It’s officially happened. It took until the last day of the season’ but it happened. For the first time since Joe Mauer last won it in 2009, a Minnesota Twins player has won the batting title, and it’s no surprise as to who it is:
Luis Arraez took home his first (hopefully not his last) batting title on Wednesday, posting a .316 average. He topped Aaron Judge (.311), Xander Bogaerts (.307), and Yordan Alvarez (.306). In addition to winning the title, he also denied Judge, the American League leader in home runs and RBI, the Triple Crown.
For Twins fans, including Minnesota Twins legend Rod Carew, it’s almost been a foregone conclusion that Arraez would take home the title at one point in his career. He’s been the Twins’ best contact hitter since he arrived in the league, posting batting averages of .334, .321, .294, and now .316 in his first four MLB seasons.
I’ve been critical in the past of Arraez’s one dimensional game, at points, as his below-average defense and power make it harder to find a spot for him, but this year he’s turned a completely new leaf and reached levels we haven’t seen since his rookie season.
In addition to winning the batting title posted career highs in games played, hits, runs, RBI, walks, OPS+, doubled his home run total, and made his first All-Star game as well. It’s hard not to consider him one of the key players on the team and surefire bright spot in a disappointing season.
It’ll be truly exciting to see where the 25-year-old hitter goes next. Here’s to hoping that he finds his way to another batting title in a Minnesota Twins uniform, hitting near the top of the lineup for a long time.