And leading off for the Twins…..

The Twins just can’t find a leadoff hitter this season. After trading both Denard Span and Ben Revere this past off-season, manager Gardenhire has been searching high and low to find someone who can fill that role. The Twins have tried 6 players leading off the game and they have all failed miserably but since someone has to hit first, Gardy has given that job to 2B Brain Dozier since July 2. During those 29 games Dozier has 135 PA’s and is hitting .258 with a .306 OBP. Not exactly all-star caliber production but it is what it is.

 

Twins leadoff hitters in the games first at bat

Rk I Player Year G OBP PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OPS TB HBP ROE
1 Clete Thomas 2013 16 .313 16 14 5 3 0 0 0 0 2 3 .214 .527 3 0 1
2 Eduardo Escobar 2013 7 .286 7 6 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .167 .452 1 0 0
3 Jamey Carroll 2013 25 .280 25 23 3 5 1 0 0 0 2 3 .217 .541 6 0 1
4 Brian Dozier 2013 51 .235 51 48 5 9 0 3 1 1 1 7 .188 .610 18 2 0
5 Aaron Hicks 2013 10 .200 10 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 .000 .200 0 0 0
6 Darin Mastroianni 2013 2 .000 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/8/2013.

 

How does 2013 compare to how the Twins leadoff hitters has done over the years? I know this is not probably going to shock you but the 2013 team is on a historically bad pace and if thing don’t improve quickly, this will finish as the worst OBP for a leadoff hitter in their history, even worse than the 1982 Twins who finished 60-102. A good leadoff hitter is nice to have but it certainly does not guarantee that you will be in the playoffs or even play .500 ball for that matter.

Historical Twins teams leadoff hitters in the games first at bat

Rk Year G OBP PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OPS TB HBP ROE
1 1995 144 .507 144 120 34 49 10 2 3 3 20 21 .408 1.107 72 4 0
2 1996 162 .481 162 133 37 49 8 1 5 5 21 20 .368 1.038 74 8 2
3 1992 162 .414 162 144 41 49 9 2 5 5 16 27 .340 .948 77 2 5
4 1970 162 .407 162 151 40 55 9 3 1 1 11 10 .364 .891 73 0 0
5 1994 113 .398 113 95 25 27 6 1 4 4 18 16 .284 .893 47 0 1
6 1987 162 .383 162 141 29 41 10 0 3 3 20 23 .291 .808 60 1 3
7 1977 161 .379 161 143 37 43 5 3 1 1 18 12 .301 .777 57 0 5
8 1997 162 .370 162 140 38 38 4 2 3 3 20 23 .271 .763 55 2 0
9 2009 163 .362 163 142 26 38 4 1 3 3 21 19 .268 .735 53 0 1
10 1990 162 .358 162 151 37 47 6 2 2 2 8 23 .311 .775 63 3 3
11 1976 162 .358 162 148 33 44 6 1 1 1 14 10 .297 .730 55 0 1
12 1966 162 .358 162 150 28 46 8 3 0 0 9 24 .307 .758 60 3 2
13 1973 162 .352 162 146 27 41 8 3 2 2 16 24 .281 .770 61 0 2
14 2005 162 .352 162 150 19 45 6 1 1 1 10 17 .300 .725 56 2 2
15 1969 162 .352 162 146 36 41 9 1 3 3 15 11 .281 .770 61 1 4
16 1998 162 .352 162 150 24 45 7 2 2 2 10 28 .300 .765 62 2 2
17 1971 160 .350 160 149 21 45 6 1 0 0 10 5 .302 .706 53 1 2
18 2002 161 .348 161 153 29 48 12 2 11 11 8 33 .314 .982 97 0 4
19 1975 159 .346 159 143 24 39 9 0 0 0 16 14 .273 .682 48 0 1
20 1999 161 .342 161 147 29 41 9 2 5 5 13 24 .279 .811 69 1 1
21 1978 162 .340 162 146 28 39 7 0 2 2 16 23 .267 .696 52 0 1
22 1980 161 .335 161 151 28 44 6 2 2 2 10 11 .291 .733 60 0 3
23 1967 164 .335 164 150 36 41 12 2 2 2 12 17 .273 .755 63 2 2
24 1989 162 .333 162 143 32 35 4 1 1 1 17 17 .245 .641 44 2 3
25 1986 162 .333 162 151 28 43 5 2 6 6 8 23 .285 .797 70 3 1
Rk Year G OBP PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OPS TB HBP ROE
26 2004 162 .333 162 153 24 45 6 0 6 6 8 16 .294 .784 69 1 1
27 2000 162 .327 162 149 32 40 10 4 3 3 13 27 .268 .777 67 0 1
28 1993 162 .321 162 153 21 43 1 0 1 1 7 20 .281 .628 47 2 3
29 2010 162 .321 162 144 28 34 9 1 1 1 16 18 .236 .654 48 2 2
30 2007 162 .321 162 147 23 37 4 1 0 0 15 17 .252 .614 43 0 4
31 2006 162 .321 162 145 22 35 4 0 1 1 17 21 .241 .611 42 0 2
32 2001 162 .321 162 146 19 36 7 3 4 4 15 24 .247 .739 61 1 0
33 1968 162 .321 162 147 27 37 7 0 2 2 10 13 .252 .661 50 5 1
34 1962 163 .319 163 143 29 32 5 1 1 1 17 13 .224 .613 42 3 1
35 1961 161 .317 161 148 25 38 9 0 1 1 13 18 .257 .655 50 0 2
36 2011 162 .315 162 148 29 37 3 3 1 1 14 22 .250 .646 49 0 2
37 1972 154 .312 154 142 25 36 3 1 0 0 9 9 .254 .600 41 3 3
38 2003 162 .309 162 153 28 41 9 1 6 6 9 28 .268 .766 70 0 3
39 1964 163 .307 163 151 31 38 9 2 3 3 9 23 .252 .704 60 3 0
40 1985 162 .302 162 149 25 36 6 1 0 0 13 18 .242 .598 44 0 2
41 2012 162 .302 162 152 22 39 9 1 1 1 10 15 .257 .651 53 0 0
42 2008 163 .301 163 147 25 33 5 1 2 2 16 27 .224 .614 46 0 2
43 1974 163 .301 163 148 25 34 5 1 3 3 12 19 .230 .638 50 3 5
44 1963 161 .298 161 154 24 41 8 2 5 5 7 15 .266 .740 68 0 1
45 1984 162 .296 162 154 27 40 2 1 1 1 7 17 .260 .601 47 1 1
46 1979 162 .296 162 150 22 36 4 1 0 0 12 16 .240 .576 42 0 1
47 1981 110 .291 110 103 17 25 1 1 1 1 7 16 .243 .592 31 0 0
48 1983 162 .290 162 153 24 38 5 0 4 4 8 19 .248 .650 55 1 2
49 1991 162 .278 162 149 23 32 3 1 3 3 12 21 .215 .587 46 1 1
50 1988 162 .272 162 155 25 37 8 0 5 5 7 19 .239 .659 60 0 2
Rk Year G OBP PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OPS TB HBP ROE
51 1965 162 .265 162 153 29 34 13 1 2 2 8 31 .222 .625 55 1 3
52 1982 162 .253 162 151 12 30 2 0 0 0 11 29 .199 .465 32 0 0
53 2013 111 .252 111 101 16 18 1 3 1 1 8 20 .178 .529 28 2 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/8/2013.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the Twins best ever leadoff hitters and see who had the best years and when they had them. I don’t think there is much question that Chuck Knoblauch was the best leadoff hitter the team has ever had.

Best Twins leadoff hitters in the games first at bat

Chuck Knoblauch

Rk I Player Year G OBP PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OPS
1 Chuck Knoblauch 1995 134 .500 134 111 32 44 9 2 2 2 19 20 .396 1.068
2 Chuck Knoblauch 1996 151 .497 151 125 36 49 8 1 5 5 18 19 .392 1.089
3 Cesar Tovar 1970 156 .417 156 145 39 54 9 3 1 1 11 10 .372 .913
4 Chuck Knoblauch 1997 155 .374 155 134 36 37 4 2 3 3 19 21 .276 .777
5 Jacque Jones 2002 132 .364 132 124 27 40 10 2 11 11 8 26 .323 1.065
6 Denard Span 2009 143 .364 143 125 20 34 4 0 2 2 18 17 .272 .716
7 Cesar Tovar 1971 142 .359 142 133 19 42 6 1 0 0 8 4 .316 .735
8 Denard Span 2010 151 .338 151 133 27 33 8 1 1 1 16 17 .248 .684
9 Lenny Green 1962 149 .315 149 133 25 31 5 1 1 1 13 13 .233 .624
10 Kirby Puckett 1985 160 .300 160 148 25 36 6 1 0 0 12 18 .243 .597
11 Zoilo Versalles 1965 155 .258 155 148 27 33 12 1 2 2 6 30 .223 .616
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/8/2013.

 

Here we are looking at the Twins best players leading off in any inning. I know a good leadoff hitter is important but when you look at the numbers over an entire season and the number of times that the leadoff hitter actually leads off any inning, I think you will find that none of them even average two leadoff plate appearances a game. I think the best you will find on the list below is about 1.97 per game.

Rk I Player Year G OBP PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OPS
1 Chuck Knoblauch 1996 152 .462 288 242 65 87 15 5 8 8 35 38 .360 1.024
2 Chuck Knoblauch 1995 136 .458 240 202 52 72 13 5 4 4 32 32 .356 .988
3 Shane Mack 1992 133 .413 213 189 52 64 14 1 7 7 19 34 .339 .948
4 Kirby Puckett 1986 147 .385 270 253 58 87 12 2 10 10 13 29 .344 .911
5 Cesar Tovar 1970 156 .376 303 277 67 88 17 4 3 3 23 17 .318 .817
6 Denard Span 2009 144 .369 260 230 43 66 6 1 4 4 30 38 .287 .743
7 Chuck Knoblauch 1997 156 .368 272 242 59 70 9 3 4 4 27 34 .289 .768
8 Cesar Tovar 1971 147 .365 271 257 49 85 12 3 0 0 13 10 .331 .766
9 Denard Span 2010 151 .361 277 242 50 65 12 3 1 1 32 37 .269 .716
10 Zoilo Versalles 1966 130 .347 236 217 36 63 14 2 1 1 15 31 .290 .735
11 Jacque Jones 2002 135 .345 232 220 49 68 18 2 13 13 12 49 .309 .931
12 Lenny Green 1962 151 .336 298 268 52 70 12 2 5 5 26 18 .261 .712
13 Cesar Tovar 1968 142 .333 255 234 43 64 13 3 3 3 14 14 .274 .726
14 Zoilo Versalles 1964 137 .322 242 225 42 61 12 3 8 8 14 27 .271 .780
15 Kirby Puckett 1985 161 .320 300 282 42 78 10 3 1 1 18 31 .277 .664
16 Dan Gladden 1988 130 .315 248 230 46 60 12 1 6 6 17 29 .261 .715
17 Cesar Tovar 1967 136 .311 241 223 48 57 11 3 2 2 15 16 .256 .670
18 Cesar Tovar 1972 131 .311 238 221 43 57 8 1 0 0 14 15 .258 .614
19 Zoilo Versalles 1965 157 .285 284 267 54 64 20 3 2 2 14 47 .240 .645
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/8/2013.

 

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2 Responses to And leading off for the Twins…..

  1. william says:

    The Nationals would be more than willing to return Denard Span to the Twins in exchange for magic beans….

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