Ten Terrible Minnesota Twin Killers To Watch Out For In 2009
Who strikes terror in the hearts of the Minnesota Twins?
Is it David Ortiz? Travis Hafner? Jermaine Dye? Alex Rodriguez? Or maybe Gary Sheffield?
Surprisingly enough, these feared sluggers don't qualify for the current list of "Twin Killers," those who cause Minnesota boosters to mutter under their collective breath and force Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire to count to 10.
10. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
Youkilis enjoyed a breakout season in 2008, batting .312 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI.
He's already broken the backs of the Twins several times. In 13 games, Youkilis is batting .350 against Minnesota with 10 RBI.
9. Nick Markakis, Orioles
Markakis is only 25 ,so he has plenty of time to pad his statistics against the Twins.
In 21 games, Markakis is batting only .313 against Minnesota, but he's already hit seven home runs against them in just 80 at-bats. He also has 15 RBI.
8. Carlos Guillen, Tigers
Guillen tumbled from 21 homers and 102 RBI in 2007 to 10 jacks and 54 RBI last year as he battled injuries.
He didn't struggle against Twins pitching in 2008, however (.345/.410/.491). In 2007, he did as "poorly" as .288/.347/.439 against Minnesota, but he preceded that with a strong 2006 against the team (.373/.465/.610) with 14 RBI in 18 games.
7. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
In his rookie season, Pedroia batted .344 against the Twins, with a .364 OBP and a .406 slugging percentage. In 2008, he was even better: Check the line of .500/.526/.722.
6. Orlando Cabrera, A's
Cabrera is a solid enough offensive performer, as evidenced by his lifetime .274 batting average over the past 12 seasons. But match him against the Twins and Cabrera's bat turns into gold.
The '08 line looked like .342/.408/.408, the '07 .439/.439/.481, and the '06 .423/.483/.692
The Twins probably heaved a sigh of relief when he signed with the A's earlier this month, as they'll now see him fewer times per season.
5. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
Fortunately, Teixeira has never plied his talent for a division rival of the Twins.
That would be a true source for concern, since he is batting a robust .375 in his last 22 games against Minnesota with 19 runs scored, seven home runs, and 17 RBI.
4. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
Suzuki, with a .333 career batting average, feasts on all pitchers. But who could blame him when he asks for seconds against Twin hurlers?
Suzuki posted a .300/.364/.300 batting line against the Twins in 2008. In 2007, he went .385/.385/.487. And in 2006, he absolutely devoured the Twins staff, batting .526 in eight games with a .538 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .711.
3. Derek Jeter, Yankees
Say what you will about Jeter, but he's money against the Twins.
Over the past 24 games against Minnesota, Jeter is batting .387 and has scored 20 runs.
Of course, Jeter's presence on this list should come as no surprise to Minnesotans following his 2003 ALDS performance: He had six hits in 14 plate appearances.
2. Bobby Abreu, Angels
As in the case of Cabrera, the Twins got a break when Abreu signed with the Angels and not a division rival.
Bobby is lights-out against the Twins: In the past three seasons, he's hitting 31-for-77 (.402) with 20 runs scored in as many games and has knocked in 17 runs.
1. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
Ordonez channels Babe Ruth when he steps into the batter's box against the Twins.
In the past 48 games against the Detroit Tigers' AL Central Division nemesis, Ordonez is batting .355 with 33 runs scored, 14 home runs, and 49 RBI.
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