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Ex Twins in 2021: Where Are They Now?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:22 AM
One of my favorite annual threads on the site. Let’s stay updated on ex-Twins in the news... This is a start of a list, and feel free to...

Shoemaker

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:55 AM
You might think this thread is a slam against Shoemaker, it isn't. In 2017 Shoemaker pitched around 77 innings, the next 3 seasons he pit...

Akil Baddoo crushes Homerun in first major league at bat

Other Baseball Today, 10:19 AM
Big mistake letting this guy go

Twins Minor League Report (5/8): Rain Rain, Go Away

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 06:45 AM
A pair of starting pitchers on the 40-man roster were set to make their 2021 debuts on Saturday but only two games were able to be played...

Twins Roster Moves - 2021

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 05:50 PM
I recall last year we had a thread that tracked roster moves the Twins made throughout the 2020 season, and I'm like to have another thre...

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One Pitch Speaks Volumes for Garver

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 04 April 2021 · 1,599 views

minnesota twins mitch garver
It was a beautiful Easter Sunday in Milwaukee for the Minnesota Twins as they pounded out eight runs against the Brewers. One notable takeaway was what backstop Mitch Garver did in sending a ball over the fence.

A season ago the Twins got just 23 games from their catcher that posted a .995 OPS a season prior. Garver dealt with an intercostal strain most of the year and he simply was not the same hitter. Typically pulverizing opposing fastballs, he saw 217 of them in 2020, and it resulted in little success. Of those offerings, he swung 86 times, whiffing 29 times, or nearly 34% of the time the bat left his shoulder. Beating him with heat was far too easy.

Rewinding for context, Garver saw a whopping 839 fastballs in 2019 and swung at 303 of them. Of those 303 swings, he missed just 48 times, or just north of 15%. A jump of over 50% year over year is substantial, and while the now 30-year-old backstop may not be the .995 OPS hitter he was in 2019, he’s also certainly not the .511 OPS hitter he was in 2020.



Now fast forward to that pitch from Adrian Houser in the 5th inning of Sunday’s game. The Brewers starter attacked Garver with a first pitch fastball registering at 94.3 mph, one of the hardest balls he threw all day. After taking a walk in his first plate appearance, Garver sat on the heat and clubbed the pitch 102 mph going the opposite field and leaving over the right field wall.

In 2019 when things were going right for Mitch, he posted a 47.3% hard hit rate and went up the middle or opposite field roughly 50% of the time. Last season the hard-hit rate dropped to 41% and he used the opposite field a measly 13.9% of the time becoming essentially a dead-pull hitter. That’s a logical strategy for someone dealing with core muscle issues, given the necessity to cheat and get the bat around.

At the end of the day, it was just one swing and maybe it ends up being a small footnote rather than indicative of what’s to come. I’d be willing to be however, that Mitch is in line for a season with an OPS back north of .800, and Minnesota will have two of the best hitting catches in baseball while being anchored by the man known as Sauce.

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

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the Duke of Albuquerque will once again slay the mighty fire-breathing mound dragons.