Changes or additions to the site

  • Updated 2015 attendance stats on “Attendance” page. 6/27/2015
  • Added 2015 TMR Fan Cost Index to “Twins Ticket Price History” page 6/21/2015
  • Updated Audio & Video clips page with cool 44 minute Night Times Magazine video about Twins possibly leaving town in 1984. Worth your time for sure. 5/30/2015
  • Added 2012 & 2011 Twins Media Guides & Season in Review Guides to the Twins Media Guide page. 5/10/2015
  • Added home page widget to “1960s Baseball” , a wonderful baseball site. 5/5/2015
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Remembering 1965 – Part 13 – Mincher, Bat Day, Bombs in bat racks

After getting shutout 5-0 at Dodger Stadium by California Angels right-hander Fred Newman on June 30th the 1965 Twins find themselves with a 43-28 record and in second place in the ten team American League trailing the first place Cleveland Indians by just half a game. Although the Twins have played the first 3 months at a .606 pace, things are about to get even better for the Twins as they prepare to embark on a nine game winning streak from July 2 until they lose the nite-cap of a twin-bill on July 10th. The Twins take over first place in the AL standings on July 3rd and stay in first place for the rest of the season.

Terry FoxOn June 11th the Twins sweep a double-header from the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium taking both games by a score of 5-4 and Tiger reliever Terry Fox takes the loss in both games. But things could have been much worse as the June 26, 1965 Sporting News tells us in a short story about how Detroit police search the Tigers dugout and bat rack for a bomb during the first game.

Sporting News June 26, 1965 P27

June 20, 1965 – The largest crowd to ever watch the Twins play on the road, 71,245 New York fans watched their beloved Yankees get swept by the Minnesota Twins 6-4 and 7-4 in a doubleheader as the Twins marched towards their first ever World Series.

Don Mincher (courtesy of the Minnesota Twins)

Don Mincher (courtesy of the Minnesota Twins)

The June 26, 1965 Sporting News has a nice article on Don Mincher and his struggles to break into the Minnesota line-up. You can also read about how “Bat Day” got started and learn about Harmon Killebrew‘s first ever home run back on June 24, 1955.

Sporting News June 26, 1965 P11

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Twins minor league player of the week

Engelb Vielma 2015 springFt. Myers (High A) infielder Engelb Vielma is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Vielma played four games for the Miracle, hitting .467 (7-for-15) with one double, two RBI, two walks and two runs scored. Vielma who just turned 21 was signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent from Venezuela on September 8, 2011. The 5’11” 150 pound Vielma was named the 22nd best prospect and best defensive infielder in the Twins system by Baseball America entering 2015.

In his fourth season of pro ball Vielma has appeared in a total  of 270 games and has hit .253  with 2 home runs and has stolen 51 bases in 1,086 PA’s. Vielma has a slick glove but it will be his bat that determines if he gets to put on a big league uniform but keep in mind he just turned 21.

Previous winners of Twins POW this season are right-handed pitcher Tyler Duffey, left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves, outfielder Byron Buxton, infielder Trey Vavra, infielder Miguel Sano, first baseman/outfielder Max Kepler, right-handed pitcher Aaron Slegers, left-handed pitcher David Hurlbut and right-handed pitcher Alex Wimmers.

Twins Minor League Report June 28, 2015

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Kepler and Berrios to play for Futures World Team

Rosters were recently announced for the SiriusXM Futures Game to be played on Sunday, July 12 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati during the All-Star break and the Twins will be sending two players, who will both play for the World Team, outfielder/1B Max Kepler and right-handed pitcher Jose Berrios.

Max Kepler

Max Kepler

The 22-year-old Kepler was born in Berlin, Germany has played 55 games for Double-A Chattanooga this season, hitting .342 (69-for-202) with 18 doubles, eight triples, three home runs, 29 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He was originally signed by the Twins on July 11, 2009.

Jose Berrios

Jose Berrios

The 21-year-old Jose Berrios, was born in Baymon, Puerto Rico, has made 14 starts for Double-A Chattanooga, posting a record of 7-3, 3.23 ERA (83.2 IP, 30 ER) with 23 walks and 86 strikeouts.Berrios, who was drafted in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, started for the World Team in 2014 at Target Field, tossing a perfect inning.

Barring injury I think there is at least a 50/50 chance both of these young players will make their big league debut with the Twins this season. Congratulations to both Max and Jose. Source Twins Notes

2015 Futures Game Rosters

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Will the Axe Bat replace the round handled bat?

I have chopped a lot of wood of the years and played a little baseball but I have never considered the two related in any way. Matter of fact I thought that chopping wood often kept me from playing baseball. Come to find out now that someone has tied an axe handle and a bat together and it might just be catching on.

“In 2006, a New Yorker named Steve Leinert obtained a patent on the axe handle for a baseball bat, a concept Ted Williams hit on decades earlier in his book “The Science of Hitting,” in which he compared a baseball swing to that of an axe. “Try it for yourself,” Williams wrote. “Get a bat and swing it against a telephone pole. I do this with doubting young Washington players. Where is the wrist position at point of impact? Square and unbroken, that’s where, just as when you hit a tree with an ax.””

The Axe Bat made its debut in MLB two years ago when former Philly and now Dodger shortstop Jimmy Rollins occasionally used an Axe Bat in major league games. Now Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has spent a month using it as his lone bat, and the results are promising.

Axe handled batOne of the benefits of the axe bat handle is that it is supposed to limit hamate bone injuries, it will be interesting to see if the axe handled bat catches on and if it really does help prevent hand injuries. I suppose like anything else, if someone has some success with it, the bat will find its way into clubhouses all across baseball.

Here is a story that Jeff Passon did on the bat for Yahoo Sports.

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According to ELIAS

Vargas gets his first four-hit game

Kennys Vargas  2015Twins designated hitter Kennys Vargas was 4 for 4, including a three-run homer, in Minnesota’s 13-2 rout of the White Sox. It was the first four-hit game for Vargas in his two seasons in the major leagues, and only the third four-hit game by a Twins DH over the last five seasons. The others were both in 2014, by Danny Santana (June 7 vs. Houston) and Trevor Plouffe (Septmber 23 vs. Arizona). Source: ELIAS

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This Day in Twins History – June 22

Carew, Rod 166/22/1970 – In the fourth inning of the Twins game against the Milwaukee Brewers in County Stadium Rod Carew suffers a serious knee injury with torn cartilage and torn ligaments when Brewers 1B Mike Hegan rolls in to Carew at 2B trying to break up a double play. According to Rod Carew in his book “Carew”, my leg snapped back and went crack! He goes on to say that 2B umpire Jake O’Donnell had heard the crack and vomited. Carew was hitting .376 at the time underwent surgery and ended up in essence missing the rest of the season. Rod did return for 5 at bats late in September but did not get a hit. Carew had only 2 plate appearances against the Orioles in the ALCS with no hits.

6/22/1984In a teary home plate ceremony before the Twins-White Sox game at the Metrodome, Calvin Griffith and his sister, Thelma Haynes, sign a letter of intent to sell their 52 percent ownership of the Twins to Minneapolis banker Carl Pohlad for $32 million (some reports state it was $36 million) ending the longest family ownership of a team in baseball history. Griffith and his sister had been involved with the franchise since 1922, when they were adopted by owner Clark Griffith when the team was the Washington Senators.

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Twins minor league player of the week

Alex Wimmers - (Credit: Roger Hoover/Tennessee Smokies)

Alex Wimmers – (Credit: Roger Hoover/Tennessee Smokies)

Chattanooga (AA) right-handed pitcher Alex Wimmers is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Wimmers made two starts for the Lookouts, going 2-0, 0.00 ERA (14.2 IP) with five hits allowed, four walks and 20 strikeouts. Wimmers, 26,  struck out nine in 7.2 innings June 13 vs. Birmingham and 11 in 7.0 innings June 19 vs. Jacksonville. The Twins first round pick (21st overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft has made 12 starts for the Lookouts, going 5-1, 4.31 ERA (64.2 IP, 31 ER), with 24 walks and 62 strikeouts.

Lookouts’ Wimmers silences Suns

Previous winners of Twins POW this season are right-handed pitcher Tyler Duffey, left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves, outfielder Byron Buxton, infielder Trey Vavra, infielder Miguel Sano, first baseman/outfielder Max Kepler, right-handed pitcher Aaron Slegers and left-handed pitcher David Hurlbut.

Max Kepler

Max Kepler

Another player that probably was a finalist for POW honors again this week is Chattanooga 1B/OF Max Kepler. Kepler, 22, who was the Twins minor league player of the week a few weeks ago has been on an absolute tear lately and in his last 10 games he is 19 for 34 with 9 walks and is hitting at a .559 clip with 8 runs scored, 6 RBI, 1 home run, one double and 4 triples.  In 52 games for Chattanooga Max is hitting .346 with a .977 OPS.

 

Twins Minor League Report June 21, 2015

It has taken awhile but this is Twins Trivia post number 1,000.

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According to ELIAS

Vargas wins it in walk-off style

Kennys Vargas  2015Kennys Vargas connected for a two-out, walk-off home run to give the Twins a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals yesterday. Vargas is the fifth player this season with a two-out, walk-off homer, joining the Nationals’ Yunel Escobar and Ryan Zimmerman, San Diego’s Derek Norris, and the Reds’ Todd Frazier.

The Cardinals, who led, 1-0, in the eighth inning, had won their previous 50 games when leading in the eighth inning or later, dating back to September 2014. Entering Thursday’s games, that was the third-longest current streak in the majors, behind the Royals (111) and Orioles (75).

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Can Mauer get 100 RBI?

Joe MauerManager Paul Molitor has Joe Mauer hitting in a run producing slot in his batting order and publicly has stated many times that he is happy with Joe’s production. The numbers however; seem to show a different story. Mauer’s best season from an RBI perspective was his MVP season in 2009 when he had 96 RBI. That season Mauer had an RBI every 6.31 plate appearances but don’t forget he hit .365 that year and clubbed 28 home runs.

Through yesterday Mauer has 35 RBI and is getting a RBI every 7.54 plate appearances and at this rate he would need over 750 plate appearances to get 100 RBI and Mauer has had over 600 plate appearances in his 12 year career just four times peaking at 641 in 2012. Even if Mauer gets 600 plate appearances he is on pace to get 80 RBI. The best bet that the Twins have in their line-up right now to knock in runs is Torii Hunter who gets an RBI every 6.5 plate appearances. Hunter will be 40 very soon but you have to ride the horse that is pulling the load right now no matter how old he is.

Looking back over Twins history the best ratio for RBI per plate appearance was Kirby Puckett‘s 1994 season when he had 112 RBI in 484 plate appearances for a RBI every 4.32 plate appearances. No one in American League history since the Twins started play in 1961 has ever had a better RBI ratio per plate appearance. Had that season not been cut short Puckett was on pace for an amazing 151 RBI.

I had zero RBI in a Twins uniform but yet I had a 24 year MLB career as a player.

I had zero RBI in a Twins uniform but yet I had a 24 year MLB career as a player.

Do you know who the only Twins hitter is that had 100 or more RBI in a season and yet have 9 or fewer home runs?

What Twins player was with the Twins for parts of four seasons and had 76 plate appearances and had zero RBI? After being traded by the Twins he actually had 99 career plate appearances to start his big league career without an RBI before getting his first RBI on his first career home run.

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Did you know?

Rod Carew Only six players in MLB history have more than 3,000 hits, 100 triples, walked over 1,000 times and stole over 300 bases. Not surprisingly, they are all in the HOF: Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Paul Molitor, Eddie Collins, Willie Mays, and from Panama, the great Rod Carew, who had 3,053 hits (the most of any Latino player), 112 triples, 1,018 walks, and 353 steals. Carew achieved all this in 10,550 plate appearances, more than a thousand fewer than any of the other five. Source: Summer 2015 “Memories and Dreams” magazine.

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Twins minor league player of the week

David HurlbutChattanooga (AA) left-handed pitcher David Hurlbut is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Hurlbut who goes about 6’3″ and 220 made two starts for the Lookouts going 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA (14.0 IP, 1 ER) while striking out nine and walking three. The Twins first drafted Hurlbut in round 35 in 2009 but he chose not to sign, The Twins then drafted Hurlbut again in the 28th round of the 2011 out of California State – Fullerton and this time he signed.

Previous winners of Twins POW this season are right-handed pitcher Tyler Duffey, left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves, outfielder Byron Buxton, infielder Trey Vavra, infielder Miguel Sano, first baseman/outfielder Max Kepler and right-handed pitcher Aaron Slegers.

Twins Minor League Report June 14, 2015

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According to ELIAS

What’s better than triple-double? How about a triple-triple.

Eduardo Nunez, Shane Robinson, and Eduardo Escobar all tripled in the sixth inning for the Twins yesterday. And if that doesn’t seem unusual enough for you consider this: Minnesota scored only one run in the inning, with Robinson getting picked off and Escobar getting stranded. The Twins did win the game 4-3.

It was the first time since the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961 that the Twins had three triples in one inning. And it was the first instance in the expansion era of a team scoring only once despite three triples in an inning. The other 20 teams to do so averaged 4.6 runs in those innings. Source:ELIAS

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Congratulations Byron Buxton!

Buxton congratulated by Plouffe after scoring what turns out to be the winning run  in his first big league game.

Buxton congratulated by Plouffe after scoring what turns out to be the winning run in his first big league game.

The Twins announced yesterday that they had selected the contract of outfielder Byron Buxton from Chattanooga (AA). Buxton, 21, made his major league debut today against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington after hitting .283 (67-for-237) with seven doubles, 12 triples, six home runs, 20 stolen bases and 37 RBI in 59 games for the Lookouts this season. The Georgia native was ranked as the top prospect in baseball by MLB.com entering this season and Twins top prospect by Baseball America and earlier this week, he was named a Southern League All-Star. Buxton was drafted second overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Buxton has 263 minor league games and 1,168 plate appearances under his belt before making the jump from AA to the big leagues.

Buxton who was assigned number 25 went 0-4 in his first big league game but after reaching base on a fielder’s choice in the ninth inning scored the winning run on a double by Eddie Rosario.

Congratulations Byron Buxton on moving up to the big leagues and I can’t wait to see play at Target Field.

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Remembering 1965 – Part 12 – First draft, Pascual, Perry, Zoilo and 6 DH in 23 days

The Twins were shutout 2-0 on only one hit by the Kansas City Royals last night and found themselves dropping out of a first place tie with the Royals in the AL Central. The Twins record is now 33-25 and they are one game out of first place.

Bell, GaryBack in 1965 on this date the Twins had lost two games in a row to the Cleveland Indians and reliever ‘Ding Dong” Bell (whose real name was Gary Bell) and their record was 32-18 and the team has a 1.5 game lead in the AL standings. Although the team was 16-8 at Met Stadium the team was not drawing well at the gate where in 24 games the attendance stood at 266,365 for an average of 11,099 fans per game. The Twins biggest crowd of the season showed up on Sunday, June 6 to see the Twins beat the Washington Senators 11-2 at the Met, I am not sure if there was a give-away that day or not but it sure appears to be a “Bat Day” crowd.

Camilo Pascual

Camilo Pascual

On June 8th Camilo Pascual beat the Indians 6-2 at the Met and ran his record to 8-0. Bothered by a bad back which caused him to miss all of August, Pascual would only win one more game in 1965 and finished the season with a 9-3 record.

Sporting News June 5, 1965 P9

The very first June free agent draft started on June 8 and the Twins selected Eddie Leon in round one and ninth overall and outfielder Del Unser in round two and 29th overall but both players passed on Minnesota offers and did not sign. The best player the Twins drafted in 1965 was 3B Graig Nettles but the Twins traded him to the Indians after Nettles played sparingly for the Twins from 1967-1969. The Twins expect to spend up to a total of $300,000 in bonuses to their 50 draftees…….

Sporting News June 19, 1965 P7

Sporting News June 19, 1965 P8

Sporting News June 19, 1965 P9

Sporting News June 19, 1965 P10

Sporting News June 19, 1965 P16

Sporting News June 19, 1965 P38

Sporting News June 19, 1965 P44

Zoilo Versalles

Zoilo Versalles

Zoilo Versalles is in the midst of a MVP season and the Twins have a tough month coming up in July with six double-headers coming up in 23 days.

Sporting News June 12, 1965 P10

Back in 1965 just like in 2015 the Twins took a long reliever out of the bullpen and turned him into a starter. Find out who it was and how he did.

Sporting News June 19, 1965 P11

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According to ELIAS

Pelfrey tosses eight scoreless innings

Mike Pelfrey 2015Mike Pelfrey scattered eight hits over eight innings and Glen Perkins notched his 21st save of the season as the Twins topped the Brewers, 2-0 yesterday. Pelfrey has started 194 games during his major-league career, but Sunday’s victory was only the third of those starts, and his first since 2010 with the Mets, in which he pitched as many as eight innings without allowing a run. The only current major-league pitchers who have started as many games as Pelfrey without tossing at least one shutout in their careers are Jorge De La Rosa (198 starts) and Chris Young (194). Source:ELIAS

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Twins first round draft history since 2000 – Part 2

2015 DraftAs promised we are taking a look at the round 1 draft history of all the MLB teams. There are a number of ways that we could rank them but in this case we will rank them in in career WAR (using Baseball-Reference WAR stats) order. This is obviously only a picture in time because these WAR numbers change as these players play each day. One thing to keep in mind as you look at this list is that a players drafted in round one by a team may not have ever played for that team because they were traded, became a free agent, etc.

Some of the columns in the table below are abbreviated. The third column is number of round 1 picks from 2000-2014. Column four is the number of players that played at least one game in the majors. Column five is the percentage of players that reached the majors. Column six is the career WAR of all the players selected from 2000-2014 that reached the majors. The players column shows the player(s) selected that reached the majors and and have the highest career WAR. Obviously star players that have been around for awhile have high WAR numbers. The table should be sortable.

RANK TEAM # of RD 1 PICKS # REACH MAJOR % REACH MAJOR Car. WAR PLAYERS
1. Giants 24 17  71% 121.1 Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner
2. Phillies 16 8  50% 120.0 Chase Utley, Cole Hamels
3. Royals 22 12  55% 116.4 Zack Greinke
4. Twins 28 12  43% 110.3 Joe Mauer
5. Diamondbacks 27 18  67% 108.9 Max Scherzer
6. Braves 25 13  52% 96.2 Adam Wainwright
7. Mets 20 12  60% 93.3 David Wright
8. Rays 27 9  33% 92.8 Evan Longoria, David Price
9. Brewers 22 9  41% 90.5 Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder
10. Angels 22 13  59% 86.8 Jered Weaver, Mike Trout
11. Rangers 30 16  53% 85.5 Mark Teixeira
12. Nats/Expos 20 11  55% 83.5 Ryan Zimmerman
13. A’s 31 20  65% 82.3 Nick Swisher
14. Dodgers 21 10  48% 79.0 Clayton Kershaw
15. Pirates 19 12  63% 75.5 Andrew McCutchen
16. Reds 24 13  54% 73.5 Jay Bruce
17. Red Sox 30 19  63% 62.7 Jacoby Ellsbury
18. Tigers 17 10  59% 59.4 Justin Verlander
19. Blue Jays 34 17 50% 59.1 Aaron Hill
20. Marlins 21 14  67% 58.2 Adrian Gonzalez
21. Cardinals 29 14  48% 56.4 Colby Rasmus
21. Orioles 20 11  55% 56.4 Nick Markakis
23. Rockies 22 12  55% 55.1 Troy Tulowitzki
24. White Sox 20 11  55% 45.9 Chris Sale
25. Mariners 16 11  69% 45.4 Adam Jones
26. Cubs 21 10  48% 42.9 Josh Donaldson
27. Yankees 21 9  43% 28.6 Phil Hughes
28. Indians 26 11  42% 27.5 Jeremy Guthrie
29. Padres 31 11  35% 19.3 Khalil Greene
30. Astros 18 7  39% 11.2 Jason Castro
 TOTALS/AVERAGE  704  372  53%  71.4

Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision

As you can see in the table above the Twins rank fourth overall in career WAR and that looks good. On the other hand if you look at percentage of round 1 players drafted that reached the majors for even one game, the Twins rank sixth worst in all of baseball at 43%. That would seem to mean that they have drafted some high quality players but they also miss totally on a high number also. I guess you could say the Twins drafts are high risk hoping for high rewards.

Can you believe the San Francisco Giants first round selections? Between 2000-2014 they have had single digit picks just twice (5th and 6th overall) and picks 20 and above overall 11 times and they have players like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, and Matt Cain? They also selected Zack Wheeler during this time period and traded him to the Mets.

Over the years baseball people brag about the Rays and their draft picks, Although the Rays have had a couple of primo number ones, overall they rank lowest with just 33% of their number one picks reaching the majors. It is important to remember however; that I am only looking at number 1 selections here and not the entire draft for all the teams.

The draft will be 50 years old this year, why did it get started? There is a nice piece written by John Manuel at Baseball America that you should stop by and read entitled “Reichardt Relishes Role In History“.

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Twins minor league player of the week

Brandon Peterson
Ft. Myers (High A) right-handed pitcher Brandon Peterson is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Peterson appeared in two games for the Miracle, tossing 3.2 shutout innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. This season, he has appeared in 20 games for the Miracle, posting an ERA of 0.88 (30.2 IP, 3 ER) with 15 walks and 42 strikeouts.

The twenty-three year old Peterson was born Savage and attended Burnsville High School. Peterson was a 13th round selection in the 2013 draft and started his professional career in Elizabethton. In his third season of pro ball the 6’1″ 190 pounder has been used almost exclusively out of the bullpen with only one start in 79 career games. The native Minnesotan has a career record of 3-3 with a 1.72 ERA and 11 saves. In 115.1 innings he has struck out 166 batters.

Previous winners of Twins POW this season are right-handed pitcher Tyler Duffey, left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves, outfielder Byron Buxton, infielder Trey Vavra, infielder Miguel Sano, first baseman/outfielder Max Kepler and right-handed pitcher Aaron Slegers.

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According to ELIAS

Gomez gets revenge over Twins

Carlos Gomez went 4-for-4 and drove in three runs against his former team in the Brewers’ 4-2 win at Target Field. Two other ex-Twins have gone 4-for-4 or better with at least three RBIs against Minnesota since the team relocated from Washington in 1961: Tom Brunansky for Boston on May 19, 1990 and Casey Blakefor Cleveland on July 5, 2003. Both Brunansky and Blake put up identical lines of 5-for-5 with seven RBIs.

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Twins first round draft history since 2000

2015 DraftThe 2015 MLB draft will take place June 8-10 and the Minnesota Twins will have the sixth overall selection in this years draft. The draft, now in its 50th year is always fun and full of hype, of course it differs greatly in many ways from the NFL and NBA drafts where players chosen could be playing for their professional team the following season. In baseball the drafted players, even the so-called can’t miss prospects are headed for the minor leagues where they will have to sharpen their skills and earn their stripes before they get the opportunity to put on a big league uniform.

The Twins have a number of fine young prospects in the minor leagues and we fans are clamoring to see them put on a Twins uniform and show us their stuff here at Target Field. But until these players reach the big leagues and show that they can play ball with the big boys they are just prospects and nothing more. They have promise but we all know that promises are not always kept.

Over the last 15 years from 2000 through 2014 the Minnesota Twins have had a total of 28 first round selections,  15 are the first round picks themselves, 10 picks have been supplemental picks and 3 have been compensation picks. Looking at the “normal” Twins first round picks, their highest pick was number one over all in 2001 when they selected catcher Joe Mauer (debuted with the Twins in April 2004) who as we all know is the Twins starting first baseman today. Their lowest first round pick was number 30 in 2011 and that was Levi Michael who is playing in AA ball.

The most recent Twins first round pick to make his debut with Minnesota is RHP Kyle Gibson who was drafted in 2009 as the 22nd overall pick and debuted with Minnesota in June of 2013.

Of the 10 supplemental picks, only one player made his debut in a Minnesota uniform and that was 2004 supplemental pick RHP Matt Fox and his career with Minnesota lasted one game and 5.2 innings during his big league debut on September 3, 2010. There are several supplemental picks playing in the Twins minor league system that have a shot at the big leagues and Jose Berrios is probably the leader of that pack.

The three compensation picks by the Twins were Carlos Gutierrez in 2008 27th overall pick (for loss of Torii Hunter) but the Twins let him go after the 2012 season and he never reached the majors. The other two compensations picks were both in 2004, LHP Glen Perkins was picked 22nd overall (for the loss of Eddie Guardado) and he debuted in September 2006 and is the Twins closer today. Kyle Waldrop was picked 25th overall that same year but did not make his debut with Minnesota until September 2011 and his stay in Minnesota lasted a total of 24 games between 2011-2012.

History of Twins first round selections from 2000 – 2014

2014 – Nick Gordon (shortstop) is playing in Low A Cedar Rapids. Picked 5th overall round 1.

2013 – Kohl Stewart (RHP) is pitching in High A Ft. Myers. His career record is 4-8 in with a 2.66 ERA in 33 games. Picked 4th overall round 1.

2012 – Byron Buxton (outfielder) is playing in AA Chattanooga. Injured most of 2014. Career average of .291 with 27 home runs and 85 stolen bases in 253 games. Picked 2nd overall round 1.

2012 – Jose Berrios (RHP) is pitching in AA Chattanooga and has one AAA game to his credit. His career record is 28-17 with a 3.01 ERA in 65 games. Picked 32nd overall as a 1st round supplemental pick for loss of FA Michael Cuddyer.

2012 – Luke Bard (RHP) is pitching in Low A Cedar Rapids. Has had injury issues, never appearing in more than 12 games in any season and missed all of 2014.  His career record is 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in 23 games and a total of 25.1 innings. Picked 42nd overall as a 1st round supplemental pick for loss of FA Jason Kubel.

2011 – Levi Michael (shortstop) is playing in AA Chattanooga. Career average of .256 with 9 home runs and 40 stolen bases in 294 games. Picked 30th overall in round 1.

2011 – Travis Harrison (3B but moved to outfield) is playing in AA Chattanooga. Career average of .270 with 26 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 366 games. Picked 50th overall as a 1st round supplemental pick for loss of FA Orlando Hudson.

2011 – Hudson Boyd (RHP) is currently under a 50 game suspension but pitched in Low A Cedar Rapids in 2014. Boyd who also has had weight problems has been suspended three times by MLB or the Twins in his short professional career. His career record is 10-14 with a 4.27 ERA in 86 games and 219 innings. Pitched strictly in relief in 2014. Picked 55th overall as a 1st round supplemental pick for loss of FA Jesse Crain.

2010 – Alex Wimmers (RHP) is pitching at AA Chattanooga.  His career record is 10-9 in with a 4.62 ERA in 65 games. Has battled control  issues. Picked 21st overall round 1.

Kyle Gibson  20152009 – Kyle Gibson (RHP) is part of the Twins starting rotation and made his big league debut June 29, 2013 making him the most recent first round selection to put on a Twins uniform. His career mark in Minnesota is 19-19 with a 4.33 ERA in 51 starts. Picked 22nd overall round 1.

2009 – Matt Bashore (LHP) is no longer in baseball. Twins released him after the 2011 season and he never reached the majors. Pitched in rookie league Elizabethton in 2009, missed 2010 due to injury, pitched in Elizabethton again in 2011 and had a career record of 0-0 with a 3.24 ERA.

2008 – Aaron Hicks (outfielder) is currently with the Twins but has been up and down since his debut on April 1, 2013. Hicks has a career average in Minnesota of .207 with 10 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 168 games but so far his biggest asset has been his glove in center field. Has 594 minor league games under his belt. Picked 14th overall round 1.

2008 – Carlos Gutierrez (RHP) is no longer in baseball. Twins released him after the 2012 season and he never reached the majors although he pitched as high as AAA. A compensation pick from the Angels 27th overall in round 1 for loss of Torii Hunter.

2008 – Shooter Hunt (RHP) is no longer in baseball. Twins released him after the 2011 season. Hunt had serious control issues and had a career record of 4-14 with a 6.85 ERA and 236 walks in 193 innings to go along with his 219 KO’s. Picked 31st overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA Torii Hunter.

2007 – Ben Revere (outfielder) is currently with the Phillies after the Twins traded him after the 2012 season. Revere made his big league debut September 7, 2010 and he has a career big league average of .288 in over 500 games. Picked 28th overall in round 1.

2006 – Chris Parmelee (outfielder) is currently in the Orioles system after the Twins let him become a free agent after the 2014 season. Parmelee made his big league debut on September 6, 2011. Parmelee played in 273 games for the Twins hitting .249 with 24 home runs and one stolen base in 901 PA’s. Picked 20th overall in round 1.

2005 – Matt Garza (RHP) is currently pitching for the Brewers. Garza made his big league debut with the Twins on August 11, 2006 and was traded to the Rays after the 2007 season. After Tampa he went to the Cubs, Rangers and on to the Brewers. In his 10 big league seasons he is 78-82 with a 3.89 ERA in 228 starts. Picked 25th overall in round 1.

2005 – Hank Sanchez (1B) – never got above A ball and was let go after the 2009 season after posting a .207 career average.  Picked 39th overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA Corey Koskie.

2004 – Trevor Plouffe (shortstop) is currently the Twins 3B. Plouffe made his big league debut on May 21, 2010. Plouffe has a career average of .248 with 70 home runs and 8 stolen bases. Picked 20th overall in round 1.

2004 – Glen Perkins (LHP) is currently the Twins closer. Perkins made his major league debut on September 21, 2006. Perkins has 108 saves and was an All-Star in 2013 and 2014. Picked 22nd overall in round 1 as a compensation pick for loss of FA Eddie Guardado.

2004 – Kyle Waldrop (RHP) is currently out of baseball but made his big league debut with Minnesota on September 5, 2011. Waldrop’s big league career consisted of 24 games in 2011-2012 as a Twin and he put up a 1-1 record with a 3.62 ERA in 32.1 innings. Waldrop was granted free agency after 2012 but never returned to the majors. Picked 25th overall in round 1 as a compensation pick for loss of FA LaTroy Hawkins.

2004 – Matt Fox (RHP) has been out of baseball since 2013. Fox made his big league debut with Minnesota on September 3, 2010. Fox started the game and pitched 5.2 innings and gave up 2 earned runs. Just 6 days later the Red Sox picked him up on waivers and he appeared in 3 games with the Red Sox and his major league career was over with a 0-0 record and a 4.91 ERA. Picked 35th overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA Eddie Guardado.

2004 – Jay Rainville (RHP) never reached the big leagues and last pitched in AA ball for the Twins in 2009. Picked 39th overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA LaTroy Hawkins.

2003 – Matt Moses (3B) never reached the big leagues and peaked out in AAA. The Twins cut ties with Moses after the 2009 season. Moses had a career average of .249 but struck out 471 times in 2,184 at bats. Picked 21st overall in round 1.

2002 – Denard Span (outfielder) is currently with the Nationals. Span made his big league debut as a Minnesota Twin on April 6, 2008. The Twins traded him to the Nats after the 2012 season. Span has played in over 900 big league games and has a career hitting average of .287 with 144 stolen bases and 37 home runs. Span has the second highest career WAR (24.1) of any Twins player drafted in round 1 from 2000-2014.Picked 20th overall in round 1.

Joe Mauer 20152001 – Joe Mauer (catcher) is now the Twins first baseman. Mauer debuted with the Twins on April 5, 2004. Mauer has the highest career WAR (46.1) of any Twins player drafted in round 1 from 2000-2014. Mauer was MVP in 2008, an All-Star in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. Mauer won silver slugger awards for his play in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013 and took home the Gold Glove in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Picked first overall in round 1.

2000 – Adam Johnson (RHP) is out of baseball and last pitched in an independent league in 2009. Johnson debuted with the Twins on July 16, 2001 and his entire big league career consisted of 7 games and 26.1 innings during 2001 and 2003 in which he was 1-3 and had a 10.25 ERA, 40 hits and 17 walks didn’t help his cause. Picked second overall in round 1.

2000 – Aaron Heilman (RHP) chose not to sign with Minnesota and continued to play for Notre Dame. Picked 31st overall in round 1 as supplemental pick for loss of FA Mike Trombley.

No sure thing

Such is the life of 28 Twins first round selections from 2000-2014. First round selections are expected to be sure things, players that will become All-Stars, players you build your team around, as you can see that is frequently not the case for the Twins. As you can see above, unless you are a pitcher or someone who goes by the name of Mauer, the path to the big leagues, even for a first round pick takes time, lots of time.

12 (43%) – Debuted and played at least one game in a Twins uniform. Only two of these players (Mauer and Perkins) were ever named to the All-Star team and these two players were drafted more than 10 years ago.

9 (32%) – Are still playing in the minor league system hoping to get the call to Minnesota

6 (21%) – Are out of baseball and never reached the big leagues

1 (4%) – Didn’t sign

2015 Draft

So enjoy the up-coming 2015 draft but don’t count on seeing that player in a Minnesota Twins uniform in the near future or at all. Fifteen years of Twins first round selections tell us that less than half the first round picks put on a big league uniform and that the super stars even in round one are few and far between.

Stop on back in the next day or two because I hope to do a piece on how the Twins first round selections from 2000-2014 compare to the rest of MLB.

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According to ELIAS

Twins overcome early deficit for late win at Fenway

The Twins, who trailed 4-0 early, scored four runs off Koji Uehara in the ninth inning to gain an 8-4 victory at Boston yesterday and split the four game series. It was the first time in Uehara’s 314 major-league appearances that he allowed even one run and failed to retire a batter.

This was Minnesota’s 825th game at Fenway Park, including 523 as the Washington Senators from 1912 to 1960. It was only the second of those games in which the Senators or Twins won by at least four runs after the Red Sox had taken a lead of four or more runs. The first was in 2003 and, for what it’s worth, Minnesota faced knuckleballers in both games: Tim Wakefield 12 years ago and Steven Wright yesterday. Source: ELIAS

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According to ELIAS

Glen Perkins 2015Glen Perkins notched his 19th save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the Twins’ 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays on the final day of May. Perkins registered 13 saves during May to establish a club record for saves in one calendar month. He matched the highest save total in one month for any pitcher in the last five seasons (Aroldis Chapman in July 2012) and he fell one shy of the single-season major-league record for saves during the month of May (14 by Cincinnati’s Danny Graves in 2004).

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Twins minor league player of the week

Credit: Linwood Ferguson - Fort Myers Miracle

Credit: Linwood Ferguson – Fort Myers Miracle

Ft. Myers (High A) right-handed pitcher Aaron Slegers is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Slegers made one start for the Miracle, tossing a complete game shutout on May 24 vs. Brevard County, allowing three hits, no walks and nine strikeouts, earning the win. The 6-foot-10, 245-pounder has made eight starts for the Miracle, going 3-2, 2.59 ERA (48.2 IP, 14 ER). The 6’10” workhorse has pitched seven innings or more in three of his last five starts, going 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA over that stretch. Slegers has limited opponents to a .204 average with 18 strikeouts in 26 innings this month. The Scottsdale, Arizona native was drafted by the Twins in the fifth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Indiana University and signed for a reported $380,000.

Former Hooiser standing tall in major leagues

Slegers gets cold celebration after shutout

Previous winners of Twins POW this season are right-handed pitcher Tyler Duffey, left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves, outfielder Byron Buxton, infielder Trey Vavra, infielder Miguel Sano and first baseman/outfielder Max Kepler.

 Twins Minor League Report 05312015

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According to ELIAS

Mark Buehrle  2015The Twins ended Mark Buehrle‘s streak of 35 consecutive innings without allowing Minnesota an earned run early and with emphasis last night, scoring four runs, all earned, in the first inning. But then Buehrle slipped back into form, the Blue Jays pecked away and the veteran left-hander wound up going the distance to earn a 6-4 victory. Only two major-league pitchers over the last 30 years have earned a complete-game win, going nine or more innings, after having allowed four or more runs in the first inning¿and even they were long ago. In 1995, Seattle’s Tim Belcher downed Cleveland, 11-5, after allowing four in the first, and in 1986, Fernando Valenzuela went the route after yielding four in the first to help the Dodgers top the Phillies, 11-4.

Sam McDowellBuehrle’s streak, crafted over five games dating back to 2011, was the longest by any big-league pitcher against an opposing team since Zack Greinke held Seattle without an earned run over 38 innings from 2008 to 2010. It was the longest such streak crafted by a starting pitcher against the Twins since Sudden Sam McDowell sailed through 48 innings without allowing the Twins an earned run over 1968 and 1969. Source: ELIAS

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According to ELIAS

Hicks snaps RBI drought

Aaron Hicks 2015Aaron Hicks hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning in the Twins’ 6-4 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon. Hicks entered the contest on a streak of 71 consecutive plate appearances without driving in a run, which was the third longest current streak for any major-league position player entering Wednesday’s action, behind Mike Baxter (103) and Coco Crisp (72). Source: ELIAS

On the flip side, Kirby Puckett holds the Twins longest streak of getting one or more RBI in a game with 11 games from September 15-25 in 1988. During his RBI streak Puckett hit .479 in 48 at bats and had a total of 15 RBI. source: Baseball-Reference Play Index

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This Day in Twins History – May 27, 1964 – Hall beaned

Jimmie Hall

Bo Belinsky

Bo Belinsky

In the first game of a doubleheader at Dodger Stadium against the Los Angeles Angels Twins center fielder Jimmie Hall is beaned by Angel lefty Bo Belinsky as Hall leads off the top of the fifth inning. The Twins end up losing the game 4-1 but come back to win the second game 4-3. Hall ends up with a concussion and tries to come back on May 31st as a pinch-hitter but ends up striking out. Hall sits out several more games and gets back in the line-up on June 4th. Hall hit 33 home runs as a rookie in 1963 but is never really the same player after this beaning. The Star Tribune write-up about the incident.

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Historically bad starts by Twins pitchers

With the Twins on a roll and their starting pitchers pitching well this might not be a good time to bring back bad memories but I couldn’t help myself after seeing that the New York Yankees were not good hosts to the Kansas City Royals and Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie yesterday when they pounded the Royals 14-1 and sent Guthrie to the showers after he had retired just 3 batters and allowed 9 hits, 3 walks and 11 earned runs. A tough day for Guthrie and for those fantasy players that had Guthrie in their line-up yesterday.

So of course that got me wondering what Twins pitchers over the years had rough outings like this. Turns out that the most earned runs given up by a Twins pitcher is 10, here are the pitchers that made the list. Note that some of the pitchers on this list pitched in relief.

Reed, Rick

Rk Player Date Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit BF ERA
1 Rick Reed 2003-04-21 NYY L 1-15 GS-5, L 4.1 10 11 10 3 4 2 95 26 20.77
2 Pat Mahomes 1993-04-24 DET L 1-17 GS-3, L 2.2 11 10 10 1 3 3 70 20 33.75
3 Willie Banks 1992-08-04 CHW L 11-19 3-4 1.2 8 10 10 4 1 1 56 17 54.00
4 Geoff Zahn 1980-07-21 (2) BAL L 5-12 GS-6, L 5.2 11 10 10 5 2 3 32 15.88
5 Joe Decker 1976-05-12 KCR L 5-17 GS-2, L 1.0 8 10 10 3 2 0 14 90.00
6 Vic Albury 1974-08-06 KCR L 3-17 3-7 5.0 12 10 10 5 2 1 33 18.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/26/2015.

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Joe Decker The worst Twins start probably belongs to Joe Decker who lasted just one inning and allowed 10 earnies to the Kansas City Royals back on May 12, 1976 at Royals Stadium. I should note however; that the most runs that a Twins hurler has ever given up in a game is 11 by Rick Reed in that April 21, 2003 loss to the Yankees by a 15-1 score at the Metrodome. Two Twins starters, Frank Viola on May 20, 1986 and Ray Corbin June 30, 1975 allowed 6 earned runs without retiring a single out before they were asked to hand over the baseball and leave the pitching mound.

So what Twins starter gave up the most earned runs and still won the game? That would be Jim Kaat who pitched a complete nine inning game on July 2, 1964 and beat the Red Sox 15-9 at Fenway Park while giving up nine earned runs.

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According to ELIAS

Ricky Nolasco  2015Ricky Nolasco earned career win #100 in the Twins’ win over the Red Sox. Nolasco is the 14th pitcher to earn career win #100 while wearing a Twins uniform, and ten of them did it in a home game. Some notable pitchers whose 100th career win came as a Minnesota Twins player are Camilo Pascual (1963), Mudcat Grant (1966), Jim Kaat (1967), Dean Chance (1968), Jim Perry (1968) and Frank Viola (1988). Source: ELIAS

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According to ELIAS

Brian Dozier  2015Brian Dozier homered to lead off yesterday’s game and he added a three-run shot in the seventh inning to close the scoring in the Twins’ 8-1 victory over the White Sox. It was the ninth first-inning leadoff home run of Dozier’s career, all since 2013 (the second-most in the majors over that span, behind Shin-Soo Choo‘s 11), but it was the first of those nine games in which Dozier homered again in a subsequent at-bat. Source: ELIAS

Dozier is hitting .294 (15-for-51) with two doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 10 RBI and 12 runs scored in his last 13 games (since May 9), in that span, only Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion has more home runs in all of baseball with eight.

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Twins minor league player of the week

Max Kepler

Max Kepler

Chattanooga (AA) 1B/outfielder Max Kepler is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Kepler played in seven games for the Lookouts, hitting .500 (12-for-24) with three doubles, two home runs, nine RBI, four walks and a .571 on-base percentage. Kepler who throws and bats left-handed is only 22 years old but is in his sixth season of baseball in the Twins system.

Kepler started 2015 with the Ft. Myers Miracle after a Flexor Pronator Strain in his throwing arm this past March delayed his preparation for 2015. Kepler was bumped up to Chattanooga after just 6 games with the Miracle. Max who splits time between 1B and they outfield where he can play all three positions has been tearing the cover off the ball this year, in 28 games and 113 plate appearances Kepler is hitting a team leading .349 with a .946 OPS and has six steals in seven attempts. Kepler knows how to run the bases and has nice speed for a guy that goes about 6’4″ and 220. Kepler was signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent out of Germany in 2009. Congratulations to my favorite player in the Twins minor league system.

Berlin-born Max Kepler enjoying early success with Chattanooga Lookouts | Times Free Press

Everyone expected the Chattanooga team to be strong this season and now three out of the last four weeks a Lookouts player has been the Twins player of the week. Previous winners of Twins POW this season are right-handed pitcher Tyler Duffey, left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves, outfielder Byron Buxton, infielder Trey Vavra and infielder Miguel Sano.

Twins Minor League Report 05232015

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According to ELIAS

Hunter ablaze in May

Torii HunterTorii Hunter and Eduardo Nunez reached Chris Sale for second-inning home runs and the Twins were never headed in their 4-3 victory yesterday in Chicago. Hunter, who will turn 40 this summer, is having quite a month, batting .351 and slugging .623, with six homers and 18 RBIs in 19 games. Since the team moved to Minnesota in 1961, only one 39-or-older Twins player has ever had a month of at least 75 at-bats in which he batted .350 or better while slugging .600 or better; in July of 1993, 41-year-old Dave Winfield batted .355 and slugged .710. Source: ELIAS

Today’s Twins Notes has this to say about Torii today: Torii Hunter hit his 199th career home run in a Twins uniform yesterday to reach 200. The last to do it was Justin Morneau (221 total home runs with Twins) who did it in 2012. Gary Gaetti is next on the list with 201 all-time, Kirby Puckett finished his Twins career with 207 home runs.

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