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Out Of Focus

Using a round bat to hit a round ball is one of the hardest skills in professional sports. It takes the right combination of hand-eye coordination to be considered one of the best hitters in the game. Joe Mauer had been one of those hitters.   Mauer's on-field performance has been on the decline since a concussion in 2013 and the resulting symptoms related to that brain injury. There may finally be some clarity to the situation as Mauer admitted to the Pioneer Press that symptoms from 2013 conti

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Projecting Minnesota's Optimal Defensive Line-Up

Defense wins championships.   In the baseball world, this cliche might not be completely true. Otherwise, there would be teams full of Andrelton Simmons-type players. There are a lot of other factors that go into the overall equation. Teams need offense, they need pitching, and sometimes a little luck goes a long way.   Baseball line-ups aren't usually built with a defensive as the first priority. Rosters usually need to have the right combination of defense and offense. You can hide a Josh Will

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Twins Sign Former All-Star Carlos Quentin

The Minnesota Twins announced the signing of outfielder Carlos Quentin to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp. The 33-year old last appeared in a game for Tacoma, the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. His last big league appearance was in 20014 with the San Diego Padres.   The former two-time All-Star was first round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003. He played parts of two seasons at the big league level in Arizona before being dealt to the Chicago W

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Mr. 3000... Maybe Not

When the Twins signed Joe Mauer to an 8-year, $184 million contract after the 2010 season, the team had high hopes for their hometown star as he started to age at one of baseball's toughest positions. Mauer was coming off an MVP season in 2009 and batting titles in 2006, 2008, and 2009. It looked like Mauer was on pace to be one of the best hitting catchers of all time.   Things change and Mauer's career has taken a different turn in recent years. Twins fans are well aware that concussions cause

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Cody's Top 10 Twins Prospects

Even with prospects like Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario graduating off this list, there are still plenty of things to be excited about in 2016. Byron Buxton fell just short of meeting the rookie eligibility so he will get one more year to be considered the Twins top prospect. Other players like Jose Berrios and Max Kepler could use up their rookie eligibility this season as well.   If all of these players graduate off this list, next year's top 10 will have a very different feel to it. However, t

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Eddie Rosario: Sophomore Stud?

Miguel Sano got a lot of the praise following his breakout rookie performance in 2015. He finished in third place in the American League Rookie of the Year voting and he was named the Twins Most Valuable Player even though he played in less than half of the team's games. He made a tremendous impact but he wasn't the only rookie leaving his mark at the big league level.   Eddie Rosario made his debut on May 6, 2015 and spent the rest of the season in the Twins outfield. The former fourth round pi

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

What's Next for Alex Meyer?

2015 was supposed to be his season, his moment. After working his way through two different minor league systems over three years, Alex Meyer was on the cusp of making his major league debut. In fact, Baseball Prospectus had him ranked as the 14th best prospect in baseball, his highest ranking on any national list during his professional career.   As Meyer entered his age-25 season at last year's TwinsFest, he compared his age to that of another late bloomer, Randy Johnson. Meyer said, "Randy

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

State of the Union: Minnesota Twins

President Barack Obama will be giving his final State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. He is entering the last year as the Commander and Chief and most Presidents like to paint a picture of hope for the future before their term is over. The Twins gave fans hope last year as they were relevant in the final weeks of the season for the first time in half a decade.   Let's imagine we are all sitting down to hear a message directly for Twins Territory. What is the State of the Union for the

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Where Are They Now? 2011 Twins Top-10 Prospects

Ranking prospects within an organization is no easy task. The internet has opened up a wave of new information for writers as they can analyze video, sort through higher-level statistics, and prioritize scouting reports from a plethora of experts. This level of information can be overwhelming at times but it helps to separate prospects at different levels.   One of my favorite parts of working on the 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is looking at the old prospect lists from yesteryear. It'

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Running Down the Hall (of Fame Ballot)

My first Twins game was May 30, 1994 when the Twins took on the Seattle Mariners. As a kid, I was excited to be at my first big league game but it's fun to look back on the caliber of players in both line-ups. Future Hall of Famers Kirby Puckett, Randy Johnson, and Dave Winfield all played in the game.   Two other members of that Mariners team are prominently featured on this year's Hall of Fame ballot, Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez. Griffey is in his first year of eligibility and he will b

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Finding 2016's Twins Breakout Prospect

Minnesota's minor league system has seen a trend in recent years. Each year there seems to be one prospect that stands out above the rest to have a breakout season. Many of these players are already considered top prospects but their individual performances in one season put them on the cusp of being above-average at the big league level.   In 2015, Max Kepler (This year's cover athlete for the 2016 Twins Prospect Handbook) stood out above the crowd on his way to being named Southern League MVP.

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Twins Top Stories of 2015

The champagne is on ice and it's almost time for the ball to drop in Times Square. 2015 will move over to make way for 2016 and it will be time for resolutions and the hope of a new year.   The Twins offered plenty of hope to their fan base in 2015. After four straight seasons with at least 92 losses, many major media sources expected the Twins to again finish near the bottom of the AL Central. Thankfully, they were wrong and the Twins surprised many by staying in the playoff hunt until the fina

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Dozier's Defensive Dielmma

Brian Dozier was able to call himself an All-Star for the first time in 2015. He's gained national attention after competing in the 2014 Home Run Derby and after hitting a home run to help the American League win the 2015 All-Star Game. He's slowly become one of the Twins most valuable players as he has entrenched himself near the top of the team's line-up.   His value to the organization has been clear in recent years. He's ranked in the team's top three for rWAR from 2013-2015 and he led the t

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Twas the Night Before Twins Christmas

Tis the season... well it's not baseball season but fans can still be in the baseball mood. Back in 2010, I wrote a version of this poem that had become a little outdated after half a decade. The Twins had a different manager and GM at the time and the team's biggest offseason move was bringing in Tsuyoshi Nishioka.   So here is an update version to help us survive this holiday season. May your holiday be filled with plenty of blessings (and maybe a free agent signing by the Twins).   Twas the

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Building the Twins 2018 Line-Up

The final touches are being put on the 2016 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook and fans can look for ordering details shortly after the new year. In the aftermath of writing profiles on every prospect in the Twins system, it's hard not to get excited about the direction the team is heading in 2016 and beyond.   Predicting the future can be a tough task when it comes to prospects especially when trying to decipher who will part of the next playoff team in Minnesota. There are a plethora of high-en

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Cody's Midseason Top Prospects: 11-20

Over at Twins Daily, we have been counting down the Twins system's top prospects as part of our midseason update. This allows for players like recent first round pick Tyler Jay to fit into the Twins overall prospect rankings. There is plenty of depth in the Twins system so there are some very good players outside the top 10 rankings.   Some players like Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario will likely use up their rookie eligibility this season and graduate out of the rankings. This means other player

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

REVIEW: 'Tony Oliva' by Thom Henninger

For baseball fans across the Upper Midwest, Tony Oliva has become one of the most well known personalities. His infectious smile and broken English endeared him to any smiling face with a hand to shake and a baseball to sign. Tony O has become a legend but it's amazing to think of how close he was to never having a baseball career.   These trials and tribulations form the backdrop of the recent book release, Tony Oliva: The Life and Times of a Minnesota Twins Legend by Thom Henninger. Oliva, a C

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Santana's Struggle Is Polanco's Opportunity

Danny Santana was supposed to be the answer at shortstop.   He blew everyone out of the water with his performance throughout the 2014 season. However, the 2015 season has been an entirely different story. He's looked lost at the plate and struggled on the field to the point where the Twins demoted him to Triple-A.   Many fans of the Twins minor leagues might have expected this kind of regression from Santana in his sophomore season. During his minor league tenure, he hit .274/.317/.393 so he su

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

His Name Is Walker, Adam Brett Walker

His name is Walker, Adam Brett Walker.   Last season Kris Bryant and Joey Gallo were hitting home runs out of minor league parks at an alarming rate. Now each of these minor league home run leaders is making their mark at the big league level.   With Bryant and Gallo graduated to baseball's highest level, there will almost certainly be a new minor league home run champion this season. Twins prospect Adam Brett Walker is in the running for this title after a quick start to his season. He's hittin

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

2012 Draft Reflection: Correa, Buxton Leaving Mark

As the 2012 MLB Draft approached, there were plenty of rumors swirling about who the Astros would take with the first overall pick. Byron Buxton was considered by many talent evaluators to be the best available player but the Astros had surprised people before and other names had popped into the discussion.   On draft night, the Astros steered in a different direction than Buxton by selecting Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa, who shot up draft boards in the week prior to the draft. Houston w

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

The Possibility of a Minnesota Six-Man Rotation

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Mets would start using a six-man rotation. Their plan is to stick with having an extra starter in the rotation through early-to-mid-August. New York's reasoning behind the move is to shave innings totals without the need to shut down pitchers before the end of the season.   The Mets have three young pitchers in their rotation who need to be watched closely. Matt Harvey is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery while fellow starters Jacob de

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Max Kepler Shows Breakout Potential

Max Kepler has been featured up and down Twins prospect lists since the Twins signed him as a teenager out of Europe. The list of successful major league players born in Europe is small but there's always been a little something extra with Kepler.   His parents were both professional dancers so he's got a strong athletic background. Minnesota took it slow with Kepler allowing him to play three years in the rookie leagues. Over the last two seasons, he has worked through both Low-A and High-A and

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

REVIEW: 'In Pursuit of Pennants' by Armour and Levitt

Every team longs for a chance to add to the legacy of their franchise. How can they get another flag to fly over the stadium and become a part of baseball's legendary past?   This is the premise behind the recent book release, In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball by Mark L. Armour and Daniel R. Levitt. These two authors take the reader on a journey through the annals of baseball history to find what made front offices successful throughout each era.   Armour an

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Gardenhire's Possible Landing Spots

This is the first time in Ron Gardenhire's life that he hasn't been actively involved in baseball since his youth. However, it doesn't mean he wouldn't like to be back in the action. Fox Sports is reporting Gardenhire hired an agent for the first time in decades to "monitor possible managerial openings."   Since there are currently no openings, he isn't actively pursuing a position but he's open to considering all possibilities. There's also no reason to hurry since he had a year remaining on h

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

Twins Minor League Report (4/13): Hicks and Buxton Power Wins

Minnesota's home opener was sure depressing but luckily all the Twins minor league affiliates picked up the slack on Monday. There were some big games from some big names so fans can turn their frown upside down with a look down on the farm.   To celebrate the start of the minor league season, we are offering the 2015 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook in paperback right now at a 15% discount. This is a limited time offer so make sure to order you copy now before this deal is gone.   RED WINGS RE

Cody Christie

Cody Christie

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