When Chris Colabello's season 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.
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 less than half the walks that 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.