Minnesota Twins: Three Reasons why Max Kepler will dominate again in 2020

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 15: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates as he crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run as Brad Boxberger #26 of the Kansas City Royals looks on during the fourth inning of the game on June 15, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Royals 5-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 15: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates as he crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run as Brad Boxberger #26 of the Kansas City Royals looks on during the fourth inning of the game on June 15, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Royals 5-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Reason #2: Max Kepler is a Left-handed Clutch Hero

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 18: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 18, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 18: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 18, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Max Kepler also has significant advantage that most hitters don’t have. He’s left-handed in the batter’s box. A large majority of batters hit from the other side of the box, and this gives an advantage to right-handed pitchers. However, those same right-handers make up close to 70% of the league, giving lefties an advantage. Throughout Kepler’s career, he has used this to his advantage and been far more successful against right-handed pitching:

.242/.328/.466 against Right-Handed Pitchers.

.227/.295/.385 against Left-Handed Pitchers.

This is a huge difference, and with the MLB moving to it’s new three batter minimum rule for the 2020 season, it means Kepler will have more opportunities than ever before to face right-handers. This also helps the Minnesota Twins  in big situations, as Kepler will receive more favorable matchups.

In 2019, Kepler was downright dominant with men in scoring position, batting .309, 71 points higher than his batting average without baserunners to knock home. He only struck out 13 times over 116 plate appearances (11.6%), while plating 48 RBIs. He got even better with multiple runners on base, runners specifically on third, or with two outs, consistently getting hits and keeping innings going. He became an important part of the team leading walk-off victories and knocking home valuable runs. He was the always there when the team needed him most.

This has been a trend for Kepler. He has continued to improve at the clutch aspect of the game, and it has made him even more valuable to the Twins, and with this being continued improvement, it looks to hold up in 2020.

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