The Minnesota Twins followed an excellent first month of the season where we saw them go 15-8 with an even better second month where they finished with a 21-8 record. The Twins stretched their division lead over ten games and held the best record in baseball for a part of the month. We also got to see them set a franchise record for home runs in a single month. There were obviously many standout players and that made deciding who gets the Twinkie Town Player of the Month awards hard to decide (what a great problem to have) but ultimately I had to decide on one hitter, one starter and one reliever. Let me know if you agree in the comments!
Twinkie Town Hitter of the Month: Jorge Polanco
The Twins shortstop is having an unbelievable year so far. He is an early candidate for MVP and is the most deserving shortstop to start the All Star Game with no real argument for anyone else to beat him. His May performance only helped his case. He finished the month with a .349/.420/.566 (.986) line to go along with a 162 wRC+, 4 home runs, 18 runs and 16 RBIs. He also compiled a War of 1.4 over the month. Among all AL hitter he finished 4th in average, 4th in OBP, 12th in SLG and 6th in wRC+.
Polanco has now won the hitter of the month award in both months to start the year and he is one of the best players in baseball. He is the best shortstop in the AL so if he is not leading in All Star votes he is getting robbed. Go vote, Twins fans!
Twinkie Town Starter of the Month: Jake Odorizzi
Just like Jorge Polanco, we saw a consecutive winner in this category as well. Odorizzi continued his dominant bounce back season with an unbelievable May. In 58.1 innings, Jake Odorizzi had an AL leading 0.94 ERA. To go along with his outstanding ERA, he had a 9.73 K/9, 2.83 BB/9, 0.870 WHIP and LOB% of 99.4%. He also allowed just a .160 AVG which was good for 7th in the AL. Jake Odorizzi should be an All Star at this point as well.
The key behind the success of Jake Odorizzi seems to come from the lack of hard contact he gives up, despite being a fly ball pitcher. The ball was hit hard 37.4% of the time and softly 18.4% of the time. For a pitcher who gets fly balls 50% of the time, that is amazing, especially when you see that his HR/FB was good for 2nd in the AL at 5.6%. It is great to see him leading this stacked rotation.
Twins Reliever of the Month: Ryne Harper
The curveball master, Ryne Harper really stepped up in May. He appeared in 11 of the 29 games for the Twins and he did better than anyone could have expected. Harper had an ERA of 0.84, a WHIP of 0.75, a K/9 of 10.13 and a LOB% of 85.2%. He topped it all off with a soft hit% of 34.6 and that was good for third in the AL. Rocco Baldelli certainly trusted him more in late game situations, as he got three holds and one save.
Just a couple weeks ago I wrote in depth about how Harper has been so successful this season. I included graphics, gifs and videos to get my point across so if you want to see how he used the curveball effectively with speed changes and a deceptive fastball, click here.
- April winners: Jorge Polanco, Jake Odorizzi & Taylor Rogers
- May winners: Jorge Polanco, Jake Odorizzi & Ryne Harper
Hopefully we can see the Twins continue their early success and grow their division lead! Perhaps some new additions as well as players returning from injury are on the way!
Who was the Twins MVP in May?
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