We're halfway there!
After a pair of blistering offensive performances, where Joe Mauer and the rest of the thick of the order were wisely slid up a spot in the batting order, Minnesota's one through five hitters are putting up offensive numbers about as good as you could realistically ask for. If not better.
|2009 - Denard Span||42||168||25||51||5||2||3||21||22||26||9||3||.304||.393||.411|
I'd blatanty and unashamedly brag about Denard Span's on-base percentage, but when he's only fourth on the team (behind the aforementioned Mauer, Justin Morneau and the recently departed Jose Morales), what's to brag about? Well, his .393 OBP also makes him second in all of baseball among leadoff hitters with more than 100 plate appearances. He trails just Toronto's Marco Scutaro by five points. For those of you who like the fact that our leadoff man includes speed as an asset, Span is also on pace to steal 30-40 bases this season.
|2009 - Joe Mauer||20||74||19||30||5||0||8||26||15||11||0||0||.405||.495||.797|
You can't say enough good things about Joe, although I still have one question: While .405 is great, where's the other .595? Still waiting...
|2009 - Justin Morneau||43||164||35||55||12||1||12||35||23||27||0||0||.335||.417||.640|
Justin's been going all season long, and did a lot of the heavy lifting earlier in the season. He's on pace to hit more than 40 bombs, the same with doubles, and he has a chance to finish the season with 100 walks. His 1.057 OPS is third for MLB first basemen, behind the incomparable Albert Pujols (1.110) and 25-year old Joey Votto (1.059) of the Reds.
|2009 - Jason Kubel||38||140||22||47||11||1||5||23||9||26||0||0||.336||.373||.536|
Jason Kubel the righty-masher has been blistering balls this season, with 23.5% of his balls in play coming as line drives. He's also making more contact, and it hasn't been of the bad variety. His isolated power is .200 as of today, and that's his highest mark to date.
|2009 - Michael Cuddyer||42||158||28||46||9||3||7||30||22||29||4||1||.291||.376||.519|
After a blistering couple of games, Michael Cuddyer has put his line right where we all wanted it to be. On pace to hit the mid-20's for home runs and drive in triple digits, Cuddles could still be the right-handed bat needed to break up the Mauer-Morneau-Kubel trilogy. He got a little lucky on his triple last night to get the cycle, but luck always has to go to somebody in baseball, and after the last year or so, Michael is due for a little (a .320 BABIP with just a 15.4% line-drive rate counts as luck). It's great to see him breaking out, and as long as he's healthy, I'm staying optimistic.
Following up these five with Joe Crede isn't a bad thing; now we just need the 7-9 guys to show up a little more often.