Twins First-Half Awards

17 Jul

Thank you again for stopping by the site. Many of you participated in last night’s Live Twins Chat. (if you’re going to read it, be sure to go get a cup of coffee first!) It was by far the most active chat I’ve done. It was so busy from about 6:30-10:30, and then I just left it open until I finished typing this. So, be sure to click here to check it out. A ton of Twins related topics were mentioned.

About a week ago, I sent an e-mail survey to about 25 or so Twins bloggers or writers or media people asking them several questions about the Twins first half. I asked them to name their Top 5 picks for Twins MVP, Top 3 for Top Pitcher, Top 3 rookies, Top Acquisition and then asked them to tell me how the AL Central will stack up at the end of the season.

Including myself, the below results come from 15 ‘voters’ and I want to thank all of them.

 Alright, I know you just want to get to the results… we certainly will get there, but when you’re done, please be sure to peruse the above links. For MVP, I asked people to give me their top five. I tallied the results where a first place vote is worth 5 points a second place vote is worth four points, and so on. For Top Pitcher, I was looking for the Top 3. So a first place vote was 3 points, second place, two points, third place, one point.   

 Twins First-Half MVP

  1. Joe Mauer (73),
  2. Justin Morneau (61),
  3. Nick Blackburn (32)
  4. Joe Nathan (22)
  5. Jason Kubel (13)
  6. Denard Span (11)
  7. Michael Cuddyer (6)

Others Receiving Votes – Joe Crede (3), Scott Baker (2), Kevin Slowey (1), Matt Guerrier (1)

 Thoughts – I knew this is how the results would go, but I don’t agree with it. Izzy Pressley and myself were the two that did not vote for Joe Mauer as the Twins first half MVP. Mauer was amazing, no question, but this is a first half award, and in the first half, he did not play in 1/3 of the games. That’s a lot to overcome, and against normal seasons, fine, but Justin Morneau also had an excellent first half. Both are solid MVP candidates. Maybe at the end of the year, when Mauer has played 5/6 of the season compared to a full season by Morneau, I might come around.

 Twins First-Half Top Pitcher

  1. Nick Blackburn (36),
  2. Joe Nathan (34),
  3. Matt Guerrier, Kevin Slowey (7),

Others Receiving Votes – Jose Mijares (2), Scott Baker (2), Glen Perkins (1).

Thoughts – A little bit surprising the Blackburn topped Nathan, but that’s how I voted. Give me the significantly more innings of Blackburn over another insane year of dominance from Nathan. Blackburn received nine first place votes to Nathan’s six. One of Blackburn’s first place votes came from me.

 Twins First-Half Top Rookie

  1. Anthony Swarzak (27),
  2. Jose Mijares (22),
  3. Jose Morales (13),
  4. Bobby Keppel (5),
  5. Brian Duensing (3)

Thoughts – Swarzak has only made a handful of starts for the Twins this year, but he did well enough to top Mijares who has been solid most of the season in relief. Actually Mijares had six first place votes to Swarzak’s five. I’m a little surprised that Jose Morales didn’t get a few more votes. I voted Mijares, followed by Swarzak.

Twins Best Acquisition

  1. 1.      Joe Crede
  2. 2.      R.A. Dickey
  3. 3.      Bobby Keppel

 Thoughts – Crede got every first place vote, and Dickey easily was the #2 choice. Most only voted for one or two.

Predictions for the final AL Central standings:

  1. Minnesota Twins (68)
  2. Detroit Tigers (58)
  3. Chicago White Sox (54)
  4. Kansas City Royals (23)
  5. Cleveland Indians (22)

Thoughts – You can’t tell this is a Twins blog and a group of Twins writers voting, can you? I have said that if the Twins make a move, they will win the division. If they don’t, they could finish in 3rd, or even 4th , place. A couple of the other voters said the same thing. But as you would expect, this group predicts that the Twins will end the season on top of the division, followed by a close race for 2nd between the Tigers and White Sox. Kansas City and Cleveland will fight for fourth!

Does anything that you see above surprise you? How would you vote? Let us know what you think.


Thursday – Hitter of the Day – Steve Singleton, New Britain Rockcats

Thursday – Pitcher of the Day – Michael Tonkin, GCL Twins


Thursday – Rochester 4, Lehigh Valley 5 – Jeff Manship started and gave up five runs (3 earned) on six hits and two walks. He struck out five. Armando Gabino gave up just one hit and one walk in three shutout innings. The Red Wings managed just seven hits. Danny Valencia was 3-4 with his eighth double.   


Thursday – New Britain 5, Reading 2 – Yohan Pino improved to 5-1 with five solid innings. He gave up two runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out two. Alex Burnett, Jose Lugo and Anthony Slama combined for four shutout  innings (and 6 strikeouts) to hold the lead. Slama recorded his 20th save of the season. Steve Singleton made his AA debut and went 3-5 with two doubles. In another at bat, he hit a ‘home run’ that went just foul. Toby Gardenhire went 2-3 with three RBI. Luke Hughes went 2-4 with his second triple and first home run. Yancarlos Ortiz and Juan Portes each had two hits.  


Thursday – Ft. Myers 13, Sarasota 4 Michael Tarsi was the recipient of a lot of run support on his way to 2-0 with the Miracle. Tarsi went six innings and gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Loek Van Mil, Spencer Steedley and Blair Erickson each threw a scoreless relief inning. Mark Dolenc went 3-5. Estarlin de Los Santos went 2-6 with a home run and four RBI. Joe Benson was 2-6 with his fourth homer. Nick Romero was 2-4 with two walks and his second triple. Ben Revere went 2-5 with his 11th double. Chris Cates was 2-5. Chris Parmelee hit his 12th home run.      


Thursday – Beloit 9, Burlington 1 Brad Tippett threw seven shutout innings to improve to 8-3 while dropping his ERA to 2.43. He gave up just four hits and walked one. Thomas Wright gave up a run on a hit and two walks in his inning. Brian Bullock went another scoreless inning. James Beresford went 4-5. Tyler Ladendorf went 2-4 with his first stolen base. Danny Rams went 2-5 with his second double and second home run. Drew Thompson went 2-4 with a walk.    


Thursday – Elizabethton 3, Danville 4 (13 innings) Brad Stillings started this game for the E-Twins. He gave up three runs (2 earned) on eight hits and a walk in 5.2 innings. He struck out eight. Tony Davis got the next four outs, three via the strikeout. Twins 38th round pick Peter Kennelly made his debut and struck out two in an inning. Matt Tone struck out three in two scoreless innings. Kane Holbrooks threw two shutout innings before giving up a two out run in the bottom of the 13th for the loss. Brian Dozier went 3-6 with his second double. Josmil Pinto had two doubles in five at bats. Dan Rohlfing was 2-5 with his fourth double.  


Thursday –GCL Twins 1, GCL Reds 0 Michael Tonkin had one of the more impressive starting pitching lines that I have seen in the Twins system in a long time. Jason Kubel’s brother-in-law threw seven shutout innings. He gave up just two hits and didn’t walk any batters. He also struck out 15 out of the 18 batters he got out. Not a bad day. Nelvin Fuentes got his first save by throwing two shutout innings. The Twins had just six hits, and the run was driven in on a double by Oswaldo Arcia.  

Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.


8 Responses to “Twins First-Half Awards”

  1. tree9546 July 17, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    Is Valencia a candidate to come up and help out the offense? Or would Crede have to get hurt before they would pull the trigger? Does he have the versitality to play 2B or corner spot in the OF? He is raking right now at AAA.

  2. tree9546 July 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    What is the story with Tonkin? Is he a high end prospect, at too low of a level or was he just on for a night?

  3. Funkytown July 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    Tonkin is 19….Big RHP

    Valencia has not played 2nd or OF.

  4. Joe July 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    Crede is only signed for this year. Which leaves room to make the assumption that Danny will be the 3B at some point in 2010. I see them starting with Bucsher then handing it over to Valencia. I really don’t see them resigning Crede because with his incentives he will make close to 7 million dollars his season. In the long term every dollar count to be able to keep Joe Maker.

  5. Joe July 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    Mauer. My phone corrects every word I spell..haha

  6. thrylos98 July 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    My bad, I forgot that Mijares was a rookie and totally forgot about Morales…

  7. Twins Territory July 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    I did the exact same thing for the rookie voting. Mijares was so good last season that I forgot he was a rookie.

    The MVPs went exactly in my order as did the pitching with the exception of Mijares who I placed third (close with Guerrier). Blackburn was above Nathan probably because of his innings pitched for me at least.

    I voted Mauer MVP, but I agree it should be Morneau. I’ve told myself that Morneau has been overlooked and then I did the same thing!

    Oh, and I remembered Keppel being signed this off-season to give him a third-place vote right at the end.


  1. - July 18, 2009 tracking back Twins First-Half Awards… tracking back Twins First-Half Awards…

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