It's no secret that the Twins are relying heavily on young hitters in their lineup. We are in the midst of a pretty neat era in team history with some of the most exciting young offensive talent the Twins have ever had. The quintet of Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, and Miguel Sano are hitting near the top in the league in comparison to other hitters their age and it's awesome.
First and foremost, no one is using young hitters as much as the Twins. Coming into Thursday night's game against the White Sox, the club had 559 plate appearances from players aged 25 or younger, which is easily most in the American League. In fact, only four teams have gotten more than 350 plate appearances from players in that age bracket.
But it isn't enough just to throw those young guys out there, praying that they can go a full a nine innings without making fools of themselves. They should be successful too, and boy are the Twins young guys successful.
The young'uns are leading the AL in RBI by 25-and-younger’s with 69 and have the third most home runs by 25-and-younger’s with 15. Only five teams have more than 25 RBI by such young players, and only four have more than nine home runs by them. Even if you remove Sano from the Twins’ stats, the club would still have the fifth most RBI in the American League amongst their peers of the same age.
BUT WAIT—THERE'S MORE.
Even the young Twins’ plate discipline is pretty darn good! They have a walk rate of 10.6%, highest in the AL behind the Rays, Mariners, and Angels—but those three teams have combined for only 382 plate appearances by 25-and-younger’s. I mean, are they even trying? What are they doing, using veterans? Pshh.
The young Twins’ strikeout rate of 22.7% could be described as "middle of the pack.” They rank literally 8th in the AL in that statistic, but I prefer to see it as "Wow there are teams who have players striking out at a rate worse rate than Buxton and Sano? That's incredible."
Speaking of Sano, he could probably be the focus of this article on his own. He has nine home runs and 29 RBI in 123 plate appearances. He has more home runs and RBI than ten teams have from their 25-and-younger’s, and nine of those teams have had more plate appearances. Heck, the Rangers have 542 plate appearances from players 25 and under and have accumulated only two home runs and 23 RBI.
It's been a surprisingly fun season so far and a big reason for that has been because of the young guys destroying the baseball. After watching the young guys fail to find their footing over and over again last season, it's amazing to see the fruits of the team’s development show up on the offensive side of the ball. It’s something for us to watch all season regardless on if the team continues to contend or not.