Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 61, Cristian Guzman triples
The Minnesota Twins are just 61 days away from opening day in Baltimore. As we near that day, we will tap into Twins history related to each number as we get closer!
The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectations after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card. We will have bring out numbers from team history that represent the number of days until opening day on March 29th in Baltimore.
Some guys have an instinct for making a great play on defense, some have an uncanny ability to time a breaking ball and hit it well, and others are masters of base running. Cristian Guzman was in the latter category.
Guzman’s unique ability
Rod Carew had the ability in a different era, as the game shifted to smaller ballparks and more of a drive toward home runs, fewer and fewer guys had the ability to “cut” bases once a ball got down the line or into the gap, turning what would normally be a double into a triple.
Guzman had that ability, and it was remarkable to watch in the park many referred to as the “homer dome”. Even with the fast-moving turf of the Metrodome zipping the ball toward an outfielder, often turning typical doubles into singles, Guzman was able to stretch hits an extra base.
Carew is the clear organizational leader with 90 triples, but he reached his total in 12 seasons with the Twins. In just 6 seasons, Guzman was able to tally 61 triples as a Twin.
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Guzman started off with just 3 triples in his first full season in the majors in 1999 in 456 plate appearances. However, in 2000, he showed his unique ability, cutting the bases for 20 triples with the Twins.
Guzman made his one All-Star game in 2001 with his best season as a pro, hitting .302/.337/.477 with 28 doubles, 14 triples, 10 home runs, and 25 stolen bases.
In all, he led the majors in triples three times as a Twin, but injuries soon after he left the Twins in free agency for the Nationals hurt his ability to tally up triples the way he previously could.
Next: Who will be next in Twins team HOF?
As we get closer to opening day, we remember #61 by remembering the master of the three-bagger, Cristian Guzman.
We look forward to that first day of the season against Baltimore!