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  • Crazy Twins Stats at the Halfway Point

    When Chris Colabello's season got off to an insanely hot start, I remember multiple people commenting to me excitedly about how he was on pace for something like 200 RBI.

    Some folks just love to extrapolate those grandiose "on pace" figures when a guy has a great first couple weeks. It's fun early season fodder, but of course, it's all utterly meaningless.

    Projecting hypothetical full-season totals at the halfway point is a bit more sensible, because at this point we've got 50 percent of a season as our sample. That's not enough to preclude fluky performances, but 81 games is 81 games.

    I thought I'd examine some of the crazier first-half stats on the Twins, in the context of what the numbers will look like at year's end if the player replicates his first three months.

    Joe Mauer is on pace for four home runs and 52 RBI.

    And he hasn't even missed much time. He played in 75 of the team's 81 first-half games, piled up 336 plate appearances, and managed a total of two home runs and 26 RBI.

    Many people hoped, perhaps misguidedly, that the transition to first base would yield more prototypical power numbers. Others would have been satisfied with the usual Mauer, whose production would have been good -- not spectacular -- at an offense-oriented position.

    Instead, Mauer is on pace to play a career-high 150 games and drive in 52 runs. Part of that is on his teammates. Part is bad luck. But… man.

    Brian Dozier is on pace for 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

    Dozier has been pretty cold lately, so it might be a little difficult to envision him reaching this heralded milestone combo at the moment, but he's proven over the last two years that he's capable of catching fire at any time.

    Here's a list of players that have joined the 30/30 club since 2010: Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun (twice), Ian Kinsler, Mike Trout. That's it.

    Dozier's growth continues to amaze. In the minors, he topped out at nine home runs and 24 steals in a season.

    Photo by Jesse Johnson, USA Today Sports

    Eduardo Escobar is on pace for 46 doubles.

    OK, this really came out of nowhere. I have long wondered if the young infielder might have hidden offensive upside, to the extent that he might be a superior option to Pedro Florimon, but there was little in Escobar's track record to suggest this kind of two-bagger tear was possible.

    The 25-year-old entered this season with a .228/.280/.307 MLB hitting line. In eight minor-league seasons, he slugged .358 and topped out with 26 doubles in a campaign.

    Last year, only nine major leaguers hit more than 40 doubles, so if Escobar comes anywhere near the projected total it'd be wild. This has the makings of one of those half-season flukes, but if Escobar can keep it up, a doubles-machine shortstop with a decent glove is a quality asset.

    Phil Hughes is on pace to issue 20 walks.

    … In 32 starts and 206 innings. Wow. That would be fewer than half the walks Hughes allowed in 145 innings last year with New York, and even then his total wasn't bad.

    Ricky Nolasco is on pace to allow 250 hits.

    The Twins have had some hittable, contact-heavy staffs over the years -- they've given up the most hits of any team in the majors since 2011, in fact -- but in the past decade only one Minnesota starter has allowed 250-plus hits in a season: Carl Pavano (262). Ironically, that was in 2012, right after he'd signed what was at the time the most expensive free agent contract for a starting pitcher in franchise history.

    I don't actually think Nolasco is going to give up 250 hits. I expect big improvement in the second half, and hopefully we saw the beginning of that on Tuesday night. But if he keeps getting knocked around, the Twins aren't going to have much choice but to keep trotting him out.

    Glen Perkins is on pace to save 40 games with a 90-to-12 K/BB ratio.

    Obscene.

    Twins beat the Royals on Tuesday so on Wednesday you can get a half price large or extra-large pizza at PapaJohns.com when using the promo code 'TWINSWIN'.
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. brianinfla's Avatar
      brianinfla -
      The sad news is Joe Mauer is still on pace to collect 23 million the next 4 1/2 seasons. He is probably on pace to ground out to 2nd base 150 times as well.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Hughes walk total is impressive, but he still has nothing on Carlos Silva's 9 BB in 188 IP in 2005. Silva led the league with a 7.89 K/BB despite an awful 3.4 K/9.
    1. kdrupp09's Avatar
      kdrupp09 -
      Great article Nick! I really hope we see Dozier get to 30/30! That would be a huge accomplishment and something to root for for the entire 2nd half!
    1. SportsFriendsMN's Avatar
      SportsFriendsMN -
      SportsFriendsMN midseason review: 30/30 is great for Doz. Mauer's pace has to... improve? Pelfrey and Correia are the bright spots (believe us) http://www.sportsfriendsmn.com/2014/...iew-twins.html
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      The team is on pace for 600 BB, second behind Oakland. However, the team OBP has dropped to 9th at .321.

      Here is something crazy...the Padres team on-base percentage is .273. Yikes!
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      30/30/30 even...... includes being a .230 hitter. I sure hope Dozier learns how to hit consistently, too. Fans are very forgiving of his horrible .230's average. What is Colabello's average for the year? Not so forgiving, and Dozier has had multiple streaks of no hits, too, this season. Here's to both of their success.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      Aren't the Twins on pace for breaking their strikeout record set last year, too?
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      As long as Dozier is getting on base at a .350+ clip, his batting average isn't much of an issue. He has been the league leader in runs scored pretty much all season long.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      Aren't the Twins on pace for breaking their strikeout record set last year, too?
      Theyre close. They had 650 strikeouts through the fist 83 games last year (20.3% clip). But in the second half they struckout 780 times in 3017 PAs (25.9% clip) and finished with 1430 Ks in 6212 PAs (23.0%).

      This year they have 696 Ks through 83 games (21.8% clip). So they just need to on a similar 2nd half slide and they'll top it.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Mauer is on pace to play a career-high 150 games and drive in 52 runs. Part of that is on his teammates. Part is bad luck. But… man.
      Which part is on his teammates?

      Mauer has had 87 PA's with RISP, and 155 PA's with men on base.

      Miguel Cabrera has had 95 PA's with RISP, and 142 PA's with men on base.

      Jose Abreu has had 82 PA's with RISP, and 144 PA's with men on base.


      Mauer is having comparable opportunities as many of the AL RBI leaders, he just isn't driving them in.

      There have been years where the "he's not getting RBI opportunities" argument has held water, this year it doesn't.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      Mauer has had 87 PA's with RISP, and 155 PA's with men on base.
      And yet, his (paltry) two homers both were RISPy. His RISP OPS is higher than his OPS with men on base overall. And his OPS with men on base is higher than with bases empty.

      IMO it's not a situational thing. It's a matter of diminished production overall. Whether that is due to permanently diminished skills, or a temporary problem from which he'll bounce back, or just a long stretch of bad luck, it's probably too soon to say.
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