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Former Twins litter the rest of the league; how did they fare this season?
If you’re anything like me, you like to keep up with former Twins as they continue their careers elsewhere. This can range from those who go on to fame and fortune, like David Ortiz, all the way down to Brendan Harris.
With the regular season fully in the rear-view mirror, there’s no better time than the present to check up on how former Twins fared in 2012. This week’s list will be AL players only, but will include a handful of players who played between both leagues but show up on AL rosters which I scanned:
David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox - .318/.415/.611 (23 HR)
Ortiz had his best season in five in 2012, and has positioned himself for a long-term deal in Boston despite turning 37 next month, and only playing 90 games. That can’t end well.
Steve Pearce - New York Yankees - .160/.300/.280
Pearce made waves by batting in prominent batting order spots in Houston, but quite frankly, he’s still the quintessential Quad-A player.
Darnell McDonald - New York Yankees - 4 PA, no line
McDonald famously sheared off his dreads to join the Bombers, who reciprocated with exactly four plate appearances. I predicted this on twitter, but figured he’d probably get two weeks.
J.J. Hardy - Baltimore Orioles - .238/.282/.389 (22 HR)
Hardy trended back toward the bad Hardy which precipitated his departure from Milwaukee. His swing looks too mechanical, and he’s due a pile of money with Manny Machado breathing down his neck in a non-sexual way. Look for him to be dealt.
Lew Ford - Baltimore Orioles - .183/.256/.352 (3 HR in 79 PA)
Ford’s story is awesome, but the fact of the matter is, he played poorly. He probably will have to take a minor-league invite to get in camp next spring from someone.
Jim Thome - Baltimore Orioles - .252/.344/.442 (8 HR in 186 PA)
Thome’s power slipped in Baltimore a bit, but he’s still got it. The question all winter will be if he’ll go to spring training next year, and if he’ll make a club, and who that club is. I would guess he’s leaning towards no.
Luis Ayala - Baltimore Orioles - 2.64 ERA, 75 IP, 6.1 K/9, 1.27 WHIP
Ayala continued to be pretty much a league-average reliever on a team of destiny (hence the low ERA). He’s not a guy that should get a multi-year deal, but he’s a decent sixth or seventh inning guy.
Sergio Santos - Toronto Blue Jays - 9.00 ERA, 5 IP, 7.2 K/9, 2.00 WHIP
Some may remember Santos as an infielder in the Twins system a few years back. Santos, who closed for the White Sox last year, never really got off the ground after the trade to Toronto, missing most of the season with an injury.
Bobby Korecky - Toronto Blue Jays - 18.00 ERA, 1 IP, 2.00 WHIP
It was just kind of cool to see Korecky get another shot; I saw him play with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 2009 or 2010, I can’t recall which. That’s a pretty big climb back to the big leagues. Korecky is remembered in Twins lore for a pivotal hit he delivered more so than his pitching.
Danny Valencia - Boston Red Sox - .143/.138/.250 (Red Sox numbers only)
Valencia turned his swag off, it seems.
Nick Punto - Los Angeles Dodgers - .219/.321/.281
Punto homered this year.
Jason Repko - Boston Red Sox - .091/.091/.091
Repko was 1 for 11 this year, and then got hurt.
Craig Breslow - Boston Red Sox - 2.70 ERA, 63.1 IP, 8.7 K/9, 1.17 WHIP
Breslow continues to throw the ball well as a left-handed reliever, despite moving about as often as a military family. Breslow is the owner of a career 3.00 ERA and 7.8 K/9, which continues to raise the question "why did the Twins dump him in the first place?"
Delmon Young - Detroit Tigers - .267/.296/.411 (18 HR, 74 RBI)
A case where the triple-slash and the raw numbers don’t really add up. Young enters free agency for the first time as pretty much a DH at this point in his career. His body seems to keep growing, and he wasn’t adept in the field at any point. Don’t be surprised if he’s out of baseball by age 30.
A.J. Pierzynski - Chicago White Sox - .278/.326/.501 (27 HR)
Pierzynski has been away from the Twins so long it’s easy to almost omit him from the list, but he had a really nice season. He actually hit more home runs than doubles and triples combined (22), which seems like the kind of thing only an elite power hitter would do.
Orlando Hudson - Chicago White Sox - .204/.261/.312
Hudson’s bat is now officially slower than his mouth. That may have always been the case.
Francisco Liriano - Chicago White Sox - 5.40 ERA, 56.2 IP, 9.2 K/9, 1.52 WHIP
The more things change....
Phil Humber - Chicago White Sox - 6.44 ERA, 102 IP, 7.5 K/9, 1.54 WHIP
...the more they turn back into what they used to be.
Jesse Crain - Chicago White Sox - 2.44 ERA, 48 IP, 11.3 K/9, 1.08 WHIP
Crain -- who picked up some strikeouts between here and Chi-town -- has gained some steam as one of the better middle relievers in the American League. He might actually be worth the money.
Jose Mijares - San Francisco Giants - 2.56 ERA, 56.1 IP, 9.1 K/9, 1.26 WHIP
The mercurial lefty was oddly placed on waivers by the Royals and snatched up by the playoff-bound Giants around midseason. Mijares was quite effective in both places, striking out more than ever while keeping his walk rate in check, relatively speaking. The Giants own his rights for two more seasons.
Luke Hughes - Oakland A’s - .077/.077/.077
Hughes went 1 for 13 with the boys over in Oakland.
Brian Fuentes - St. Louis Cardinals - 7.20 ERA, 30.0, 7.2 K/9, 1.70 WHIP
Fuentes is rapidly reaching the Randy Flores stage of his career.
Pat Neshek - Oakland A’s - 1.37 ERA, 19.2 IP, 7.3 K/9, 0.81 WHIP
Neshek was good -- quite good, in fact -- and a large part of it was getting his walks in check, but no one will remember this season for Pat for any reason other than his heroic effort the other night, pitching just days after his 23-hour old son passed away inexplicably. Godspeed, Pat.
Joe Nathan - Texas Rangers - 2.80 ERA, 64.1 IP, 10.9 K/9, 1.06 WHIP
Vintage Nathan, in so many ways. He brought the strikeouts, velocity, and disdain for the free pass back, but also struggled in the playoffs again. True story: Nathan’s teams have never won a playoff series/play-in game in which he’s played.
Torii Hunter - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - .313/.365/.451 (16 HR, 92 RBI)
Also, vintage Hunter. Torii enters free agency for what will likely be his last crack and anything beyond one-year commitments, as it seems unlikely he’ll be back on a Halos squad with Mark Trumbo, Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout, and the decayed remains of Vernon Wells. A Twins reunion would be sort of cool, but is extremely unlikely unless the Twins A. clean house in the OF and B. use Hunter as a bridge to Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks, and company.
LaTroy Hawkins - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - 3.64 ERA, 42 IP, 4.9 K/9, 1.38 WHIP
Hawkins spent his 18th year with his ninth club, and was a competent if a bit ordinary as a middle reliever. He turns 40 in December and is a free agent to-be, so we’ll have to see if he can drum up any interest on the free market, assuming he still has the itch to play.
That’s it on the AL side -- again, players who appear on AL B-Ref pages. One thing I’d like from readers are some minor league recommendations. What former Twins do you as a reader know played in the minors this season, because I’ll use them in a post after going over the NL side. Thanks in advance!