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  1. With a third of the 2021 season in the rearview mirror, the Twins struggles have been well documented. However, these four players have stood out in various Statcast categories as the calendar turns to June. Mitch Garver: .497 xwOBAcon What makes Garver’s injury tough to swallow is how well he had been hitting at the plate. His Statcast numbers point to this improvement even after his slow start to the season. For those unfamiliar, xOBAcon uses three variables: exit velocity (EV), launch angle (LA), and sprint speed. Garver’s exit velocity and launch angle have allowed him to spray
  2. Mitch Garver: .497 xwOBAcon What makes Garver’s injury tough to swallow is how well he had been hitting at the plate. His Statcast numbers point to this improvement even after his slow start to the season. For those unfamiliar, xOBAcon uses three variables: exit velocity (EV), launch angle (LA), and sprint speed. Garver’s exit velocity and launch angle have allowed him to spray the ball all over the field. He currently ranks in the top 6% of the league in xwOBAcon so the hope is he can return sooner rather than later. As Rocco Baldelli alluded to after Tuesday’s game, it’s hard to imagine
  3. Sano’s Slow Start Miguel Sano entered the 2021 season as the team’s first baseman, and he seemed locked into that spot after signing an extension entering the 2020 campaign. Prior to his injury, Sano was trying to find himself at the plate. He is hitting .111/.310/.244 (.555) with two extra-base hits, both home runs. One positive among these numbers is the fact that he has already drawn 13 walks, which is just five fewer than his walk total in 53 games last year. Sano is typically among the league leaders when it comes to average exit velocity, hard hit %, and barrel %. During the 2020 campa
  4. 5. Josh Donaldson (0.7 rWAR, 0.5 fWAR) .286/.368/.469 (.838), 2 HR, 3 2B, 7 BB, 5 K There are plenty of candidates to be on the back end of this ballot. Andrelton Simmons put together some strong numbers, but he missed time due to COVID. Taylor Rogers was a one of the lone bright spots in the bullpen, while Michael Pineda and Jose Berrios provided value in the rotation. However, Donaldson gets the nod after getting on base nearly 37% of the time and having more walks than strikeouts. His current 144 OPS+ is his highest total since the 2017 season. Many Twins fans would like to see him leading
  5. Aaron and John talk about the Twins digging an even bigger hole, Alex Kirilloff's arrival, why the team needs Andrelton Simmons back, the math behind Byron Buxton's signature moments, why Nick Gordon came up to sit on the bench, Alexander Colome vs. Ron Davis, and Mitch Garver vs. Ryan Jeffers. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Listen Here Now Click here to view the article
  6. The Minnesota Twins have now played nine games in the 2021 Major League Baseball season thus far and are scheduled for their tenth today. They haven’t had a fully healthy roster for a full game yet, but batting order positions are starting to take shape. Where and when should we consider questioning them? For most of his tenure as the skipper for Minnesota, Rocco Baldelli has opted to bat lefty Max Kepler in the leadoff hole. He’s a non-traditional fit there as speed isn’t his game, and he is more of a power player than high batting average guy. Through nine games this year Kepler hasn’t bat
  7. Twins baseball is back, and that means so too is our season-long Sunday night tradition of reviewing the week that was. Here's a rundown of the highlights and lowlights from opening weekend in Milwaukee, where the Twins took two of three from the Brewers, as well as a look ahead to what's coming in the season's first full week. Weekly Snapshot: Thurs, 4/1 through Sun, 4/4 *** Record Last Week: 2-1 (Overall: 2-1) Run Differential Last Week: +7 (Overall: +7) Standing: T-1st Place in AL Central Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 1 | MIL 6, MIN 5: Twins Blow 3-Run Lead in 9th InningGame 2 | MIN 2, M
  8. Weekly Snapshot: Thurs, 4/1 through Sun, 4/4 *** Record Last Week: 2-1 (Overall: 2-1) Run Differential Last Week: +7 (Overall: +7) Standing: T-1st Place in AL Central Last Week's Game Recaps: Game 1 | MIL 6, MIN 5: Twins Blow 3-Run Lead in 9th Inning Game 2 | MIN 2, MIL 0: Take a Bow, José Berríos Game 3 | MIN 8, MIL 2: Arraez Reaches 5 Times, Twins Take Series NEWS & NOTES An opening series victory in Milwaukee brought plenty of glowing positives, but also a familiar feeling of dread as Minnesota's two most critical players – Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton – stil
  9. Aaron and John talk about a very good opening weekend for the Twins that was almost great, Josh Donaldson's latest leg injury, Byron Buxton's scary power, Jose Berrios vs. Corbin Burnes, Luis Arraez the hitting machine, and the state of the bullpen. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Listen Here Now Click here to view the article
  10. Catcher Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers are penciled in to get the majority of the innings behind the plate. However, Willians Astudillo is making the Opening Day roster and he can be used occasionally at catcher. Garver and Astudillo’s bats are strong enough that they may be used at other defensive positions as well. Jeffers is the best defensive catcher as his pitch framing skills are among baseball’s best. First Base Miguel Sano is set to be the primary first baseman, but his long-term role might end up being DH. Reports praise Alex Kirilloff and his athleticism at first, but he is starting
  11. The Incumbent: Max Kepler Last season, Kepler batted leadoff in 34 of the team’s 60 games and he was used there for over 100 games back in 2019. There’s a good chance he is the leader in the clubhouse to be the team’s primary leadoff hitter unless his performance struggles significantly. He hit .281/.324/.625 last year in his at-bats as the first batter in the game. That’s quite the punch for opposing pitchers to have to endure out of the gate. The Contenders: Jorge Polanco, Byron Buxton, Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver Buxton’s raw speed makes him a natural contender to be at the top of the line-
  12. Around this time last year, we were dreaming on what Josh Donaldson might be able to bring at third base. Now, we're fretting over hot corner contingency plans following a first season with the Twins that cast serious doubt on his durability. But Donaldson's towering upside remains.Projected Starter: Josh Donaldson Likely Backup: Luis Arráez Depth: Willians Astudillo, Travis Blankenhorn Prospects: Keoni Cavaco, Jose Miranda THE GOOD A year ago when previewing this position, it was all about the Josh Donaldson hype. The Twins had signed JD to an historic $92 million contract, and fans w
  13. Projected Starter: Josh Donaldson Likely Backup: Luis Arráez Depth: Willians Astudillo, Travis Blankenhorn Prospects: Keoni Cavaco, Jose Miranda THE GOOD A year ago when previewing this position, it was all about the Josh Donaldson hype. The Twins had signed JD to an historic $92 million contract, and fans were still buzzing from this emphatic and unprecedented "all-in" type move coming off a 103-win season. Minnesota's front office went big on the Bringer of Rain, envisioning him as the final piece to put their already upper-tier squad over the top. He still can be that. Donaldson may
  14. In 2021 the Minnesota Twins are going to have a new starting shortstop. Despite being delayed to camp, Andrelton Simmons will assume that role shortly. What happens behind him remains a question, but the Riddle could actually be the solution. Alright, enough with the puns, sorry about that. Andrelton Simmons is as clear of a defensive upgrade as it gets. Even if Minnesota employed someone other than a below-average Jorge Polanco as short in recent seasons, Simba as he’s known, has won a Platinum Glove. Despite being in on Marcus Semien (who’s also a defensive upgrade), it’s clear prioritizin
  15. Projected Starter: Jorge Polanco Likely Backup: Luis Arráez Depth: Nick Gordon, Travis Blankenhorn Prospects: Jose Miranda, Yunior Severino THE GOOD Jorge Polanco might finally be ready to unlock his potential as a major-league player. It still hasn't happened up to this point, mainly because he's always been limited by questionable defensive value at shortstop. Even in his All-Star first half of 2019, Polanco's appeal came more from his bat than his glove, and over the past couple seasons his flaws at short have become all the more evident and impactful. Polanco is better-suited for
  16. From 2013-18, Brian Dozier was reliably Minnesota's starting second baseman on Opening Day. Six straight years. The upcoming season opener will be their third since his departure, and the Twins intend to start a third different player at the position: This time, Dozier's former double-play partner. Can Jorge Polanco stick?Projected Starter: Jorge Polanco Likely Backup: Luis Arráez Depth: Nick Gordon, Travis Blankenhorn Prospects: Jose Miranda, Yunior Severino THE GOOD Jorge Polanco might finally be ready to unlock his potential as a major-league player. It still hasn't happened up
  17. The pivot point in the Twins' lineup comes early, very early. It’s the leadoff hitter. Go one direction, and the lineup looks one way. Go the other, and it looks very different. For the last two years, that leadoff hitter has mostly been Max Kepler, but coming into the season, there were two significant challenges to that status quo: Luis Arraez Is Healthy Arraez is expected to get a lot of at-bats as a multi-positional player. Arraez isn’t exactly a prototypical leadoff hitter because he doesn’t walk a ton, and doesn’t bring a lot of speed to the bases. But he battles and he gets on base: a
  18. FORT MYERS - There aren’t a lot of meaningful spring training battle in Twins' camp on the field, but there may be one in the lineup.The pivot point in the Twins' lineup comes early, very early. It’s the leadoff hitter. Go one direction, and the lineup looks one way. Go the other, and it looks very different. For the last two years, that leadoff hitter has mostly been Max Kepler, but coming into the season, there were two significant challenges to that status quo: Luis Arraez Is Healthy Arraez is expected to get a lot of at-bats as a multi-positional player. Arraez isn’t exactly a prototypic
  19. Lewis Thorpe Thorpe didn’t have the cleanest first inning – he walked his first batter and hit another in the head - but the pitches that we’ve heard about this spring were all on display. Most noticeably, the velocity that had deserted him last year has returned, as he was consistently throwing his fastball at least 90 mph, reaching 93 mph on occasion. Asked about the variation, he explained “Sometimes I just try to groove [the slower version] in there and if I really want to let one rip, the 93 is in the back of the tank somewhere.” His offspeed stuff was similarly impressive. He relied se
  20. PORT CHARLOTTE - The Twins defeated the Rays 6-5 in a road game that featured a number of Twins’ players’ 2021 debuts. We saw Lewis Thorpe (and maybe as importantly, Lewis Thorpe’s velocity), Luis Arraez and Brent Rooker for the first time this spring. The results were encouraging.Lewis Thorpe Thorpe didn’t have the cleanest first inning – he walked his first batter and hit another in the head - but the pitches that we’ve heard about this spring were all on display. Most noticeably, the velocity that had deserted him last year has returned, as he was consistently throwing his fastball at least
  21. MLB.com tried to identify the top players under 25 under an interesting premise. “If you were starting a team today, and you were able to choose only from players under 25 years old -- that’s Major League stars and Minor League prospects, just so long as they aren’t past their age-24 season in 2021 -- who would you pick?” It can be a tough exercise, especially with Minnesota’s deep farm system. 5. Royce Lewis, SS (21-years old) Lewis might be the team’s second-best prospect, but his recently announced knee surgery puts a hold on his development. There were already questions about his swing a
  22. With pitchers and catchers reporting to camp on Thursday, a new baseball season is upon us. The arrival of 2021 brings a mix of emotions for Twins fans, who are generally heartened by back-to-back division titles and an intriguing offseason, but impatient in the midst of an 0-for-18 postseason slump.An AL Central title is almost table stakes for the Twins this year. It says much about this team that the shortened 2020 season felt somewhat disappointing even though Minnesota took the division with a .600 winning percentage. That's where we were at. Personally, I'm pretty pleased that the fro
  23. An AL Central title is almost table stakes for the Twins this year. It says much about this team that the shortened 2020 season felt somewhat disappointing even though Minnesota took the division with a .600 winning percentage. That's where we were at. Personally, I'm pretty pleased that the front office has built a club that looks well positioned to fend off a credible threat from the White Sox and defend its budding division dynasty, but I get it – for many fans, the proof is in the postseason pudding. While I'm sure Derek Falvey and Thad Levine would agree it's important not to wildly
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