Minnesota Twins: The case for each potential MLB All-Star Game starter
By Chris Schad
Nelson Cruz – DH
Many voters won’t take into account the impact a player has had off the field, but if they did, Nelson Cruz would have a great advantage in his race to be the starting designated hitter for the American League.
When the Twins signed Cruz last winter, they were getting a major force for the middle of their lineup. However, they were also getting some veteran leadership that may not have had a strong presence last season. With Cruz in the fold, he’s been a great influence on some of the younger players like Max Kepler while also taking the load off the shoulders of others such as Byron Buxton.
On the field, Cruz has been as advertised. Despite missing a stretch of games in May with a wrist injury, the 38-year old has hit .266 with 13 HR and 36 RBI.
Cruz’s competition for the DH spot will be tough as Boston’s J.D. Martinez and Texas’ Hunter Pence are in the midst of strong seasons, but Cruz’s resume is good enough to get some votes and possibly find himself starting for the American League.