ft. Myers and went 3-2 with two saves and a 4.42 ERA. In 55 innings, he struck out 61 batters.

    Off the field, Faucher made an impression by being active in the Ft. Myers community. He kept himself busy throughout the season with a variety of activities.

    The Miracle have always hosted several camps for kids and Faucher was happy to volunteer. Recently he told Twins Daily, “Yeah, we hosted a few kids camps at Hammond Stadium that were always fun. Local kids coming out and enjoying a day of baseball. We also held a disability dream and do camp at the stadium as a team, which is always great, not only for the participants but also for the players. Being able to help kids that aren’t able to get out and play sports as often, to get them out and enjoying sports and letting loose and being active with a smile on their faces.”

    The miracle also are frequently seen at Ft. Myers area hospitals visiting sick children.

    “We also went to Golisano Children’s Hospital in Fort Myers. Being able to do this was very special to me. My fellow teammates Joe Record, Bailey Ober, and I had the pleasure of being able to visit kids at the hospital. Being able to talk to the kids and hold conversations and just get their minds off of the illnesses that they have been battling, and putting smiles on their faces was awesome. Seeing how strong and positive these kids are while going through these battles really puts things into perspective of how there are bigger things than a game of baseball.”

    Faucher will soon turn 24 years old, and clearly he shows an advanced makeup and understanding of his role and responsibilities and the impact that he, as a professional athlete, can have on the youth.

    It’s also not lost on him the impact that Harmon Killebrew had on the communities he lived in and the impact he made.

    “I mean we all know Harmon Killebrew is a legend not only in the Minnesota Twins organization, but in baseball history as well. So, being associated with him and an award named after him, it’s an honor to be able to receive this award.”


    Previous Ft. Myers Miracle Killebrew Award winners:

    2011 - Reggie Williams
    2012 - Andy Leer
    2013 - Stephen Wickens
    2014 - Tim Shibuya
    2015 - Tanner Vavra
    2016 - Trey Vavra
    2017 - Kevin Garcia
    2018 - Tyler Wells

    Other 2019 Killebrew Award Recipients

    Rochester Red Wings - Jake Reed
    Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Hector Lujan
    Fort Myers Miracle - Calvin Faucher
    Cedar Rapids Kernels - Brian Rapp

    Congratulations to Calvin Faucher on earning the 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Ft. Myers Miracle.

    • Sep 21 2019 08:49 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  11. 2019 Killebrew Award Winner - Hector Lujan (Pensacola Blue Wahoos)

    Yesterday, we announced that Brian Rapp was the 2019 Killebrew Award recipient for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Today, we’ll discuss the 2019 Killebrew Award recipient of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, right-hander Hector Lujan.

    Hector Lujan was the Twins 35th round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College. This isn’t his first Killebrew Award. He was the 2017 choice for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He began the 2019 season in Ft. Myers but was moved up to Pensacola by mid-June. Combined, he posted a 2.76 ERA over 58 2/3 innings with 55 strikeouts.

    However, it is off the field where Lujan has also had a huge effect.

    Anna Striano is the Blue Wahoos Community Relations Manager, and she thought that Lujan was a terrific choice. She told Twins Daily recently, “Hector was our choice for the award because he truly lived out our mission - to improve the quality of life for those in our community.”

    She continued, ‘A regular visitor to our ‘autograph alley,’ Hector made time both before and after games to make sure that each child not only got the autograph that they were after, but also left with a smile on their face. As one of our players with the most community hours volunteered this season. Hector was consistently engaging with members of our community from all different walks of life. Whether it be visiting sick children in the hospital or catching a ceremonial first pitch, he was always the first to jump in when we needed volunteers, and always did so with a smile on his face.”

    The award does mean a lot to Lujan, and he appreciates the opportunities he has as a professional ballplayer.

    “It's an honor to receive an award named after Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew. It is also an honor to be a part of an organization that has such an impact on their community. The focus that Pensacola and the Twins have on the community was great! Lots of community interaction between the players and the fans. Hearing about the community leader that Harmon Killebrew was, I can only hope that throughout my baseball career and life, I can leave a mark on the community as he did. I want to be known as someone that gave all I had, both on and off the field and do whatever I can to help make a change in a good way in kids lives or even adults.”

    Posted Image
    Striano mentioned a couple of the events that Lujan participated in. “Over the season, Hector visited Nemours Children’s Hospital on three separate occasions and stopped by the Studer Family Children’s Hospital as well. Hector was also a part of the ‘Hit a Homerun for Early Literacy’ program. During this event he read Clifford Makes the Team to an audience of about 50 children ranging in age from infancy to kindergarten. During each event Hector was always engaging and approachable – often going the extra mile to make these experiences truly memorable by creating personal interactions with each fan, patient, or person he encountered.”

    Lujan spoke of a couple of his favorite activities. “Two of my favorite things that I got to do were hospital visits and a boys and girls club baseball game.”

    Let’s start with his thoughts on visiting the local hospitals, bringing smiles to the kids and also listening to parents.. “Some of the activities that were great that I and some players were involved in were hospital visits to kids. Seeing the faces lit up on the kids when walking into the room really made our day. Talking to them and being able to hangout with them and have conversations with them was also fun being able to learn all sorts of things from them. The conversations with the parents and seeing how grateful they were when spending time with their kids was also great and it made us feel very grateful to see them happy by spending time with their kids and family.”

    Regarding the baseball games, Lujan noted, “The boys and girls club baseball game was a BLAST! Some police and fire department staff were there too which made it even more entertaining being able to play with them and have great conversations. ”

    Again, this is not new to Lujan. He not only has been doing work in the communities in which he has played as a pro baseball player but was involved in community in college and earlier.

    “It was a great time all around being able to participate in the community and represent the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Twins.”

    Striano summarize Lujan’s impact quite well in saying “To me, Hector is the embodiment of ‘it’s bigger than baseball,’ and we are proud to recognize and thank him for the work he did in the Pensacola community.”

    --------------------------------------------------------------


    Previous Twins Double-A Killebrew Award winners:

    2011 - Bobby Lanigan
    2012 - Shawn Roof
    2013 - Dan Rohlfing
    2014 - Tony Thomas
    2015 - Tim Shibuya
    2016 - David Hurlbut
    2017 - Travis Harrison
    2018 - Chris Paul

    Other 2019 Killebrew Award Recipients

    Rochester Red Wings - Coming Soon
    Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Hector Lujan
    Fort Myers Miracle - Coming Soon
    Cedar Rapids Kernels - Brian Rapp


    Congratulations to Hector Lujan on earning the 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Blue Wahoos.

    • Sep 18 2019 10:29 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  12. 2019 Killebrew Award Winner - Brian Rapp (Cedar Rapids Kernels)

    The 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service recipient for the Cedar Rapids Kernels is right-handed relief pitcher Brian Rapp.

    Rapp was the Twins 26th-round pick in 2018 out of Boston College where he pitched for four seasons. He pitched in Elizabethton the remainder of 2018. He spent the entire 2019 season pitching mostly out of the bullpen for the Kernels. He went 5-1 in 33 games and 65 2/3 innings.

    So no… On the field there are not a lot of similarities between the slugging Killebrew and pitching Rapp, but off the field they both value serving the communities in which they live.

    Rapp said, “I really enjoyed my time being in the Cedar Rapids community. We were so blessed to have some amazing fans and people welcome us not only to their homes but the city in general.”

    Aron Brecht works for the Kernels. One of his responsibilities is working with organizations in the community and scheduling players to participate in a variety of events. He appreciated all that Rapp did throughout the season.

    Brecht said, “Brian was the choice for the Harmon Killebrew Award because of his involvement in almost all of the 41 player appearances the Cedar Rapids Kernels scheduled this year. It wasn’t only his presence that won the award for him, but his engagement with folks of all ages.”

    Rapp worked with young kids through some school programs but also throughout the summer. He noted, “I went to reading programs we had set up with local elementary schools to read and act out books. Also met with other kids throughout summer to speak and just hang out, there were events to feed veterans and lastly a program called “Catch with a Cop.”

    Brecht found Rapp’s work with the Catch with a Cop most notable.

    “His work with kids and law enforcement officers during the Kernels five ‘Catch with a Cop’ programs – which has local at-risk children team up with local law enforcement to establish a positive and engaging relationship during a game of catch. Sometimes, the kids could be a little wary about warming up to the officers, and Brian regularly acted as the liaison between them by starting not only conversations and games of catch, but whiffle ball games and home run derbies, too.”

    The players who are really good at these community service opportunities are the ones who really enjoy the opportunity to be a role model.

    Rapp noted, “We had such great times. I really enjoy teaching young kids and being able to talk with them and get to know what’s going on in their lives because I was that kid when I was younger. I always looked up to older kids, especially athletes. When it came to professionals, I looked up and always aspired to work hard to get there myself one day and a lot of their messages stuck with me and helped drive me forward always. So in turn I try to always do the same.”

    Paying it forward, if you will. It is what makes Rapp appreciative of his opportunities, and it is what made Rapp the clear choice as the Kernels 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service Recipient.
    Brecht concludes, “His fun personality was infectious and his attitude was incredible throughout the whole season and the Kernels thank him, and are proud to recognize him, for all of his work in the Cedar Rapids community.”

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Previous Twins Low-A Killebrew Award winners:

    2011 - Ryan O’Rourke
    2012 - Corey Williams
    2013 - Niko Goodrum
    2014 - Tanner Vavra
    2015 - Jared Wilson
    2016 - Nelson Molina
    2017 - Hector Lujan
    2018 - David Banuelos

    Other 2019 Killebrew Award Recipients

    Rochester Red Wings - Coming Soon
    Chattanooga Lookouts - Coming Soon
    Fort Myers Miracle - Coming Soon
    Cedar Rapids Kernels - Brian Rapp


    Congratulations to Brian Rapp on earning the 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

    • Sep 17 2019 09:19 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  13. Mauer’s Myths: The Hero Minnesota Didn’t Deserve

    I’ve had some frustrating conversations with friends and colleagues over the last few weeks as it became ever more apparent that Mauer’s career was coming to an end. In fact, Sports Illustrated looked into the reasons some Twins fans dislike Mauer. Let’s dispel some of those myths.

    The Money Myth
    Baseball’s pay structure is set-up so young players are relatively cheap for owners. At the beginning of a player’s career, they are forced to build up service time and go through the arbitration process. Typically, players enter the prime of their careers near the time they are entering free agency. This forces teams to overpay for a player’s prime and be saddled with a declining player at the end of the contract.

    Joe Mauer was overpaid at the end of his career, but he was vastly underpaid at the beginning of his career. From 2004-2009, the Twins paid Mauer $21,525,000. According to FanGraphs valuation system, he was worth $151,700,000 during those same seasons. Minnesota signed him to an 8-year, $184 million contract following the 2009 season. Over those eight seasons, Mauer was worth $126,000,000 in total value.

    For his career, the Twins paid him $218,025,000 and he repaid the organization with $307,700,000 in value.

    The Anti-Clutch Myth
    Mauer will forever be associated with Twins teams that struggled in postseason play. Teams he was on seemed to always run into the Damn Yankees before failing to advance. He famously had a double negated at Yankee Stadium in what became a turning point in the series. However, there are only certain things Mauer can control when it comes to pressure situations.

    This season Mauer led all of baseball in batting average with runners in scoring position. He hit .407 in those situations. That’s not a typo and it wasn’t a one season anomaly. Mauer's career .334 batting average with RISP is second among all active hitters with at least 750 plate appearances, behind only Joey Votto at .336.

    Mauer was great with players in scoring position and that might be one of the most clutch things a player can do.

    The No Power Myth
    Mauer was never going to live up to his 28-home run outpouring from his MVP season in 2009. That season was a season for the ages where Mauer cemented his place as one of the all-time best hitting catchers. Even though the home runs might not have continued at a record pace, there was still power on Mauer’s resume.

    Minnesota’s team history stretches back to the early 1960’s. There have been multiple Hall of Fame players (Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett) who spent large chunks of their careers with the Twins. None of them have hit more doubles than Mauer. Among all-time catchers, he has the third highest OPS.


    The power was there but it just didn’t always come in the form of home runs.

    I don’t know if I ever fully appreciated Mauer during his playing career. I understood how good he was but it’s easy to see how he could have been misunderstood after looking back on his career. Casual fans don’t understand the type of value and production he was able to produce over his 15-year career.

    He was the hero Minnesota didn’t deserve.

    • Oct 01 2018 09:11 PM
    • by Cody Christie
  14. 2018 Harmon Killebrew Award Winner - Tyler Wells (Ft. Myers Miracle)

    Following the conclusion of the Twins minor league season, Twins Daily announced our choice for the 2018 Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Right-hander Tyler Wells split the season, making 16 starts for Ft. Myers and six games in Chattanooga. Combined, he went 10-6 with a 2.49 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He struck out 121 batters in 119 1/3 innings. It was a terrific season on the field for Wells.

    Wells was terrific in the community throughout the season as well and earned the Miracle choice for the Harmon Killebrew Award. The Miracle do a lot throughout their season in the community, and Wells stayed busy with it throughout his time in southwest Florida.

    Wells shared a list of some of the activities that he participated in. “During my time in Fort Myers, I participated in multiple camps, a special needs camp, a hospital visit to see kids with cancer, and helped promote and participated in a fundraiser with the VS. Cancer Foundation. I also participated in a kids camp up in Chattanooga.”

    The VS. Cancer event and fundraiser was something that meant a lot personally to Wells.



    Wells and some teammates raised money to fight cancer, and following a game at Hammond Stadium on a Friday night in late July, they got pied.



    Wells made several trips to Ft. Myers area hospitals with teammates throughout the season, and even in the offseason when he was there for various camps.

    Being community-minded is something that is very important to Tyler Wells, and having his name associated with an award named for the great Harmon Killebrew.

    “It’s a huge honor for me, as it would be for anyone to associated with the Minnesota Twins legend. Baseball is only part of the job for us, and Harmon Killebrew was the best example you could have for being so much more than a baseball player. And I’m hoping, as I continue my career, that I can set an example like Killebrew did! ”


    Previous Ft. Myers Miracle Killebrew Award winners:

    2011 - Reggie Williams
    2012 - Andy Leer
    2013 - Stephen Wickens
    2014 - Tim Shibuya
    2015 - Tanner Vavra
    2016 - Trey Vavra
    2017 - Kevin Garcia
    2018 - Tyler Wells


    Other 2018 Killebrew Award Recipients

    Rochester Red Wings - Jake Reed
    Chattanooga Lookouts - Chris Paul
    Fort Myers Miracle - Tyler Wells
    Cedar Rapids Kernels - David Banuelos


    Congratulations to Tyler Wells on earning the 2018 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Fort Myers Miracle.

    • Sep 25 2018 08:45 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  15. Final Week Of The Mauer Era? Let's Enjoy It

    Did you have a chance to watch any of the highlights from Detroit this past weekend? Victor Martinez announced several weeks ago that 2018 would be his final season as an MLB player. Over the weekend, the Tigers played their final games at Comerica Park.

    The Tigers and Martinez announced earlier in the week that Martinez would be playing on Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, Martinez beat out an infield single and was removed from the game for a pinch runner.

    Emotion ensued.



    Staring at my computer monitor through water-logged eyes, my first thought turned to the Twins and Joe Mauer. My response to that video on Twitter was:

    “Why I want Joe Mauer to let people know if he is going to retire...
    Why Joe Mauer probably won't let us know when he's going to retire...”

    Earlier in the month, Mauer told the Star-Tribune that he will think about his future after the season is complete. In other words, we most likely won’t know until after Sunday’s season finale whether or not Joe Mauer will play again in 2019.

    If this is indeed the final week of Joe Mauer’s playing career, Minnesota Twins fans should come out in droves to watch this generation’s best Twins player. If you can’t get to Target Field, hopefully you will be able to watch on TV, or listen on the radio.

    With his next hit or walk or the next time he is hit by a pitch, Joe Mauer will pass Harmon Killebrew for most Times on Base in Minnesota Twins history.

    Harmon Killebrew - 3,072
    Joe Mauer - 3,072
    Kirby Puckett - 2,810
    Rod Carew - 2,718
    Kent Hrbek - 2,613

    Here is where Mauer ranks on the all-time Twins list in a variety of categories:

    Games Played (1,851) - 2nd (Killebrew)
    Plate Appearances (7,927) - 2nd (Killebrew)
    Runs (1,009) - 3rd (Killebrew, Puckett)
    Hits (2,112) - 2nd (Puckett)
    Doubles (426) - 1st
    Home Runs (143) - 11th
    RBI (921) - 5th
    Walks (935) - 2nd (Killebrew)

    And among Twins with 2,000 or more plate appearances, he ranks:

    Batting Average (.306) - 4th (Carew, Puckett, Mack)
    On-Base Percentage (.388) - 3rd (Carew, Knoblauch)

    From the time he was drafted by the Twins with the #1 overall pick in the 2001 draft out of Cretin-Derham Hall, Joe Mauer was destined for greatness.

    Among the #1 overall picks, Joe Mauer has been one of the best in the draft’s 54-year history. According to Baseball-Reference’s Wins Above Replacement, Mauer ranks behind only some recent Hall of Famers and another who may get there someday:

    117.8 - Alex Rodriguez
    85.2 - Chipper Jones
    83.8 - Ken Griffey, Jr.
    54.9 - Joe Mauer
    42.2 - Daryl Strawberry
    42.1 - Adrian Gonzalez

    What else?
    • Six All Star game appearances
    • Three Gold Gloves
    • Five Silver Sluggers
    • 2009 MVP
    • Four Top 10 finishes in MVP voting
    • Three batting titles (you may have heard that is rare for a catcher)
    • Two on-base percentage championships
    While the career of Joe Mauer hasn’t been perfect, it’s been pretty great. Consider that he was hitting .324/.404/.476 (.880) with 35 doubles and 11 homers in 113 games when his career trajectory was altered by his concussion. As great as his career has been, one can’t help but wonder how great it might have been? Instead of being a Top 5 player in Twins history, he might be right at the top of the list.

    And hey, if we’re going to go there, how might Mauer’s legacy have been altered had Phil Cuzzi accurately called a line drive down the left field line in Yankees Stadium an RBI double, rather than a foul ball.

    Of course, beyond the baseball field, Mauer has been recognized for his philanthropy as well. His work with the Gillette Children’s Hospital has been incredible. He’s helped raise over $1 million for the hospital, but he and his wife Maddie are often found at the hospital visiting kids. And, I’m guessing I am not the only one reading this who has heard stories of Joe Mauer doing things without any publicity to help individuals or kids. Mauer was the Twins nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award.

    There is no question that Joe Mauer will be a Twins Hall of Famer and no Twins player will ever wear the number Seven again.

    Who knows? Mauer may come back for the 2019 season, and it’s possible he will chose to play beyond that. But just in case this is the end of the baseball road for Joe Mauer, hopefully Twins fans will take a step back and enjoy this final week of Twins baseball and maybe the final week of the Joe Mauer era.

    Selfishly, I want to see Joe Mauer continue to play. I love watching him take at bats and move up the Twins all-time lists. I enjoy watching him at first base and his calm in clutch situations. I like watching all-time greats play. The other side of me says that it's always better to leave a year too early rather than a year too late. But, if he enjoys the game and whatever role he's playing, I hope he gets to go out on his own terms.


    Hopefully this will be a week full of high fives and hand shakes, curtain calls and standing ovations.

    • Sep 25 2018 09:10 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  16. 2018 Killebrew Award Winner - Chris Paul (Chattanooga Lookouts)

    Chris Paul came to the Twins as their sixth round draft pick in 2015 out of Cal-Berkeley. After signing, he went to Elizabethton but quickly moved up to Cedar Rapids. That’s where he began the 2016 season but just a couple of weeks into the season, he was promoted to Ft. Myers. In 2017, he hit .328/.380/.471 (.851) in 61 games in Ft. Myers. Unfortunately he broke his hamate bone. He made up for some of the lost time by representing the Twins in the Arizona Fall League last year.

    Paul has done a nice job representing the Twins on the field, but also off of the field, and that’s why he’s been selected the Chattanooga Lookouts’ recipient of the Harmon Killebrew Award.

    Dan Kopf is the Lookouts Media Relations Manager. Asked about Chris Paul, he said, “Chris was our choice. He was also willing to get into the community. This year, Chris helped underprivileged youth go back-to-school shopping at Academy Sports. Chris was also always one of the first players to volunteer for player appearances or interviews.”

    Helping in the community, and especially working with kids, was something that Chris Paul really enjoyed. He pointed out, “I helped with some teammates to play games and hold camps for unprivileged kids, usually through the boys and girls club or YMCA. Also, I have helped these kids go back to school shopping and find things they needed to help them succeed in life and in school! It was very rewarding and humbling experience. You learn just as much from these kids as they do from you, and it reminds me to be grateful for everything and all the opportunities I have been given.“

    It’s obviously a great perspective. Paul understands and appreciates what this award means and the legacy that has been left behind by Killebrew.

    “It’s an incredible honor to be given the Harmon Killebrew Award. Both on and off the field, Mr. Killebrew was held in very high regards by all; so obviously, I’m gratefully accepting this award hoping to live up to such a high standard set by such an outstanding individual and baseball player.“


    Previous Twins Double-A Killebrew Award winners:

    2011 - Bobby Lanigan
    2012 - Shawn Roof
    2013 - Dan Rohlfing
    2014 - Tony Thomas
    2015 - Tim Shibuya
    2016 - David Hurlbut
    2017 - Travis Harrison
    2018 - Chris Paul


    2018 Killebrew Award Recipients

    Rochester Red Wings - Jake Reed
    Chattanooga Lookouts - Chris Paul
    Fort Myers Miracle -
    Cedar Rapids Kernels -


    Congratulations to Chris Paul on earning the 2018 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Chattanooga Lookouts.

    • Sep 19 2018 09:00 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  17. 2018 Killebrew Award Winner - Jake Reed (Rochester Red Wings)

    The 2018 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service recipient for the Rochester Red Wings is right-handed relief pitcher Jake Reed.

    On the field, it was a real solid season for the hard-throwing right-hander. His overall numbers were terrific. He posted a 1.89 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP. In 47 2/3 innings, he walked 21, but he struck out 50 batters. He missed some time early in the season, but since June 1, he was tremendous. Over the season’s final three months, his ERA was just 1.43 and opponents hit just .167 off of him.

    It is difficult to understand why he did not receive a September call up based on his statistical line, especially late in the season.

    As impressive as he was on the mound for the Red Wings, he made a strong impression in the Rochester community as well.

    Red Wings General Manager Dan Mason nominated Reed saying, “Jake has been a phenomenal representative for the Red Wings and the Twins in our community this season volunteering at a variety of both corporate partner events as well as community events.”

    The list of activities that Reed helped with in the community was quite lengthy. Mason continued, “Some of the community events he participated in include: delivering meals with Meals on Wheels. Speaking engagement for Rochester Regional Hospital, Foodlink Summer kickoff, USSSA clinic, School of the Holy Childhood ( for mentally challenged kids) clinic, Challenger Baseball World Series here at Frontier Field, Red Wings Baseball camp, and another Challenger baseball camp. ”

    Reed truly appreciated the opportunities he had to work in and for the community thanks to the Red Wings. He said, “The Red Wings have been one of the best organizations I have ever seen as far as the opportunities they give us players to get out into the community and serve. We have done everything from visiting hospitals and running baseball camps, to delivering meals to less fortunate families and working alongside the Challenger baseball league in Rochester, which has been my favorite.”

    But, according to Mason, Reed went above and beyond the team-sponsored activities. “On his own time, without anyone in our office asking him, Jake visited a Challenger baseball field on his own on a Saturday morning in June. He also can often be seen before games chatting with fans and signing autographs, doing his best to provide lifelong memories for our fans. He truly understands his responsibilities as a professional baseball player on and off the field.”

    Reed deserved a September call up because of his work on the field for the Red Wings in 2018. However, he fully understands his role in society and the opportunities and the platform he’s been given and chooses to use it for good. He noted recently that he really appreciates receiving the honor and having his name associated with someone like Harmon Killebrew.

    He said, “This award actually means a lot. I will be honest. Not getting the call at the end of the season was disappointing. But getting this reward definitely reminded me of why God actually has me playing this game. It’s not about baseball. It really isn’t. It’s about loving and serving the people that you come into contact with, and the great thing about baseball is it gives us players plenty of opportunity to do so. I think men like Harmon Killebrew have set the example for us as far as what it looks like to be more than a baseball player.”

    Reed joined Episode 7 of Seth’s Twins On Deck Podcastlast offseason to talk about the work he’s done on the field, but also to discuss his faith as it is a very important an instrumental part of his life.


    Previous Red Wings Killebrew Award winners:
    2011 - Kyle Gibson
    2012 - JR Towles
    2013 - Brian Dinkelman
    2014 - Logan Darnell
    2015 - Logan Darnell
    2016 - Logan Darnell
    2017 - DJ Baxendale
    2018 - Jake Reed


    Congratulations to Jake Reed on earning the Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Rochester Red Wings. Over the coming days, we will share the stories of the Killebrew Award winners for the Chattanooga Lookouts, Ft. Myers Miracle and Cedar Rapids Kernels (in which there is an interesting tie to Killebrew himself).

    • Sep 16 2018 12:45 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  18. Twins Daily Roundtable: Hall of Fame Impact

    John Bonnes
    I've followed the Twins since 1972, and in my mind, there is no doubt that Kirby Puckett has had the biggest impact. It wasn't just the World Series championships or the postseason heroics. Indeed that was just a small fraction of what he brought, as was his performance on the field. His personality, specifically his childlike enthusiasm and joy, separated him from any other athlete I've witnessed.

    He was also fortunate enough to have his career fall into the perfect media landscape: media was ubiquitous, but not chaotic and social. I wasn't able to witness first-hand the greatness on and off the field that Harmon Killebrew embodied, but I have trouble imagining that any player from the 60s could impact an organization and community the way Puckett did in the 80s and 90s.

    Nick Nelson
    For me personally, it’d have to be Kirby Puckett. He was easily the team’s biggest star while I was growing up, and had a major impact on my fledgling affinity for Twins baseball at the time.

    However, given that Kirby’s playing career was relatively brief (by HoF standards) and his greatness somewhat overstated (*ducks*) I’ve gotta go with Harmon Killebrew. I didn’t have the privilege of watching him play, but the numbers speak for themselves: to still own essentially all the franchise’s power-hitting records 30-plus years after retiring is nothing short of incredible.

    Plus, Killebrew stuck around as a fantastic ambassador for the organization many years after his playing career ended, whereas Kirby faded from the spotlight unceremoniously. Puckett’s legacy is ultimately a complicated and checkered one, but Killer’s is rock-solid through and through. He arrived along with the team from Washington in 1961, on the front end of a legendary run, and will forever be emblazoned in my mind as the eternal face of the franchise.

    Cody Christie
    When looking at the organization, Tony Oliva, a player not in the Hall of Fame, might have had the greatest impact on the organization. He’s been a great ambassador for the game and an asset for the organization. However, other players elected to Cooperstown like Kirby Puckett, Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, and Bert Blyleven have impacted the organization in different ways.

    Puckett brought multiple titles to the Twin Cities. Killebrew was the heart and soul of the organization’s first pennant winning team. Carew and his Heart of 29 campaign have brought him back into the fold in Minnesota. Even Blyleven and his terrible announcing have left an impact on the organization.

    If I am picking one player, it has to be Killebrew. His on and off the field impacts have touched every generation of Twins fans. Puckett was my idol growing up but his post career life was filled with various demons. Killebrew wasn’t perfect but his reach goes far beyond Twins Territory.

    Steve Lein
    Just to point this out while I go into my why: this is a tough question for me (for reasons discussed below and others I won’t).

    I grew up as a little kid loving baseball and my home/favorite team won two world series before I was ten years old. My views may be a little skewed because of that and the vivid memories I still have (one of those World Series was the first time I can remember my parents letting me stay up late).

    Since I’ve grown up and sought to learn much more about the franchise’s history, I know the name Harmon Killebrew should top a lot of our writer’s lists. I don’t know if you could find a Hall of Famer anywhere that without a doubt could be called a better human being. Because of that, while I was in a vintage store this past weekend I was very tempted to drop far too much money on an okay-condition Killebrew baseball card from 1958, while still in a Senators jersey.

    But as far as impact on the organization for me, the answer to this question will likely always be Kirby Puckett. He’s unquestionably the reason why you came to the Metrodome during his star-studded career, his joy playing the game was apparent every day with his smile, and his charisma was known throughout the major leagues. He also led his teams to those two World Series Championships, so he’s my pick.

    SD Buhr
    Given my advanced age, it’s not surprising that I’m going to go with Harmon Killebrew. Many fans may not have an appreciation for just how sorry the Washington Senators franchise was at the time Calvin Griffith moved the team to Minnesota.

    Washington won the AL pennant in 1933. From that point until the franchise landed in Minnesota, the Senators had three seasons in which they finished in the top half of the A.L. standings (two were during the talent-challenged World War II era). They finished dead last in the standings in four of their final six seasons in Washington.

    That is the legacy that Calvin Griffith brought to Minnesota. Fortunately, he also brought Harmon Killebrew to Minnesota.

    With Killebrew as the face of the franchise, the Twins quickly became one of most successful teams of the 1960s.They finished 6th in their debut season of 1961, but finished 2nd in 1962, 3rd in 1963 and won the franchise’s first A.L. pennant in 32 years in 1965. They were runners-up in 1966 and 1967 and then won the first two Western Division pennants of the Divisional era in 1969 and 1970.

    Under Griffith’s frugal ownership, the Twins became an also-ran during the following decade and a half, until Griffith sold the team to Carl Pohlad. Killebrew was the virtual embodiment of “Minnesota Nice” off the field, while being a cold blooded “killer” when he stepped into the batter’s box.

    If the Twins had continued their Senators legacy of being the league doormats, it’s not hard to imagine that Griffith would have been forced to sell his team much sooner than he did and who knows whether there would have been much local interest in even trying to keep the team in Minnesota.

    Thanks to Killebrew and his friends, the Twins were still around when Kirby and his buddies won their Championships.

    Andrew Thares
    Now batting, number 34, Kirbyyyyyyyyyyyyy Puckett! In the history of the Minnesota Twins, there isn’t a single player who has had a greater impact on the organization than Kirby Puckett.

    It would be easy to talk about him being the best player on both World Series winning teams, or reminisce on his brilliant preforming in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, but really it was how Kirby played the game that left the lasting impact on the organization.

    As a Twins fan who isn’t old enough to remember Kirby Puckett before he retired, I think it speaks volumes to the fact that he is still my favorite baseball player of all time.

    Ted Schwerzler
    While Harmon was a man that has been gone from baseball for quite some time now, I think it's safe to say his impact has been felt over multiple generations. He was consistently a figurehead for the Twins organization even after his playing days, and his instruction towards young players is still disseminated today. He instilled a way in which to go about doing things that has been bought into by players like Torii Hunter, and consistently passed down as those guys give back to the organization today.

    If you missed any of the most recent roundtable discussions, here are the links:
    Baseball in 2028
    Floundered
    Second Half Star
    Sell, Sell, Sell?
    Fixing the Offense

    • Aug 01 2018 12:07 PM
    • by Cody Christie
  19. The Best Twins Team That Ever Was(n't)

    Interestingly enough, after I compiled my list Seth Stohs wrote about the "Top 15 Minnesota Twins Players". You'll see a lot of overlap here, but I put it in the form of a 25-man roster.

    Here is how I constructed the 25-man team.

    • The roster had to be realistic. This specifically pertains to the bench and bullpen.
    • The player had to spend over half their career with the Twins,
    • The player had to play for the Twins for at least 5 years,
    • The player had to play for the Twins between 1961 - current.
    • The player had to play at that particular position for a majority of his career. The exception to this rule is the DH.
    Hitters

    Catcher - Joe Mauer
    Not a lot to say here. By far, Joe Mauer is the best offensive and defensive catcher in franchise history. He will go down as one of the best catcher to ever play the game, and arguably the best hitting catcher to ever play. Don't let the contract and the latter part of his career overshadow his impact on the field when he was at his best.

    First Base - Kent Hrbek
    When choosing between Hrbek and Killebrew I had to consider the defensive numbers. Hrbek was not a great defender himself but he was much better than Killebrew, so he gets slotted here. Behind Killebrew, he and Justin Morneau were the two players to consider here and Hrbek was an easy choice over Morneau. I mean who can pull a guy off first better than Herbie?

    Second Base - Rod Carew
    I wasn't around to watch Carew play but his number is retired for a reason. With the Twins he played mostly 2B, but later in his career he became a full time 1B for the Angels. Other than Knoblauch and Dozier, there really aren't any other options here. As much as he is known for his offense, he was an okay defender as well.

    Third Base - Corey Koskie
    This was a toss-up between Koskie and Gary Gaetti. From my perspective, Koskie was the better overall player and thus garnered the starting job. The former Canadian hockey goalie was a superb defender and also a good guy to have in the middle of a line up. It's too bad concussions limited his career as he could have been a solid player for a long time.

    Shortstop - Roy Smalley
    In the entire history of the Twins franchise, there are only three guys to even consider for this spot. Smalley, Zoilo Versalles and Greg Gagne. Smalley wins the job and it's not even close. The other two were better defenders but were non-factors at the plate. I'm the kind of guy who prefers a player who can contribute to both aspects of the game rather than one aspect really well.

    Left Field - Shane Mack
    Behind even shortstop, this is probably the weakest position in franchise history. Bob Allison would have been the shoo-in here but he spent a majority of his career in right field. Mack was the de facto left fielder. Hey, at least he brings some championship pedigree to the team.

    Center Field - Kirby Puckett
    Was there ever a doubt? Torii was great, but Kirby was greater. I was a little too young to watch much of his career before his unfortunate early retirement, but he may be the most popular and adored Twin of all time. I've never heard it live, but I can still hear Bob Casey announcing Kirby's name in the Dome.

    Right Field - Tony Oliva
    This one was easy. Obviously, Oliva was one of the best Twins of all time, as his number is retired. Bob Allison was the only other true contender at this spot. Oliva is one of only a few Twins to finish his career with a batting average above .300, was the Rookie of the Year in 1964 and finished second in MVP voting twice ('65 & '70).

    DH - Harmon Killebrew
    This is the perfect spot for him. He wasn't a good defender at all and he is one of the best hitters of all time. He is the best Twins hitter, probably even player, in franchise history.

    Pitching Staff
    I used innings pitched to determine if the player spent more than half his career as a Twin.

    Ace - Johan Santana
    This was a tough call. Arguably, he was the most dominant pitcher in Twins history but that was only for a stretch of five or so years. The two behind him weren't so much dominant, but were able to maintain consistently solid production over a longer period of time. Nonetheless, Johan is the ace. Over the five or so years he was the best pitcher in baseball winning two Cy Young Awards ('04 and '06) while garnering some MVP votes in those seasons as well. If I needed to win one game, I'd choose Johan in his prime.

    Starting Pitcher No. 2 - Bert Blyleven
    Excluding Steve Carlton, who didn't qualify for my list anyway, Bert is the only Twins pitcher to be elected to Cooperstown who also qualified for this list. When choosing between him and Jim Kaat that HoF honor was what gave Blyleven the edge. Bert spent just over half (51.6% IP) as a Minnesota Twin. In all, he pitched for 22 big league seasons. Never truly dominant but almost always a reliable pitcher.

    Starting Pitcher No. 3 - Jim Kaat
    If Bert is in the Hall of Fame, then Kaat needs to be. Their statistics are practically the same, although Kaat won only one World Series back in '82 with the Cardinals and he wasn't much of a contributor for them. That said, he holds the major league record for winning 16 consecutive Gold Gloves. Most pitchers' careers don't last 16 years.

    Starting Pitcher No. 4 - Camilo Pascual
    Camilo is another guy who wasn't too dominant, but was able to consistently produce over a long career. He was the franchise's first "ace" and deserves to be in the rotation. To be fair, the candidates drop off pretty quick after the top 3 or 4.

    Starting Pitcher No. 5 - Frank Viola
    Viola was key to the 1987 World Series championship (he was the MVP) and followed that up by winning the Cy Young in 1988. If it wasn't for being traded, he probably would have been slotted as the No. 4, but it hurt his Twins resume a little bit that he wasn't here longer. That said, we did end up getting a key piece back who will show up later in this list.

    Long Relief - Jim Perry
    Admittedly, I just took the Twins starting pitcher who just missed the cut and put him here. Honestly, I think Pascual, Viola and Perry could all be put in whatever order you wanted. He fits the description of most Twins pitchers, which is not dominant but consistently solid. The two best years of his career were in '69 and '70 where he finished third and first in Cy Young voting, respectively.

    Middle Relief No. 1 - Tom Hall
    Hall spent the Twins portion of his career bouncing back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation. He had a very nondescript career, never garnering an award vote of any kind and never making an All-Star Game. That said, as a reliever Hall could give you multiple innings and averaged over a strikeout per inning.

    Middle Relief No. 2 - LaTroy Hawkins
    If you can last as long as LaTroy did in the era that he did it, then you are one of the best to do it. He pitched for 21 seasons in the big leagues and was solid all the way through his retirement season in 2015 with the Blue Jays. Hawkins was converted to a relief pitcher after five largely unsuccessful seasons as a starter. As with Hall, he never garnered an award vote of any kind and never made an ASG.

    Set up No. 1 - Glen Perkins
    The Twins second-best closer of all time would be my first choice as the set up guy. Perkins was unsuccessful as a starter, but found his niche as a fire-throwing closer. It's unfortunate that injuries derailed the last few years of his career and forced him into an early retirement. I have to imagine the highlight of his career (for himself and Twins fans) was seeing him close out the 2014 All-Star Game in his home stadium.

    Set up No. 2 - Rick Aguilera
    Aguilera came to the Twins in the trade that sent Viola to the Mets in '89. Although he made 11 starts that year, he made 460 relief appearances as a member of the Twins. He did well with the Twins as he made the ASG three times, garnered MVP votes in 1991, and was a key contributor to the '91 World Series title.

    Set up No. 3 - Juan Rincon
    Rincon had a pretty good stretch from 2004 - 2006. When in a crunch, the Twins could relied upon Rincon to get them out of a jam. Obviously, a key skill to have as a set up guy.

    Closer - Joe Nathan
    Not much to say here. He is the best Twins closer of all time, finished his career with the most saves in Twins history and was one of the best in the game when he was in his prime. In '04 and '06 he was actually in the Cy Young and MVP talks a little bit. In all of baseball, there aren't many closers that were as good as he was.

    Honorable Mentions (Bench)

    OF/1B - Bob Allison
    He primarily played right field, which disqualified him from the left field spot. I feel like he is one of the overlooked Twins greats. No, his number isn't retired, but he spent all of his 13 years in a Senators/Twins uniform and hit 256 home runs in that time. If it wasn't for injuries I think his career could have been longer and he could have passed the 300 HR plateau.

    C - Early Battey
    Any realistic roster needs a back-up catcher. Battey is the guy. While with the Senators/Twins franchise he won three Gold Gloves, made four ASGs and finished top 10 in MVP voting three times.

    2B/SS - Chuck Knoblauch
    A key cog to the 1991 World Series and a good player for the Twins over 7 years. He'll be a good guy to have off the bench when we need speed on the base paths.

    Utility - Gary Gaetti
    He was Nick Punto before Nick Punto was Nick Punto. The only two positions he didn't play throughout his career were CF and C. He wasn't necessarily a great player, but was solid for the Twins. He was another important piece in the '87 World Series team.

    In my eyes, my biggest "snub" was Torii Hunter. When constructing a realistic 25-man roster I needed to have a back-up catcher which is where Battey made the list over Hunter. Another area I struggled with was the bullpen construction. After Perry, Nathan, Aguilera, and Perkins the pickins' got slim and I ended up having to consider individual seasons over career stats. Carl Willis was a name that almost made the cut.

    So what do you think? Who did I miss? Let the debate begin!

    • Feb 04 2018 09:29 AM
    • by Matthew Lenz
  20. Top 15 Minnesota Twins Players

    In April, Aaron Gleeman’s book The Big 50: Minnesota Twins will become available; (pre-order a copy today). In it, you’ll find stories and information on the best players in Minnesota Twins history as well as some of the great stories in the franchise’s years in Minnesota. Now, I’m looking forward to it to see how his top 50 all-time Twins players rankings end up. And, I want to see how his list compares to mine. And, I want to see how my list compares to yours. Give it some thought and rank your top 10 or 15 Twins players in the comments below.
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    15 - Torii Hunter - bWAR: 26.2, OPS+: 103
    Hunter ranks seventh in Twins history in games played, plate appearances, hits and RBI. His 214 home runs in a Twins uniform rank fifth in team history. And yet, it is his defense that made him a star. With the Twins, he won the first seven of his nine Gold Gloves. He returned to the Twins in 2015 after seven years away and was a big part on a Twins team that finished over .500. Imagine how much higher up this list he’d be if he’d stayed.


    14 - Frank Viola - bWAR: , ERA+: 111
    Viola debuted with the Twins in 1982 and was a fixture in the team’s rotation until he was traded to the Mets at the deadline in 1989. After going 11-25 in his first two seasons, Viola went 101-67 over the rest of his Twins career. He was an All-Star just once. He was the MVP of the 1987 World Series when he won Games 1 and 7. In 1988, he went 24-7 and won the AL Cy Young Award. He was a given for 35 starts and about 250 innings a season.


    13 - Bob Allison - bWAR: 30.5, OPS+: 131
    Allison made an incredible catch during the 1965 World Series, but he was best known for his bat and his power. A big, burly power hitter, Allison is currently number six on the Twins home run list with 211, just behind Hunter. Allison was an All-Star at the AL Rookie of the Year in 1959 with the Senators. He played in two All-Star games as a member of the Twins.


    12 - Joe Nathan - bWAR: 18.4, OPS+: 204
    His WAR may not stack up, but his dominance is unquestioned. He became the Twins closer when he arrived in 2004, and went on to record 260 saves, passing Rick Aguilera for the team’s record. His season ERAs from 2004 through 2009 were 1.62, 2.70, 1.58, 1.88, 1.33 and 2.10. In fact, if not for Mariano Rivera, more people might call Joe Nathan the best closer of the era. He struck out 30.7% of batters faced during his Twins tenure, more than 10% more than Aguilera, Al Worthington and Eddie Guardado, the next three relievers on the list. Recently retired, Nathan was a guest at the Twins Daily Winter Meltdown this year.


    11 - Chuck Knoblauch - bWAR: 37.9, OPS+: 114
    The Twins #1 pick in 1989, he joined the big league club by Opening Day 1991. He jumped in as the team’s leadoff hitter, won AL Rookie of the Year and helped the Twins to their second World Series championship. In his seven seasons with the Twins, he hit .304 and got on base 39% of the time. He played in four All-Star Games, and he won two Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove Award in a league that included Roberto Alomar.


    10 - Jim Kaat - bWAR: 31.7, ERA+: 112
    “Kitty” had pitched in 16 MLB games with the Senators before the team came to Minnesota in 1961. Kaat was an All-Star in 1962 and 1966. He won 12 AL Gold Glove awards as a member of the Twins organization (and the team’s annual award for best defensive player is named after him). After being traded to the White Sox in 1973, he won 20 games for them in 1974 and 1975. Kaat was a key cog in the Twins 1965 World Series appearance. He went 189-152 with the Twins. That’s 40 more wins than the #2 on the list. He is Top 5 in many Twins pitching categories. Recently the Twins named him a Special Assistant.


    9 - Brad Radke - bWAR: 45.6, ERA+: 113
    Radke quietly was one of the best pitchers/players in Twins history. Always calm and poised, Radke threw a ton of strikes, mixed in a great changeup to go with a low-90s fastball. He is second all-time on the Twins list in number of starts, and he’s number three in number of innings pitched. His 148 wins is third, one behind Bert Blyleven. He won 20 games on a 1997 Twins team that won just 68 games. During a two-month stretch (12 starts), he went 12-0 with a 1.87 ERA. He finished third in Cy Young voting and made the All-Star team the next season. Overlooked because he played on some bad teams, Radke was a stabilizing force in Twins rotations for a dozen years. Shoulder issues caused him to retire after his age-33 season.


    8 - Bert Blyleven - bWAR: 49.3, ERA+: 119
    Blyleven came up to the Twins as a 19-year-old in 1970 and went 10-9 with a 3.18 ERA. Over his next five seasons, he won 16, 17, 20, 17 and 15 games. In those years, he posted ERAs of 2.81, 2.73, 2.52, 2.66 and 3.00. It was definitely an era for pitching, and Blyleven was one of the best at the time. He was traded in 1976 and returned in 1985. He was a key veteran starter for the Twins in that 1987 World Series championship. He went 148-139 for the Twins in his career with a 3.28 ERA. He was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.


    7 - Johan Santana - bWAR: 35.5, ERA+: 141
    Santana came to the Twins in the Rule 5 draft and became one of the best pitchers in baseball. He spent his first couple of years in the Twins bullpen. When he went down to AAA his second year, he worked with Bobby Cuellar on his changeup and the rest is history. He became a starter in 2004, went 20-6 with a 2.61 ERA and won the Cy Young. He should have repeated as Cy Young winner in 2005 when he went 16-7 with a 2.87 ERA. Then in 2006, he won again after posting a 19-7 record and a 2.77 ERA. He led the AL in ERA twice, in WHIP three times, and in strikeouts three times. In his four Twins years as a starter, he averaged 228 innings. He went to three All-Star Games, finished Top 5 in Cy Young voting each year. He was traded to the Mets before the 2008 season. Last month, the Twins announced that he’s been elected into the team’s Hall of Fame.


    6 - Kent Hrbek - bWAR: 38.4, OPS+: 128
    The kid from Bloomington spent all 14 of his big leagues seasons with the Twins who retired his #14. His 293 home runs are second only to Harmon Killebrew in team history. He is in the Top 5 in most Twins offensive categories. He hit .282 and got on base nearly 37% of the time. He played in just one All-Star Game, and he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1982 and second in the MVP race in 1984. He was a key cog in the two Twins World Series championships.


    5 - Tony Oliva - bWAR: 43.0, OPS+: 131
    Oliva won the AL Rookie of the Year in 1964. He won the batting title his first two seasons and a third one in 1971. He was an All-Star his first eight seasons and finished second in AL MVP voting twice. He led the league in hits five times and doubles four times. His 220 home runs rank fourth in team history. Unfortunately in 1972, a major knee injury curtailed his career. When he returned, he was the team’s DH, and he still hit well, just not to the level he had before the injury. He was the Twins hitting coach in 1987, and his uniform #6 was retired.


    4 - Joe Mauer - bWAR: 53.4, OPS+: 126
    As Mauer enters his 15th season with the Twins, the St. Paul native finds himself in the Top 5 in many Twins offensive categories. He has hit .308 and been on base over 39% of the time during his career. Mauer won the AL MVP in 2009 when he led the league in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He has been an All-Star six times, won five Silver Slugger Awards and three Gold Glove Awards. He was putting together another monster season in 2013 when he suffered a concussion. He has not regained his form, though he had a strong 2017 season.


    3 - Kirby Puckett - bWAR: 50.9, OPS+: 124
    Puckett emerged on the scene for the Twins in 1984, and he led the Twins to their two World Series championships. A career .318 hitter, he got on base 36% of the time. He made his first All-Star Game in 1986 and then played in each of the next ten. He finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting seven times. He won six Gold Glove Awards, and he also won six Silver Slugger Awards. He is Top 5 in many Twins offensive categories and no Twins player has scored more runs or had more hits or doubles than Puckett. His career came to an abrupt end before the 1996 season and he was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.

    2 - Rod Carew - bWAR: 63.7, OPS+: 137
    Rod Carew was a hitting machine. He was named the AL Rookie of the Year in 1967. He was also an All-Star that year, and in the remaining 11 seasons of his Twins career. He won the AL MVP in 1977 when he flirted with .400, ending the year at .388 (with a .449 OBP). He won seven batting titles in his 12 years with the Twins and recently the award for winning the American League batting title was named in his honor. He is Top 5 in nearly all statistical categories for the Twins, and his bWAR is just about 10 wins higher than the #2 in that list, Harmon Killebrew. Carew ended his career with over 3,000 hits and earned his induction into Cooperstown.


    1 - Harmon Killebrew - bWAR: 53.8, OPS+: 148
    The Killer was a feared home run hitter during his career. 475 of his 573 career home runs came in a Twins uniform (and 84 came in a Senators uniform before they came to Minnesota). So, he is the Twins leader in home runs by 182. When he retired, he was in the Top 5 in MLB history in homers. He’s the team’s leader in RBI by about 250. He walked about 430 more times than Joe Mauer has in his career, and Mauer is #2 on the Twins list. It’s hard to believe, but Killebrew actually walked more than he struck out during his Twins career. For some reason, it took him four ballots to get into baseball’s Hall of Fame.



    So there you have my ranking of the Top 15 Twins of all-time… Be sure to add your Top 15. Who moves up? Who moves down? Who moves out, and who moves in? It should be a fun discussion as we continue to wait for offseason news.

    • Feb 01 2018 06:47 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  21. 2017 Killebrew Award Winner: Travis Harrison (Chattanooga)

    Travis Harrison was one of two supplemental first-round picks by the Twins in 2011. He spent 2012 in Elizabethton where he won a championship. He was part of the first season of the Cedar Rapids Kernels as a Twins affiliate in 2013. In 2014, he moved from third base to the outfield and advanced to Ft. Myers where he was a key cog in the Miracle’s Florida State League championship. In 2015, he was part of the Southern League champion Chattanooga Lookouts. He’s remained with the Lookouts the last two years and is currently a free agent.

    Off the field, Harrison is a really good, giving person. He was very involved with several youth programs. He’s done that and more in the community every year and in the offseasons as well.

    One area he got quite involved with was the Hydrocephalus Association.

    According to Dan Kofp, Lookouts PR director, “This year Travis served as the team's ambassador for the Hydrocephalus Association. Along with appearing in their campaign videos Travis also led a clinic for kids with Hydrocephalus. He was also an integral part in bringing awareness to their brand new national "No More Brain Surgeries" campaign.”

    It was something that meant a lot to Harrison. “I was involved deeply with the Hydrocephalus Association and got very close with some kids that have it.”





    But he stayed even more busy. Kopf added, “The outfielder also was the first to volunteer for any community event and even played catch with Tennessee Congressman Chuck Fleischmann when he was in town.”

    As I noted, working in the community and enjoying time with children is something Harrison has always done. As Harrison said recently, “I appreciate the award, but I don't do those things for an award. I don't think anybody does. I just love seeing people happy, especially people that are not as blessed as I am. When I see an opportunity where I can help make somebody happy or even make there day a little better, i'll do it every time. Whether it's signing and autograph and helping a kid who can barely walk to the batter's box with with me, I really enjoy it.”

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    Kopf summarized the effect that Travis Harrison had in the Chattanooga community, and it likely echoes the feelings of those he worked closely within each of the cities he has lived and played in. “2017 marked Travis' third season with the Lookouts and his third year as a member of the Chattanooga community. Overall Travis was an outstanding liaison to Chattanooga and his presence will be missed by the local community.”

    Cedar Rapids Kernels: Hector Lujan
    Ft. Myers Miracle: Kevin Garcia
    Chattanooga Lookouts: Travis Harrison
    Rochester Red Wings: DJ Baxendale

    • Oct 01 2017 06:36 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  22. 2017 Killebrew Award Winner: DJ Baxendale (Rochester)

    DJ Baxendale was the Twins 11th round draft pick in 2012 out of Arkansas. After pitching in the College World Series that year, he pitched out of the bullpen at Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids. He spent the next three seasons as a starting pitcher. He made the Southern League All Star team in 2016 as a starter, but following the All Star game, he moved up to Rochester and worked primarily out of the bullpen.

    While he didn’t get invited to big league camp, Baxendale pitched a couple of times for the Twins in spring training. He even got to pitch against the Twins, for Team USA, in an exhibition game.

    He spent most of this season in Rochester this year where he posted a 2.98 ERA in 54.1 innings. He was sent back to Chattanooga late in the season where he did some spot starting and helped the Lookouts to a share of the Southern League championship.

    Baxendale also assisted his community in Rochester and for his efforts, he earned a 2017 Harmon Killebrew Award.

    When told of the honor, Baxendale told Twins Daily, “Harmon Killebrew was not only a great baseball player but also one of, if not the greatest humans to ever play the game of baseball. To be honored with an award that accompanies his name is truly one of the greatest honors I could ever receive. He epitomized what it means to be a Minnesota Twin and to play the game on and off the field the ‘Twins Way.’”

    According to Dan Mason, the GM of the Rochester Red Wings, Baxendale was one of many members of the Red Wings roster that kept busy in the community. “It was a tough call this year because we had some other guys that did a lot of work in the community as well but he did more than anyone.”

    Baxendale said that he participated in many community service events, “ranging from baseball camps at the field to player appearances throughout the city.”

    He added, “Some of the most memorable experiences for me were working with the local Miracle League in camps and events with special needs children and adults. It really puts into perspective how lucky we are to play baseball professionally, a game that all people enjoy and love.”

    Mason described even more of the activities that Baxendale did in Rochester. “DJ was a tremendous representative for the Red Wings in the community participating in countless events around town including but not limited to visits to schools, area hospitals, client events, youth baseball clinics, fundraisers for non-profits, our Challenger Baseball event, and the City of Rochester Clean Sweep where he volunteered to pick up debris around town. He treated his adopted hometown (Rochester ) as if it were his own and gave back to so many people and organizations in our community. We were fortunate to have many outstanding baseball players like DJ on the Red Wings this season but even more fortunate to have some phenomenal PEOPLE represent us, the Twins, and the game of baseball in such an incredibly positive manner.”

    Baxendale understands the role he has and has a strong perspective on what he can do with it. “I feel that it is important for me to give back because of my platform. I have the unique ability to be able to reach out to people because I am a professional baseball player. All of our fans stay loyal to the team regardless of who is playing and I want to show them that we care about them and their community as much as they care about us. Life is all about reciprocity. I want to always give back as much if not more as people give to me.”

    It’s a good lesson for all of us. We all have a platform, whether it’s 10s of thousands of twitter followers or family and friends in your community. We too need to find ways to be helpful in our communities.


    Cedar Rapids Kernels: Hector Lujan
    Ft. Myers Miracle: Kevin Garcia
    Chattanooga Lookouts:
    Rochester Red Wings: DJ Baxendale

    • Sep 29 2017 10:25 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  23. 2017 Killebrew Award Winner: Hector Lujan (Cedar Rapids)

    Today we wish to highlight the Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, right-handed pitcher Hector Lujan.

    Lujan was born and grew up in Mira Loma, California, a city just east of Anaheim. He began his college career by pitching at UC-Santa Barbara before finishing out his college years at Westmont College. The Twins use their 35th round pick in 2015 to select the hard-throwing right-hander.

    He spent the remainder of that season in the GCL. Last year, he pitched in Elizabethton, though he also pitched once for Ft. Myers in an emergency outing.

    This season, he spent the year in Cedar Rapids. He began the year getting some work, but as the season wore on, he got into more and more high leverage situations. By midseason, he was Tommy Watkins’ closer. In 42 games (and 54 innings), Lujan posted a 1.33 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. He walked just eight while striking out 54. He ended the year with 17 saves and finished fourth in Twins Daily’s Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year voting.

    As you can see, he was an impact player on the Kernels playoff roster this season. As important, he had a huge impact on the Cedar Rapids community as well.

    Ryne George is the Kernels Community Relations Manager. He goes out with the players into the community. Here he describes one of their programs that Lujan was very active with.

    “Hector has a passion for helping the community, especially when it comes to education programming for children. He helped me promote reading to over a dozen schools in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area. Most players are shy when it comes to being in front of a gym full of kids, but not Hector. He had no problem acting out the story I read to the kids called “The Purple Kangaroo” by doing cartwheels, hula-hooping, and dancing all while wearing a kangaroo suit!”

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    The reading program was definitely something that Hector Lujan enjoyed participating in and supporting. He said, “The summer reading program involved me playing a skit in a kangaroo costume, following along with a book that someone else would read. I was pretty much trying to find a monkey called Ernesto. So the skit was me just doing movements like with what the book was saying. You know kids would get a laugh out of it, and they seem to just have fun seeing me do the dab, the hula hoop, and kind of just playing along, holding a sign that said ‘Where is Ernesto?’ and it seemed all the kids would engage in those events.”

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    But Lujan did much more than dress like a kangaroo to make kids and adults alike happy around Cedar Rapids. He added, “Other events involved going to an elderly home playing bingo and also going to children's with special needs center to spend sometime with them by playing catch or even just talking about baseball.”

    According to Ryne George, Lujan helped launch the Kernels “Catch with a Cop” youth program.



    Lujan noted, “That was pretty cool to see kids getting involved with baseball players and police officers.”

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    Lujan found out last week that he had been recognized for all of his hard work in the community as the Kernels Harmon Killebrew Award recipient. He was excited and humbled by the award.

    “It's an honor to receive an award named after Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew. It is also an honor to be a part of an organization that has such an impact on their community. I can only hope that throughout my baseball career and life, I can leave a mark on the community as he did. I want to be known as someone that gave all I had, both on and off the field.”

    Asked why it was important for him to give back in the communities in which he lives and work, Lujan recently told Twins Daily that there were several reasons.
    • “I think it's important to give back to communities and kids just because it means a lot to kids knowing that there are others out there that enjoy spending time with them and are willing to make them feel special even if it's just a small gesture of playing catch or even just talking to them.”
    • “Growing up,I would always appreciate people that would take the time to spend their time with me and show me new things and talk about my baseball or other things - whether it's baseball or not - just the fact that having someone there to listen to you when you share your ideas or even having someone to play with can mean a lot.”
    • “Another big thing was having my mom work for an elementary school and having older kids come in and spend some time with us back when I was in elementary school. I always thought that was you cool! I just feel it’s always good to give back too because you never know how you can impact someone's life by words of motivation you give them even if it's an adult or a young kid.”
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    While there were a lot of deserving Kernels players this year who served their community well, Lujan was the right choice.

    According to Ryne George, “The Minnesota Twins are very lucky to have a person like Hector Lujan in their organization, both as a player and as a person. Hector has a passion for helping the community, especially when it comes to education programming for children,” He continued. “I would like to thank Hector on behalf of the Cedar Rapids Kernels organization for his time and dedication to our community!”


    The 2017 Killebrew Award Winners
    Cedar Rapids Kernels: Hector Lujan
    Ft. Myers Miracle: Kevin Garcia
    Chattanooga Lookouts:
    Rochester Red Wings:

    *all photos courtesy of the Cedar Rapids Kernels

    • Sep 27 2017 07:25 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  24. 2017 Killebrew Award Winner: Kevin Garcia (Ft. Myers)

    We’ll start this series today with the 2017 Killebrew Award winner for the Ft. Myers Miracle, catcher Kevin Garcia.

    Kevin Garcia grew up in southern California. He went to high school in Calexico, California, a small town on the US border with Mexico. Following high school, he went to Loyola Marymount. In 2014, he was drafted in the 30th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. After two seasons, he was let go and the Twins quickly swooped in and signed the backstop. He split the 2016 season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers.

    In 2017, he began with Ft. Myers and played a bit more. In 58 games, he hit .254/.318/.264 (.582). Through much of the season, he had a batting average at or near .300.He had a brief stint midseason with the Chattanooga Lookouts.

    People talk about his ability behind the plate and how well he can call a game. Whether he is playing or not, he has tremendous leadership skills. Who knows, he could be a terrific coach when his playing days are complete. He is bilingual which certainly is helpful as a teammate or as a coach.

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    photo by Linwood Ferguson

    But it was off the field where Kevin Garcia made a huge impact. He was a stalwart, willing to help out whenever he could.

    Dominique Miranda-Dubay is the Miracle’s social media coordinator and also ran all of the Miracle’s public appearances. Of Garcia, she said, “Throughout the season we had 9 player appearances, Kevin Garcia went to 8. Over the course of the season he accumulated 20 hours in community service. No matter what type of appearance we did, Kevin always showed up with energy, excited to impact the community, connect with fans or inspire young athletes to follow their dreams.”

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    She continued, sharing more of the specific events at which Garcia worked and led.

    “Starting with the Disability, Dream, Do camp, it was obvious he truly enjoyed being a role model in more ways than just on the field. This season Kevin was involved in the D3 camp, our Miracle baseball camp, talking to classrooms of children in at-risk schools, participating in a Little League practice with children with disabilities, prepping and serving meals at the Community Cooperative Soup Kitchen, speaking with young athletes at a summer sports camp, and greeting kids at a school to talk about our last home game in addition to appearing on the school news. While there were other players who also dedicated their time, Kevin was certainly a unanimous decision with his humble attitude and using his role as an athlete to give back to others. After a night on the road with an 8 am appearance the next morning Kevin would show up on time, with a big smile ready to go. With anything we asked of him on appearances, he would go the extra mile to introduce himself to people, share his story, and immerse himself in the moment. Kevin was also known for regularly staying on the field after games, win or lose to meet fans, take pictures and sign autographs which did not go unnoticed. He was a very dependable player to have this season outside of his duties on the field and very deserving of the award.”

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    Giving back is important and almost second-nature to Kevin Garcia. He told Twins Daily, “Giving back to the community is something that is always going to be meaningful. Like I said before, we sometimes don't realize how blessed we are and how much of an impact we can make in the community.”

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    As you’ve seen, Garcia remained quite busy even when he wasn’t at the baseball field. “We went from making some appearances in elementary schools to giving food to the homeless, and it's something incredible. Sometimes we don't realize how blessed we are and how this game can help you and help others.”

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    Garcia just turned 25 years old last week, but he understands the history of the game and understands the role that Harmon Killebrew played on and off the field in Twins Territory.

    “Harmon Killabrew had an amazing career and his numbers were ridiculous, but he was also known for the type of person he was. He was a class act guy and always treated people with respect. He never "big leagued" anyone. To win an award named after a guy like that is an honor.”

    Andrew Seymour was the Miracle General Manager. He noticed the effect that Garcia had on fans. “While there were many strong candidates for this award… Kevin Garcia was phenomenal. He did early morning appearances at schools, community centers, camps & daycares… his tireless community work was infectious. Always thoroughly engaging with all of our fans at games, Kevin was a fan favorite at Hammond Stadium. Fans were drawn to his enthusiastic energy on and off the field.”

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    Most important, Garcia hopes that through his efforts in the community and as a role model that he can inspire the next generation to help people in their lifetimes.


    “It goes from a simple high five to a fan or an appearance at a school that will inspire kids and say I want to be like the players and give back to the community. If we keep that train moving we will keep on growing as human beings and helping others grow, which at the end of the day is what team is all about. Making each other better. The community and players. That's what we are, a huge team.”

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    Special thank you to the Ft. Myers Miracle for sharing all of these pictures of Kevin Garcia in the community.

    • Sep 27 2017 03:40 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  25. 2017 Twins Player Predictions: Brian Dozier

    So what will 2017 look like for Brian Dozier? Can he come anywhere near replicating those numbers? Below you will find my predictions (or guesses, if you prefer) for Brian Dozier’s 2017 season. Consider posting your thoughts and your predictions into the comments below. It’s always fun to take a look at the end of the season and see how our predictions look.


    KEY NUMBERS

    15.3% - According to FanGraphs, Dozier hit the ball to the opposite field just 15.3% of the time, down from 15.6% of the time in 2016. The message to Dozier (from many) early in the season was that he needed to use the whole field. And while that’s never bad advice, Brian Dozier is an extreme pull hitter and that is where he finds the vast majority of his success.

    $47.2 million - FanGraphs also provides a “Value” to each player for their season. Base on fWAR, they calculate how much that player’s season was worth. Brian Dozier’s 2016 season was worth $47.2 million. (5.9 fWAR) Over this past four seasons, Dozier has been worth a total of $127.9 million. Dozier is in Year 3 of a four year, $20 million contract that bought out his arbitration years.


    PREDICTIONS

    Brian Dozier: 574 at-bats, .261/.328/.458 (.786), 37 doubles, 2 triples, 24 home runs.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Over the past three years, Brian Dozier has averaged 156 games played. I believe there is benefit to giving him a few extra days off, but I think Dozier’s going to want to play as much as possible. I have him at 152 games, so a few extra days off. I’m not going to put Dozier at 42 home runs again, in fact, not all that close. But I have his walk total increasing and I anticipate a lot more doubles.

    I don’t even try to pretend to calculate Runs scored or RBI, but Dozier can pretty much be relied on to score 100 runs. If he’s leading off, he’ll likely end up in the 87-80 RBI range. If he were to his 3rd or 4th, I think he’d surpass 100 RBI.

    YOUR TURN

    Your turn. Share your thoughts on and predictions on Brian Dozier in 2017. We can take a look back at the end of the season and see how we did.


    PREVIOUS PREDICTIONS

    Jason Castro
    Joe Mauer
    Brian Dozier

    • Mar 28 2017 11:32 PM
    • by Seth Stohs