People mourn the end of the baseball in different ways. One way is to stare at tons of numbers on a computer screen trying to make sense of the season. For instance, did you know Trevor Plouffe was terrible when facing fastballs? Or that Kyle Gibson threw the fewest in-zone pitches among all qualified starters?
Here are all the little statistical tidbits from 2015...
Plouffe also had five extra base hits with the bases loaded this season. Only Boston’s Xander Bogaerts had more (6).
Miguel Sano’s season was incredible for a 22-year-old. According to Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index, dating back to 1914 Sano’s .916 OPS is the 21st highest among 22-year-olds with a minimum of 300 plate appearances. He demonstrated a unique blend of patience and power as he drew walks in 15.8% of his plate appearances (11th highest among 22-year-olds) and, according to BaseballSavant.com’s batting ball velocity, he put balls in play at an average of 94.45 MPH. Only Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton pelted balls harder (97.73 MPH).
On September 30, Sano hit this Zach McAllister 95.2 MPH fastball into the bleachers at 114 MPH. This would be the hardest hit ball for the Twins in 2015, according to BaseballSavant.com:
Sano’s .916 OPS also ties him with Tony Oliva for the highest OPS by a Twins’ rookie.
Bryon Buxton is really fast. I don’t have a stat or a number or anything but...just...just trust me on this.
Brian Dozier hit a team-leading 28 home runs this year. Seven of those bad boys came on pitches outside of the strike zone (tied for MLB-high with Colorado’s Nolan Arenado).
Dozier also had the honors of facing two of the three fastest pitches in the 2015 in his at bat against Cincinnati’s Aroldis Chapman. According to MLB’s Statcast, Chapman’s 1-2 offering reached 103.9 mile per hour but had the perceived speed of 105 miles per hour thanks to Chapman’s long limbs. It is amazing that Dozier was able to even get a piece of it.
For the bulk of the season Dozier was used as the team’s primary leadoff hitters (102 games) but the combination of him, Aaron Hicks (31 games) and Danny Santana (18 games) led to one of the lowest productivity from the top of the lineup across baseball. Thanks in part to Dozier’s 22 home runs out of the leadoff spot (only Curtis Granderson  and Manny Machado  had more), the Twins did score 104 runs (7th out of 30), but in terms of setting up the offense to do further damage, they finished 27th in on-base percentage (.298).
Speaking of out-of-zone home runs...rookie Eddie Rosario’s free-swinging tendencies landed him with some unexpected home runs this year. He was able to launch two shots on pitches not only out-of-zone pitches but those classified as “non-competitive” (basically those pitches categorized as no one in their right mind would swing at). Of course, the outfielder also struck out 45 times on non-competitive pitches, the 8th-most in MLB.
Rosario’s triple total of 15 was the most by a rookie since Philadelphia’s Juan Samuel stretched out 19 three-baggers in 1984. Since 1950, only Samuel and the Dodgers’ Jim Gilliam (17) hit more triples in their rookie year than Rosario.
Can’t start a fire without a spark. The Twins overall had the lowest batting average (.227) and on-base percentage (.280) when the bases were empty. However, with men in scoring position, they had the third-highest batting average (.279) and fourth-highest on-base percentage (.351).
By most offensive yardsticks, Joe Mauer’s 2015 season wasn’t...you know...good. That said, when it came to getting hits with runners in scoring position, Mauer was able to contribute to the cause. His .352 average in 125 at-bats was the 9th-highest but, more importantly, he only made an out in 52.7% on a ball in play in those situations -- the lowest rate in MLB.
Mauer also led baseball by reaching base on an error 14 times. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Among all starting right fielders Torii Hunter’s .702 OPS was the third-lowest and his WAR (0.5) was fifth-lowest. While everything was statistically bad overall, Hunter did post a .289/.368/.529 slash line in 144 plate appearances with runners in scoring position.
Data from ESPN/TruMedia, Baseball-Reference.com and Fangraphs.com