As the team assembles in Ft. Myers, some of the burning questions that will assuredly be asked of Rocco Baldelli are “Who will be hitting leadoff?” or “What will the batting order be?”
It’s a fun exercise as a fan because there really seems to be no wrong answer with this team. If Rocco wanted to, he could draw names out of a hat and the 2020 Twins would score some runs. This lineup has no weak spots. Check out this article from Mike Petriello about how deep the Twins are.
The 2020 lineup is similar to the ‘19 version except the Twins are getting a full season of Luis Arraez and of course, they added Josh Donaldson.
I’ve been calling them the “Bomba Squad 2.0”.
No matter how you slice it, the 2020 Twins lineup is downright silly. The definition of #FunToWatch. They have a real opportunity to break their own major league record of 307 bombas hit in 2019.
It got me thinking…
How does the 2020 Twins lineup potentially compare to one of the most lethal teams of all-time - The 1927 “Murderers’ Row '' New York Yankees?
Of course, the ‘27 Yankees are widely considered to be one of the best, if not the best team in baseball history. They won 110 games, a record at the time, and cakewalked their way to a 4-game sweep of the Pirates in the World Series. Four players in the starting lineup ended up in the Hall of Fame: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, and Earle Combs.
You might be asking yourself, there’s no way the 2020 team holds a candle to one of the best teams of all-time? Well, it’s potentially closer than you think…
1927 Yankees Top 9 Starting Position Players - SLG %
C Pat Collins - .418
1B Lou Gehrig - .765*
2B Tony Lazzeri - .482
SS Mark Koenig - .382
3B Joe Dugan - .362
OF Bob Meusel - .510
OF Babe Ruth - .772*
OF Earle Combs - .511
UTIL Ray Morehart - .328
*I would like to point out how insane Gehrig and Ruth’s SLG % were. They were #1 and #2 atop the league in 1927. The third highest SLG % that year was Al Simmons at .645. Those poor 1920’s era pitchers...
2020 Twins Top 9 Starting Position Players - Using ‘19 SLG%
C Mitch Garver - .630
1B Miguel Sano - .576
2B Arraez - .439
SS Polanco - .485
3B Donaldson - .521
OF Rosario - .500
OF Buxton - .513
OF Kepler - .519
DH Cruz - .639
That’s right. The 2020 Twins projected lineup actually out-slugged the 1927 Yankees (by .0004). Granted, the comparison is a little unfair since I am using 2019 stats. Not to mention the ‘27 Yankees performed better than the Twins in many scenarios (OPS, R/G, and AVG). But for this scenario, I choose to ignore that and only focus on the 2020 Twins being better than the 1927 Yankees at something.
Speaking of something, SLG % isn’t the only stat that the 2020 Twins had an advantage over the 1927 Yankees.
They also hit more home runs (247 - 152), had more total bases per plate appearance, and had more hitters with an above average OPS relative to the rest of the league.
Think about these stats for a second. Who would have thought that entering the 2020 season, we’d be talking about the Twins and Murderers’ Row in the same breath. Imagine telling a Twins fan that after the 100-loss 2016 season.
So there you have it. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have slowly constructed one of the most terrifying offenses in the game today, maybe...ever? OK, that might be a stretch. Only time will tell.
Here’s to hoping the 2020 “Bomba Squad 2.0” season ends the same way as the Murderers’ Row - with a World Series victory.