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.

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

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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 View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/26/2015.

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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According to ELIAS

Finally some Mauer power

Joe Mauer 2015Joe Mauer was homerless in 154 at-bats this season before his game-winning round-tripper against the Pirates in the 13th inning at PNC Park last night. Mauer is the first major-league player since Jim Gantner in 1992 to connect for a game-winning homer in the 13th inning or later after having not hit a four-bagger in 150 or more at-bats to that point in the season. Gantner had not gone deep for the Brewers in 209 at-bats that year when he hit a walkoff home run in the 13th inning off Boston’s Jeff Reardon at Milwaukee County Stadium. Source: ELIAS

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Check out these Chattanooga pictures

Chattanooga Lookouts logoIf you get a few minutes you need to check out these behind the scenes pictures of the Chattanooga Lookouts taken by Twins photographer Bruce Hemmeigam over the span of four days and posted on Some great shots of players that we hope to see in Minnesota Twins uniforms soon.

By the way, May 20th is an very interesting day in Twins history, take a few minutes and check out our Today in Twins History page.

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Who will reach the majors first? Buxton or Correa

The Houston Astros had the first overall pick in the 2012 June Amateur Draft and they used that pick to select 17 year-old Puerto Rico Baseball Academy shortstop Carlos Correa. The Minnesota Twins had the second choice and they used it to draft 18 year-old outfielder Byron Buxton from Appling County High School in Baxley, Georgia. Both players are currently rated as the top prospecst in their organizations and Buxton has been rated as baseball best overall prospect two years running. Both players have had injuries delay their arrival in the major leagues.

Carlos Correa Carlos Correa is  6’4″ and 210 pounds and is a right-handed hitter and missed all but 62 games in 2014 due to injury. Correa was recently promoted from AA Corpus Christi to AAA Fresno and is holding his own in six games in the PCL after tearing up AA to the tune of a .385 average with seven home runs, 32 RBI, and 15 stolen bases (with zero caught stealing) in just 29 games. To this point Correa has 264 minor league games and 1,180 plate appearances under his belt.

Miguel Sano Chattanooga 2Byron Buxton is 6’2″ and 190 pounds and also bats from the right side and as we all know all too well, missed all but 14 games in 2014 due to several injuries. Buxton too started this season in AA with the Chattanooga team but got off to a dismal start but has caught fire and is hitting .241 with seven triples, four home runs, 25 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts in 36 games. To this point Buxton has 240 minor league games and 1,061 plate appearances under his belt.

The fans for both teams are anxious for Correa and Buxton to be promoted to the big club. In recent years both the Astros and Twins have been their divisions cellar dwellers but both teams have played surprisingly well in 2015. Does the fact that their teams are playing good baseball slow down or speed up the process of reaching the big leagues for these two future stars?

Being the top picks in the 2012 does not guarantee that you will be up to the bigs sooner than players that are drafted further down the list. Todate there are eight other players drafted later in the first round of the 2012 draft that have tasted a sip of life in the major leagues, but all but one, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (11) were drafted out of college (by the A’s and traded to the Cubs). Other 2012 first rounders that have reached the majors are catcher Mike Zunino (3), RHP Kevin Gausman (4), LHP Andrew Heaney (9), RHP Michael Wacha (19), RHP Marcus Stroman (22), catcher Kevin Plawecki (35) and RHP Eddie Butler (46). There are also two second round, three third round, two fourth round, two fifth round, one sixth round, one seventh round, and two ninth round selections that have spent time in the major leagues.

So when will Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton get that call to report to Houston or Minnesota? Which one of these future super stars will get the call first? These two players will be compared to each other from years to come, it will be interesting to see how their careers compare over time.

UPDATE: Carlos Correa was called up by the Astros on June 8th.

UPDATE: Byron Buxton was called up by the Twinss on June 14th.

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According to ELIAS

Archer on target against Twins

Chris Archer is now 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA in four starts against the Twins after throwing six superb innings for the Rays on Sunday. The only other active pitcher to win his first four starts versus Minnesota is the Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma, who is 5-0 in five starts versus the Twins and has yet to allow an earned run in 33? innings against them (though he surrendered an unearned run in two of those contests). Besides Archer and Iwakuma, the only other pitcher since 1961 (which marked the Twins’ first year in Minneapolis) to post a 4-0 record with an ERA under 1.00 in his first four starts against Minnesota is Sidney Ponson (4-0, 0.96 ERA through four starts). Source: ELIAS

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Twins minor league player of the week

Miguel Sano Chattanooga 2Chattanooga (AA) infielder Miguel Sano is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Sano played in eight games for the Lookouts, hitting .379 (11-for-29) with four doubles, three home runs, eight RBI, three walks and a .438 on-base percentage. After hitting .159 (10-for-63) in 18 April games, he has hit .321 (18-for-56) in 16 May games getting his average up to .235.

Sano just turned 22 a few days ago but he has been in the Twins minor league system since 2010 and is coming off Tommy John surgery which caused him to miss the entire 2014 season. It is good to see the Dominican born Sano start to hit because Twins fans here in Minnesota are still hoping to see the big guy in a Twins uniform sometime this season, hopefully by the time the All-Stars gather in Cincinnati.

Sano impresses hitting coach

Previous winners of Twins POW this season are right-handed pitcher Tyler Duffey, left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves, Byron Buxton and infielder Trey Vavra.

Twins Minor League Report 051715

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According to ELIAS

Escobar goes four for four

Eduardo Escobar 2015Eduardo Escobar went 4-for-4 in the Twins win over the Rays yesterday afternoon. It was the second time in his major-league career that Escobar went 4-for-4 or better in a game as a shortstop with the other such game coming on April 30 of last season against the Dodgers. No other player has more than one game of 4-for-4 or better as a shortstop over the last two seasons. Source: ELIAS

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Remembering 1965 – Part 11 – Lentz, Oliva and the Mudcat

Oliva, Tony, 1964As we get to the middle of May it is time once again to revisit the 1965 Twins. The attached page of the May 15, 1965 Sporting News has a nice story on how Twins trainer George Lentz suggested that Tony Oliva use a knobless bat to lessen the pain that he endured with his knuckle on his right hand when swinging the bat. There is also a short piece on bench players Sandy Valdespino and Rich Reese.

Sporting News May 15, 1965 P11

Mudcat Grant

Mudcat Grant

The Twins on-going hunt for starting pitchers never seems to change and Twins skipper Sam Mele had the same issue back in 1965. The May 22, 1965 issue of the Sporting News has a nice spread on Twins starter Jim Grant and a new pitch he learned form pitching coach John Sain. There is also mention of the May 6 Twin Cities infamous tornado outbreak that did some relatively minor damage to the homes of Howard Fox and owner Calvin Griffith. Just as an FYI, the Lake Minnetonka former home of Griffith was bulldozed a couple of months ago for what I would expect will be a new McMansion.

Sporting News May 22, 1965 P9

On May 15, 1965 the Twins record was 18-8 having won seven out of their last eight games and they were in second place just a half game out of the league lead. As good as the team was, the fans were not coming out to watch them play at Met Stadium. The biggest home crowd they had to date was 17,664 for a Sunday afternoon game against the Mighty Whitey’s which the Twins won 6-1 when Camilo Pascual pitched a complete game bringing his record to 4-0 and hitting a home run to boot. Their home opener on April 12 albeit in bad weather had a crowd of only 15,388.

As well as the Twins were playing, they would throw in a clinker now and then, for example, a 13-5 loss to the White Sox on May 7 when the Twins gave up 10 unearned runs due to seven errors in a game at the Met.

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According to ELIAS

Mauer clears the bases

Joe Mauer 2015Joe Mauer‘s three-run triple last night highlighted the Twins’ 6-2 win over the Tigers. It was Mauer’s first triple in 88 career at-bats with the bases loaded, but the seventh time he drove in all three runners on base in that situation (three grand slams and a trio of three-run doubles). Source:ELIAS

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These were some quick games

Frank ViolaI thought that with all the attention this year on the length of games that it would be fun to take a look at some of the quickest nine inning games in Twins history in terms of wall clock time. The fastest game turned out to be a Twins 3-0 loss at Exhibition Stadium to the Toronto Blue Jays as starter Jim Clancy and his Twins counterpart Frank Viola faced off.

Twins 9 inning games in 1 hour and 45 minutes and under

Rk Date Opp Rslt PA AB Attendance GmLen ?
1 1982-09-28 (1) TOR L 0-3 28 27 0 93
2 1973-07-01 CAL W 2-1 32 31 27,068 100
2 1968-09-13 BOS L 0-3 31 31 23,171 100
4 1968-08-22 NYY W 3-1 31 26 15,898 102
5 1979-08-12 OAK W 1-0 30 27 14,500 103
5 1974-06-17 BAL L 0-1 31 29 7,157 103
7 1975-09-26 CHW W 2-1 33 29 2,769 105
7 1966-04-12 KCA W 2-1 29 26 21,658 105
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/11/2015.

The fastest Twins nine inning game in this century you ask? That would be a 1-0 loss to the Oakland A’s in McAfee Park on June 2, 2007 when Joe Blanton beat Carlos Silva in one hour and 49 minutes. Since the 2000 season began, the Twins have played in only nine complete games that lasted two hours or less.

The Twins longest game in terms of time was a 17 inning six-hour and 36 minute affair back on May 7, 1995 when the Indians beat the Twins 10-9 at Jacob’s Field. I suspect that the 39,431 fans at the ballpark got their money’s worth that day. I wonder what Tom Kelly’s temperament was like after that game? The Twins used nine pitchers and the Indians used eight. Oddly enough, the Twins have played only two games that lasted six or more hours and they were both against the Cleveland Indians. The other long game against the boys from Cleveland was a six-hour and 17 minute affair at the Metrodome but this time the Twins came out with a 5-4 win in 22 innings on August 31, 1993.

I also took a look at the length of an average Twins game in 1961 versus an average Twins game in 2014. Back in the Twins initial season an average Twins game took two hours and 40 minutes, last year an average Twins game took three hours and 7 minutes.

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According to ELIAS

Salazar stingy after allowing a homer to lead off the game

Danny Salazar retired every one of the 21 batters he faced (including 11 strikeouts) after he allowed a first-inning leadoff home run to Brian Dozier in the Indians’ 8-2 win over the Twins in Cleveland yesterday. Salazar became the first major-leaguer to win a game in which he pitched at least seven innings with the only hit against him being a home run to lead off the first inning since Jack McDowell tossed a complete game in the White Sox’ 15-1 victory at Milwaukee on July 14, 1991. The Brewers’ only hit in that game was a home run by Paul Molitor to lead off the bottom of the first inning.

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According to ELIAS

Hunter dials back the years

Torii HunterTorii Hunter followed his 4-for-4 performance on Friday with hits on each of his first three at-bats in the Twins’ 7-4 win at Cleveland. Hunter, whose first hit on Saturday was a home run, became the first 39-year-old with hits on seven straight ABs since Chili Davis did it for the Yankees in 1999. Hunter’s current manager, Paul Molitor, also had seven straight hits at age 39 for the Blue Jays in 1995. Source: ELIAS

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Twins minor league player of the week

Trey Vavra 2015Cedar Rapids (Low – A) first baseman/outfielder Trey Vavra is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Vavra, who bats and throws from the right-side played in six games, hitting .560 (10-for-19) with one double, two RBI, six walks and eight runs scored. Vavra has played in 27 games for the Kernels this season, hitting .319 (30-for-94) with six doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI and 19 runs scored. Trey was selected by the Twins in the 33rd round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida Southern College and is the son of Twins Bench Coach Joe Vavra. In 2014 Vavra played in 50 games for Elizabethton and hit .319 with one home run and had 34 RBI.

Twins Daily piece on getting to know Trey Vavra

For Vavras, baseball is a Twins family affair

Previous winners of Twins POW this season are right-handed pitcher Tyler Duffey, left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves and outfielder Byron Buxton

Twins Minor League Report May 10, 2015

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According to ELIAS

Twins wrap up a very successful homestand

The Twins finished their 11-game home stand with an 8-3 record by coming from behind to record a 6-5 win over the Athletics on Thursday afternoon. Minnesota won only one of three games versus the Tigers to begin the homestand, but swept a four-game series against the White Sox and then beat Oakland in three of four games. This is the third time since Target Field opened in 2010 that the Twins have won eight games on one homestand. They posted 8-1 records on nine-game homestands in both 2010 (Aug. 31-Sept. 8) and 2011 (June 9-19). Source: ELIAS

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Congratulations to Eddie Rosario

Rosario, Eddie 2015Eddie Rosario found the first big league pitch he saw to his liking and he hammered it into the Target Field left-center field bleachers for a home run. The pitch was thrown by left-handed starter Scott Kazmir and put the Twins up 1-0 en-route to a 13-0 white-washing of the Oakland A’s. Rosario becomes the 115th player to hit a home run in his first major league at bat but only the 29th player in big league history to swing at the first pitch he saw in the major leagues and hit it for a home run.

Rosario goes into the Twins record books as the 10th Twin to hit a home run in his first game but the first to do it on the first pitch of his first plate appearance. Six of the 10 home runs in the first game came on the first at bat.

I have been waiting for the Twins to call up Rosario and it was nice to see him have a positive impact in his first major league game. Rosario’s parents were in the stands to witness their sons historic moment. Although Rosario’s stay in Minnesota is expected to be short, you never know, he might just be here to stay. Congratulations Eddie!


Twins players that have hit a home run in their first major league game

Rk Player Date Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BOP Pos Summary
1 Eddie Rosario 2015-05-06 OAK W 13-0 4 4 1 1 0 0 1 1 8 RF
2 Luke Hughes 2010-04-28 DET L 6-11 4 4 1 1 0 0 1 1 9 3B
3 Andre David 1984-06-29 (1) DET W 5-3 4 4 1 1 0 0 1 2 7 RF
4 Gary Gaetti 1981-09-20 TEX L 3-4 3 3 1 1 0 0 1 2 7 3B
5 Tim Laudner 1981-08-28 DET W 6-0 4 3 1 2 0 0 1 2 8 C
6 Kent Hrbek 1981-08-24 NYY W 3-2 5 5 1 2 0 0 1 2 8 1B
7 Dave McKay 1975-08-22 DET W 8-4 3 3 1 1 0 0 1 1 8 3B
8 Eric Soderholm 1971-09-03 (1) OAK W 9-4 4 2 2 1 0 0 1 1 7 3B
9 Hal Haydel 1970-09-07 (2) MIL W 8-3 3 3 2 2 1 0 1 1 9 P
10 Rick Renick 1968-07-11 DET W 5-4 4 4 1 1 0 0 1 1 7 SS
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/7/2015.

I find it kind of interesting that all the players on the above list were slotted 7-9 in the batting order.

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This Day in Twins History – May 4

Dick Woodson - Twins pitcher from 1969 - 1974

Dick Woodson – Twins pitcher from 1969 – 1974

5/4/1974 – Less than 3 months after pitcher Dick Woodson wins MLB’s first salary arbitration case, the Twins exile him to the New York Yankees for pitcher Mike Pazik. Owner Calvin Griffith swore he would never pay Woodson the money and he held true to his word.

Vic Albury5/4/1975 – The Minnesota Twins retired their first number ever, HOF Harmon Killebrew’s number 3. Harmon, playing for the Kansas City Royals, hit his first ever home run against the Twins and it was at Met Stadium in a Twins 6-3 win over the Royals. Vic Albury gave up the long ball to Harmon in the first inning. Box score.

Stew Thornley wrote the following in the Halsey Hall chapter of SABR “Old-timers” may remember a promotion by Tootsie Rolls in 1975 to commemorate the one millionth run in major league history (with only the history of the American and National leagues being recognized). The countdown came down to Sunday, May 4, 1975. At Metropolitan Stadium in Minnesota, the Twins held a pre-game ceremony to retire the number of Harmon Killebrew, who then homered in the first inning for the Kansas City Royals. In the bottom of the second, Rod Carew was on third for the Twins with no out. Teammates, monitoring the progress of runs that day, yelled at Carew that he was in line to score the millionth run. When Steve Brye hit a fly to right, Carew tagged and raced for home. However, the strong-arm of Al Cowens nailed Carew at the plate, taking away his chance for the millionth run. Soon after Bob Watson of the Astros, in the first game of a doubleheader in San Francisco, scored on a home run by Milt May and took the honor. The run came at 12:52 Pacific time. Watson was on second and ran as fast as he could to reach home. He reportedly crossed home plate at Candlestick Park four seconds before Dave Concepcion, who had homered in Cincinnati and also beat cheeks around the bases. Carew, by being thrown out by Cowens, missed out on the prize: $10,000 and 1 million Tootsie Rolls”.

Eisenreich, Jim 35/4/1982 – Minnesota Twins’ rookie outfielder Jim Eisenreich, who suffered from Tourette’s Syndrome, removes himself from the game due to taunts from Boston Red Sox bleacher fans.

Kingman, Dave5/4/1984 – In the fourth inning of the Twins-A’s game, Oakland’s Dave Kingman hit a ball into one of the Metrodome roof’s drainage holes and the ball never came back down.  Kingman’s pop-up had gone up 180 feet and into one of the seven-inch drainage holes in the inner layer of the roof. The umpires gathered to discuss the event that had never happened before in a major league game and awarded Kingman a ground rule double.  In the ninth inning Kingman homered for Oakland’s only run and the Twins won 3-1. Before the game the next day, a Dome worker found the ball and let it fall on the field to a waiting Twins outfielder Mickey Hatcher, he dropped it. Box score.

Mike Lincoln Credit: Brian Bahr  /Allsport

Mike Lincoln Credit: Brian Bahr /Allsport

5/4/1999 – The Twins beat the Yankees 8-4 at the Metrodome as Mike Lincoln gets the win and the Twins get victory number 3,000. Box score.

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