How well did Twins rookies perform in 2011

The Twins finished the 2011 season with a 63-99 mark and lots of folks including the Twins management blamed the clubs poor finish or at least a big part of it on injuries and that is difficult to argue as the team used the DL list 27 times. The Twins often brought up rookies to fill these openings. How did these rookies perform?

This past season the Twins led all of baseball in games played by rookies with 493, followed by the Mets with 442 and the Mariners with 403. On the other end of the spectrum the rookies only played in 57 Brewers and 73 Rangers games and you know where these teams finished. If you look at rookie plate appearances, the Twins postion playing rookies had 1,805, way ahead of the team closest to them, the Mariners who sent 1,484 rookie batters to home plate. These Twins position rookies ranked in the middle of the pack in base on balls percentage at 6.9%, ranked seventh best in strikeout percentage at 18.2%, were in the middle of the pack with a .245 batting average, and if you look at WAR, the Twins number was 1.0 with the Nationals the highest at 5.8 and the Rockies the lowest at -1.6 .

Looking at the Twins rookie pitchers as compared to all of baseball , the team used fewer rookies there than most teams did this past season. Twins rookie pitchers appeared in 124 games putting them 11 fewest and Twins rookies threw 169.2 innings, only the rookie pitchers for the Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs, Giants and Red Sox threw fewer innings. These Twins rookies finished with a 5-14 record with a BB/9 of 4.03 and 5.36 K/9, hardly something to shout about. On the other end of things, rookies threw 545.1 innings for the Royals, 527.1 for the Astros, 489 for the Mariners, and 426 for the Braves. These same Twins rookie pitchers posted an ERA of 5.15 trailing only the Giants at 6.40 and the 6.10 Red Sox. The Twins rookie pitchers did not pitch a lot but when they did pitch, they pitched poorly.

I took a look at the Twins rookies as compared to the rest of the American League rookies over the last 10 years and where the team finished and here is what I found.

Year Rookie plate appearances AL rank Rookie innings pitched AL rank Division finish
2011 1,805 1 169.2 13 5th
2010 631 7 88 12 1st
2009 368 11 306.1 8 1st
2008 1,512 2 491.2 2 2nd
2007 520 8 222.1 9 3rd
2006 305 10 376.1 7 1st
2005 1,238 2 246 6 3rd
2004 1,519 1 95.1 12 1st
2003 426 9 130.1 10 1st
2002 962 4 201 9 1st
AVG 928.6 5.5 232.7 8.8 1.9
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