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Twins’ Home Run Derby candidates

Another opportunity for Twins to find themselves in Cleveland.

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
If Derby participants had to round the bases after each launch, Rob Manfred might go berserk.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Your 2019 Minnesota Twins lead the majors with 106 dingers through May 28 — a sentence which may have been thought absurd through the first rivulets of the season, but has unexpectedly become reality. Looking at the Twins’ lineup before the season, few expected more than one de facto slugger, but multiple players have emerged as consistent power threats. With All-Star Game voting having begun, one may recall the main associated festivity, the Home Run Derby, and ponder the likelihood of a Minnesota representative. While one player stands out, I can name a few who have made a case for representation in the bracket of longball mashers.

Eddie Rosario

First up to bat, Ed Rosario; leaves pitchers’ hopes crumbling, at bat a Super Mario...

Rosario is the obvious choice. Minnesota’s left fielder leads the team with 17 home runs, tied for first in the American League and third across the majors, and among qualifying Twins sports the second-highest slugging percentage, a .565 mark (behind Jorge Polanco’s .583). Viva la bomba!

Miguel Sano

While Sanó has played just 10 games so far, missing most of the start of the season due to injury, he has returned to his baseball-crushing form. In only that few contests, Sanó has already walloped five home runs, slugging .711 and sporting a .474 ISO, the latter a number which leads the majors among players who have batted in at least 10 games.

C.J. Cron

Cron handily beat out Tyler Austin for the first base job and has maintained a powerful bat through the first third of the season, mashing 13 home runs (tied for the lead among AL first basemen) and slugging .536 (fourth within the same group).

Max Kepler

With a five-year contract extension under his belt, Kepler has broken out in a way Twins fans have hoped for over the last few seasons, sending 12 poor baseballs over the fence and slugging .545. Kepler’s breakout has not just been with the power in his bat, but for the purpose of this post, those are his most important statistics.

Mitch Garver

Garver may still be on the IL, but he stands out among Twins batters. In 25 games, Garver has cracked nine home runs, recording an ISO of .418 (behind only Derek Dietrich among players with at least 25 games) and slugging an astounding .747, a number bested only (with the same restriction) by Cody Bellinger.

These aren’t the only five Twins hitting the cork center out of the ball — Nelson Cruz, Jonathan Schoop, and Polanco have also been pummeling it — but I see those above as the most likely options. While there is plenty of time until the Home Run Derby participants are announced, we fans can watch home run counts rise, wondering who may have a chance to represent the American League in yeah it’s probably going to be Rosario.