Danny Santana, Trevor Plouffe, Named AL Players of the Week


Both Danny Santana and Trevor Plouffe were instrumental in a weekend that rained both water and runs in the Twin Cities. For their efforts, they are sharing American League Player of the Week honors.

Santana, currently riding a nine game hitting streak, slashed .378/.410/.622 over the week, good for a 1.032 OPS. The young shortstop qua centerfielder has been a spark plug for the Twins since he came up in early May. He has so far parlayed a .394 BABIP into a .324/.361/.488 slash line. His batting average leads all MLB rookies, and his on base percentage is second only to White Sox slugger, Jose Abreu. In only 72 games played, Santana’s 2.3 fWAR is fourth among all rookies this season, trailing Abreu (4.5 fWAR, 115 games played), Kevin Kiermaier of the Ray (3.7 fWAR, 81 games played), and Billy Hamilton of the Reds (3.3 fWAR, 125 games played). Santana’s name should certainly come up in discussions for AL Rookie of the Year. He’s the first Twins rookie to take home Player of the Week honors since Carlos Gomez did it in 2008.

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Plouffe, on the other hand, is flashing the talent he showed off during his hot streak in 2012 (which, unfortunately, was followed by a prolonged slump). Plouffe’s slash line for the week is .367/.387/.733, which makes for a very admirable 1.120 OPS. He added five doubles to his stat line, bringing his total on the year to 37, which places him second in the American League and fourth in MLB. Milwaukee catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, leads the pack with 47 two-baggers as he continues his breakout season. Miguel Cabrera, who is only hitting .308 with 17 long balls thus far, comes in second with 40. Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt comes in third with 39, although it’s hard not to see Plouffe surpassing him soon, since a broken wrist has him on the DL for the rest of the season. Overall, Plouffe has been serviceable this year. His batting average and on base percentage are almost exactly league average, and his slugging percentage is slightly above the mean. In 109 games, he has compiled 2.5 fWAR. Of course, Plouffe’s long term role is likely not at third base, where he has been playing for most of the year. If top prospect Miguel Sano rebounds from this year’s Tommy John surgery as planned, he will likely overtake Plouffe’s role sometime next season. If and when that happens, Plouffe will likely move to either a bench or utility role. He could also see regular time as an outfielder, depending on the outlook there.

Several other Twins had very nice weeks. Even though he hit only .250, Brian Dozier walked in 30.6% of his plate appearances over the past week, good for an impressive .486 OBP. This has been the story for most of Dozier’s season: an OBP machine that makes the most of his opportunities. So far, Dozier has been to the plate 580 times in 2014. He’s reached base in 198 of those plate appearances, and he’s scored 91 times that he has reached base. In other words, Dozier has managed to score a run 45.96% of the time he’s been on base, and 15.69% of the time he’s come to the plate. These are crazy good numbers, and they attest to his elite base running ability.

Kennys Vargas also continued his hot start, slashing .371/.378/.600 with a homer and five doubles. Oswaldo Arcia continues to look like he’s turning a corner. Even though he hit only .230, reached base at a .258 clip, and struck out in over 30 percent of his at bats last week (on line with his mark for the season), he managed to post a .600 slugging percentage, smashing three really really long and fun to watch home runs. Congrats to all the aforementioned Twins, especially Danny Santana and Trevor Plouffe for a week well played.