No. 1– Eddie Rosario
No surprises here. No reason to try and get cute. Eddie Rosario has been hands down the best player on this Twins team this season. If we believe the Twins are in a sad state of affairs right now, it would be much worse without Rosario and Escobar putting together the seasons that they have been.
While Rosario’s approach at the plate may drive some nuts it is producing results. He is currently slashing .321/.359/.579 and owns a .938 OPS. As reflected in Rosario’s .579 slugging percentage he has added 20 doubles and 16 home runs in 2018. There have been several times this season where Rosario has come up with the big hit or big play to help the Twins capture a lead, tie up a game, or win a game.
Rosario is not what anyone would describe as a patient hitter, but he has improved in that area. He has also clearly been slightly more selective with the pitches he is offering at. Rosario has gone from swinging at 44.9% of pitches outside the strike zone in 2016 to 38.8% this season. In the last two seasons he has produced a slight increase in his walk percentage from 3.4% in 2016 to over 5% the last two seasons. He has also seen his strikeout rate drop from 25.7 % in 2016, to 18.0% last seasons, and now it is sitting at 16.7% for this season.
Rosario will certainly be representing the Twins as an All-Star come July if he keeps anything close to this performance up. He is currently top-10 in the American league in stats like batting average, OPS, doubles, and RBIs. It will be hard for him to supplant several other great AL outfielders to start as he is looking up at Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and Aaron Judge for that spot. His performance in 2018 as well as his flair to entertain should make him a very attractive add to the squad for the exhibition game that features the leagues biggest stars.