Here’s a good trivia question, which team is currently leading the league in runs scored against left-handed pitching?
In almost 140 less at-bats, the Twins are tied with the Indians atop this category at the moment, and yet they are a team I rarely hear being discussed as a premium stack unless the matchup is really extreme. As a team, here is how the Twins have fared in terms of Plus/Minus on the season:
Pretty big contrast. Next, let’s breakdown their usual lineups depending on the handedness of opposing pitcher. Some teams are nice and easy and go with basically the same lineup every day with maybe a minor tweak here and there. The Twins are not one of those, or at least they haven’t been since Byron Buxton’s debut on 6/14:
- Escobar/Herrmann/Pitcher (NL Games)
In other words, it’s a lineup to keep an eye out for. On an individual player level, here are the Twins who are currently in the green against right-handed pitching:
As it turns out, there is no Twins mini-stack based on their recent lineups that would have added value overall. Outside of Shane Robinson, who has only logged eight games vs R this season, no Twins bat has added more than a point to Plus/Minus, so I suppose it is no surprise that combining their values hasn’t resulted in anything good. If you wanted to avoid the Twins against righties altogether, I wouldn’t blame you. Of course, this is on the wrong side of the Twins’ pretty massive L/R split, so let’s get to the fun stuff.
The Twins have several players who do very well against lefties and have basically an entire lineup’s worth of positive value against left-handed pitching:
Based on their lineups above, the combinations to be on the lookout for are:
What you have to really like about the top two Twins stacks is that they both include Buxton, who obviously is just scratching the surface of his potential having just been promoted. Who knows how long his power will take to translate to his MLB game, but I think his speed can certainly be a weapon this season. In fact, prior to the start of this season, MLB Pipeline had Buxton rated as the fastest prospect in the game:
The Twins as a team have been mostly terrible at stealing bases (58% success rate), but at least that hasn’t stopped them from trying (sixth in the league in being caught stealing). At this point, Buxton’s spot in the order has been more valuable, acting as a bridge between Dozier and sneaky value at the bottom of the order, than his actual contribution to the mini-stack. If he gets the green light to do what he currently does best, the Twins mini-stack could become very dangerous against lefties.