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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/20): Cruz Leads Twins Offensive Explosion

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#21 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:53 PM

Oy. Mauer was close to the leader in WAR that season and probably got a bump because he's a catcher and catchers aren't supposed to do what he did that season. Joe was within a single win of being the league leader, while also catching most of his games (pretty hard to complain about a catcher worth eight wins taking the MVP award).
 
Meanwhile, Trout is on his merry way to a 10 win season (again) and we're talking about Cruz maybe crossing four wins.
 
Totally the same argument.
 
I do not understand why people refuse to accept that Mike Trout should win every MVP award until he stops being Mike Trout at the plate and on the field. He's literally the best baseball player that has ever stepped onto a diamond.
 
Appreciate greatness when you see it, folks. It doesn't come along that often.


Bravo. Trout is the best player most of us will EVER see. I live in LA and I go to the Angels 2-3 times a year just to see him play. I just hope the Angels someday build a real team around him. When the Twins are having a down year anyway, of course.

#22 Aerodeliria

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 11:01 PM

 

I came up with a potential long-term feature to add to these things, and the only way to find out if it works was to just start doing them. Here's a pitching-focused review of tonight's game. Still very much working on both the idea and execution.

Yes, it's very cool! Thanks!!!

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#23 MNT1996

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 11:04 PM

 

^Love this tweet from Dustin Morse. Really admire the work ethic from Cruz. Proving to be one of the best FA signings in Twins history

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#24 Aerodeliria

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 11:13 PM

It might be a bit closer than one would think, however. This also from FanGraphs:(And before anyone carps about sample size. He also talked about it extensively. I just didn't want this to be any longer than it needed to.) 

 

The other day I wrote about Shin-Soo Choo and the way he’s hitting the ball really hard despite being a 37-year-old who has never garnered much of a reputation as a power hitter. In that piece, I included a chart that showed Choo was having the second-best season in terms of hard-hit percentage by a player 35 years of age or older since we started gathering such data in 2002. Choo was deserving of the digital ink used on him, but as impressed as I was with his placement on that chart, the most remarkable player listed was the one directly above him. The hard-hit rate that Choo had put together that ranked second on that list was 46.7%. No. 1 on that list was 2019 Nelson Cruz, whose hard contact rate currently rests at a whopping 55%. He’s 39 years old, and he’s hitting the ball hard more often than anyone else in baseball. He also just wrapped up one of the hottest two-week stretches you’ll ever see.

 

 

All season long, Trout, Cody Bellinger, and Christian Yelich have separated themselves from the rest of baseball in terms of offensive prowess. On July 21, 31 points separated Bellinger’s third-place wRC+ (183) from Anthony Rendon’s fourth-place wRC+ (152). Just over two weeks later, Cruz has nearly caught the top three, with his wRC+ of 168 now just eight points back of Bellinger.

 

This may have the looks of a player simply hitting out of his mind for two weeks, and indeed it is. Statcast data, however, suggests that this past week has simply been Cruz quickly catching up to what his batted ball data said his numbers should have looked like all season long. His xSLG of .666 this year is the highest in the majors, and his xwOBA of .440 is third in the majors. He is also second in exit velocity and third in hard-hit percentage.

 

All of this adds up to what suddenly looks like a career-best season for Cruz at the plate, which is an absurd thing to say about a 39-year-old who’s already put together a long list of impressive seasons, the majority of which have come in the second half of his career. His wRC+ is 10 points better than any other season he’s ever put up, but he’s also tying his career-high in walk rate while blowing past his career-high ISO by nearly 100 points. 

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#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 11:23 PM

 

It might be a bit closer than one would think, however. This also from FanGraphs:(And before anyone carps about sample size. He also talked about it extensively. I just didn't want this to be any longer than it needed to.) 

 

The other day I wrote about Shin-Soo Choo and the way he’s hitting the ball really hard despite being a 37-year-old who has never garnered much of a reputation as a power hitter. In that piece, I included a chart that showed Choo was having the second-best season in terms of hard-hit percentage by a player 35 years of age or older since we started gathering such data in 2002. Choo was deserving of the digital ink used on him, but as impressed as I was with his placement on that chart, the most remarkable player listed was the one directly above him. The hard-hit rate that Choo had put together that ranked second on that list was 46.7%. No. 1 on that list was 2019 Nelson Cruz, whose hard contact rate currently rests at a whopping 55%. He’s 39 years old, and he’s hitting the ball hard more often than anyone else in baseball. He also just wrapped up one of the hottest two-week stretches you’ll ever see.

 

 

All season long, Trout, Cody Bellinger, and Christian Yelich have separated themselves from the rest of baseball in terms of offensive prowess. On July 21, 31 points separated Bellinger’s third-place wRC+ (183) from Anthony Rendon’s fourth-place wRC+ (152). Just over two weeks later, Cruz has nearly caught the top three, with his wRC+ of 168 now just eight points back of Bellinger.

 

This may have the looks of a player simply hitting out of his mind for two weeks, and indeed it is. Statcast data, however, suggests that this past week has simply been Cruz quickly catching up to what his batted ball data said his numbers should have looked like all season long. His xSLG of .666 this year is the highest in the majors, and his xwOBA of .440 is third in the majors. He is also second in exit velocity and third in hard-hit percentage.

 

All of this adds up to what suddenly looks like a career-best season for Cruz at the plate, which is an absurd thing to say about a 39-year-old who’s already put together a long list of impressive seasons, the majority of which have come in the second half of his career. His wRC+ is 10 points better than any other season he’s ever put up, but he’s also tying his career-high in walk rate while blowing past his career-high ISO by nearly 100 points. 

While I appreciate the very well thought out and intelligent post, your point basically boils down to:

Nelson Cruz has a lower wRC+ than Mike Trout, except Trout also plays one of the most important positions on the diamond very well.

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#26 Aerodeliria

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 11:41 PM

 

When's the last time the Twins had two players with 40 home runs?

This post piqued my interest and I went searching. The Bash Brothers never clubbed 40 home runs in any one year that I could find. The Colorado Rockies in 1997 had three players reach 40 home runs in one season (the only time it's been done??).

 

Walker 49 (130 RBIs)

Galarraga 41 (140 RBIs)

Castilla 40 (113 RBIs)

 

Interestingly, that team also included Dante Bichette who hit only 26 home runs but drove in 118 runs as well as Ellis Burks who clubbed 32 (82 RBIs).

 

The other weird discovery was that in 1920 Babe Ruth hit 54 home runs, but his total was more than the total home runs for every other team in the league (maybe I rediscovered this...I think I had read it once before).

 

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#27 Florida Loggerman

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 11:43 PM

I'm really surprised how the big man Michael Pineda has recovered from almost what, 1 1/2 years from major arm surgery, and has really pitched very well since I think some time in May?It's been a huge difference from the other starters who have really struggled especially since the all star break.with out Pineda coming off his last IL stinit, and again doing really descent again this evening, he got into the 7th I think, which is really what we hope and need from all the Twins starters, now if Jake can put toghether a gem tomorrow afternoon, to get us ready for the mid week match up with the Tigers, let's get er done Jake, spin us win tomorrow, let the Twins get out front with the lead early, and get into the 6-7th innng and hope the combo of Dyson-=Romo-May-& Rogers can continue to close the games out for a much needed win. 


#28 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 11:51 PM

 

I'm really surprised how the big man Michael Pineda has recovered from almost what, 1 1/2 years from major arm surgery, and has really pitched very well since I think some time in May?It's been a huge difference from the other starters who have really struggled especially since the all star break.with out Pineda coming off his last IL stinit, and again doing really descent again this evening, he got into the 7th I think, which is really what we hope and need from all the Twins starters, now if Jake can put toghether a gem tomorrow afternoon, to get us ready for the mid week match up with the Tigers, let's get er done Jake, spin us win tomorrow, let the Twins get out front with the lead early, and get into the 6-7th innng and hope the combo of Dyson-=Romo-May-& Rogers can continue to close the games out for a much needed win. 

We're all impressed with Pineda, right? His ERA since the AS break is 3.07. Very good. 

 

But that's just five starts.

 

Odorizzi has posted a 1.96 ERA over his past four starts since that Yankee implosion.

 

I'm not knocking Pineda, thank god he's been good lately, but people are also bashing Odorizzi at the same time.

 

I still want Odorizzi starting a game more than I want any other Twins starter not named Berrios (and he's on thin ice right now).

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#29 Patrick Wozniak

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 01:01 AM

 

I came up with a potential long-term feature to add to these things, and the only way to find out if it works was to just start doing them. Here's a pitching-focused review of tonight's game. Still very much working on both the idea and execution.

That was great Tom! Loved the video of Alcala at the end as well...he sure can field the position well! 

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#30 howeda7

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 01:29 AM

 

Holy flying squirrels, Batman!Nelson Cruz doubles twice in bottom of the eighth!

Cruz was amazing. But I have to say, why was he still in for that second at bat? He reached 3rd with one out in the 8th. He should have been pinch run for then, and he certainly didn't need to bat up 8. He's 39 and coming off an injury Rocco. And this is MN sports. 


#31 yarnivek1972

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 03:30 AM

Oy. Mauer was close to the leader in WAR that season and probably got a bump because he's a catcher and catchers aren't supposed to do what he did that season. Joe was within a single win of being the league leader, while also catching most of his games (pretty hard to complain about a catcher worth eight wins taking the MVP award).

Meanwhile, Trout is on his merry way to a 10 win season (again) and we're talking about Cruz maybe crossing four wins.

Totally the same argument.

I do not understand why people refuse to accept that Mike Trout should win every MVP award until he stops being Mike Trout at the plate and on the field. He's literally the best baseball player that has ever stepped onto a diamond.

Appreciate greatness when you see it, folks. It doesn't come along that often.


The people that vote have a tendency to give the nod to players from contending teams, which probably eliminates Trout. They also don’t like giving it to a DH, but have occasionally done so.

I would say Bregman is the front runner right now.

#32 tbhysgb

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 04:25 AM

Eh who cares about a regular MVP award anyhow. World Series MVP is what Cruz wants.
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#33 Eephus

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:12 AM

Random observation. The Twins have 7 guys with OPS above .800. The next highest 3 guys Cron (.790), Schoop (.757) and Gonzalez (.752) have combined for 51 homers and 156 RBI. That is a deep lineup.

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#34 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:22 AM

 

Oy. Mauer was close to the leader in WAR that season and probably got a bump because he's a catcher and catchers aren't supposed to do what he did that season. Joe was within a single win of being the league leader, while also catching most of his games (pretty hard to complain about a catcher worth eight wins taking the MVP award).

 

Meanwhile, Trout is on his merry way to a 10 win season (again) and we're talking about Cruz maybe crossing four wins.

 

Totally the same argument.

 

I do not understand why people refuse to accept that Mike Trout should win every MVP award until he stops being Mike Trout at the plate and on the field. He's literally the best baseball player that has ever stepped onto a diamond.

 

Appreciate greatness when you see it, folks. It doesn't come along that often.

 

yeah, and it's not like Trout plays 1B or something either. He's doing this at a defensive position. Trout deserves it until Trout stops being Trout. 

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#35 IndianaTwin

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:26 AM

This post piqued my interest and I went searching. The Bash Brothers never clubbed 40 home runs in any one year that I could find. The Colorado Rockies in 1997 had three players reach 40 home runs in one season (the only time it's been done??).
 
Walker 49 (130 RBIs)
Galarraga 41 (140 RBIs)
Castilla 40 (113 RBIs)
 
Interestingly, that team also included Dante Bichette who hit only 26 home runs but drove in 118 runs as well as Ellis Burks who clubbed 32 (82 RBIs).
 
The other weird discovery was that in 1920 Babe Ruth hit 54 home runs, but his total was more than the total home runs for every other team in the league (maybe I rediscovered this...I think I had read it once before).


1973 Braves — Dave Johnson (43), Darrell Evans (41), Hank Aaron (40)
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#36 Nine of twelve

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:59 AM

 

It's most valuable, not best player. Clearly Trout is the best player in the game, but is he the most valuable to his team? Morneau wasn't the best player in the league, nor was Mauer.

You may be right about Morneau, but I'll disagree about Mauer. He was the best baseball player in the world that year.

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#37 EPEZRider

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 06:03 AM

...and the Twins squirrel away another victory...

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#38 bighat

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 06:05 AM

Polanco quietly coming out of his....well, I won't call it a "slump", but you know what I mean. Smalley remarked that he had shortened up his swing a bit over the past week. Looks very quick.

 

We are pretty spoiled seeing games like this frequently over the season. Just a drubbing, once again in double-digits. Absolutely need to take this series with a win today (Wednesday) and it was nice to see the bats warm up. Giolito has had a good year, should be an interesting game.

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#39 big dog

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 06:17 AM

 

If you had told me Kep was going to hit 34HR this year I’d have shat myself.

If you’d have followed it up by saying “with 6 weeks left in the season” I would have flung my poo at you, figuring we were all just in the looney bin so might as well act the part.

Hey Scooter, that party at my house- we decided to move it.I'll let you know where it's going to be, unless I lost your phone number.

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#40 big dog

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 06:25 AM

 

Bravo. Trout is the best player most of us will EVER see. I live in LA and I go to the Angels 2-3 times a year just to see him play. I just hope the Angels someday build a real team around him. When the Twins are having a down year anyway, of course.

I think the voters get to put ten players on the ballot, right?You can believe Mike Trout is the MVP and still give Cruz and eight other players some consideration.  




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