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Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman and John Bonnes

TwinsCentric: Did you know this stuff about the Twins?

The 2015 Minnesota Twins season is dead and gone.

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...
Can’t handle the heat? Trevor Plouffe’s .220 average against fastballs was the fourth-lowest among all qualified hitters. On the other hand, he was one of the game’s best when it came to doing damage on breaking balls (curves and sliders). His OPS against those pitches was .820 -- 9th-highest among MLB hitters. In fact, Plouffe collected 25 extra base hits on breaking balls (only Yoenis Cespedes [26] had more) and was able to do that damage because he attacked the hangers up in the zone.

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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’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’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

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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).Attached Image: trumedia_baseball_heatmap (4).png

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.
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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 [26] and Manny Machado [23] 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.Attached Image: trumedia_baseball_heatmap (5).png

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’ 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.

***For more stats and facts from the 2015 Twins season, check out***

Data from ESPN/TruMedia, and

TwinsCentric: Twins Daily award for Best Rookie

At Twins Daily, we have been handing out our postseason awards for various categories. On Tuesday Seth wrote about our choice for Most Improved Twins Player, and today we turn our attention to an impressive rookie class. Make sure to check in on Thursday and Friday for Best Pitcher and MVP.



Across baseball, 2015 was The Year of the Rookie. A majority of the game's highest rated prospects debuted this season, and in most cases they made that transition with notable success.
The Twins were a microcosm of this trend, graduating several of the best young players in their system and receiving numerous highly impactful rookie performances.
But while there were a few different names deserving of consideration, the choice here was pretty easy.
Voting Results
1. Miguel Sano: 24 points
2. Eddie Rosario: 13.5 points
3. Tyler Duffey: 6 points
4. Trevor May: 4.5 points
There were eight voters and points were awarded on a three-point scale, meaning that Sano received first-place votes from every participant (Seth Stohs, Cody Christie, Jeremy Nygaard, Steve Lein, Eric Pleiss, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman and myself).
I mean, what choice did we really have? Sano's season was not only head-and-shoulders above the rest of this year's class, it was also one of the best rookie campaigns in franchise history. Playing in 80 games following his early-July promotion from Double-A, Sano hit .269/.385/.530 with 18 home runs and 52 RBI. He became an intimidating force at the cleanup spot and completely changed the complexion of the Twins lineup during the second half of the season.
Among Twins players to make 300 or more plate appearances as a rookie, Sano's .916 OPS ties him with Tony Oliva (1964) for best all-time, beating Bobby Kielty (.890 in 2002) and Justin Morneau (.875 in 2004). He has the most home runs, walks and RBI for any Twin through 80 games. 
In his first taste of the majors, Sano struck out at an exorbitant rate of 35.5 percent; the leader among qualified MLB hitters was Baltimore's Chris Davis at 31 percent. However, the young Dominican slugger made up for the whiffs by drawing tons of walks and batting .468 with a .925 slugging percentage in at-bats where he didn't strike out. The huge numbers on balls in play were driven by an AL-leading hard-hit percentage of 43.2 percent. Only Miami's Giancarlo Stanton had a higher rate, at 49.7 percent.
Sano's ability to absolute smash the baseball every time he made contact was certainly impressive, but what might have been most encouraging was the consistent quality of his at-bats as a 22-year-old getting his initial exposure to the big leagues. He ran the count full in 28 percent of his plate appearances and batted .240/.581/.700 when he did so. 
That mature and advanced plate approach set Sano apart from the No. 2 finisher on this list, Eddie Rosario, whose advantages over Sano included providing substantial defensive value where Sano provided none, and playing in about three-quarters of the team's games where Sano played only half.
Rosario was a solid hitter in his own right, piling up 46 extra-base hits in 474 plate appearances, including a league-leading 15 triples. His plate discipline issues proved problematic, leading to an ugly 118-to-15 K/BB ratio and .289 on-base percentage, and ultimately his .748 OPS was only a shade above the MLB average for a left fielder (.736).

Final, 10/4 R H E
Kansas City 95-67 6 10 1
Minnesota 83-79 1 7 0

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