Minnesota Twins top 2017 moments: Jorge Polanco’s sizzling August
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins had an incredible run to the playoffs in 2017. Let’s remember some of the best moments of the year!
The Minnesota Twins had an incredibly fun season to follow as a fan. To close out the calendar year of 2017, we will take a look back at some of the biggest moments of the season!
One of the players that helped the Twins contend down the stretch of the season had an incredible month of baseball during August.
What makes Jorge Polanco‘s great month of August all the more impressive is what had happened leading up to that month. Through the beginning of the season, Polanco had been a solid contributor to the Twins. He had played decent defense and came through with clutch hitting when he needed to. His overall numbers were not anything calling him to Cooperstown, but considering the Twins ineptitude at the shortstop position his .242/.290/.346 slash with three home runs and 13 doubles was welcomed with open arms into the lineup.
Then July hit, and Polanco couldn’t. There was plenty of talk about what should happen with the Twins shortstop and in most circumstances, he would have found himself in the minor leagues, but Polanco was out of options and would have to pass through waivers to do so. So instead of demotion, Polanco struggled through the month hitting .078/.158/.118. That slash line accomplished four hits, two doubles, six RBIs, and three stolen bases.
A Sizzlin’ August
When the calendar turned yet another month to August, Polanco looked like a completely different hitter. In one game on August 7th against the Milwaukee Brewers, he matched his hit total from July turning in an incredible four-hit game. Over the whole of August Polanco’s numbers were .373/.413/.686 with a 1.099 OPS, ten doubles, two triples, and six home runs. After only four hits in July, Polanco had 38 hits in August.
Some other interesting notes from Polanco’s August include that he held a 10-game hitting streak from August 2nd through the 12th. For comparison, his July held two different 6 game hitless streaks.
Home runs held a unique place in Polanco’s August. Even though he only had six they almost all came in some unique ways. On August 29th while facing the Chicago White Sox Polanco blasted two home runs. Then on August 21st, again against the White Sox, the Twins played a double-header and Polanco hit a 3-run home run in each of the games. That was the start of a 4-game homer streak in that series with the White Sox. As you probably did the math, that means all of Polanco’s August home runs came against the White Sox.
Polanco was far from the only reason that the Twins were able to stay in the playoff hunt, that just isn’t how baseball works. His breakout August was a big part of that run and he became a catalyst to the Twins offense through the end of the season. As Miguel Sano went down with injury, manager Paul Molitor found faith in Polanco’s bat and would often place him in the middle of the Twins lineup, speaking to the manager’s trust in the shortstop’s development.
Next: Twins top 2017 moments: Buxton's defensive brilliance
This is part of our series of 2017 highlights. Which games or moments would you like to see us highlight next? Comment below!