Minnesota Twins: Why Nelson Cruz is a legitimate MVP candidate

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Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins celebrates after scoring a run in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on August 3, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Twins defeated the Kansas City Royals 11-3. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins celebrates after scoring a run in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on August 3, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Twins defeated the Kansas City Royals 11-3. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – AUGUST 3: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates after scoring a run in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on August 3, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Twins defeated the Kansas City Royals 11-3. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – AUGUST 3: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates after scoring a run in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on August 3, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Twins defeated the Kansas City Royals 11-3. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Twins signing of the 39-year old slugger was greeted with caution but has now produced a potential MVP candidate.

By all accounts, the Minnesota Twins season has exceeded all expectations. When the season first started, many weren’t sure what to think of the Twins after finishing 78-84 record in 2018. To add to the fans’ frustration, the team didn’t make many big moves in free agency, wondering if the team would be any better coming into the 2019 campaign.

While most of the moves were the Twins’ typical under-the-radar, buy low signings such as Jonathan Schoop and Martin Perez, Minnesota’s biggest splash was signing designated hitter Nelson Cruz.

The positives for signing Cruz were obvious as he entered the 2019 season with 360 career home runs and hit at least 37 bombs in each of the past five seasons.  However, at age 38, many wondered what kind of impact he would have on the Twins lineup and if he could still produce at that same level.

Now at 39, Cruz has answered those questions with a resounding “YES!” as he’s been in the middle of a lineup that has been transformed into the Bomba Squad. Armed with a second-half that has been off the charts, Cruz has not only been one of the best hitters for Minnesota this season, he is muscling his way into becoming a legitimate candidate for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

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