The Minnesota Twins‘ hitters have been incredible since the All-Star break as they lead the Majors with a .285 batting average. The Twins are also a much improved 13-13 since the All-Star break.
How good have the Twins’ hitters been? How about four guys who have played in just about every game since the All-Star break are hitting over .300. Ben Revere, who just snapped a 21 game hit streak is leading the Twins with a .343 average. He has been the catalyst of the offense as he has knocked in 13 runs and also stolen nine of nine bases to add to his American League third most of 27. Revere has been the most consistent hitter all year and once he gets enough at-bats, he will be in the talks for the batting title.
The next best hitter has been Justin Morneau. Morneau, unlike Revere, has been a completely different hitter. Before the All-Star game, Morneau hit .246/.312/.440 with 11 home runs in 65 games. After the All-Star game, Morneau is hitting .341/.390/.560 with four home runs in 23 games. At the beginning of the year, many people, including myself, thought that he was done. Morneau has been my favorite player since he came up with the Twins and it makes me happy to see how well he has been playing.
Denard Span has been having a quiet, yet incredible second half. After hitting a mediocre .270/.334/.375 in the first half, he is hitting .337/.404/.560 and just recently hit his team leading 30th double of the year. This is exactly what you want out of your lead off man; a guy who can get on base. It also doesn’t hurt that he has ten doubles in 24 games since the All-Star break. Many thought that Span’s time with the Twins was going to be up after Revere came out swinging this year, but they are still reluctant to let him go. He has been hitting and seeing the ball well. One thing he has that Revere doesn’t have is power, and that makes him valuable. Span has 35 extra base hits while Revere only has 15 and zero homers.
Finally, Ryan Doumit. This guy has been a great acquisition. Since the All-Star break, he is hitting .315 with five homers and 19 RBI. Doumit is perfect for the Twins because he is a switch hitter who can play catcher and outfield. This helps rotate the Twins players in and out of the designated hitter position. Really, his only flaw is his inability to walk. With only two walks in 25 games in the second half, he ranks dead last on the Twins for players who have at least 15 games. If he could be a little more patient, he might shrink his strike zone and get better pitches to hit, and he’d get on base much more than his total of .343 on base percentage.
Some players that have not hit over .300 but have been surprising are Jamey Carroll and Josh Willingham. Carroll, who started the year hitting .234 has been hitting .296 with a .386 on base percentage in the second half. He was absolutely anemic in the first half at the plate and I was convinced we only had him for his defense, but now he is helping a little more. Willingham, who has lowered his batting average in the second half, has raised his power numbers. Willingham has hammered out ten home runs in 24 games since the break to bring his total up to 29 for the year to tie a career high. He also has knocked in 23 runs in those 24 games.
Another surprise has been Joe Mauer. Mauer, who normally hits incredibly well after the All-Star break, has been pretty human. He has only hit .283 with seven extra base hits. Granted, he has walked a team high 19 times in the second half but his hits have not come. However, if this is cold for Mauer, then I’m not too worried.
The Twins have had great success at the plate and are currently 11.5 games out of first. While winning the American League Central might be out of reach, it would be nice to give the other members of this division a little scare if they continue to hit this well.
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