July 4, 2009
With a five-hour, 16-inning game, the Minnesota Twins have played 81 games in the 2009 season, signifying the completion of half of the season. Through the midway point, the Twins find themselves one game above .500 with a record of 41-40 (compared to 44-37 last season).
The Twins have some work to do in the second half if they hope to make the playoffs. Some players will need to step up, while others will need to continue their first half production. After three months, many players are on pace for career numbers.
Denard Span is on pace to hit for a .292 average. He hit nine home runs, and drove in 58 runners. More impressive is his projection to walk 74 times, collect 171 hits, and score 97 runs from the leadoff spot.
Joe Mauer is on pace to knock out a career high 34 home runs and collect 110 runs batted in. In addition to those eye-popping numbers, Mauer is projected to collect 201 hits, despite missing the first month of the season. Some other key projections include a .390 average and 78 walks compared to only 69 strikeouts.
Justin Morneau is on pace to reach a career high in the home run department with 38 and in the RBI category and 131 runs batted in. Some other key projections include 191 hits and 42 doubles, all while hitting .311.
Jason Kubel is on pace to hit a career high 28 home runs and drive in a career high 90 runners. The career high projections also carry over into the hits and average categories, where Kubel is on pace to collect 163 hits and hit for a .304 average.
Michael Cuddyer is on pace to hit .280 with 25 home runs and 92 runs batted in. The thus far healthy right fielder is also projected to collect 38 doubles and an astonishing 10 triples.
Joe Crede is on pace to provide some of the best production from third base in quite some time. The powerful right-hander is projected to hit 28 home runs, drive in 83 runners, and possibly most impressively, be the best defensive third basemen in all of baseball.
Delmon Young has had a down year, but is starting to heat up, which could alter his projections. The youngster is on pace to hit eight home runs, drive in 62 runners, and collect 124 hits in only 132 games.
Brendan Harris is on pace for a solid year with projections of nine home runs and 48 runs batted in (compared to projections of nine HR and 47 RBI midway last season) over the course of a projected 149 games. Harris is also on pace to tie a career high 149 hits and a .280 batting average.
Nick Punto is on pace for 37 runs batted in, Matt Tolbert is on pace for 32 runs batted in, Brian Buscher for six home runs and 26 runs batted in, Carlos Gomez for two home runs and 26 runs batted in, Jose Morales is one pace to hit .356, and Mike Redmond is on pace for 16 runs batted in.
Due to lack of games, both Alexi Casilla and Jason Pridie were excluded from the list.
The second half of the "On Pace" series, the pitchers, is due next.