Rocco Baldelli's reaction to Max Kepler crushing the Mariners is absolute perfection

Max Kepler continues to lead the offensive charge, and Rocco Baldelli couldn't be happier.
Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins
Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

It's hard to overstate just how good things have been ever since Max Kepler came off the IL back in late April.

Kepler re-joined the Twins for the first game of their series against the Chicago White Sox on April 21st and the team has lost exactly twice since then. Minnesota went on a 12-game winning streak and after Thursday's 11-1 win over the Seattle Mariners has won 15 of its last 17 games.

A lot of that can be traced back to Kepler, not only for what he's doing at the plate but how it embodies the vibes around the Twins right now. The offense was in a rough place for the first few weeks of the season and the team limped out to a 7-13 start.

Kepler injured his knee on Opening Day and didn't look like himself while trying to play through it, which is a great metaphor for how the Twins played overall to start the season. Once Kepler took some time to rest he's come back on an absolute tear which is something the team has fed off.

Thursday's win was a perfect example. Kepler drove in the first of five runs in the bottom of the first and later homered in the seventh to put a cherry on top of his day. He went on the IL hitting 0.50 with just one hit in over twenty at-bats, but ends Minnesota's fifth straight series win slashing .329/.390/.562 with a .952 OPS.

It's something that manager Rocco Baldelli couldn't praise highly enough when talking about yet another amazing day for Kepler.

Rocco Baldelli could contain how excited he is about Max Kepler hitting 'dangerous' right now

On a short turnaround from last night's game, the Twins changed things up and put Kepler in the DH spot rather than out in right. He was hardly fazed, as Kepler went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.

After the game, Baldelli was beside himself with joy.

"He's on everything right now," Baldelli said. "It feels like every at-bat he's putting dangerous swings on the ball. He looks great. Today was a little different for him, [hitting DH] isn't something we do very often, and 12-10 'DH Kep', I mean I like this, maybe we're onto something."

A perfect picture of where the Twins are at is how Rocco seamlessly went from waxing poetic about Kepler to breaking down very specific reasons why he's destroying the ball right now.

"He was roping balls all over the place, getting on top of fastballs that are up in the zone, he's sucking his hands inside and finding the barrell, he's hitting off-speed pitches, fouling a lot of balls off," Rocco said. "I think he's in the middle of finding something real nice."

It's one thing for Kepler and the Twins to beat up on bad teams, which is what helped fuel the 12-game winning streak. Thursday saw Minnesota tattoo Logan Gilbert, who is Seattle's ace and one of the best pitchers in baseball right now.

The good times are truly rolling right now for the Twins, but the fact that Kepler is leading the charge somehow makes it feel even sweeter than it already does.

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