No. 5– Trevor Hildenberger
Just like his relief counterpart Fernando Rodney, Trevor Hildenberger got off to a rough start in 2018 but has rebounded nicely to once again be one of the teams most trusted relievers. At the beginning of the season there was a point where Twins fans dreaded seeing the side arming reliever come out of the bullpen.
Hildenberger put together three scoreless appearances to begin the season. Then in five of the next eight he gave up a run. Certainly not what you want out of one of your top bullpen arms. It was enough to have many fans calling for Hildenberger to be shipped back to Triple-A Rochester.
Since his appearance on April 30th Hildenberger has appeared in 20 games and had a very respectable 1.14 ERA and 21 strikeouts. That has helped his season totals to rebound to a 2.34 ERA, 177 ERA+, and a 7.3 K/9 in 31 appearances and 34.2 innings.
No.4– Kyle Gibson
A year ago at this time there is no way we would have expected to be writing about Kyle Gibson on this list. Since the end of last season Gibson has been performing like a remade pitcher. Something that has Twins fans very excited.
To this point in 2018 Gibson has made 14 starts and logged 82.2 innings. That has Gibson averaging about six innings a start and he has become a steadying force in the Twins starting rotation with a 3.27 ERA. The only bad thing is that Gibson hasn’t been getting any run support putting his record at only 2-4 when he has actually pitched much better than that.
What has been most surprising is that the 2018 Gibson looks much more like a strikeout pitcher than the previous versions of himself. Gibson has already logged 81 strikeouts for a 8.8 K/9 rate. He also owns his career best 1.173 WHIP.