Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
While people in Minnesota were waking up hung over on Monday, hoping that they didn’t idiotically tweet anything to Christian Ponder’s wife last night, the Twins’ had just finished losing their 10th straight game at Target Field.
This comes after the Twins were manhandled in a three game series sweep by the menacing Toronto Blue Jays, proving that life is always better when playing the Houston Astros. Honestly, there are not a lot of reasons to watch the Twins right now (as the season low for attendance at Target Field Monday would indicate). However, for a team like the Twins, September baseball could set the stage for what is coming down the road in 2014.
So, while many are wondering if Adrian Peterson can also throw the ball, let’s talk about the most interesting man in Minnesota right now: Josmil Pinto.
As we have addressed in earlier posts, Josmil Pinto’s major league debut has drawn comparisons to that of fellow Venezuelan and former Twins’ prospect, Wilson Ramos. Of course, this was several days ago when Pinto went 7-10 with two doubles in his first three games with the Twins.
Like any fan of the Twins that is honest with themselves, I recited: “Marathon not sprint, small sample size,” three times to myself, and waited for the bottom to drop out.
In the Twins’ 6-3 victory over the Angels on Monday, Pinto continued to provide evidence that he is for real. Pinto doubled to right-center in the first inning, came within inches of a homer in the third for a double even Mike Trout couldn’t catch up to, and as if this wasn’t enough, scalded another double over the diminutive Kole Calhoun in the eighth.
Pinto finished the night 3-4 with one RBI and a walk. In in his first seven games, Pinto is now hitting .565/.600/.913 with five doubles and a homer.
Even the man’s outs are interesting. Already with two doubles in the sixth inning, Pinto faced an increasingly annoyed Jered Weaver. He was down in the count 0-2, and with Weaver looking to finally put the rookie away, Pinto absolutely obliterated an inside pitch that landed foul down the left field line. Saying that he destroyed this ball doesn’t do it justice, as it bounced high off the facing in left. Even after the ball went foul, the crowd cheered, and Dick Bremer remarked that he had not seen a ball “Hit to that part of the field before.”
The Twins are scuffling towards an uncertain future right now, and everyone who is excited about Pinto (myself included) needs to go read something by F. Scott Fitzgerald, because clearly we need more than than feel-good stories and platitudes at his point. With the way things are now it is easy to long for the Twins of Christmas Past, but we shouldn’t forget that even in the height of those six (out of nine) years we won the central, we were still only good enough to serve as the whipping boy for the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.
However, no matter what can be said about small sample sizes, what differentiates Josmil Pinto from the Twins’ other “Little Engine That Could” players like Chris Colabello and Andrew Albers, is that it is conceivable he could be part of the team’s future going forward.
Pinto, who is relatively young at 24, began this year in Double-A New Britain, and was never considered to be a high upside prospect. Less than one year later, to be succeeding the way he is now at the major league level is simply the culmination of what has been a stunning, meteoric rise.
Time will tell if Pinto’s success continues, but it is nice to have at-bats worth watching as September winds down.
Things to Know About Josmil Pinto
1. His middle name is Oswaldo. Move over M&M Boys, I smell a br-O-mance.
2. He enjoys long walks on the beach, crocodile hunting and Brad Pitt movies.
3. There is also evidence to suggest that he could grow some killer sideburns.
1. I only hope that whatever materials necessary in completing a trade are in a briefcase handcuffed to Terry Ryan’s wrist at all times, because Bill Smith must be salivating over all the “Proven Closers” we could flip Pinto for right now.
2. Seriously people, let’s leave Christian Ponder’s wife alone and turn our focus back to the serious discourse we need to be having in America right now. Yes, I am talking about Miley Cyrus’ latest music video.
Disclaimer: There are some things you cannot un-see.