Twins are stressing out opponents

Published 7:44 am Thursday, May 30, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS  — The signs of a potent lineup were evident with the Minnesota Twins in spring training, factoring in the addition of a few accomplished power hitters and the anticipation of further development by their homegrown players.

Even the most optimistic member of the organization would’ve had trouble envisioning a start like this, though. One-third of the way through the season, the Twins have been hitting like the famed 1927 New York Yankees. Well, better than that, actually.

The Twins (37-17) lead the major leagues in several hitting categories, the most obvious reason they have the best record in the major leagues. Their 106 home runs are the most, fueling a .515 team slugging percentage that, if sustained, would be the best in big league history. Those ‘27 Yankees slugged at .488, a clip that stood until the Boston Red Sox finished at .491 in 2003 .

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“Everybody’s happy when you’re hitting a lot of bombas,” left fielder Eddie Rosario said as he switched from English to Spanish with a sly smile.

Rosario, who leads the Twins with 39 runs, 17 homers and 47 RBIs, is one of six Latino regulars in the lineup, and the Twins have already been touting on social media the “Bomba Squad “ as the official hashtag-based nickname. Other catchy options like “’Sota Pop,” “The HR Department,” and “New Power Generation,” in tribute to Minnesota music icon Prince, have been bandied about.

Given the messaging from rookie manager Rocco Baldelli, though, these Twins don’t appear to be at risk for getting caught up in the accolades or the gimmicks.

“It’s a good start to a long season, but I think all of us in here are just trying to stay in the present, work on our day-to-day tasks, and not get too ahead of ourselves,” said right fielder Max Kepler, who along with Rosario, center fielder Byron Buxton, and third baseman Miguel Sanó debuted with Minnesota at various points during the 2015 season. Shortstop Jorge Polanco, another product of the Twins farm system, beat them to the majors by a year but didn’t become a regular until 2017.