The ridiculous pace that Twins hitters are on in 2019

These will blow your mind in one way or another.
Publish date:
Byron Buxton

It's been a talking point for about two months now: The Twins (43-21) are on pace to shatter the MLB record for homers in a season. 

The power numbers are impressive – and they continued Sunday with Nelson Cruz, Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario slugging long balls – but the numbers 10 players on the team are on pace to finish with might blow your mind.

Jorge Polanco

  • Now: .333/.393/.569, 10 HR, 34 RBI, 82 H (18 2B, 5 3B), 25 BB, 41 R
  • Pace: .333/.393/.569, 25 HR, 86 RBI, 208 H (46 2B, 13 3B), 63 BB, 104 R

Polanco is second in the league in hitting and WAR (3.6, trailing only Mike Trout) and his .962 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) ranks sixth in the AL. He's not just having a career year, he's posting MVP-caliber numbers. 

Mitch Garver

  • Now: .317/.410/.693, 10 HR, 25 RBI
  • Pace: .317/.410/.693, 25 HR, 63 RBI

What's crazy is that Garver has produced what he has in just 31 games, meaning his pace is based on him playing just 78 games. Considering he's now an everyday player and the Twins have 98 games to go, he's more than likely – assuming he stays healthy – to play closer to 100 games. 

Nelson Cruz

  • Now: .279/.359/.565, 11 HR, 28 RBI, 9 2B
  • Pace: .279/.359/.565, 28 HR, 71 RBI, 23 2B

Cruz missed a few weeks with a sore wrist and is now on pace to play in only 101 games. Since coming back, he's gotten super hot and homered in four straight games, meaning his 28-homer projection is likely too low. Remember, he's slugged 35+ homers in five straight seasons. 

Eddie Rosario

  • Now: .272/.307/.545, 19 HR, 52 RBI, 44 R
  • Pace: .272/.307/.545, 48 HR, 132 RBI, 111 R

Rosario is second in the AL in homers and leads the league in RBI. Only two players in Twins history have finished with 130+ RBI in a season: Harmon Killebrew finished with 140 RBI in 1969 and Justin Morneau had 130 RBI in 2006. Both won the MVP award those years. 

C.J. Cron

  • Now: .277/.342/.540, 14 HR, 43 RBI, 14 2B, 31 R
  • Pace: .277/.342/.540, 35 HR, 109 RBI, 35 2B, 78 R

This is a crazy stat: Since 1971, only two Twins have hit 35+ homers in a season. Brian Dozier hit 42 homers in 2016 and Josh Willingham slugged 35 in 2012. Cron is on pace to do it this year. 

Max Kepler

  • Now: .264/.341/.536, 15 HR, 40 RBI, 15 2B, 42 R
  • Pace: .264/.341/.536, 38 HR, 101 RBI, 38 2B, 106 R

This is getting out of control. Generally speaking, players that hit nearly 40 homers and drive in 100+ runs are going to get MVP votes. The Twins have a bunch of players on pace to do that. 

Byron Buxton

  • Now: .270/.322/.531, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 21 2B, 3 3B, 10 SB, 37 R
  • Pace: .270/.322/.531, 20 HR, 91 RBI, 53 2B, 8 3B, 25 SB, 94 R

Buxton is finally performing like the No. 2 overall pick he was in the 2012 MLB Draft. How impressive has he been? According to Aaron Gleeman, if Buxton finishes the season with a .531 slugging percentage, it'll rank fourth all time in Twins history. The three top spots belong to Kirby Puckett. 

Jonathan Schoop

  • Now: .246/.300/.473, 11 HR, 31 RBI, 14 2B, 33 R
  • Pace: .246/.300/.473, 28 HR, 78 RBI, 35 2B, 84 R

Hitting 28 homers and driving in 78 runs is no joke. In fact, Miguel Sano finished with 28 homers and 77 RBI in 2017... when he was an All-Star. Sano had a higher OBP and slugging percentage, but he only had 15 doubles in 114 games. Schoop is on pace for 35 doubles. 

Miguel Sano

  • Now: .246/.333/.615, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 6 2B, 15 R
  • Pace: .246/.333/.615, 34 HR, 65 RBI, 34 2B, 81 R

For Sano's pace, we had to do a little math based on his production through 17 games. So far, he's played in 17 of 22 games since returning from the injured list. That's a 77% playing rate, which if it maintains and he stays healthy he'll play in 75 more games. That'd give him a total of 92 games this season. 

If he continues to homer once every 10.8 at-bats – and he plays in 92 games – he's on pace to have 372 at-bats and 34 homers. That's probably a bit high, but that's the pace he's on. If he gets 372 at-bats, he's also on pace to strike out 160 times (43% strikeout rate). 

Marwin Gonzalez

  • Now: .252/.326/.406, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 10 2B, 25 R
  • Pace: .252/.326/.406, 18 HR, 53 RBI, 25 2B, 63 R

Nothing mind-blowing about Gonzalez's numbers, but 18 homers would've ranked third on last year's team behind Rosario (24) and Kepler (20). Solid.

You can find the latest Twins 2019 content from BMTN on our dedicated Flipboard magazine.

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