Friday night, the Minnesota Twins hit three home runs in an 11-4 thrashing of the Chicago White Sox. If you’ve only watched the Giants this year, three home runs probably seems like a lot. This season, the Giants have had just four games of three homers or more. But a three-homer game is nothing for the Twins. The day before, the Twins swatted eight dingers against Matt Harvey and the Angels, and that wasn’t even their first eight-homer game of the year.
Before today’s game against the White Sox, the Twins had hit 101 homers through 50 games. Not only are they on pace to break the team single-season homer record of 267 set by the Yankees last year, they’re on pace to obliterate it. If the Twins keep going the way they have, they’ll hit 327 home runs by the end of the year. To further put that in perspective, the Giants have hit 309 homers since Opening Day of 2017.
Even if they cool completely down, what they’ve done already is remarkable. They’re just the second time in major league history to hit 100 homers in 50 games. The other was the 1999 Seattle Mariners. In less than two months, the Twins have already accomplished what some teams weren’t able to do in a full season. The 2012 Giants for instance only hit 103 games. After Ehire Adrianza’s home run on Saturday, the Twins are up to 102.
This purpose of pointing that out isn’t to say “lol giants.” The 2012 crew was a good team even if they finished last in homers that year. Buster Posey was the NL MVP. They led the NL in position player fWAR. They won the friggin’ World Series. But it’s possible that by the time you read this, the Minnesota Twins will have already outhomered them. It’s May 25th. We’re not even half-way through the season. Heck, we’re not even a third of the way through the season.
The biggest contributor to their home run surge has been Eddie Rosario. His 15 homers have him tied for sixth in the majors. After him is CJ Cron who the Rays designated for assignment last season because his 30-homer season was a fluke, and they didn’t want to pay him half of what Derek Holland makes. Johnathan Schoop, the odd man out in the Brewers’ crowded infield, has double-digit homers already. All the way down the roster from Mitch Garver to old friend Ehire Adrianza, dudes are clubbing dingers. This is a team that didn’t have use for Tyler Austin whose primary (only?) skill is hitting the ball over the fence, and they’re still taking more round-trippers than any other team in history.
Naturally, all the dingers have helped the Twins change their stars. The AL Central was all but decided before the season began, but the power surge (and Cleveland’s decision to fix their outfield with Carlos González) have led to a reversal of fortune. Minnesota now stands at a 93 percent chance of winning the division according to FanGraphs.
The historically anonymous Twins (at least to west coasters) have already been worth a watch this year because of Willians Astudillo alone. But now they’re sticking it to Cleveland and their terrible offseason plan, and they’re on their way to making history. They’re doing all of this with a handful of guys nobody else wanted. I never thought I’d say this but turn on a Twins game some time. You won’t be disappointed.