Meet the 2018 Twins: Fun facts about your favorite players
Spring training is underway and shortly the regular season will begin. With that will come the inundation of statistics — batting average, home runs, ERA, etc.
Since you’ll be getting enough baseball stats about the Minnesota Twins to fill any void you might have, we thought we’d take a look at the lighter side of things.
We scoured through the Twins media guide and came up with some different and interesting facts about a number of players (note: we have no repeat facts from last year’s edition of fun facts). While your friends are dishing out Ervin Santana‘s wins and ERA from last year, you can enlighten them on which player had a double major in English and history, who would be a teacher if not a baseball player and who else would have been an account, whose parents were professional ballet dancers and more.
Read on, enjoy and be prepared to dazzle your buddies with your inside knowledge of Twins players.
Erick Aybar: Would be second Twin to wear uniform number 0, the other being catcher Junior Ortiz from 1990-91.
Jose Berrios: If he wasn’t a baseball player, he would be a teacher.
Alan Busenitz: Works with his father in the off-season, building septic tanks.
Byron Buxton: As a senior in high school, struck out 18 batters in seven innings pitched in the deciding game of the Georgia Class AA State Championship Series.
John Curtiss: Was a double-major (history and English) at the University of Texas.
Brian Dozier: In high school, in addition to baseball, where he was a four year starter, earned three letters in football, two in golf and one in basketball.
Zach Duke: Is one of three active pitchers (Oliver Perez and Joe Blanton) in MLB with 150 career starts and 150 career relief appearances.
Zach Granite: Hit first major league home run Sept. 23 at Detroit off Blaine Hardy after pinch-running earlier in the eighth inning, becoming the first player in Twins history to pinch run and homer in the same inning and the first in baseball since Boston’s Darren Lewis in 2001.
Max Kepler: His parents Marek Rozycki and Kathy Kepler were both professional ballet dancers in Berlin.
Joe Mauer: Enters 2018 as one of three players in baseball with 14-plus seasons with just one team, joining New York-NL’s David Wright (2004-17) and St. Louis’ Yadier Molina (2004-17).
Logan Morrison: He and his wife, Christie, have a daughter, one-year-old Ily Sophia — Ily is an acronym for “I love you.”
Jake Odorizzi: Grew up a Cardinals fan in Highland, IL., about 30 miles east of St. Louis. In 2011, had seats in right field to witness the Cardinals win Game 7 of the 2011 World Series over the Rangers.
Michael Pineda: Learned to play baseball on a field next to a closed sugar plant; the outfield wall was marked by spare tires and there would frequently be cows grazing in left field.
Jorge Polanco: If he wasn’t a baseball player, he would be an accountant.
Fernando Rodney: Began his bow-and-arrow save celebration on April 16, 2012 when playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. He says he doesn’t know where the idea came from, it’s “just something after the last out. Out 27. You know the game is over. I shoot the moon. I shoot the arrow, just to let them know game over.”
Ervin Santana: Recorded five RBI in three Interleague starts, the most ever for an American League pitcher in interleague play; tied Dan Haren (2010) and Woody Williams (2003) for the all-time record; most for a Twins pitcher since Bert Blyleven had six pre-DH in 1972.
Aaron Slegers: At 6 foot-10, is second-tallest player in Twins history (Jon Rauch, 6-11, 2009-10).