Today the Twins wrap up a rather forgettable losing season, their third in a row. While we sit through 9 innings wishing baseball wasn’t ending in Minnesota, I like to try and think of a few highlights from this year and and the things that help me look forward to next season. Here we go:
1. The Twins first two series of the season, which resulted them being 4-2. Eduardo Escobar had a fun walk-off double in game 2, and Minnesota then took 2 of 3 on the road in Baltimore. It was a fun first week for Twins fans.
2. Brian Dozier’s progression this season. He’s been a nice highlight to 2013, becoming one of the top 5 second baseman in the American League. His 3.7 WAR (Win Above Replacement) is second highest on the team, next to Joe Mauer (5.4). His defense was solid, with only 6 errors through 145 games, good for a .992 fielding percentage. With the bat, he’s still only hit .243, but shown he has some pop with 18 HR and 33 doubles. His improvement has prompted the Twins to consider moving prospect Eddie Rosario back to the outfield.
3. Justin Morneau’s last game as a Twin. None of us knew it at the time, but being able to watch Morneau homer in his last game with the team was fantastic. He had great numbers in August, hitting 9 HR and 21 RBI. I hope he succeeds in the Pirates playoff run.
4. Josmil Pinto. Talk about a September call-up that has been electrifying. In 21 games, Pinto has been good for a .343 avg with 4 HR, 12 RBI and a .963 OPS. Pinto’s performance is likely good enough to earn his a spot on the 2014 Opening Day roster, and possibly lineup. This begs the question: how long will Joe Mauer continue to catch?
5. Glen Perkins was stellar, earning his first All-Star honors. Through 62.2 innings pitched, Perkins has a 2.30 ERA with a 11.1 K/9 and 36 saves. That’s pretty good for a guy who doesn’t get an opportunity to close many ball games.
6. The progress of Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. Buxton, the number 1 overall prospect in baseball, finished as both Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year as well as the Twins. Sano, the number 3 prospect in baseball, has probably the best raw power in the minors, finishing his season with 35 HR. Whoa.
Remember, the Twins are still playing to put a dent in the Indians post-season hopes. While the Indians are guaranteed a 163rd game, they are not guaranteed October baseball just yet. Remember when the Twins walked off to end their season against the Royals two years ago? That was awesome.
As always, Go Twins.