Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Twins Rookie of the Year: 2010 Edition

When it comes to rookies there is little debate as to who is number one on the Twins. Danny Valencia has had a break-out rookie campaign. He hits for average, power, and plays stellar defense at the hot corner. Valencia swept all first place votes in the Awards Balloting making him the unanimous pick for Twins Rookie of the Year.

There were other rookies that had an impact on the team. Jose Morales was hurt during Spring Training and the Twins needed someone to fill the back-up catcher slot on the team. Drew Butera fit this role nicely. There have been a handful of pitchers that have made their mark on the Twins this season. Alex Burnett, Jeff Manship, Matt Fox, and Anthony Slama all fit into a role with the team at some point. Position players like Wilson Ramos, Luke Hughes, Trevor Plouffe, and Ben Revere were all called upon to make their debuts.

(Click on any of the linked players names above and below to read other stories I have written from this year about the rookies on the team.)

The Minnesota Twins 2010 Rookie of the Year (Countdown from #3-#1)

3. Matt Fox: One start is all that it took. The Twins had to make special room for him on the 40-man roster so he could start. The team had used up three starters in an extra-innings lose to the Tigers. Fox was the only choice from AAA. It was his one opportunity to show that he belonged in the majors. He did what he needed to by giving his team the opportunity to win. His start was one of the most important of the year. After the lost to the Tigers the Twins could have went in the opposite direction. After Fox's start the Twins were able to make a September run to clinch the Central Division.

Fox's Signature Game
September 3: Texas 3 @ Twins 4: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER

2. Drew Butera: Butera has been a very adequate back-up catcher this season. His numbers don't jump off the page but he has filled his role on the team. His offense is sub-par but his defense is great. There were many runners that tried to steal on Butera this season that found out that stealing was a bad decision. The great story out of his part with the team might be that his dad was also a catcher for the Twins. Butera evolved into Carl Pavano's personal catcher during the middle portion of the season. This also seemed to coincide with some of the great outings that Pavano had.

Butera's Signature Game
June 19: Twins 13 @ Phillies 10: 1-1, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Butera's go ahead homerun in the 10th was the first of his major league career. The Twins would blow the lead so it wasn't a game winning hit. But it was a great moment for his first big league shot.

1. Danny Valencia: There hasn't been a consistent third baseman for the Twins since the end of the 2004 season. There have has been a Batista, a Harris, a Punto, a Cuddyer, and he list goes on. None of these players have stepped up and filled the void like Valencia. I had him 6th in my Twins MVP ballot because of his importance to the team this season. It will be great to see what kind of numbers he can put together when he has an entire season to work with. Congrats on the great regular season. Bring on October baseball...

Valencia's Signature Games
September 1: Tigers 1 @ Twins 2: 2-4, Game Winning RBI

September 18: Athletics 2 @ Twins 4: 2-4, HR, 3 RBI


Robert said...

Fox over Burnett? Burnett played a very big role early in the season out of the bullpen. At one point he may have been the most effective pitcher out of the pen. In fact for the first two months he pitched well.

NoDak Twins Fan said...

I thought that Fox's start was an important turing point for the team. Burnett was good early but Fox came in during a tough part of the Twins schedule and pitched the game of his life.

yukonbob7 said...

I like that September 18 th game !