Right now, Luis Arraez is on a hot streak of the highest order. Since May 12 he is hitting .417 with a cartoonish .541 OBP. Much-needed for a club beset by Byron Buxton’s mega-slump.
This is very reminiscent of exactly 10 years ago, when another corner infielder caught fire around Memorial Day:
The 2012 Twins were a bad baseball club. Their 15-32 record heading into action on 5/28 supports that statement. When a team has pitching like this, losing is all but academic. Nothing in shortstop-turned-third-baseman Trevor Plouffe’s 2012 start suggested anything to the contrary. Hitting just .156 with an OPS of .584, it looked like another step in the wrong direction for the 26-year old.
But then, something odd happened: On 5/28, Plouffe went 1-4 with a home run. From that humble beginning, he proceeded to go on a tear the likes of which only emerge in rare instances. During the 5/28-6/19 period, Trevor put up this line: .385 BA, 10 HR, 1.360 OPS. In the words of Ivan Drago’s handler from Rocky IV:
I happened to attend a bunch of Target Field contests during that streak, and it seemed like Plouffe hit a dinger every time I was there! Echoing the Lewwwwwwwww (Ford) chants of a decade previous, Plouuuuuuuuuuffe was now a beloved fan-favorite.
Of course, small sample size being what it is, #24’s Cinderella run could not continue. He would finish ’12 with far more modest numbers: 465 PA, 24 HR, .235 BA, .756 OPS, 106 OPS+. The Twins as a whole limped to a 66-96 finish—22 games back of the Central-winning Tigers.
But for those who experienced it, Trevor Plouffe’s midseason hot streak in 2012 was a sight to behold. Not only was it fun to cheer for something in losing efforts, but it put Trevor firmly back in the prospect mix, as he would become a solid contributor for four more seasons in Minnesota.