After finishing 30 games under .500 for the second year in a row in 2013, the Twins have made huge strides to improve their ball club this season. After a big win last night, the Twins are 29-31 and just 5 games behind the Tigers for the division league.
Yesterday afternoon, the Twins beat the suddenly-dangerous Houston Astros 8-0 behind the arm of one-time top prospect Kyle Gibson, who threw 7 shutout innings. Perhaps the biggest story of the night wasn’t Gibson, but rather the performance of current prospect Danny Santana.
With Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano waiting in the wings to their shot in the big leagues, Danny Santana has proven that you don’t need to be revered in the minor leagues to succeed in the majors. Santana (rated the 10th best prospect in the Twins organization), has gotten his career off to a hot start. Hitting .373 in his first 67 at-bats, Santana, who has played both center field and shortstop for Minnesota this season, has proven to be a jack-of-all-trades for the Twins.
In yesterday’s ball game, Santana lead-off for the Twins and played DH. He went 4-5, his first career four-hit game, with a double, four singles, and 5 runs batted in. Santana had three separate RBI hits in the game, two of which came with two outs in the inning.
Now just 2.5 games out of a playoff spot, the Twins need their young players to continue (or, in some cases start) to produce. While veterans like Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham are expected to play well, Ron Gardenhire needs his newcomers, like Santana, Gibson, Brian Dozier, and Aaron Hicks, to carry most of the load for this young team.
With the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers coming up on the schedule for the Twins, each player must put his best foot forward. If Santana can continue to hit like he did last night, the fans will be rejoicing in the Twin Cities.