Patience at the plate key for Castro, Twins

Jason Castro's six walks lead the major leagues.

If patience is a virtue, the Minnesota Twins might be the most virtuous team in the MLB.

The Twins’ composure at the plate earned them 23 walks in their season-opening series with the Kansas City Royals, enough to lead the league. Oh, and they’ve played one less game than the other top teams.

Twins 3 23
Dodgers 4 21
Mariners 4 18
Rockies 4 18
Giants 4 16

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Joe Mauer’s 79 walks last season led the Twins to finish a respectable 13th with 513 free passes.

Minnesota becomes the fifth team in history to record at least seven walks in its opening three games, joining the likes of the ’34 Yankees, ’48 Giants, ’54 Cubs and ’96 Rangers.

Combine the walks with the Twins’ 25 hits, and the team sits atop the MLB with its .407 on-base percentage.

It’s early, but front office minds Derek Falvey and Thad Levine look brilliant because of their first notable offseason signing, catcher Jason Castro. Castro leads the team — and the big leagues — with six walks. He has also drove in three runs, becoming the fourth player in history to record at least six walks and knock in three runs in his first three games with a new team.

Dave Hollins, a journeyman infielder, matched the same feat for the Twins in 1996.

Rogers Hornsby, ChC (1929) 7 4
Dave Hollins, Min (1996) 6 4
David Justice, Cle (1997) 6 3
Jason Castro, Min (2017) 6 3

Castro has spent all three games behind the plate. He seems to have hit the ground running with the pitching staff, which has only given up five earned runs and has posted a 1.67 ERA. Through three games last season, the Twins allowed 11 runs while being swept by the Baltimore Orioles.

What a difference a year makes.