RandBall: Patient Twins hitters getting rewarded
- Blog Post by: Michael Rand
- April 21, 2014 - 9:14 AM
The Twins' collective approach at the plate this season doesn't always make for the most aesthetically pleasing brand of baseball, but through 18 games -- one-ninth of the season -- it's hard to argue with the results.
Minnesota is among the top-10 teams in MLB in strikeouts, having whiffed 162 times this season. That's exactly nine per game, putting them on a pace for 1,458 this season -- even more than the 1,430 they had a season ago.
But when you go to a lot of deep counts and take a lot of pitches, you are also going to walk a lot (hopefully). The Twins were seventh in that category a year ago. This year, they lead MLB in walks with 96, and those walks have helped the offense average close to 5.5 runs per game -- putting them very near the top in all of baseball after many of us thought this would be an historically bad offense.
The sample size is still small, but it gets larger by the day. The Twins had eight more walks against the Royals on Sunday, helping them score eight runs to even their record at 9-9. Three of their runs yesterday were directly linked to walks.
The Twins have done pretty well with runners in scoring position, hitting .253 this season to rank 10th in MLB. But that's not such an absurdly high number to think it's unsustainable.
If Minnesota can keep taking free passes, maybe their offense will be better than we imagined.
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