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  1. We're a couple days away from Summer Camp opening up for the Twins and the rest of Major League Baseball, I can't wait for the shirts, and we're about 25 days away from Opening Day pending the official schedule release, so I thought it fitting to make my prediction about how the season will unfold for Minnesota. Everybody and their mom have done Virtual seasons, from Aaron Gleeman managing the club on OOTP Baseball, to Ted Schwerzler posting post-game reports on Twitter daily, to myself managing the Twins but also calling every game on MLB The Show, there's been a lot to follow here on Twins Daily. I'm 23 years old and I can honestly say this has felt like the highest expectations for the Twins in my lifetime. Currently on Oddshark.com, the Twins are tied for 5th with the 2019 World Champs for the highest odds to win the World Series. https://www.oddsshark.com/mlb/world-series-odds This basis for the Twins success in those odds isn't all based on last year's historic season either. From adding arms like Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill, Homer Bailey, and Tyler Clippard to one of the splashiest moves this off-season in acquiring the Bringer of Rain Josh Donaldson, the feeling throughout Twins Territory is that this team has a chance to have us partying on Nicolette Ave. come October (if we can even have parades by then). But how have those free-agent moves panned out for the Virtual Twins? Let's take a look and that and more through the first 60 games. Firstly let's take a look at some of those Free-Agent acquisitions and how they have panned out: Josh Donaldson: After starting the season with an 11 game hitting streak, the Bringer or Rain ran into a drought at the plate for Minnesota. After 60 games Donaldson was batting .250, 6 HR, 18 RBI, and was 2nd last among the tradition starting nine for Minnesota in RBI's (Arraez in last with 9 RBI's). Donaldson's bat has picked up some in late June but for the purposes of this outlook I'm only examining the first 60 games which goes to show how weird this season is going to be. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/clip/OutstandingDoubtfulEmuPeteZaroll Kenta Maeda: Throughout calling games for the Virtual Twins one of my favorite players to examine has been Maeda. in 54.2 IP, Kenta had racked up 83 K's and would have him registered with the highest K/9 in baseball except for the fact that he wouldn't qualify in regards to innings pitched. From his most dazzling performance against Oakland where he racked up 14 K's, to a 2.96 ERA, Maeda has been just what the doctor ordered for a reliable starter in the middle of the Twins rotation. http://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/clip/OutstandingDoubtfulEmuPeteZaroll Homer Bailey: Before COVID-19 a talking point among Twins fans was how there was pitching to back up some notable starters who were still months away from joining the club like Michael Pineda and Rich Hill. Those pitchers included Jhoulys Chacin and Homer Bailey who were viewed as stop gap starters to hold the fort until reinforcements arrived, but in the Virtual season, Bailey was making a case to be the Twins ace. Through starting the year as a LRP and then being moved to the starting rotation after a rough open by Devin Smeltzer, Homer Bailey had the 2nd best ERA in the American League behind Gerrit Cole at 2.01 in 78.1 IP and despite the strikeout totals being significantly less than Maeda at 50, Bailey was missing bats and leading the Twins staff. A talking point among pitchers for Minnesota is how much Wes Johnson has helped in their development, could the same happen this real season to find whatever is left from Bailey's tenured arm? Next, let's take a look at the AL Central Standings through 60 games and pillage through the rough to find out meaningful information: First of all in the Virtual season the Twins repeated as AL Central Champs (hooray!) but there are differences to how the real season will be played. 40 of the 60 games are against the division and extrapolating the data from the Division category the Twins would've gone 25-15 against the division in a 60 game season, meaning going .500 against the NL Central would more than likely guarantee a playoff spot. But as you can see minus a game the Indians had essentially the same record against the division so in theory it would be a tight race for the Central. This season is going to be 37% the normal size of a regular season so each game will feel immensely more important, it will be a tough race indeed for Minnesota. Before closing with notable stats for the Twin's starting nine, I wanted to share some highlights we will sadly be missing this year due to the schedule realignment. We will first of all miss pitcher's batting with the Universal DH, so enjoy what could've been with Jose Berrios getting his first career RBI double (yes you read that right). https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/clip/BitterSpoopyMarjoramBrainSlug Who knows what the postseason will entail, but we will miss the Twins playing the Yankees in the regular season, so enjoy Max Kepler completely dismantling the Bronx Bombers in New York. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/clip/KnottyDreamyHamYee Finally, at least for the start of the year, we will miss being at Target Field. Moments like when baseball starts will still be special, but will be significantly different without fans in the stands. https://www.twitch.tv/videos/583432621 Finally let's take a look at the starting nine you can expect on day one for Minnesota and what their stats may look like come the end of the season Garver building off his silver slugger (at the time of game 60 he lead the MLB in Slg and OPS), Nelson Cruz not showing any signs of regression, Kepler and Sano flourishing in their prime, there are a lot of reasons to be excited as Twins fans. This season will be different than any other we've ever had and even though I hate the extra innings rule for a runner at 2nd, we should embrace the weird and enjoy, from what we can gather from the Virtual Twins, what looks to be a seemingly unforgettable year for Minnesota. For those who want to follow along with the finale of my Virtual Twins project, you can keep updated here in the megathread. http://twinsdaily.com/topic/37528-virtual-twins-baseball-megathread/ Also the plan moving forward for this project will go as follows: Sim to the playoffs on June 5th, Wild Card/ALDS July 5th-9th, if Twins make it, ALCS July 10th-14th, and finally if they make it, The World Series from July 19th-22nd/23rd depending on what the official start date is for the Twins, and it all can be followed at the Virtual Twins network, http://twitch.tv/thuuuuney.
  2. Catch-Up How sweet is this! Another series comes down to the final game as the Angels take game one on Friday and the Twins even the series yesterday. Pour a hot cup of Joe, ease your seat back, and enjoy some Sunday Afternoon Baseball! Pre-game 12:45pm Where to watch Virtual Twins Baseball Network AL Central Standings 1. Twins 19-14 2. Indians 20-16 3. Royals 18-16 4. White Sox 14-20 5. Tigers 10-24 Starting Pitchers Twins: Kenta Maeda 1-1, 2.30 ERA, 27.1 IP, 47 K'sAngels: Griffin Canning 2-1, 3.12 ERA, 34.2 IP, 33 K's**= Kenta Maeda: 10th in AL, Strikeouts (47). Twins Batting Order RF Max Kepler .234 BA, 9 HR, 12 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .273 BA, 4 HR, 19 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .271 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI C Mitch Garver .302 BA, 10 HR, 18 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .239 BA, 4 HR, 13 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .246 BA, 5 HR, 16 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .253 BA, 7 HR, 13 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .317 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI CF Byron Buxton .229 BA, 5 HR, 11 RBI*=Mitch Garver: Leads all AL catchers in BA,HR, and RBI's. Angels Batting Order 2B Tommy La Stella .330 BA, 6 HR, 17 RBI CF Mike Trout .274 BA, 6 HR, 20 RBI 3B Anthony Rendon .322 BA, 9 HR, 27 RBI DH Shohei Ohtani* .279 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI 1B Albert Pujols .346 BA, 4 HR, 21 RBI LF Justin Upton .234 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI RF Brian Goodwin .204 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI SS Andrelton Simmons .353 BA, 6 HR, 22 RBI C Jason Castro .245 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI*= "Sho Time," in LA. Ohtani in GM1 as SP, (5.0IP, 6H, 4ER, 1BB, 5K's in Win). Will play DH for GM3. Bomba Tracker - 2019 through 33 games: 57 - 2020: 50 Storylines 1. It's "Sho Time," in LA as the series will come down to the final game and the Angels will tout their two-way talent in Shohei Ohtani today at DH. 2. In almost Johan Santana like fashion, Kenta Maeda is striking out batters at will. The Twins leader in punch-outs is off to an unreal start to 2020 with a K/9 of 15.48. 3. For Twins fans purposes, TWINGO returns tomorrow with our series with the Giants with prizes again courtesy of SotaStick. Tune in to the ballgame to get some info on how to win our second Target Field promotion of the year.
  3. Catch-Up After taking down the lead dogs in the majors in the LA Dodgers, the Twins head across town to take on the Halos for a three-game weekend set where we will see the MLB's best player in Mike Trout and most exciting player in Shohei Ohtani (Ohtani will play SP game one and DH in game three). Pre-game 6:50pm Where to watch Virtual Twins Baseball Network AL Central Standings 1. Minnesota 18-13 2. Cleveland 19-15 3. Kansas City 17-15 4. Chicago 13-19 5. Detroit 9-23 Starting Pitchers Twins: Jake Odorizzi 1-3, 4.31 ERA, 31.1 IP, 33 K'sAngels: Shohei Ohtani 1-1, 7.52 ERA, 26.1 IP, 36 K'sTwins Batting Order RF Max Kepler .241 BA, 8 HR, 11 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .275 BA, 4 HR, 19 RBI C Mitch Garver .290 BA, 8 HR, 15 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .236 BA, 4 HR, 15 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .261 BA, 7 HR, 12 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .238 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .279 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .309 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI CF Byron Buxton .237 BA, 5 HR, 11 RBIMinnesota: 1 of 6 teams in MLB with 8 men or more at 11 RBI's a piece. Angels Batting Order DH Tommy La Stella .358 BA, 6 HR, 17 RBI CF Mike Trout .267 BA, 5 HR, 17 RBI 3B Anthony Rendon .316 BA, 9 HR, 26 RBI 2B David Fletcher .239 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI 1B Albert Pujols* .361 BA, 4 HR, 21 RBI LF Justin Upton .233 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI RF Brian Goodwin .219 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI SS Andrelton Simmons .354 BA, 6 HR, 22 RBI C Jason Castro .230 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI*= Albert Pujols: 3rd in AL, Batting Average (.361). Bomba Tracker - 2019 through 31 games: 55 - 2020: 45 Storylines 1. A late resurgence from Albert Pujols has gotten him off to his best start as an Angel since 2012, (.285/30/105), but also added in the mix is an uncharacteristic start from Mike Trout, batting .267 thus far which will bode for some interesting talking points this weekend. 2. For the first time since April Fool's Day, the Twins maintain sole possesion of the AL Central lead. The Twins will lean on Jake Odorizzi, who's been very hit or miss early this year, to try and go on their second 5 game winning streak of the year (Last Time: 3/28/20-4/1/20). 3. The Bomba Squad's spark was lit on the final game of the homestand last Sunday and since then the Twins have homered 7 times in their last 3 games. Meanwhile the stand atop the stacked AL West, leading the "Asterisks," by one game and will look to extend that lead tonight.
  4. Catch-UpThe Twins biggest test all year, the Dodgers biggest test all year, and boy was game one worth the price of admission. A back and forth chess-match ballgame yesterday went the way of the Twins in a 3-2 victory but today is the game we've had circled on the calendar all year. It's Clayton Kershaw versus Jose Berrios...need I say more. Pre-game6:45pm Where to watchhttps://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central StandingsMinnesota: 17-13 Cleveland: 18-15 Kansas City: 16-14 Chicago: 13-18 Detroit: 8-22 Starting PitchersTwins: Jose Berrios 3-1, 5.59 ERA, 29.0IP, 32 K'sDodgers: Clayton Kershaw** 4-0, 2.57 ERA, 42.0IP, 41 K's**= Clayton Kershaw: T-1st in NL, Complete Game Shutouts (2). Twins Batting OrderRF Max Kepler .232 BA, 7 HR, 10 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .286 BA, 4 HR, 19 RBI C Mitch Garver* .292 BA, 7 HR, 14 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .270 BA, 7 HR, 12 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .238 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .280 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .308 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI SP Jose Berrios .143 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI in 14 Career At-Bats. CF Byron Buxton .247 BA, 5 HR, 11 RBI*=Mitch Garver: Leads all AL Catchers in HR,BA (7),(.292) respectfully. Dodgers Batting Order RF Mookie Betts .317 BA, 5 HR, 16 RBI 1B Max Muncy .284 BA, 10 HR, 27 RBI 3B Justin Turner .290 BA, 5 HR, 21 RBI CF Cody Bellinger* .348 BA, 8 HR, 28 RBI SS Corey Seager .222 BA, 5 HR, 23 RBI C Will Smith .221 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI LF Joc Pederson .273 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI 2B Gavin Lux .352 BA, 1 HR, 12 RBI SP Clayton Kershaw .133 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI*= Cody Bellinger: 2nd in NL, RBI (28). Bomba Tracker - 2019 through 30 games: 52 - 2020: 43 Storylines 1. The Twins handed the Dodgers only their second lose of the year at Dodger Stadium yesterday and today it will be a tall order to make it two in a row. In the Live-Ball Era (since 1920) Clayton Kershaw's home ERA (2.15) is the best by any pitcher with at least 1,000 IP at home. 2. Although it's been a rough start to the season, LaMaKina has had some dazzling starts and he'll need his best stuff if he wants to stay toe to toe with Kershaw tonight. 3. The Twins are 12-12 in the month of April after going 5-1 in March and with this being the final game of April, Rocco's club will look to make it two winning months in a row while the Dodgers have gone 18-6 in the month of April after going 5-0 in March.
  5. Catch-Up After back to back pitcher's duels, we head into game three with the series on the line and another prospective pitcher's duel on our hands as former Twin Martin Perez squares off against Kenta Maeda. Congrats to the winner's of the SotaStick giveaway yesterday with TWINGO and for those who missed out TWINGO will be coming back when the Twins are back at Target Field on May 4th. Pre-game 12:45pm Where to watch https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Cleveland 17-13 2. Minnesota 15-13 3. Kansas City 14-13 4. Chicago 11-18 5. Detroit 7-21 Starting Pitchers Boston: Martin Perez 3-1, 2.12 ERA, 34.0IP, 25 K'sMinnesota: Kenta Maeda** 1-1, 2.31 ERA, 23.1IP, 41 K's**= Kenta Maeda: 8th in AL, Strikeouts (41). Boston Batting Order RF Alex Verdugo .286 BA, 0HR, 5 RBI SS Xander Bogaerts* .352 BA, 6 HR, 18 RBI 3B Rafael Devers .253 BA, 5 HR, 18 RBI DH J.D. Martinez** .328 BA, 8 HR, 21 RBI LF Andrew Benintendi .183 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI CF Jackie Bradley Jr. .145 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI 2B Jose Peraza .257 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI 1B Mitch Moreland .149 BA, 2 HR, 10 RBI C Christian Vazquez .155 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI*= Xander Bogaerts: 1st in AL OBP, (.469). 3rd in AL, OPS (1.095) **=J.D. Martinez: T-2nd in AL, Runs Scored, (23). Twins Batting Order C Mitch Garver .273 BA, 6 HR, 13 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .276 BA, 3HR, 16 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .267 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .248 BA, 4 HR, 15 RBI RF Max Kepler* .219 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .250 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI LF Marwin Gonzalez .281 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI 2B Ehire Adrianza .250 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI CF Byron Buxton .244 BA, 5 HR, 9 RBI*=Max Kepler: T-3rd in AL, Doubles (9). Bomba Tracker - 2019 through 28 games: 50 - 2020: 38 Storylines 1. Back to back 2-1 ballgames pit the series down to the final game. Although your broadcaster doesn't think this will end 2-1 as well, both starters enter the game with sub 2.32 ERA's and the Twins have shown this year they have been boom or bust against a Lefty on the mound. 2. After Xander Bogaerts lost his 22-Game Hitting Streak, it was prevalent that Boston thus far has leaned on his bat for success. Of the 98 combined RBI's in Boston's starting lineup today, 58.1% of the runs have come from three bats: Devers, Xander, and Martinez. For Boston to come out on top today, they'll need a more balanced distribution of runs out of the lineup card. 3. After today's game the Red Sox begin an ever-important battle with the 17-11 Blue Jays as Boston early in April are trying to claw back into the AL East picture. Meanwhile the Twins have a day off on Monday, and then on Tuesday will begin a two game series with the best team in baseball, the 23-5 Dodgers.
  6. Quick Note I have been reaching out to try and do some good with these streams of Twins "baseball," and back a charity for the games. Whether it be a charity related to COVID-19 relief, feeding families, etc, if anyone knows of a charity we could help out message me directly. Catch-up Tough ballgame yesterday as the Twins drop game two 4-2 against Seattle, but still sit only 3.0 games back of Cleveland and will look to move ahead in the series with Jhoulys Chacin, who went 8 1/3 shutout innings his last start, against the ace of the Mariner rotation in Marco Gonzales. Pre-game 6:25pmCT Where to watch. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Indians 17-9 2. Twins 13-11 3. Royals 13-11 4. White Sox 10-15 5. Tigers 5-19 Starting Pitchers Seattle: Marco Gonzales 2-2. 3.66 ERA, 32.0P, 17 K's Minnesota: Jhoulys Chacin 2-1, 2.22 ERA, 24.1IP, 20 K's Seattle Batting Order2B Dee Gordon .296 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI CF Mallek Smith .241 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI RF Mitch Haniger .255 BA, 5 HR, 13 RBI 1B Daniel Vogelbach .239 BA, 2 HR, 4 RBI C Tom Murphy .240 BA, 6 HR, 12 RBI 3B Kyle Seager .192 BA, 6 HR, 7 RBI LF Braden Bishop .261 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI SS J.P. Crawford .184 BA, 4 HR, 12 RBI DH Dylan Moore .193 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI Minnesota Batting OrderDH Max Kepler .231 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBI SS Marwin Gonzalez .296 BA, 1 HR, 1 RBI 3B Miguel Sano .278 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI RF Nelson Cruz .264 BA, 4 HR, 15 RBI C Mitch Garver .260 BA, 4 HR, 11 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .265 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI CF Byron Buxton .263 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .274 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI 1B Ehire Adrianza .250 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBIBomba Tracker - 2020: 36 - 2019 through 24 games: 47 Storylines 1. Gulp.. Rocco has to shift the lineup card to give some key players days off but someone who will stay in the lineup and play Right Field for the first time since 2018... Nelson Cruz. 2. We mentioned yesterday that the game might be a bullpen game but for now Rocco will go with Chacin to start but expect Dobnak and Romero to come in if needed. Chacin went 8 1/3 scoreless in his last start as Chacin looks for win #2 in front of the home faithful. 3. Last time the Twins faced off against Marco Gonzales, they won on March 31st, 2020 in Seattle in a 6-2 thumping.
  7. Catch-up The Twins move back to .500 at home with their second walk-off win of the year courtesy of Byron Buxton and will look to take game two of the series tonight with Kenta Maeda on the mound for Minnesota. The Twins have won three of the last four and tonight will face off against Justin Dunn for Seattle, who the Twins beat 10-2 back on March 30th of this season. Pre-game 6:10pmCT Where to watch https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Indians 17-8 2. Twins 13-10 3. Royals 13-10 4. White Sox 9-15 5. Tigers 5-18 Starting Pitchers Seattle: Justin Dunn 2-2. 7.85 ERA, 18.1P, 15 K's Minnesota: Kenta Maeda** 1-0, 1.33 ERA, 20.1IP, 38 K's **= Kenta Maeda: 5th in AL, Strikeouts (38). Seattle Batting Order 2B Dee Gordon .312BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI CF Mallek Smith .253 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI RF Mitch Haniger .267 BA, 5 HR, 13 RBI 1B Daniel Vogelbach .234 BA, 2 HR, 4 RBI C Tom Murphy .225 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI 3B Kyle Seager .188 BA, 5 HR, 6 RBI LF Braden Bishop .277 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI SS J.P. Crawford .192 BA, 4 HR, 12 RBI DH Dylan Moore .176 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBIMinnesota Batting Order RF Max Kepler .230 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .290 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI 1B Mitch Garver .247 BA, 4 HR, 10 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .276 BA, 4 HR, 15 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .284 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .278 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI 2B Marwin Gonzalez .261 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI C Alex Avila .357 BA, 1 HR, 1 RBI CF Byron Buxton .233 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBIBomba Tracker - 2020: 35 - 2019 through 23 games: 42 Storylines 1. What a performance out of the pen yesterday from Fernando Romero, a man on the cusp of possibly going back to Rochester pitches four brilliant no-hit innings to help secure the victory yesterday. While he enjoys a much deserved day off, the Twins turn to Kenta Maeda, who leads the team in strikeouts, for game two. 2. With the next off-day not until the 27th, the Twins will shake the lineup a little to give some rest to key members of the Bomba Squad. Today Miguel Sano and Luis Arraez get days off and in for them are Alex Avila, who will catch while Garver plays 1B, and Marwin Gonzalez. 3. With the rotation on short rest as well, tomorrow's game could be a bullpen day depending on how Maeda's start goes. Smeltzer, who has already started a game this year, would be in line for the start tomorrow if Jhoulys Chacin is not ready.
  8. Catch-up The Twins win the opening series of the home-stand but don't get the sweep as the former Twins Cj Cron and Jonathan Schoop rally in the 9th to win a thriller 9-8 for Detroit. But today the lineup card turns over to the Seattle Mariners as the Twins will begin a four game set and look to blaze it up and sweep Seattle for the second time this year. Pre-game 6:10pmCT Where to watch https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Indians 17-7 2. Twins 12-10 3. Royals 12-10 4. White Sox 9-14 5. Tigers 5-17 Starting Pitchers Seattle: Justus Sheffield 0-2. 10.80 ERA, 11.2P, 7 K's Minnesota: Homer Bailey** 0-1, 1.61 ERA, 22.1IP, 21 K's **= Homer Bailey: 4th in AL, ERA (1.61). Detroit Batting Order 2B Dee Gordon .311 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI CF Mallek Smith .253 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI RF Mitch Haniger .267 BA, 5 HR, 12 RBI 1B Daniel Vogelbach .230 BA, 2 HR, 4RBI C Tom Murphy .224 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI 3B Kyle Seager .197 BA, 5 HR, 6 RBI LF Braden Bishop .279 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI SS J.P. Crawford .203 BA, 4 HR, 12 RBI DH Dylan Moore .185 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBIMinnesota Batting Order RF Max Kepler .229 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .281 BA, 2 HR, 12 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .298 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .277 BA, 4 HR, 14 RBI 1B Miguel Sano* .265 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .267 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI C Mitch Garver .243 BA, 4 HR, 10 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .294 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI CF Byron Buxton .229 BA, 4 HR, 6 RBIBomba Tracker - 2020: 33 - 2019 through 22 games: 38 Storylines 1. Trevor May, Tyler Duffey, and Sergio Romo have been fantastic out of the pen thus far, totaling a 1.80ERA combined in 30IP out of the pen so far. But the other half of the pen has been abismal to say the least, posting a 7.04ERA in 55IP. The Twins have lost a great deal of games early due to collapse from the pen so with the bats becoming more consistent, Wes Johnson needs his bullpen to do the same. 2. The Twins swept Seattle earlier this year and now will begin a four game series after this first home series win this year. Toting the rubber for Minnesota is the veteran Homer Bailey, currently 4th in the AL in ERA. 3. With Cleveland staying red hot, the Twins will look to keep pace and lower their games back to 3.5 today with the possible win.
  9. Catch-up The Twins bats awaken and launch three bombas, but the birthday boy Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers wouldn't just let the Twins walk all over them as he launches two home runs along with a three run shot from Austin Romine. The game went down to the wire and the Twins escaped with a 7-6 win today and are looking for the sweep against the Tigers ace, Matthew Boyd Pre-game 12:45pmCT Where to watch. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Indians 16-7 2. Twins 12-9 3. Royals 11-10 4. White Sox 9-13 5. Tigers 4-16 Starting Pitchers Detroit: Matthew Boyd 0-2. 3.91 ERA, 23.0P, 21 K's Minnesota: Jake Odorizzi 1-3, 4.43 ERA, 20.1IP, 23 K's Detroit Batting Order CF Cameron Maybin .297 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI SS Niko Goodrum .246 BA, 1 HR, 8 RBI DH Miguel Cabrera .200 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI 1B C.J. Cron .250 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI 2B Jonathan Schoop .145 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI 3B Harold Castro** .359 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI RF Christian Stewart .266 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI C Austin Romine .294 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI LF Victor Reyes .284 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI**= Harold Castro: 6th in AL, Batting Average (.359). Minnesota Batting Order C Mitch Garver .254 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .286 BA, 2 HR, 12 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .296 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .275 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI 1B Miguel Sano* .246 BA, 5 HR, 9 RBI RF Max Kepler* .241 BA, 5 HR, 8 RBI LF Ehire Adrianza .235 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .308 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI CF Byron Buxton .212 BA, 3 HR, 5 RBI*= Max Kepler and Miguel Sano: Both have homered in each game this series. Bomba Tracker - 2020: 30 - 2019 through 21 games: 37 Storylines 1. After a pitchers duel in game one of the series, both offenses combined for 6 home-runs yesterday in a crazy 7-6 win by Minnesota. The scorecard should be a little easier to score today as the ace of the rotation for Detroit in Matthew Boyd takes the mound versus Jake Odorizzi. 2. The Twins against LHP have been very hit or miss, starting the year 3-0 off of a LHP starter averaging over 6 runs a game. But in their last two games against LHP they have been bested by the veteran Gio Gonzalez (7 shutout innings in Chicago) and Ryan Borucki (7 shutout innings in Toronto) . Today will prove to be a big test for the Bomba Squad as they square off against Matthew Boyd. 3. The Twins haven't had a sweep since the end of March when they swept Seattle and today are looking to get the brooms out for sweep #2, also hosting Seattle again for a four game set starting tomorrow. While Detroit gets over their toughest week of the year so far going 0-7, the calendar turns over and for Detroit, they hope the week starts off with a win!
  10. Catch-up While Fulmer goes 5 innings only allowing one run, he was bested by Jhoulys Chacin who nearly had the Twins first complete game of the year as the Twins take game one of the series 4-0. Game two of the series will feature the tail end of the Tigers rotation in Jordan Zimmerman, while the Twins will bring out their ace Jose Berrios looking to bounceback from his last Target Field start (0.2IP, 6R, 4 BB). Pre-game 12:45pmCT Where to watch https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Indians 16-6 2. Twins 11-9 3. Royals 10-10 4. White Sox 9-12 5. Tigers 4-15 Starting Pitchers Detroit: Jordan Zimmerman 0-1. 9.82 ERA, 14.2P, 11 K's Minnesota: Jose Berrios 1-1, 5.89 ERA, 18.1IP, 20 K's Detroit Batting Order CF Cameron Maybin .290 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI SS Niko Goodrum .250 BA, 1 HR, 8 RBI DH Miguel Cabrera .185 BA, 0 HR, 5 RBI 1B C.J. Cron .238 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI 2B Jonathan Schoop .125 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI 3B Harold Castro** .378 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI RF Christian Stewart .262 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI C Austin Romine .281 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI LF Victor Reyes .300 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI**= Harold Castro: 3rd in AL, Batting Average (.378). Minnesota Batting Order RF Max Kepler .213 BA, 4 HR, 7 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .287 BA, 2 HR, 12 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .286 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .276 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI C Alex Avila** .400 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .230 BA, 4 HR, 8 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .295 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .268 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI CF Byron Buxton .210 BA, 3 HR, 4 RBI**= Alex Avila: Former Tiger makes his debut for the first time in a Twins uniform against his old club as Mitch Garver gets the day off. Bomba Tracker - 2020: 27 - 2019 through 20 games: 36 Storylines 1. On the road, Berrios has been great, going 17.2IP with a 3.13 ERA. But today he'll make his second appearance in front of the Twins faithful looking to bounceback after his rough first start, (0.2IP, 6R, 4BB) and win the series. 2. It's early, but Harold Castro has been lighting the world on fire here early in April. 3rd in Batting Average and 4th in Hits, the best bat in the Tigers lineup graces the lineup again today after getting a day off yesterday. 3. The Twins are currently 6-8 this April and haven't had a winning streak since their five gamer back in March 28th-April 1st. So the Twins look to build some consistency while Detroit looks to end their losing streak and even the score in Minnesota!
  11. Catch-up After a much needed day off for the Twins, they'll come home to Target Field to begin their longest home-stand of the year. Detroit comes in with a four game losing streak while the Twins are at a three game losing streak so as Common would say on KFAN, somebodies O has got to go! Pre-game 6:45pmCT Where to watch https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ AL Central Standings 1. Indians 15-6 2. Twins 10-9 3. Royals 9-10 4. White Sox 9-11 5. Tigers 4-14 Starting Pitchers Detroit: Michael Fulmer 0-1. 4.76 ERA, 17.0IP, 9 K's Minnesota: Jhoulys Chacin 1-1, 3.38 ERA, 16.0IP, 16 K's Detroit Batting Order CF Cameron Maybin .308 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI SS Niko Goodrum .250 BA, 1 HR, 8 RBI DH Miguel Cabrera .194 BA, 0 HR, 5 RBI 1B C.J. Cron .294 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI 2B Jonathan Schoop .132 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI 3B Jeimer Candelario .207 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI RF Christian Stewart .276 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI C Austin Romine .262 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI LF Victor Reyes .313 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBIMinnesota Batting Order C Mitch Garver .274 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .277 BA, 2 HR, 12 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .288 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .274 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .284 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .207 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI RF Max Kepler .197 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .281 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI CF Byron Buxton .220 BA, 3 HR, 4 RBIBomba Tracker - 2020: 25 - 2019 through 19 games: 34 Storylines 1. The Twins begin a ten game home-stand today and we'll see Detroit, Seattle, and finally the Boston Red Sox before closing out April with the NL leading Los Angeles Dodgers (16-3). 2. It's a reunion tour the likes of which we've never seen. Gardy, Rick Andersen, and Joe Vavra come back to Target Field this time bringing some "player," former Twins! Niko Goodrum (drafted by Twins in 2010), Jonathan Schoop (23 bombas in 121 games for MIN in 19') and finally C.J. Cron (25 bombas in 125 games in 19'). Also we'll see former Tiger Alex Avila in this series for Minnesota. 3. The Twins will turn to their leader in Quality Starts in Jhouyls Chacin (3), while Michael Fulmer will tout the rubber for Detroit looking for his first win in 2020.
  12. Catch-up The broadcaster may have jinxed the team asking for a big game offensively as the Twins muster two hits and lose 3-2 on a walk off single by Bo Bichette. With an off-day Thursday, the Twins will turn to their hottest starter in Kenta Maeda, (28 K's in 15.1IP), to try and win the final game of the series before starting their longest homestand of the year Friday. Pre-game 6:45pmCT, Special Jackie Robinson Day Piece 7:00pmCT Where to watch. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ Starting Pitchers Toronto: Matt Shoemaker 1-2. 6.75 ERA, 16.0IP, 15 K's Minnesota: Kenta Maeda** 1-0, 1.76 ERA, 15.1IP, 28 K's Minnesota Batting Order 2B Luis Arraez .264 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI SS Jorge Polanco** .278 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .271 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .297 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI C Mitch Garver .293 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI RF Max Kepler .179 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .290 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .200 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI CF Byron Buxton .232 BA, 3 HR, 4 RBI**= Kenta Maeda: 10th in AL, Strikeouts (28). Toronto Batting Order SS Bo Bichette .278 BA, 1 HR, 7 RBI 2B Cavan Biggio .176 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI DH Lourdes Gurriel Jr. .279 BA, 4 HR, 7 RBI RF Teoscar Hernandez .356 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI 1B Travis Shaw .269 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI RF Brandon Drury .250 BA, 1 HR, 1 RBI LF Billy McKinney .286 BA, 4 HR, 8 RBI CF Derek Fisher .138 BA, 2 HR, 3 RBI C Danny Jensen .217 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI**= Teoscar Hernandez 8th in AL Batting Average, (.356). Bomba Tracker - 2020: 25 - 2019 through 17 games: 34 Storylines 1. It's Jackie Robinson Day around Major League Baseball and as you'll see during the game all the players will be wearing the only number retired throughout baseball, #42. 2. Toronto's starting pitching this series has been unbelievable, 14IP, 2R, 23K's, and will turn to Matt Shoemaker today going for the sweep. 3. After a superb outing yesterday despite the loss, Homer Bailey gets a much deserved day off and the Twins will go from their pitcher 2nd on the team in K's, Homer Bailey, to Kenta Maeda today. Maeda trying to continue his fantastic month of April where he has only allowed 2R in 15.1IP.
  13. Preface For those who don't know, I am running a SIM on MLB The Show for Twins baseball. I do the color commentary over the games and it's been received very well so far. I hope you enjoy the game! Catch-up Rick Renteria must've had a great talk with his ball-club yesterday. After leaving a ton of runs out in the field Friday the White Sox come back with a vengeance and take game two 9-2. The Twins will turn to La MaKina, Jose Berrios, to try and take the final game of the series in Chicago. Pre-game 12:45pmCT, 1:10pmCT start. Where to watch. https://www.twitch.tv/thuuuuney/ Starting Pitchers Chicago:Reynaldo Lopez 1-0. 4.26 ERA, 12.2IP, 1.58WHIPMinnesota:Jose Berrios 1-1, 6.39 ERA, 12.2IP, 1.50WHIP Minnesota Batting Order RF Max Kepler .204 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI SS Jorge Polanco .281 BA, 1 HR, 9 RBI 3B Josh Donaldson .339 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI DH Nelson Cruz .246 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI LF Eddie Rosario .302 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI C Mitch Garver .327 BA, 4 HR, 9 RBI 2B Luis Arraez .279 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI 1B Miguel Sano .213 BA, 3 HR, 6 RBI CF Jake Cave .250 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBIChicago Batting Order SS Tim Anderson .159 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI 3B Yoan Moncada .286 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI LF Eloy Jimenez .400 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI C Yasmani Grandal .319 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI DH Edwin Encarnacion .220 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI 1B Jose Abreu .235 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI RF Nomar Mazara .325 BA, 3 HR, 9 RBI 2B Leury Garcia .321 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI CF Luis Robert .200 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBIWhite Sox Pitching Staff: 2nd in MLB Hits Allowed, (120). Bomba Tracker - 2020: 23 - 2019 through 15 games: 22 Storylines 1. Twins looking to build some consistency. In their last 9 games they only have one game with 10 hits as a club and are looking to try and light up the scoreboard. White Sox currently allowing the 2nd fewest hits as a club, (120), so something's got to give! 2. Chicago looking to win their second homestand of the year and win the series today led by the scorching hot bat of Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez. 3. Jose Berrios went (2/3IP, 3H, 6ER, 4 BB) in his last start and is looking to come back to form today and hopefully provide a jolt for the Twins before they head north of the border and take on Toronto tomorrow.
  14. Before we start tabulating home run totals, there are first a few things to know. One, this will be under the assumption that the ball will at least in some capacity will suppress home runs a little more than it did in 2019. Additionally, these projections are under the assumption that the Twins will stay relatively healthy in 2020, so expect this number to be on the higher end of what they should be able to accomplish, as total playing time for each player can be a hard thing to predict. To create these projections, we will look at the Twins roster, position by position, to project how many home runs each position group will hit this season. There was a decent amount of math done to get to these projections, but I will spare you the explanation of everything that went into calculating this number. With that being said, let’s start the break down. Catchers 2019 was a breakout season for Mitch Garver, who hit 31 home runs in just 93 games. Of those, 30 came during the 80 games where Garver was at catcher. Even if there is no change to the ball, it is hard to imagine Garver maintaining this pace in 2020. Additionally, Jason Castro added another 13 home runs in his 74 games at catcher, or one home run every 5.7 games. We can expect Alex Avila to replicate Castro’s home run total, as he wasn’t too far off Castro’s pace, averaging one home run every six games in 2019. Everyone’s favorite turtle, Willians Astudillo, added one home run from the catcher position himself. Depending on his playing time behind the plate in 2020, Astudillo probably won’t add too many home runs to the Twins catcher total this upcoming season. 2019 Total: 44 2020 Projection: 34 First Base The Twins will have a whole new look at first base this summer. With the addition on Josh Donaldson, Miguel Sano is slated to make the move across the diamond. Despite missing the first month and a half of 2019, Sano was still able to belt 34 home runs in 105 games. While many of his home runs are no doubts that need help of a “juiced” baseball, Sano certainly seemed to benefit from it on many of his lazy flyballs, as his HR/FB% was 36.6%, which far exceeded his previous career high of 27.5% in 2017. The combination of playing more games, and his HR/FB% regressing to his norms should balance each other out, leading to a similar home run output from Sano in 2020, provided he can stay healthy. 2019 Total: 27 2020 Projection: 42 Second Base Second Base will be the biggest drop off of any position, in the home run department, in 2020 for the Twins. Last season, Jonathan Schoop provided plenty of pop from second base, belting 22 home runs in 111 games played at second, and added another in one of his three starts at DH. With Luis Arraez scheduled to be the everyday second baseman for the Twins in 2020, home runs will be few and far between from Twins second basemen this season. However, that doesn’t mean there will be a drop in offensive production, as Arraez should still bring an overall offensive upgrade over Schoop given his elite contact ability and high on-base percentage. Ehire Adrianza should also expect to get some playing time at second, so expect him to impact the home run total as well. 2019 Total: 26 2020 Projection: 11 Third Base In 2019, at the age of 33, Josh Donaldson showed everyone that he was fully recovered from his injuries that sidelined him for much of the 2017 and 2018 seasons. In 155 games, Donaldson connected on 37 long balls for the Atlanta Braves. However, don’t be surprised if we see a slight decline in the home run totals for Donaldson this season. Not only is Donaldson getting to the age where most hitters start losing bat speed, but much like Miguel Sano, he too seemed to benefit from the baseballs last season, as his HR/FB% sat at 25.7%, which was a career high and well above his 19.0% career average. 2019 Total: 40 2020 Projection: 36 Shortstop Jorge Polanco had a breakout season offensively in 2019, earning himself a spot as the starting shortstop for the American League in the All-Star game. Now at the age of 26, Polanco seems to be developing into his power. Polanco’s 87.0 MPH average exit velocity, and 33% Hard Hit rate (via Baseball Savant) were both the highest of his career. Additionally, Polanco’s FB% of 44.4% was also the highest of his career. This combination aided Polanco in hitting a career high 22 home runs (2 came as a DH) in 2019. Look for him to continue to develop his power as he gets further into his prime. 2019 Total: 21 2020 Projection: 18 Left Field While his overall offensive numbers took a step back in 2019, Eddie Rosario did set a new career high with 32 home runs. At this point, we kind of know what we can expect from Rosario. Like Polanco, Rosario set career highs in average exit velocity at 89.1 MPH, and Hard Hit rate at 36.0%. Rosario home run total should be in the upper 20s or low 30s again this season. Additionally, Marwin Gonzalez should see some playing time in left this season, but his home runs will be split up among a few different positions. 2019 Total: 32 2020 Projection: 29 Center Field This is without a doubt the hardest position to project for the Twins, given the unpredictability of Byron Buxton’s health. With this being the case, we will do a combo of Buxton and Jake Cave at this position. Buxton had a breakout season in the doubles department, but despite his obvious power, Buxton still only hit 10 home runs in 87 games last season, due primarily to his inconsistent contact abilities. If he can stay healthy enough to play 120+ games this season, look for Buxton to hit in the 15-20 range of home runs. Jake Cave has been a pleasant surprise in his first two seasons in the big leagues and look for more of the same from him this year, as he should add roughly 10 to 15 home runs to the team total, which will be spread across all three outfield position. 2019 Total: 31 2020 Projection: 21 Right Field The long-awaited breakout of Max Kepler finally arrived in 2019, as he nearly doubled his career high with 36 home runs. However, just 21 of those home runs came while he was playing right-field. Much like many other players around baseball, Kepler did have a career high in HR/FB% at 18.0% in 2019. However, there are some other explanations for this, more than just the baseball. For one, he easily set a new career high, with a 41.7% Hard Hit rate. Kepler also started pulling the ball more, as he pulled 53.4% of balls in play, versus he career norm which hovered around 44%. These two factors go a long way in explaining the power serge Kepler experienced last season. 2019 Total: 32 2020 Projection: 37 Designated Hitter Nelson Cruz was pretty standard Nelson Cruz in 2019, belting 41 home runs to pace the Twins in that category, and he did so while only playing in 120 games. Cruz was yet another player that set a career high mark in HR/FB% at 31.3%, which is far ahead of his career average of 21.0%. Barring any complete fall off in his game, which is a slight possibility given his age, Cruz should be able to get close to the 40 home run mark again in 2020, if he can play at least 140 games this season, something he did in each his last five seasons preceding him joining the Twins. 2019 Total: 52 2020 Projection: 44 In total, the Twins combined to hit 305 home runs from each of these position groups, and added two more from Pinch Hitters, bringing their season total to 307. This season, the Twins will almost certainly fall short of that number, but could still pace Major League Baseball, as I have them projected to hit 272 Bombas in 2020. For reference, the 2018 Yankees held the all-time record for home runs in a season entering 2019 at 267, so this offense still has a strong chance to be an historic team from a home run perspective. Let us know in the comment section below how many Bombas you think the Twins will hit in 2020. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  15. 2019 was the year of the Bomba form the Minnesota Twins, as they set a Major League record with 307 home runs as a team. Assuming that Major League Baseball decides to go back to not using the “juiced” baseballs this season, it is fair to assume, that there will be a decent drop in home runs league wide in 2020. With that being the case, let’s take a look at the Twins 2020 roster, and project the number of home runs they will hit this year.Before we start tabulating home run totals, there are first a few things to know. One, this will be under the assumption that the ball will at least in some capacity will suppress home runs a little more than it did in 2019. Additionally, these projections are under the assumption that the Twins will stay relatively healthy in 2020, so expect this number to be on the higher end of what they should be able to accomplish, as total playing time for each player can be a hard thing to predict. To create these projections, we will look at the Twins roster, position by position, to project how many home runs each position group will hit this season. There was a decent amount of math done to get to these projections, but I will spare you the explanation of everything that went into calculating this number. With that being said, let’s start the break down. Catchers 2019 was a breakout season for Mitch Garver, who hit 31 home runs in just 93 games. Of those, 30 came during the 80 games where Garver was at catcher. Even if there is no change to the ball, it is hard to imagine Garver maintaining this pace in 2020. Additionally, Jason Castro added another 13 home runs in his 74 games at catcher, or one home run every 5.7 games. We can expect Alex Avila to replicate Castro’s home run total, as he wasn’t too far off Castro’s pace, averaging one home run every six games in 2019. Everyone’s favorite turtle, Willians Astudillo, added one home run from the catcher position himself. Depending on his playing time behind the plate in 2020, Astudillo probably won’t add too many home runs to the Twins catcher total this upcoming season. 2019 Total: 44 2020 Projection: 34 First Base The Twins will have a whole new look at first base this summer. With the addition on Josh Donaldson, Miguel Sano is slated to make the move across the diamond. Despite missing the first month and a half of 2019, Sano was still able to belt 34 home runs in 105 games. While many of his home runs are no doubts that need help of a “juiced” baseball, Sano certainly seemed to benefit from it on many of his lazy flyballs, as his HR/FB% was 36.6%, which far exceeded his previous career high of 27.5% in 2017. The combination of playing more games, and his HR/FB% regressing to his norms should balance each other out, leading to a similar home run output from Sano in 2020, provided he can stay healthy. 2019 Total: 27 2020 Projection: 42 Second Base Second Base will be the biggest drop off of any position, in the home run department, in 2020 for the Twins. Last season, Jonathan Schoop provided plenty of pop from second base, belting 22 home runs in 111 games played at second, and added another in one of his three starts at DH. With Luis Arraez scheduled to be the everyday second baseman for the Twins in 2020, home runs will be few and far between from Twins second basemen this season. However, that doesn’t mean there will be a drop in offensive production, as Arraez should still bring an overall offensive upgrade over Schoop given his elite contact ability and high on-base percentage. Ehire Adrianza should also expect to get some playing time at second, so expect him to impact the home run total as well. 2019 Total: 26 2020 Projection: 11 Third Base In 2019, at the age of 33, Josh Donaldson showed everyone that he was fully recovered from his injuries that sidelined him for much of the 2017 and 2018 seasons. In 155 games, Donaldson connected on 37 long balls for the Atlanta Braves. However, don’t be surprised if we see a slight decline in the home run totals for Donaldson this season. Not only is Donaldson getting to the age where most hitters start losing bat speed, but much like Miguel Sano, he too seemed to benefit from the baseballs last season, as his HR/FB% sat at 25.7%, which was a career high and well above his 19.0% career average. 2019 Total: 40 2020 Projection: 36 Shortstop Jorge Polanco had a breakout season offensively in 2019, earning himself a spot as the starting shortstop for the American League in the All-Star game. Now at the age of 26, Polanco seems to be developing into his power. Polanco’s 87.0 MPH average exit velocity, and 33% Hard Hit rate (via Baseball Savant) were both the highest of his career. Additionally, Polanco’s FB% of 44.4% was also the highest of his career. This combination aided Polanco in hitting a career high 22 home runs (2 came as a DH) in 2019. Look for him to continue to develop his power as he gets further into his prime. 2019 Total: 21 2020 Projection: 18 Left Field While his overall offensive numbers took a step back in 2019, Eddie Rosario did set a new career high with 32 home runs. At this point, we kind of know what we can expect from Rosario. Like Polanco, Rosario set career highs in average exit velocity at 89.1 MPH, and Hard Hit rate at 36.0%. Rosario home run total should be in the upper 20s or low 30s again this season. Additionally, Marwin Gonzalez should see some playing time in left this season, but his home runs will be split up among a few different positions. 2019 Total: 32 2020 Projection: 29 Center Field This is without a doubt the hardest position to project for the Twins, given the unpredictability of Byron Buxton’s health. With this being the case, we will do a combo of Buxton and Jake Cave at this position. Buxton had a breakout season in the doubles department, but despite his obvious power, Buxton still only hit 10 home runs in 87 games last season, due primarily to his inconsistent contact abilities. If he can stay healthy enough to play 120+ games this season, look for Buxton to hit in the 15-20 range of home runs. Jake Cave has been a pleasant surprise in his first two seasons in the big leagues and look for more of the same from him this year, as he should add roughly 10 to 15 home runs to the team total, which will be spread across all three outfield position. 2019 Total: 31 2020 Projection: 21 Right Field The long-awaited breakout of Max Kepler finally arrived in 2019, as he nearly doubled his career high with 36 home runs. However, just 21 of those home runs came while he was playing right-field. Much like many other players around baseball, Kepler did have a career high in HR/FB% at 18.0% in 2019. However, there are some other explanations for this, more than just the baseball. For one, he easily set a new career high, with a 41.7% Hard Hit rate. Kepler also started pulling the ball more, as he pulled 53.4% of balls in play, versus he career norm which hovered around 44%. These two factors go a long way in explaining the power serge Kepler experienced last season. 2019 Total: 32 2020 Projection: 37 Designated Hitter Nelson Cruz was pretty standard Nelson Cruz in 2019, belting 41 home runs to pace the Twins in that category, and he did so while only playing in 120 games. Cruz was yet another player that set a career high mark in HR/FB% at 31.3%, which is far ahead of his career average of 21.0%. Barring any complete fall off in his game, which is a slight possibility given his age, Cruz should be able to get close to the 40 home run mark again in 2020, if he can play at least 140 games this season, something he did in each his last five seasons preceding him joining the Twins. 2019 Total: 52 2020 Projection: 44 In total, the Twins combined to hit 305 home runs from each of these position groups, and added two more from Pinch Hitters, bringing their season total to 307. This season, the Twins will almost certainly fall short of that number, but could still pace Major League Baseball, as I have them projected to hit 272 Bombas in 2020. For reference, the 2018 Yankees held the all-time record for home runs in a season entering 2019 at 267, so this offense still has a strong chance to be an historic team from a home run perspective. Let us know in the comment section below how many Bombas you think the Twins will hit in 2020. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
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