The 2016 Twins season has been over for more than a week now (thank god). Although a week isn’t very long, I feel it was definitely enough time for Twins fans to gain some perspective on the 2016 season. Hence, it is time for us, the grand members of the Twinkie Town community, to vote on who we believe is the 2016 Twins MVP.
I thought about splitting this up into a best position player and best pitcher vote, but then I realized that might be even more depressing.
So, without further ado, here are your TWINKIE TOWN 2016 TWINS MVP NOMINEES:
James Beresford, 3B
Put another shrimp on the barbie, because our first nominee is from down under! Sure, Beresford might have just been a congratulatory September call-up for toiling away for ten years in the Twins minor league system, but I’m looking at that a good thing rather than a bad thing. Having appeared in only ten games means Beresford was, like, the player least responsible for the 2016 Twins season.
His .227/.261/.273 slash line isn’t exactly impressive, but, again, he only played in ten games. Small sample size. Plus, he’s reportedly a great guy in the clubhouse. How great? A player for the opposing team went to Party City to buy balloons to put in his locker at Target Field. That’s pretty great.
Eduardo Nunez, 3B, SS, 2B
It would be wrong to not nominate the Twins’ sole All-Star Representative for the team’s MVP, right? Nunez had the best season of his career, hitting .296 during his time with the Twins. That was higher than everyone else on the roster, save Jose Berrios and Tommy Milone, who are both just pitchers who got a lucky hit in a random inter-league game.
It’s true that Nunez only played for the Twins a little over half the season because he was traded to the Giants, but think of it this way: Nunez was pretty much the best player on the team, and then he metamorphosized into a pitcher named Adalberto Mejia. And the Twins really need pitchers! How valuable is that? Pretty fricken’ valuable.
Joe Mauer, 1B
You might think Joe is too lazy to be nominated for this prestigious award, or that I am too lazy for including him just because he’s Joe Mauer. Whatever. Joe did have a good year. Kinda. He didn’t win another batting championship or anything, but he did win two MLB Player of the Week awards, and he hasn’t won one of those since 2009.
Plus, he’s still tall.
Ervin Santana, SP
Did you know Ervin Santana had the second highest bWAR of all the players on the 2016 Twins? He did! While most of the pitching sucked, Santana was pretty okay, posting a 3.38 ERA over 181.1 innings. He also had 149 strikeouts, and didn’t get suspended for testing positive for PEDs this year!
The Twins almost traded Santana to the Blue Jays at the trade deadline, but good thing they didn’t. Santana pitched well for the Twins, and especially considering the pretty crappy free agent pitching market this off-season, holding on to him could turn out to be one of the Twins’ best moves.
Robbie Grossman, OF
Are you sitting down for this one? Okay, good. Robbie Grossman played in 99 games for the Twins this year and hit .280. The only position players who hit better than him were Eduardo Nunez, who only played in 91 games before being traded, and Jorge Polanco, who only played on 69 games (nice).
The Twins signed Robbie sometime in May, called him up, and he pretty much instantly became the best player on the team.
Overall, Robbie’s slash line was .280/.386/.443, which—for the Twins—isn’t that bad, but not that great either. However, his name is literally "Grossman". I feel like he should be the Twins MVP based on that fact alone.
Max Kepler, OF
Max Kepler came to the Twins like a bat out of hell, and was on freakin’ fire for like a month. His hot streak reached its pinnacle on August 1st, when he hit three home runs in one game against the Cleveland Indians (who are currently one game away from the ALCS)!
While his hot streak was pretty hot, Max cooled off pretty quickly. Overall on the year he went just .235/.309/.424, although the 17 home runs in 113 total games wasn’t too shabby. Max gave us more hope for the future this year.
Plus, Max can speak three languages.
Brian Dozier, 2B
Dozier hit 42 home runs in 2016. No other Twins player not named Harmon Killebrew has ever even hit more than 35 home runs in a season. No other second baseman in the American League has ever hit more than 39 home runs in a season.
But is Dozier really the team MVP? He made everyone else look bad.