Happy Monday, ya’ dorks. Gonna try something new today and write and include a short thing(that contains links!) about some stuff I want to write about, but don’t have enough to say to warrant a full length piece. We’ll see how it turns out. I’ma call it, drumroll pleeaaaaaase:
Monday’s Minipiece: Only Let Good Players Hit Obviously, like DUH
The Twins are a team without any clear superstars. (Unless we’re talking about Max Kepler’s 80 grade handsome.) Sure there are a lot of All-star tier players, but we don’t have a Trout or a Harper or a Kershaw. We don’t even have an Astudillo on the big league team anymore! Yet the Twins are currently a monster at the plate, scoring runs and smashing dongs at a pace that would make Babe Ruth straight up cry his pants off in humility. Why is that?
Well I was reading a fangraphs piece on just how friggin’ bad the Tigers are (Fire Gary?) and I noticed something very interesting. Look at the first graph here, as I’m not sure I’m allowed to embed it. (Read the piece too, it is pretty interesting.) The Twins have given the lowest amount of plate appearances to hitters with a(n?) wRC+ lower than 100, and it isn’t even close. If you don’t know what that is, here’s a more in depth explanation, but I’ll give you the short of it. Weighted Runs Created is a sort of catch all measurement of value at the plate. It is weighted for the run scoring environment of the particular season it is measuring so that a value of 100 is always league average. So in short, by eyeballing this graph, the Twins have given just about 6 or 7% of their plate appearances to below average hitters.
That sorta parses with what we’ve seen, but I had never really thought deeply on it. The Twins are something of the opposite of the Stars and Scrubs model, and are just a whole lot of pretty darn good players, and having no holes is a very very good thing. They even have two of the better hitting catchers, a position that is currently devoid of talent at a rate unheard of since the boy band era.
Looking at the stats, the only non-pitchers (Though Kyle Gibson is actually above average in his 4 entire plate appearances, congratulations TJ. ) who have had even a single plate appearance while running a wRC+ less than 100 are Marwin Gonzalez, Jonathan Schoop, Jake Cave and Willians Astudillo at 98, 96, 95, and 68. The first three of those names could very easily end up hitting their way to at least 100 by season’s end. So it is entirely possible that the Twins will have only had one below average hitter take even a single plate appearance this season. That’s crazy. (And we love Willians anyway!)
Previously on Twinkie Town:
- The Twins did gone done a sweep, pardner. * shoots pistols into the sky *
Elsewhere in Twins Territory:
- Charley Walters thinks the Twins hit the jackpot with wunderkind Luis Arraez. Yeah. Yeah probably, Charley.
- Top pitching prospect Brusdar Gaterol will now be throwing gas in AAA. Twins Daily’s got the news, but mostly just look at those Blue Wahoo uniforms. Hot damn that’s a sweet uni!
- Baseball Essential cautions that the Twins starting rotation are running out of gas. I caution that the Twins bullpen never actually had gas. (Gonna win the World Series anyway, lol)
Around the Horn:
- The Orioles are kinda the anti-Twins. While the Twins are gonna break the record for taters smashed, the Orioles are also gonna break the record for taters allowed to be smashed. Thanks Orioles, your generosity humbles us all.
- This fangraphs community post is hilarious and I feel like one of us dinguses (dingi?) could have written it.