The Twins’ Underrated Offense Continues to Impress

The Twins continue to thrive in the standings, mostly thanks to an underrated offensive unit that quietly ranks amongst the best in the league.

Willi Castro #50 of the Minnesota Twins high fives Carlos Santana #30 after scoring a run during the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 27: Willi Castro #50 of the Minnesota Twins high fives Carlos Santana #30 after scoring a run during the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 27, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Despite the fact that their team is not leading the AL Central right now, it’s a damn good time to be a fan of the Minnesota Twins. At 45-36, they are seven games behind the Guardians for the top spot in the Central, but are a game in the good for the second AL Wild Card spot.

Their pitchers rank first in baseball in K/9 and are third in both SIERA and BB/9. The staff is led by Joe Ryan, a still-improving Pablo Lopez and rookie Simeon Woods Richardson.

The Twins’ success does not stop on the mound though. As a matter of fact, they’ve actually been hitting much better than they’ve been pitching as a whole. Thanks to strong bounce-back performances from multiple players that needed one, as well as some standout showings from unheralded names, this group has been rock-solid.

Here’s a look at how the Twins stack up compared to other heavy-hitting teams around the league.

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StatMLB Rank

Sure, they are not at the top of the leaderboards in any major categories. But what this shows is that the Twins have an offense that’s right in the mix alongside juggernauts like the Dodgers, Yankees, Orioles and Phillies.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the players that are leading the charge for Minnesota. There are quite a few positive contributors in their daily lineups, but some stick out above the rest.

Carlos Correa Is Playing Like A Superstar Again

Last year, in his second with the Twins and first on his shiny new contract, Correa looked like a shell of the star he once was. He played 135 games (fourth-highest he’s had in a 10-year career) but saw his batting average dip to .230 and his OPS to .711. A bad ankle sapped some of his speed and

He continued to hit the ball hard, but had issues elevating it. He struggled mightily with his groundball rate and hit just .207 with runners in scoring position. The point is: there was next to nothing he did right last year.

Then the current campaign came around and the narrative on Correa’s tenure in Minnesota has begun to shift dramatically. Through 63 games, the two-time All-Star has eight home runs, 38 RBI and 41 more runs scored. His average is up over .300 for the first time since 2017 and his .873 OPS is the highest he’s had since his 79-game showing in 2019.

Statcast could not be happier with Correa’s revitalized play. Here’s a look at how his jump in percentile rankings look from 2023-2024.

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Batting Run Value13th94th
Whiff %47th76th
K %44th73rd

Correa is hitting the ball with so much more authority this year. He’s also swinging and missing far less and has jumped up 80 percentiles in Batting Run Value from year-to-year. Twins fans were on the verge of throwing in the towel after his year-long struggles in 2023, but Correa is back and leading the charge over in the Twin Cities.

Royce Lewis Is Playing Out of His Mind (Again)

There’s a lesson that baseball fans and opposing pitchers have been taught time and time again, but it’s easily forgotten thanks to a slew of injuries. It’s simple: there is nothing a healthy Royce Lewis can’t do on a baseball field.

Lewis was a top prospect for a long time but just couldn’t find a way to stay on the field. Some of those durability concerns have continued into the current season, but when he’s playing, he’s ridiculous.

In 21 games so far, the 25-year-old has 24 hits and 10 of them have gone over the fence. That brings his career total to 27 big flies in just 91 games. He just recently broke out of a bit of a cold streak (but not a slump, because he doesn’t do those) with a two-RBI showing in Thursday night’s contest against the Diamondbacks and now has a 1.105 OPS this year.

Dating back to last season, it’s clear that having Lewis in this lineup goes a long way to improving the overall production of the club, a sentiment that teammate Griffin Jax echoes. He’s a solid vibes guy, and every single dugout needs one of those.

It Doesn’t Stop There

What makes the Twins so strong this year is the fact that it’s a group effort. This is not just the Correa-Lewis show. The Twins have 14 position players who have appeared in over 40 games this year. Of that group, nine of them have an OPS+ over 100, which is league-average.

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Corner infielder Jose Miranda has rediscovered his swagger at the plate, boasting a .295 average and .836 OPS after struggling mightily last year. He needed to be demoted to Triple-A to get turned around, but now he’s an integral piece of this lineup.

Fellow corner infielder Carlos Santana is hitting better than he has in about five years now, and has been a nice development for the Twins. At 38-years old, he doesn’t have many years in the league left, but he’s been a rock-solid presence at first base this season.

The Twins also have one of the more underrated utility players in the league in Willi Castro. Castro, 27, has logged time at five different positions all around the infield and outfield and has positive OAA at three of them. Heck, he even has two scoreless pitching appearances under his belt. At the plate, he’s got a 133 OPS+ and has been taking advantage of his consistent playing time. His flexibility is a huge asset for the Twins.

There are multiple other players worth a shoutout, but Ryan Jeffers, one of the best power-hitting backstops in the league, deserves some praise. The five-year veteran is in a tie for fourth amongst catchers (min. 50 PA) in home runs, fifth in fWAR, sixth in ISO and seventh in wRC+. He historically has a hard time staying on the field, but he’s currently on pace to pass the 100-games played marker for the first time in his career.