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  1. Twins Daily correspondent RandBall's Stu went to a concert in Minneapolis on Wednesday. So did Twins legend Joe Mauer. This is his story. Image courtesy of David Berding-USA TODAY Sports My day job is copywriting for a local independent regional craft brewery. That brewery also hosts concerts in its backyard, often featuring popular recording artists from around the world. Occasionally, those shows attract local and even national celebrities. On Wednesday, popular Sad Dad favorites The National played a killer show there. (If you’ve never heard of them, that’s fine, but just know that Taylor Swift has). As I wandered around the grounds, one of my friends said, “Hey, Joe Mauer is here.” I didn’t believe them. I guess I don't really know what Joe Mauer's musical tastes are, other than "What You Know" being his walk-up music for 100 years. Then a local journalist mentioned that he chatted with Mauer and his wife for a bit. Given that he covers baseball for his job, I took him at his word. And sure enough, standing there just to my right and towards the front of the stage? Joe Mauer, Cretin-Derham Hall Class of 2001. These are my observations. He’s tall! You know how some athletes look “normal” on TV because they’re surrounded by absolute leviathans? Joe Mauer is crazy tall! He was wearing a baseball cap. On brand! That’s what he wore at his old job! He did the classic “dad at a rock concert head nod,” for when you’re not going to throw horns or dance, but still want to rock out a little bit without making a scene. Reliable sources tell me his wife is a huge fan of The National and indie rock/alternative in general. I share those interests, which gives me the wild hope that I’ll run into the Mauers at the McLusky show at the Turf Club in December so we can shout along to “Reformed Arsonist Seeks Child Bride.” I didn’t bother him to say hi or buy him a beer. Let the guy enjoy retirement and go to shows. I also remember how much his last contract was worth thanks to years of numbskulls getting mad at him on talk radio and god’s own internet for hitting singles and making $23 million per year. He probably doesn’t need a Furious on the house. That said, Joe, if you’re reading this and want some IPAs, let me know. Perkins has my phone number. There’s no way Joe Mauer is reading this. This also means I didn’t ask him about Rocco pulling Joe Ryan during a no-hit bid. Had I done this, I hope someone reading this would have the decency to beat me to death with a shovel. The last time I saw him in person was the game where he got the concussion that ended his catching career. This was a better day! This was the most famous person I’ve seen at work since Woody Harrelson attended a Gary Clark, Jr. show while in town filming a movie. Apologies to Jason DeRusha, who I think is a very kind man but he wasn't on Cheers. View full article
  2. My day job is copywriting for a local independent regional craft brewery. That brewery also hosts concerts in its backyard, often featuring popular recording artists from around the world. Occasionally, those shows attract local and even national celebrities. On Wednesday, popular Sad Dad favorites The National played a killer show there. (If you’ve never heard of them, that’s fine, but just know that Taylor Swift has). As I wandered around the grounds, one of my friends said, “Hey, Joe Mauer is here.” I didn’t believe them. I guess I don't really know what Joe Mauer's musical tastes are, other than "What You Know" being his walk-up music for 100 years. Then a local journalist mentioned that he chatted with Mauer and his wife for a bit. Given that he covers baseball for his job, I took him at his word. And sure enough, standing there just to my right and towards the front of the stage? Joe Mauer, Cretin-Derham Hall Class of 2001. These are my observations. He’s tall! You know how some athletes look “normal” on TV because they’re surrounded by absolute leviathans? Joe Mauer is crazy tall! He was wearing a baseball cap. On brand! That’s what he wore at his old job! He did the classic “dad at a rock concert head nod,” for when you’re not going to throw horns or dance, but still want to rock out a little bit without making a scene. Reliable sources tell me his wife is a huge fan of The National and indie rock/alternative in general. I share those interests, which gives me the wild hope that I’ll run into the Mauers at the McLusky show at the Turf Club in December so we can shout along to “Reformed Arsonist Seeks Child Bride.” I didn’t bother him to say hi or buy him a beer. Let the guy enjoy retirement and go to shows. I also remember how much his last contract was worth thanks to years of numbskulls getting mad at him on talk radio and god’s own internet for hitting singles and making $23 million per year. He probably doesn’t need a Furious on the house. That said, Joe, if you’re reading this and want some IPAs, let me know. Perkins has my phone number. There’s no way Joe Mauer is reading this. This also means I didn’t ask him about Rocco pulling Joe Ryan during a no-hit bid. Had I done this, I hope someone reading this would have the decency to beat me to death with a shovel. The last time I saw him in person was the game where he got the concussion that ended his catching career. This was a better day! This was the most famous person I’ve seen at work since Woody Harrelson attended a Gary Clark, Jr. show while in town filming a movie. Apologies to Jason DeRusha, who I think is a very kind man but he wasn't on Cheers.
  3. As the world mourns the loss of England’s long-time monarch, Twins Daily reached out to current and former Minnesota Twins for their thoughts. Image courtesy of Unsplash/Ferdinand Stohr TOM KELLY (MANAGER, 1986-2001): Just a great gal. Broke out of the gate quickly, lightning fast down the stretch, amazing haunches. So powerful. Always left the track in a good mood when she ran. [INFORMED THAT THIS IS NOT QUEEN ELIZABETH II, THE GREYHOUND KELLY WAGERED ON AT ST. CROIX MEADOWS, BUT RATHER THE HUMAN WOMAN] Oh. Well, that’s a shame. What country? EMILIO PAGAN (PITCHER, 2022): I was fortunate enough to meet her on a visit to Great Britain in 2018. I even threw her a baseball for a photo op. She hit it 440 feet. I tip my cap to her. ANDRELTON SIMMONS (SHORTSTOP, 2021): 96-year-old woman dies after getting the COVID vaccine? Coincidence? Yeah, right. JOE MAUER (CATCHER, 2004-2018): Wow. Pretty big deal. NICK PUNTO (INFIELDER, 2004-10): I slid headfirst into Buckingham Palace once. Guards got all bent out of shape about it and I’m like, “Hey, hustling doesn’t stop at the water’s edge, muchacho.” Anyway, that’s the only other time I had to fight extradition for wanting it more. RIP get money. JUSTIN MORNEAU (FIRST BASE, 2003-16): As a Canadian, this means one thing: I must take up arms for the crown. If (Glen) Perkins or (Dick) Bremer get in my way, so be it. GLEN PERKINS (PITCHER, 2006-2017): You know, it’s a complicated legacy. I th—wait a minute, what is (Justin} Morneau doing with…is that a musket? DICK BREMER (TWINS PLAY-BY-PLAY, 1983-PRESENT): That’s a musket. Take cover, Glen. Fortunately, I’ve been to a St. Cloud State Homecoming or two in my day. [LIGHTS MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, HEAVES FLAMING COUCH AT POLITE YET FERAL SASKATOON HORDE] BRAD RADKE (PITCHER, 1995-2006): I don’t think she was much of a fisherman, right? BYRON BUXTON (OUTFIELDER, 2015-PRESENT): England is a country where I’ve never had a devastating injury. Liz is good by me. ROCCO BALDELLI (MANAGER, 2019-PRESENT): Was following Phish around the country in 2015, just chill vibes for days. They played Alpine Valley and on night 1, the minute they kicked into “Tweezer,” who gets up on stage but the Queen herself? Just started jamming with Trey, couldn’t believe my eyes. Everyone says I was “feeling the effects” so to speak and there’s no video evidence, but I know what I saw. Her Majesty could shred. DAN GLADDEN (OUTFIELDER, 1987-1991; RADIO ANNOUNCER 2000-PRESENT): America fought a damn war for me not to care about this. I tell you what though, if the Queen came out to the farm and helped me move some earth, lay some sod, get her hands dirty, and maybe punch that egg-sucking bastard Steve Lombardozzi right in the solar plexus, I’d pay my respects. Image license here. View full article
  4. TOM KELLY (MANAGER, 1986-2001): Just a great gal. Broke out of the gate quickly, lightning fast down the stretch, amazing haunches. So powerful. Always left the track in a good mood when she ran. [INFORMED THAT THIS IS NOT QUEEN ELIZABETH II, THE GREYHOUND KELLY WAGERED ON AT ST. CROIX MEADOWS, BUT RATHER THE HUMAN WOMAN] Oh. Well, that’s a shame. What country? EMILIO PAGAN (PITCHER, 2022): I was fortunate enough to meet her on a visit to Great Britain in 2018. I even threw her a baseball for a photo op. She hit it 440 feet. I tip my cap to her. ANDRELTON SIMMONS (SHORTSTOP, 2021): 96-year-old woman dies after getting the COVID vaccine? Coincidence? Yeah, right. JOE MAUER (CATCHER, 2004-2018): Wow. Pretty big deal. NICK PUNTO (INFIELDER, 2004-10): I slid headfirst into Buckingham Palace once. Guards got all bent out of shape about it and I’m like, “Hey, hustling doesn’t stop at the water’s edge, muchacho.” Anyway, that’s the only other time I had to fight extradition for wanting it more. RIP get money. JUSTIN MORNEAU (FIRST BASE, 2003-16): As a Canadian, this means one thing: I must take up arms for the crown. If (Glen) Perkins or (Dick) Bremer get in my way, so be it. GLEN PERKINS (PITCHER, 2006-2017): You know, it’s a complicated legacy. I th—wait a minute, what is (Justin} Morneau doing with…is that a musket? DICK BREMER (TWINS PLAY-BY-PLAY, 1983-PRESENT): That’s a musket. Take cover, Glen. Fortunately, I’ve been to a St. Cloud State Homecoming or two in my day. [LIGHTS MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, HEAVES FLAMING COUCH AT POLITE YET FERAL SASKATOON HORDE] BRAD RADKE (PITCHER, 1995-2006): I don’t think she was much of a fisherman, right? BYRON BUXTON (OUTFIELDER, 2015-PRESENT): England is a country where I’ve never had a devastating injury. Liz is good by me. ROCCO BALDELLI (MANAGER, 2019-PRESENT): Was following Phish around the country in 2015, just chill vibes for days. They played Alpine Valley and on night 1, the minute they kicked into “Tweezer,” who gets up on stage but the Queen herself? Just started jamming with Trey, couldn’t believe my eyes. Everyone says I was “feeling the effects” so to speak and there’s no video evidence, but I know what I saw. Her Majesty could shred. DAN GLADDEN (OUTFIELDER, 1987-1991; RADIO ANNOUNCER 2000-PRESENT): America fought a damn war for me not to care about this. I tell you what though, if the Queen came out to the farm and helped me move some earth, lay some sod, get her hands dirty, and maybe punch that egg-sucking bastard Steve Lombardozzi right in the solar plexus, I’d pay my respects. Image license here.
  5. NOTE: RandBall’s Stu is moving his youngest child to college this weekend. He asked former Twins great Joe Mauer to step in and write about the great Minnesota get-together. Thanks for helping out, Joe! Joe Mauer Reviews Minnesota State Fair Attractions “I don’t really like spicy food, but it’s cool what they do with butter.” NOTE: RandBall’s Stu is moving his youngest child to college this weekend. He asked former Twins great Joe Mauer to step in and write about the great Minnesota get-together. Thanks for helping out, Joe! Hey guys, it’s Joe Mauer from St. Paul. Like a lot of you I love going to the State Fair. If you’re new to Minnesota or haven’t gone in a while, here are some cool things to do. THE GIANT SLIDE A lot of you probably saw that picture of me and the kids on the Giant Slide last week. It was a pretty cool deal, but I made sure we hopped on right when we got there, before eating any of the food. When I was a kid, Jake (Mauer, Joe’s brother) got on it after eating a bunch of Fresh French Fries and he got a stomachache. We had to leave early so he wouldn’t barf. Mom was so steamed. THE BUTTER SCULPTURE I don’t really like spicy food or carving things (“Knives are the devil’s middle finger,” Mom says), but it’s cool what they do with butter. SWEET MARTHA’S COOKIES They give you a whole bucket of chocolate chip cookies! Las Vegas is supposed to be this cool, anything-goes city but I’ve been there, and guess what? No cookie bucket. What happens in Falcon Heights stays in Falcon Heights. THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE Went in here with (former Twins player and coach) Scott Ullger one time. Said one of the monarchs disrespected him. The next day he waved Jason Kubel home even though the shortstop had the ball. I don’t want to talk about it. THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH CENTER Mom doesn’t let us go in here but I’ve heard it’s pretty wild! 4-H BARN Lotta cute animals if that’s your thing. It smells kinda like that one time Corey Koskie ate Indian food in Fort Myers, so just know that going in. Pretty strong! THE HAUNTED HOUSE Not a chance! THE MIDWAY I keep winning all the big prizes at the throwing games and the carnies get mad at me. Also if anyone wants 17 giant stuffed tigers shoot me a DM. ALL YOU CAN DRINK MILK Holy cow! LOL, pun intended. Brother, you can sit me down there all day with a cold glass of 1% and keep them coming! Everyone there calls me “Norm.” I don’t correct them, figure they have their reasons. PRONTO PUPS You guys know I’m not a guy who’s going to do a bunch of hot takes, but I’m just going to say it: Pronto pups are the real deal. Lotta pals love corn dogs, Glen Perkins says they’re “the glizzy” and I’m pretty sure that’s a Stillwater swear. For me, though? A pronto pup with just a bit of ketchup. Too much of the big red will get you antsy in the pantsy. Go easy. Thanks for reading! Image license here. View full article
  6. Joe Mauer Reviews Minnesota State Fair Attractions “I don’t really like spicy food, but it’s cool what they do with butter.” NOTE: RandBall’s Stu is moving his youngest child to college this weekend. He asked former Twins great Joe Mauer to step in and write about the great Minnesota get-together. Thanks for helping out, Joe! Hey guys, it’s Joe Mauer from St. Paul. Like a lot of you I love going to the State Fair. If you’re new to Minnesota or haven’t gone in a while, here are some cool things to do. THE GIANT SLIDE A lot of you probably saw that picture of me and the kids on the Giant Slide last week. It was a pretty cool deal, but I made sure we hopped on right when we got there, before eating any of the food. When I was a kid, Jake (Mauer, Joe’s brother) got on it after eating a bunch of Fresh French Fries and he got a stomachache. We had to leave early so he wouldn’t barf. Mom was so steamed. THE BUTTER SCULPTURE I don’t really like spicy food or carving things (“Knives are the devil’s middle finger,” Mom says), but it’s cool what they do with butter. SWEET MARTHA’S COOKIES They give you a whole bucket of chocolate chip cookies! Las Vegas is supposed to be this cool, anything-goes city but I’ve been there, and guess what? No cookie bucket. What happens in Falcon Heights stays in Falcon Heights. THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE Went in here with (former Twins player and coach) Scott Ullger one time. Said one of the monarchs disrespected him. The next day he waved Jason Kubel home even though the shortstop had the ball. I don’t want to talk about it. THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH CENTER Mom doesn’t let us go in here but I’ve heard it’s pretty wild! 4-H BARN Lotta cute animals if that’s your thing. It smells kinda like that one time Corey Koskie ate Indian food in Fort Myers, so just know that going in. Pretty strong! THE HAUNTED HOUSE Not a chance! THE MIDWAY I keep winning all the big prizes at the throwing games and the carnies get mad at me. Also if anyone wants 17 giant stuffed tigers shoot me a DM. ALL YOU CAN DRINK MILK Holy cow! LOL, pun intended. Brother, you can sit me down there all day with a cold glass of 1% and keep them coming! Everyone there calls me “Norm.” I don’t correct them, figure they have their reasons. PRONTO PUPS You guys know I’m not a guy who’s going to do a bunch of hot takes, but I’m just going to say it: Pronto pups are the real deal. Lotta pals love corn dogs, Glen Perkins says they’re “the glizzy” and I’m pretty sure that’s a Stillwater swear. For me, though? A pronto pup with just a bit of ketchup. Too much of the big red will get you antsy in the pantsy. Go easy. Thanks for reading! Image license here.
  7. Every year around the Mid-Summer Classic, it can be fun to scroll through the list of former All-Stars for your favorite franchise. There are all-time great players, but there are also some less familiar names like John Roseboro, Ken Landreaux, and Dave Engle. It can be an entertaining review of team history to look back at All-Stars from yesteryear. I created an entire team roster in the roster below, but there were a few stipulations. Some players on the roster played multiple positions in their careers, but they had to be placed in the position from their All-Star season. Also, a player couldn’t be on the list multiple times. For instance, Johan Santana was great in the 2000s, but he only gets to be in the rotation once. Without further ado, here is the All-Time Twins All-Star Roster. Catcher: Joe Mauer (2009) Joe Mauer’s MVP season is one of the best overall seasons in franchise history. In franchise history, there have been seven other All-Star catchers, but none of them compare to Mauer. 1B: Rod Carew (1977) Rod Carew’s MVP season in 1977 is hard to top, even with other All-Star sluggers like Justin Morneau, Kent Hrbek, and Bob Allison. Luis Arraez made the 2022 All-Star team at first base, but Carew still gets the nod. 2B: Chuck Knoblauch (1996) Minnesota has only had three All-Stars at second base, including Carew, Knoblauch, and Brian Dozier. Fans may forget, but Knoblauch was one of baseball’s best players in the mid-90s as he was elected to the Mid-Summer Classic in four different years. 3B: Harmon Killebrew (1969) Harmon Killebrew made the All-Star team at three different positions, but third base was his best spot to crack this roster. During the 1969 season, he won his only MVP and led baseball in home runs (49) and RBI (140). SS: Zoilo Versalles (1965) The 1965 Twins were the first in franchise history to make the World Series, and Versalles can get forgotten among some of the other greats on that squad. He was awarded the AL MVP for his 1965 season, and he’s the only Twins shortstop to make multiple All-Star appearances. OF: Kirby Puckett (1988), Tony Oliva (1970), Byron Buxton (2022) For Twins fans, this might be a dream outfield. Kirby Puckett was a 10-time All-Star, and Baseball-Reference pegs his 1988 season as his most valuable (7.8 WAR). Tony Oliva made eight-straight All-Star appearances from 1964-1971, and he compiled a 7.0 WAR in 1970. Byron Buxton is on pace for his best season, and MLB awarded him with his first All-Star start. Other Twins outfielders in the conversation include Torii Hunter and Bob Allison. DH: Nelson Cruz (2021) Nelson Cruz is the only player in Twins history to be selected to the All-Star Game as a designated hitter. He combined for a 129 OPS+ and 32 home runs during the 2021 season. Rotation: Johan Santana (2004), Francisco Liriano (2006), Jack Morris (1991), Bert Blyleven (1973), Frank Viola (1988) It doesn’t get much more exciting than this starting rotation. Johan Santana was arguably the best pitcher on the planet in 2004. By 2006, Francisco Liriano joined Santana and was at the top of the baseball pitching world before his elbow gave out. Frank Viola won the World Series MVP in 1987 and was even better in 1988 by winning the AL Cy Young. Plus, there are two other Hall of Fame pitchers to add to the mix, including Jack Morris from his memorable World Series run and a young Bert Blyleven. Overall, this rotation is stacked. Bullpen: Rick Aguilera (1991), Joe Nathan (2004), Jeff Reardon (1988), Glen Perkins (2013), Eddie Guardado (2002) Minnesota has been lucky to be home to some of baseball’s best closers. Except for Reardon, all these relievers were selected for multiple All-Star Games. It’s hard to imagine the starters listed above needing much help from the bullpen, but this group was dominant in late-inning situations. Here is the updated list of the team’s All-Stars directly from the Twins. What changes would you make to this All-Star roster? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  8. The Twins have had some great players throughout their franchise history, including multiple Hall of Famers. So, which players would make up the All-Time Twins All-Star Team? Every year around the Mid-Summer Classic, it can be fun to scroll through the list of former All-Stars for your favorite franchise. There are all-time great players, but there are also some less familiar names like John Roseboro, Ken Landreaux, and Dave Engle. It can be an entertaining review of team history to look back at All-Stars from yesteryear. I created an entire team roster in the roster below, but there were a few stipulations. Some players on the roster played multiple positions in their careers, but they had to be placed in the position from their All-Star season. Also, a player couldn’t be on the list multiple times. For instance, Johan Santana was great in the 2000s, but he only gets to be in the rotation once. Without further ado, here is the All-Time Twins All-Star Roster. Catcher: Joe Mauer (2009) Joe Mauer’s MVP season is one of the best overall seasons in franchise history. In franchise history, there have been seven other All-Star catchers, but none of them compare to Mauer. 1B: Rod Carew (1977) Rod Carew’s MVP season in 1977 is hard to top, even with other All-Star sluggers like Justin Morneau, Kent Hrbek, and Bob Allison. Luis Arraez made the 2022 All-Star team at first base, but Carew still gets the nod. 2B: Chuck Knoblauch (1996) Minnesota has only had three All-Stars at second base, including Carew, Knoblauch, and Brian Dozier. Fans may forget, but Knoblauch was one of baseball’s best players in the mid-90s as he was elected to the Mid-Summer Classic in four different years. 3B: Harmon Killebrew (1969) Harmon Killebrew made the All-Star team at three different positions, but third base was his best spot to crack this roster. During the 1969 season, he won his only MVP and led baseball in home runs (49) and RBI (140). SS: Zoilo Versalles (1965) The 1965 Twins were the first in franchise history to make the World Series, and Versalles can get forgotten among some of the other greats on that squad. He was awarded the AL MVP for his 1965 season, and he’s the only Twins shortstop to make multiple All-Star appearances. OF: Kirby Puckett (1988), Tony Oliva (1970), Byron Buxton (2022) For Twins fans, this might be a dream outfield. Kirby Puckett was a 10-time All-Star, and Baseball-Reference pegs his 1988 season as his most valuable (7.8 WAR). Tony Oliva made eight-straight All-Star appearances from 1964-1971, and he compiled a 7.0 WAR in 1970. Byron Buxton is on pace for his best season, and MLB awarded him with his first All-Star start. Other Twins outfielders in the conversation include Torii Hunter and Bob Allison. DH: Nelson Cruz (2021) Nelson Cruz is the only player in Twins history to be selected to the All-Star Game as a designated hitter. He combined for a 129 OPS+ and 32 home runs during the 2021 season. Rotation: Johan Santana (2004), Francisco Liriano (2006), Jack Morris (1991), Bert Blyleven (1973), Frank Viola (1988) It doesn’t get much more exciting than this starting rotation. Johan Santana was arguably the best pitcher on the planet in 2004. By 2006, Francisco Liriano joined Santana and was at the top of the baseball pitching world before his elbow gave out. Frank Viola won the World Series MVP in 1987 and was even better in 1988 by winning the AL Cy Young. Plus, there are two other Hall of Fame pitchers to add to the mix, including Jack Morris from his memorable World Series run and a young Bert Blyleven. Overall, this rotation is stacked. Bullpen: Rick Aguilera (1991), Joe Nathan (2004), Jeff Reardon (1988), Glen Perkins (2013), Eddie Guardado (2002) Minnesota has been lucky to be home to some of baseball’s best closers. Except for Reardon, all these relievers were selected for multiple All-Star Games. It’s hard to imagine the starters listed above needing much help from the bullpen, but this group was dominant in late-inning situations. Here is the updated list of the team’s All-Stars directly from the Twins. What changes would you make to this All-Star roster? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  9. The Twins had an opportunity to add to this list during the 2022 Home Run Derby, but Byron Buxton turned down an invitation to participate. Buxton wasn't the only player to turn down an invite, as some All-Stars need to get as much rest as possible even when attending the week's festivities. Still, there are plenty of other Home Run Derby moments that some fans may or may not remember. 5. Joe Mauer Holds His Own Fans don't typically associate Joe Mauer with home runs, but his sweet swing can produce power. During his MVP season, Mauer was selected to participate in the Home Run Derby in St. Louis. He missed the second-round cut after losing a swing-off to Carlos Pena and Albert Pujols. Former Twin Nelson Cruz finished second in the Derby to Milwaukee's Prince Fielder. 4. Metrodome Hosts First Official Home Run Derby At the 1985 All-Star Game, Minnesota hosted the Mid-Summer Classic for the second time. Part of these hosting duties included hosting the first HR Derby. Since then, the Derby has come a long way with the hype on TV and social media and tons of sponsorships. Dave Parker was named the champion with six home runs, while Minnesota's Tom Brunansky finished tied for second with four homers. 3. Miguel Sano Falls Short in Final In his only All-Star appearance, Miguel Sano finished one home run behind Aaron Judge in the 2017 HR Derby Final. Sano had clobbered 21 home runs during the first half, so he was a deserving participant. He showed up on the big stage and had a chance to be the club's second HR Derby champion. Current Twin Gary Sanchez was one of the players Sano had to defeat to make the final. 2. Target Field Provides Picture Perfect Derby Backdrop The 2014 All-Star Game festivities occurred at Target Field, and the HR Derby line-up included multiple current and former Twins. Brian Dozier got to represent Minnesota, but he struggled and only hit two home runs. Other Twins-related contestants were former Twin Justin Morneau and future Twin Josh Donaldson. Yoenis Cespedes walked away with the title, and a passing storm provided a full rainbow over the stadium. 1. Justin Morneau Upsets Josh Hamilton's Show Justin Morneau is the only player in franchise history to compete in multiple Home Run Derbies. In the 2007 Derby, he finished fifth and missed the cut to make the second round. He returned in 2008 and got an upset win at Yankee Stadium. Josh Hamilton smashed 28 home runs in the first round, but Morneau was more rested and took home the title. It's the franchise's only HR Derby win, and it came from one of the best power hitters in franchise history. What do you remember about the Home Run Derbies mentioned above? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  10. Monday night is one of the most exciting parts of the All-Star Game as sluggers from both leagues look to be crowned Home Run Derby champion. Here are the best Minnesota moments from the Derby. The Twins had an opportunity to add to this list during the 2022 Home Run Derby, but Byron Buxton turned down an invitation to participate. Buxton wasn't the only player to turn down an invite, as some All-Stars need to get as much rest as possible even when attending the week's festivities. Still, there are plenty of other Home Run Derby moments that some fans may or may not remember. 5. Joe Mauer Holds His Own Fans don't typically associate Joe Mauer with home runs, but his sweet swing can produce power. During his MVP season, Mauer was selected to participate in the Home Run Derby in St. Louis. He missed the second-round cut after losing a swing-off to Carlos Pena and Albert Pujols. Former Twin Nelson Cruz finished second in the Derby to Milwaukee's Prince Fielder. 4. Metrodome Hosts First Official Home Run Derby At the 1985 All-Star Game, Minnesota hosted the Mid-Summer Classic for the second time. Part of these hosting duties included hosting the first HR Derby. Since then, the Derby has come a long way with the hype on TV and social media and tons of sponsorships. Dave Parker was named the champion with six home runs, while Minnesota's Tom Brunansky finished tied for second with four homers. 3. Miguel Sano Falls Short in Final In his only All-Star appearance, Miguel Sano finished one home run behind Aaron Judge in the 2017 HR Derby Final. Sano had clobbered 21 home runs during the first half, so he was a deserving participant. He showed up on the big stage and had a chance to be the club's second HR Derby champion. Current Twin Gary Sanchez was one of the players Sano had to defeat to make the final. 2. Target Field Provides Picture Perfect Derby Backdrop The 2014 All-Star Game festivities occurred at Target Field, and the HR Derby line-up included multiple current and former Twins. Brian Dozier got to represent Minnesota, but he struggled and only hit two home runs. Other Twins-related contestants were former Twin Justin Morneau and future Twin Josh Donaldson. Yoenis Cespedes walked away with the title, and a passing storm provided a full rainbow over the stadium. 1. Justin Morneau Upsets Josh Hamilton's Show Justin Morneau is the only player in franchise history to compete in multiple Home Run Derbies. In the 2007 Derby, he finished fifth and missed the cut to make the second round. He returned in 2008 and got an upset win at Yankee Stadium. Josh Hamilton smashed 28 home runs in the first round, but Morneau was more rested and took home the title. It's the franchise's only HR Derby win, and it came from one of the best power hitters in franchise history. What do you remember about the Home Run Derbies mentioned above? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  11. There’s zero comparison between a Hall of Famer with over 3,000 hits to a lovable utility guy with 300 games under his belt. However, it’s undeniable to see the similarities in style between that of Rod Carew and Luis Arraez. Carew entered the league a year younger than Arraez and won his first batting title during just his third professional season. Minnesota’s current utility man is now in his fourth year and recently turned 25. Like Carew, Arraez is now a second basemen while routinely getting reps at first base with Minnesota in a pinch. Longevity aside, Carew’s career .328/.393/.429 slash line is not far off for Arraez who sits at .322/.387/.409. This season has been especially fun for Arraez who has been virtually unstoppable against right-handed pitching. In an era where power reigns supreme, Arraez is slashing a ridiculous .401/.482/.497 against righties. He’s well below average contributing just a .220/.304/.220 slash line against southpaws, but Minnesota has done well to limit the exposure giving him just 46 plate appearances in those situations. With predominantly more right-handed arms as starting pitchers than left-handed, it stands to reason that Minnesota could continue to see additional output from Arraez as the season goes on. Thus far he’s topped out at a .367 average, that coming just a few games ago. In comparison to Carew, that would rank behind just his .388 season back in 1977. Batting average has long gone away as a stat indicative of true performance in and of itself. For a player like Arraez, or even Carew before him, the metric being so lopsided does explain itself, however. Additionally, Arraez contributes in the more definitive on-base area. With 25 walks to just 18 strikeouts, Minnesota’s utility man has captured the ability to not only hit his way on base, but force the opposition into his plan of attack at the plate. Leading baseball with a .444 OBP, Arraez is currently at a mark north of everything Carew hit save for that 1977 year. Considering the change in how baseball is played, it’s fair to argue that Arraez’s performance today may be more substantial than what Carew did all those years ago. All of this comes with the caveat that we still have a long ways to go, and that Arraez has previously missed time due to injury. Even at a young age, his knees are bulky and no yearly awards are won in June. Trying to extrapolate anything from a one-year sample is also not a fair situation to put Arraez in. Carew is a legendary name both in Minnesota and Major League Baseball, but it’s certainly hard not to see how closely they relate. It’s somewhat a breath of fresh air that we’re seeing a player go against the trends of the sport so heavily. The Twins have largely been shut out in terms of individual awards since the peak of Mauer, and turning the focus back to this organization for that reason is a fun one. Arraez has a long way to go for the rest of 2022, but it’s hard not to look down the path of this coming to fruition. What do you think? How closely do you see Arraez relating to Carew? Does the former win his first batting title this season?
  12. It’s time to start talking about it. We’re over 60 games into the 2022 Major League Baseball season and the Minnesota Twins currently have a contender for the batting title. Rod Carew and his seven batting titles with Minnesota will all be remembered fondly, but Luis Arraez could provide the organization’s first since Joe Mauer in 2009. There’s zero comparison between a Hall of Famer with over 3,000 hits to a lovable utility guy with 300 games under his belt. However, it’s undeniable to see the similarities in style between that of Rod Carew and Luis Arraez. Carew entered the league a year younger than Arraez and won his first batting title during just his third professional season. Minnesota’s current utility man is now in his fourth year and recently turned 25. Like Carew, Arraez is now a second basemen while routinely getting reps at first base with Minnesota in a pinch. Longevity aside, Carew’s career .328/.393/.429 slash line is not far off for Arraez who sits at .322/.387/.409. This season has been especially fun for Arraez who has been virtually unstoppable against right-handed pitching. In an era where power reigns supreme, Arraez is slashing a ridiculous .401/.482/.497 against righties. He’s well below average contributing just a .220/.304/.220 slash line against southpaws, but Minnesota has done well to limit the exposure giving him just 46 plate appearances in those situations. With predominantly more right-handed arms as starting pitchers than left-handed, it stands to reason that Minnesota could continue to see additional output from Arraez as the season goes on. Thus far he’s topped out at a .367 average, that coming just a few games ago. In comparison to Carew, that would rank behind just his .388 season back in 1977. Batting average has long gone away as a stat indicative of true performance in and of itself. For a player like Arraez, or even Carew before him, the metric being so lopsided does explain itself, however. Additionally, Arraez contributes in the more definitive on-base area. With 25 walks to just 18 strikeouts, Minnesota’s utility man has captured the ability to not only hit his way on base, but force the opposition into his plan of attack at the plate. Leading baseball with a .444 OBP, Arraez is currently at a mark north of everything Carew hit save for that 1977 year. Considering the change in how baseball is played, it’s fair to argue that Arraez’s performance today may be more substantial than what Carew did all those years ago. All of this comes with the caveat that we still have a long ways to go, and that Arraez has previously missed time due to injury. Even at a young age, his knees are bulky and no yearly awards are won in June. Trying to extrapolate anything from a one-year sample is also not a fair situation to put Arraez in. Carew is a legendary name both in Minnesota and Major League Baseball, but it’s certainly hard not to see how closely they relate. It’s somewhat a breath of fresh air that we’re seeing a player go against the trends of the sport so heavily. The Twins have largely been shut out in terms of individual awards since the peak of Mauer, and turning the focus back to this organization for that reason is a fun one. Arraez has a long way to go for the rest of 2022, but it’s hard not to look down the path of this coming to fruition. What do you think? How closely do you see Arraez relating to Carew? Does the former win his first batting title this season? View full article
  13. The Twins are no strangers to having rookies on the verge of becoming superstar players go down for a long stretch of the season due to injury. The latest of this collective is Twins top prospect Royce Lewis. Today it was announced by manager Rocco Baldelli that Lewis has a partial tear to the same ACL he injured in February of 2021. The surgery will keep Lewis out until the middle of next season at the earliest. With the news of Lewis out for another year, Twins Daily will take a look back at lauded Twins rookies that have had career set back by major injuries. Here are three other former Twins superstars that found themselves in the same boat as Lewis has today. Joe Mauer, 2004 Left Medial Meniscus Joe Mauer was no stranger to IL stints throughout his career. Most famously Mauer landed his first stint on the IL during his second game as he tore the left medial meniscus in his knee which forced him out until June of 2004. Mauer returned only for a month with the Twins until the knee injury forced him out for the season. This would only be the beginning of many knee injuries that would set back Mauer throughout his career. But the injury did not keep Mauer from becoming one of the best catchers in his generation that set him on a hall of fame trajectory. Twins fans do not need much of a reminder on where Mauer's career went following this injury. He still lived up to the potential of his career and did not start to experience decline in his performance until 2014 during his age 31 season and full-time move to first base. Francisco Liriano, 2006 Tommy John Talk about an extensive injury that kept a player out longer than expected. Francisco Liriano looked to be the second coming of Johan Santana during his 2006 rookie campaign, posting a 2.16 ERA in 16 starts. But he strained his ulnar collateral ligament midyear, ultimately underwent Tommy John surgery and was on the shelf until 2008. Today, pitchers receiving their first Tommy John Surgery usually recover quicker than Liriano did at the time, but it still kept a promising future star for the Twins rotation on the shelf for a year and a half, and Liriano never turned into the next Santana. Liriano still had a few solid seasons with the Twins in 2008 and 2010, and rebounded with more success later with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2013-15. Even with later success, Liriano never met his full potential after that first Tommy John surgery. Jason Kubel, 2004 Knee Injury Jason Kubel had a delay to the start of his MLB career just like Royce Lewis. After appearing in 23 games with the Twins in 2004, Kubel found himself in the Arizona Fall League playing every day. That was until he suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss all of the 2005 season. The injury set back Kubel's chances to play for the Twins full time until 2006 when he found himself as a backup outfielder to Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Lew Ford. Then in 2007, Kubel finally had his breakout season with the Twins as an everyday outfielder hitting 20 home runs, driving in 72 runs, hitting .272 with a .785 OPS. Kubel's best years were only ahead of him with the Twins following the 2005 injury. Kubel was arguably the most crucial bat in the Twins lineup behind Mauer and Morneau from 2008-2011. He hit an average of 20 home runs, 83 RBI, a .340 on-base percentage, and .810 OPS over that time span. Kubel's knee injury that kept him out all of 2005 still could have dented a lot of potential he had for the Twins over the years. Commonalities Even with these injuries dealt to such great players, Mauer, Kubel, and Liriano all found success in the latter half of their careers to some degree. Does this mean the second ACL tear to Lewis could set him back even further with his potential like it did for those who came before him? It’s too early to tell. Lewis just turned 23 last Sunday but will likely be 24 by the time he returns from this injury. Both Mauer and Liriano were younger than Lewis was during the time of their injuries in their career and still turned into all-star level players after those injuries. For now, Twins fans can still hope for a great season even without their top prospect playing until next year.
  14. Royce Lewis has once again torn his ACL and will be shut down for the remainder of the 2022 season. The Twins are no strangers to a history of superstar players taking major injuries just as it is their turn to shine. Here is a look back at some of those cases for the Twins in recent memory. The Twins are no strangers to having rookies on the verge of becoming superstar players go down for a long stretch of the season due to injury. The latest of this collective is Twins top prospect Royce Lewis. Today it was announced by manager Rocco Baldelli that Lewis has a partial tear to the same ACL he injured in February of 2021. The surgery will keep Lewis out until the middle of next season at the earliest. With the news of Lewis out for another year, Twins Daily will take a look back at lauded Twins rookies that have had career set back by major injuries. Here are three other former Twins superstars that found themselves in the same boat as Lewis has today. Joe Mauer, 2004 Left Medial Meniscus Joe Mauer was no stranger to IL stints throughout his career. Most famously Mauer landed his first stint on the IL during his second game as he tore the left medial meniscus in his knee which forced him out until June of 2004. Mauer returned only for a month with the Twins until the knee injury forced him out for the season. This would only be the beginning of many knee injuries that would set back Mauer throughout his career. But the injury did not keep Mauer from becoming one of the best catchers in his generation that set him on a hall of fame trajectory. Twins fans do not need much of a reminder on where Mauer's career went following this injury. He still lived up to the potential of his career and did not start to experience decline in his performance until 2014 during his age 31 season and full-time move to first base. Francisco Liriano, 2006 Tommy John Talk about an extensive injury that kept a player out longer than expected. Francisco Liriano looked to be the second coming of Johan Santana during his 2006 rookie campaign, posting a 2.16 ERA in 16 starts. But he strained his ulnar collateral ligament midyear, ultimately underwent Tommy John surgery and was on the shelf until 2008. Today, pitchers receiving their first Tommy John Surgery usually recover quicker than Liriano did at the time, but it still kept a promising future star for the Twins rotation on the shelf for a year and a half, and Liriano never turned into the next Santana. Liriano still had a few solid seasons with the Twins in 2008 and 2010, and rebounded with more success later with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2013-15. Even with later success, Liriano never met his full potential after that first Tommy John surgery. Jason Kubel, 2004 Knee Injury Jason Kubel had a delay to the start of his MLB career just like Royce Lewis. After appearing in 23 games with the Twins in 2004, Kubel found himself in the Arizona Fall League playing every day. That was until he suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss all of the 2005 season. The injury set back Kubel's chances to play for the Twins full time until 2006 when he found himself as a backup outfielder to Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Lew Ford. Then in 2007, Kubel finally had his breakout season with the Twins as an everyday outfielder hitting 20 home runs, driving in 72 runs, hitting .272 with a .785 OPS. Kubel's best years were only ahead of him with the Twins following the 2005 injury. Kubel was arguably the most crucial bat in the Twins lineup behind Mauer and Morneau from 2008-2011. He hit an average of 20 home runs, 83 RBI, a .340 on-base percentage, and .810 OPS over that time span. Kubel's knee injury that kept him out all of 2005 still could have dented a lot of potential he had for the Twins over the years. Commonalities Even with these injuries dealt to such great players, Mauer, Kubel, and Liriano all found success in the latter half of their careers to some degree. Does this mean the second ACL tear to Lewis could set him back even further with his potential like it did for those who came before him? It’s too early to tell. Lewis just turned 23 last Sunday but will likely be 24 by the time he returns from this injury. Both Mauer and Liriano were younger than Lewis was during the time of their injuries in their career and still turned into all-star level players after those injuries. For now, Twins fans can still hope for a great season even without their top prospect playing until next year. View full article
  15. 10. Jorge Polanco: 30 HR Polanco has become one of Minnesota's most valuable contributors, and he is one of 22 second basemen to hit more than 30 home runs in a season. During the 2019 season, Minnesota coughed up a ninth-inning lead only to have Polanco hit a walk-off in the tenth inning. 9. Joe Mauer: 32 HR Mauer wasn't known for his home run prowess and his best home run season came at the Metrodome. His first walk-off home run was worth the wait as it came in his 14th big-league season. 8. Josh Willingham: 33 HR Willingham's home run prowess gets a little lost because he played on some bad Twins teams. However, he hit one of the most valuable home runs in Target Field history. With the Twins down to their final out, Willingham sent the fans home happy. 7. Nelson Cruz: 36 HR What is left to say about Cruz? His Twins tenure was full of remarkable moments, and he seemed to be the glue behind Minnesota's record-breaking home run season. The Twins don't have a lot of good memories against the Yankees, but his walk-off home run against Aroldis Chapman has to be one of the best. 6. Byron Buxton: 38 HR Buxton's long-term deal means he will continue to move up this list in the years ahead. However, he already hit a memorable home run during the 2022 season. His 469-foot moonshot was the longest walk-off home run in the StatCast era. Which one of these home runs stands out most to you? How high will Buxton get on this list before the end of his career? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. PREVIOUS POSTS IN THE SERIES -Home Run Hitters: 11-15
  16. The Twins are closing in on 1,000 home runs at Target Field and plenty of memorable players have helped them reach this milestone. Here are the players that cracked the back-half of the top-10 and their biggest hits. 10. Jorge Polanco: 30 HR Polanco has become one of Minnesota's most valuable contributors, and he is one of 22 second basemen to hit more than 30 home runs in a season. During the 2019 season, Minnesota coughed up a ninth-inning lead only to have Polanco hit a walk-off in the tenth inning. 9. Joe Mauer: 32 HR Mauer wasn't known for his home run prowess and his best home run season came at the Metrodome. His first walk-off home run was worth the wait as it came in his 14th big-league season. 8. Josh Willingham: 33 HR Willingham's home run prowess gets a little lost because he played on some bad Twins teams. However, he hit one of the most valuable home runs in Target Field history. With the Twins down to their final out, Willingham sent the fans home happy. 7. Nelson Cruz: 36 HR What is left to say about Cruz? His Twins tenure was full of remarkable moments, and he seemed to be the glue behind Minnesota's record-breaking home run season. The Twins don't have a lot of good memories against the Yankees, but his walk-off home run against Aroldis Chapman has to be one of the best. 6. Byron Buxton: 38 HR Buxton's long-term deal means he will continue to move up this list in the years ahead. However, he already hit a memorable home run during the 2022 season. His 469-foot moonshot was the longest walk-off home run in the StatCast era. Which one of these home runs stands out most to you? How high will Buxton get on this list before the end of his career? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. PREVIOUS POSTS IN THE SERIES -Home Run Hitters: 11-15 View full article
  17. John Bonnes and Nick Nelson explore the best players of the Minnesota Twins' 2005 season, which including a breakout season from sophomore Joe Mauer. But leading the charge that season was the best pitcher in baseball during the mid-2000s, Johan Santana.
  18. John Bonnes and Nick Nelson explore the best players of the Minnesota Twins' 2005 season, which including a breakout season from sophomore Joe Mauer. But leading the charge that season was the best pitcher in baseball during the mid-2000s, Johan Santana. View full video
  19. The Twins had many routes to choose from this offseason. It started with the most impactful decision: what to do with Byron Buxton. After the team rightly extended him for seven years and $100 million, it became clear that they couldn’t punt on his age-28 season. The idea of Buxton finally staying healthy and putting together an MVP-level campaign only to miss the playoffs was untenable. The Twins picked the path to competition. With all of the uncertainty, the money available, and the robust free-agent class, there was one certainty: the Twins weren’t landing Carlos Correa. A $300-plus million talent, Correa topped the market. The Twins have never actually paid more than $50 million to a free agent, an incredible fact and one that placed them firmly outside of Correa’s stratosphere. It was almost more unlikely to happen if Correa wanted a shorter-term deal. Why wouldn’t handfuls of teams line up for a shorter, high-AAV deal for Correa’s prime years? The Twins weren’t the destination, not even close. Until they were. If you’re not *still* shocked, I don’t believe you. The Twins took advantage of a surprisingly depressed market and made Correa the highest-paid infielder in MLB history. With one swift and stunning move, the Twins added the best player they’ve had since Joe Mauer’s heydays (in addition to Buxton). So, just how good is he? Correa produced 7.1 r-Wins Above Replacement(WAR) in 2021, which would place him in the top-10 for all-time Twins position-player seasons. No Twins hitter has eclipsed 7 WAR since Mauer in 2009, and Chuck Knoblauch's 1996 season was the most recent before Mauer, and that was way back in 1996. The Twins have never had a shortstop like Correa. His great 34.1 WAR would rank first in Twins history through a position player’s age-26 season, and it isn’t close. Only four Twins hitters have ever eclipsed 6.5 WAR in a season. Correa has done it three times on his own. Among shortstops who played at least 500 games through their age-26 season, Correa ranks fourth in WAR, and has played in a combined 1,090 less games than the three players ahead of him. Those players? Alex Rodríguez, Cal Ripken Jr., and Robin Yount. And that’s just the regular season. The Twins’ postseason hits leader is Kirby Puckett with 30. Correa has 82. Correa has driven in 59 runs in the playoffs, more than the top-four Twins leaders combined (54). Correa has played more postseason games (79) than the Twins have in their 121-year franchise history (74). (Of note, this isn't completely an apples-to-apples comparison as MLB has more playoff rounds than there were in 1987 and 1991, which was more than 1965.) The Twins have *never* had an in-their-prime, all-around star with Correa's track record. Only two Twins in team history can match the 7.1-WAR, 25 home run season Correa put together last year: Bob Allison in 1963, and yes, you guessed it! Mauer in 2009. If Correa’s career ended today, he’d rank 8th in Twins' position-player history in WAR, ahead of Allison (30.6), Gary Gaetti (27.1), and Torii Hunter (26.4). Among Twins with at least 700 games played, Correa would rank 6th in OPS+ (127), ahead of Mauer (124) and Puckett (124). Of course, Correa has played a total of zero games with the Twins to this point and we don't know exactly how long his tenure with the team will last. It certainly is exciting to think about what type of talent he can be. Defensively, Correa saved 20 runs in 2021, per FanGraphs. Only one Twin in team history has ever eclipsed that mark: Buxton in a Platinum-Glove winning 2017 when he saved 22 runs in centerfield. Like his similarly talented teammate in centerfield, Correa does it all. In no way am I discounting the great players we’ve seen excel for the Twins. They have a rich history of outstanding, Hall-of-Fame level performers. Correa tracks for similar status, and he’s in the middle of his prime. Enjoy the (likely one-year) ride. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  20. Carlos Correa is an electrifying talent, combining an elite offensive game with incredible defense at a premier position. For those reasons, he’s perhaps the best player the Twins have had since Joe Mauer and one of the best to wear a Twins uniform. Today, Correa is expected to make his Twins debut against the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium. The Twins had many routes to choose from this offseason. It started with the most impactful decision: what to do with Byron Buxton. After the team rightly extended him for seven years and $100 million, it became clear that they couldn’t punt on his age-28 season. The idea of Buxton finally staying healthy and putting together an MVP-level campaign only to miss the playoffs was untenable. The Twins picked the path to competition. With all of the uncertainty, the money available, and the robust free-agent class, there was one certainty: the Twins weren’t landing Carlos Correa. A $300-plus million talent, Correa topped the market. The Twins have never actually paid more than $50 million to a free agent, an incredible fact and one that placed them firmly outside of Correa’s stratosphere. It was almost more unlikely to happen if Correa wanted a shorter-term deal. Why wouldn’t handfuls of teams line up for a shorter, high-AAV deal for Correa’s prime years? The Twins weren’t the destination, not even close. Until they were. If you’re not *still* shocked, I don’t believe you. The Twins took advantage of a surprisingly depressed market and made Correa the highest-paid infielder in MLB history. With one swift and stunning move, the Twins added the best player they’ve had since Joe Mauer’s heydays (in addition to Buxton). So, just how good is he? Correa produced 7.1 r-Wins Above Replacement(WAR) in 2021, which would place him in the top-10 for all-time Twins position-player seasons. No Twins hitter has eclipsed 7 WAR since Mauer in 2009, and Chuck Knoblauch's 1996 season was the most recent before Mauer, and that was way back in 1996. The Twins have never had a shortstop like Correa. His great 34.1 WAR would rank first in Twins history through a position player’s age-26 season, and it isn’t close. Only four Twins hitters have ever eclipsed 6.5 WAR in a season. Correa has done it three times on his own. Among shortstops who played at least 500 games through their age-26 season, Correa ranks fourth in WAR, and has played in a combined 1,090 less games than the three players ahead of him. Those players? Alex Rodríguez, Cal Ripken Jr., and Robin Yount. And that’s just the regular season. The Twins’ postseason hits leader is Kirby Puckett with 30. Correa has 82. Correa has driven in 59 runs in the playoffs, more than the top-four Twins leaders combined (54). Correa has played more postseason games (79) than the Twins have in their 121-year franchise history (74). (Of note, this isn't completely an apples-to-apples comparison as MLB has more playoff rounds than there were in 1987 and 1991, which was more than 1965.) The Twins have *never* had an in-their-prime, all-around star with Correa's track record. Only two Twins in team history can match the 7.1-WAR, 25 home run season Correa put together last year: Bob Allison in 1963, and yes, you guessed it! Mauer in 2009. If Correa’s career ended today, he’d rank 8th in Twins' position-player history in WAR, ahead of Allison (30.6), Gary Gaetti (27.1), and Torii Hunter (26.4). Among Twins with at least 700 games played, Correa would rank 6th in OPS+ (127), ahead of Mauer (124) and Puckett (124). Of course, Correa has played a total of zero games with the Twins to this point and we don't know exactly how long his tenure with the team will last. It certainly is exciting to think about what type of talent he can be. Defensively, Correa saved 20 runs in 2021, per FanGraphs. Only one Twin in team history has ever eclipsed that mark: Buxton in a Platinum-Glove winning 2017 when he saved 22 runs in centerfield. Like his similarly talented teammate in centerfield, Correa does it all. In no way am I discounting the great players we’ve seen excel for the Twins. They have a rich history of outstanding, Hall-of-Fame level performers. Correa tracks for similar status, and he’s in the middle of his prime. Enjoy the (likely one-year) ride. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  21. Nick Nelson and John Bonnes move to the 2005 season, which saw the end of three consecutive AL Central championships for the team. But in a brighter light, it was also the first full season from the next wave of Twins players; both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau played their first full seasons in a Twins uniform that year.
  22. Nick Nelson and John Bonnes move to the 2005 season, which saw the end of three consecutive AL Central championships for the team. But in a brighter light, it was also the first full season from the next wave of Twins players; both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau played their first full seasons in a Twins uniform that year. View full video
  23. Nick Nelson and John Bonnes talk about the Minnesota Twins' top moments from their 2004 campaign, which included their third consecutive AL Central division title. That season we saw the debut of Joe Mauer, the first pitch thrown by Joe Nathan, and a Cy Young award from Johan Santana.
  24. Nick Nelson and John Bonnes talk about the Minnesota Twins' top moments from their 2004 campaign, which included their third consecutive AL Central division title. That season we saw the debut of Joe Mauer, the first pitch thrown by Joe Nathan, and a Cy Young award from Johan Santana. View full video
  25. Baseball America became the first place to rank prospects on a national level in 1990. Since that time, other national outlets like Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com have also grown in popularity. The top-5 prospects in Twins history were all considered among baseball's top-10 prospects at some point in their professional careers. 5. Francisco Liriano Top-100 Peak: 6 Liriano came to the Twins in one most lopsided trade in franchise history. He was a top-100 prospect entering the 2003 season, but his 2005 minor league campaign put him on the prospect map. As a 21-year-old, he posted a 2.63 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 11 SO/9 at Double- and Triple-A. He was electric at the beginning of his career as he was an All-Star in 2006. Unfortunately, his elbow gave out, and he missed the end of 2006 and all of 2007. Some have argued the 2006 Twins had a chance to win the World Series with Johan Santana and Liriano at the top of the rotation. 4. Royce Lewis Top-100 Peak: 5 Expectations are high for any player taken with the first overall pick. After a .788 OPS in his pro debut, Lewis was a consensus top-30 prospect. His 2018 performance moved him even higher as he posted an .803 OPS at Low- and High-A. Unfortunately, Lewis struggled through parts of the 2019 season, and he hasn’t played a professional game since that year. A knee injury took away his 2021 season on the heels of the pandemic canceling the 2020 campaign. His stock has dropped this winter as many evaluators have moved him off top-100 lists. Now, he will have plenty to prove when the lockout finally ends. 3. Miguel Sano Top-100 Peak: 4 Sano may or may not have lived up to his expectations, but he was clearly among the best prospects in Twins history. He appeared on national top-100 lists for five consecutive offseasons, and multiple lists included him as a top-15 prospect for consecutive seasons. Sano was an easy prospect to be intrigued by with light-tower power and a .932 OPS throughout his minor league career. His big-league career has had ups and downs, but the power he showcased as a prospect has been his greatest tool. He has the 12th most home runs in franchise history, and seven home runs this season will move him into the top-10. His .491 slugging percentage only ranks behind Harmon Killebrew in team history. 2. Byron Buxton Top-100 Peak: 1 Buxton‘s five-tool talent was evident early on in his professional career. All three national prospect rankings ranked him number one entering the 2014 season. Over the remainder of his minor league career, some ranking dropped him to second behind Chicago’s Kris Bryant. However, there were some tremendous prospects in the minors simultaneously as Buxton, including Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, and Lucas Giolito. Many of these players scored big contracts over the last couple of offseasons. Thankfully, Minnesota was able to work out a deal to keep Buxton in a Twins uniform for the prime of his career. 1. Joe Mauer Top-100 Peak: 1 Minnesota selected Mauer as the number one overall pick in 2001, so plenty viewed him as one of baseball’s best prospects. Baseball America immediately included him in baseball’s top-10 prospects as he ranked seventh entering the 2002 campaign. He ranked as baseball’s top prospect in two consecutive off-seasons. He’s the only player in Twins history to accomplish this feat. Mauer went on to a tremendous career as he is considered one of the best players in Twins history. Do you feel like these are the best prospects in Twins history? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. PREVIOUS POST IN THE SERIES — Prospects 6-10 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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