StaTuesday: The Twins’ remarkable May, by the numbers

The Minnesota Twins had a relatively off night at the plate Monday in a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Byron Buxton hit their only home run, a three-run shot in the second inning, while C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop and Miguel Sano struck out three times each.

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They’re still the only team in the majors with 100 home runs.

Buxton’s dinger was the Twins’ 105th, while the second-place Seattle Mariners have 98 and no other team has more than 91.

The Athletic’s Jon Krawcyznski offered up a new nickname for the 2019 Twins last week: “The New Power Generation,” after the late musician Prince’s former backup band.

La Velle E. Neal of the Star Tribune shared a few other options: “Sota Pop” stands out, while “Bombasota” led the poll Tuesday morning.

Normally, it’d be a little early to give this year’s team a nickname, but this May has been one of the most remarkable months in Twins history.

Minnesota is up to 55 home runs through 26 games in May, tied with Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva’s 1964 Twins for the most in a single month in franchise history.

Team Month Games HR
2019 May 26 55
1964 May 30 55
1963 July 31 53
2017 August 30 50
2019 March/April 27 50
1963 August 28 49
1986 May 27 49
1964 June 32 47
2016 Sept/Oct 29 45
2017 Sept/Oct 29 44

They’re also just three homers away from MLB’s May record of 58 home runs, set by the 1987 Baltimore Orioles and last matched by the 1999 Seattle Mariners.

That power surge is paying dividends. The Twins are 19-7 this month, and have the best overall record in the majors at 36-17 as well as a 10-game lead in the AL Central.

It’s been a team effort.

The Twins have a combined .536 slugging percentage and a .894 OPS in May, both tops in the majors, but they’re not getting by on power alone.

Minnesota also leads the majors in hits (265), runs (178), RBI (173) and doubles (54) this month,

C.J. Cron has led the charge with 11 home runs — he’s part of a six-way tie for second in the majors this month — but he’s one of 13 Twins hitters to homer this month.

C.J. Cron 24 8 .604 .977
Jonathan Schoop 22 6 .542 .872
Jason Castro 13 5 .689 1.029
Max Kepler 24 5 .526 .875
Eddie Rosario 24 5 .510 .853
Miguel Sano 9 5 .714 1.048
Byron Buxton 25 4 .518 .848
Mitch Garver 11 4 .727 1.166
Jorge Polanco 25 4 .569 .986
Ehire Adrianza 20 3 .500 .865
Marwin Gonzalez 22 3 .471 .856
Nelson Cruz 12 2 .417 .700
Luis Arraez 9 1 .600 1.100

The Twins aren’t even at full strength.

Cruz hasn’t played since May 12 due to tightness in his left wrist, while Garver has been on the shelf since a collision at home plate on May 14.

Garver, in particular, had found a groove at the plate.

The part-time catcher had a .747 SLG and a 1.164 OPS when he went down after smacking nine home runs in 79 at-bats.

Those injuries have opened the door for infielder Luis Arraez, now 8-for-20 at the plate since making his major-league debut May 18.

Among the better hitters in the organization, Arraez had hit just six home runs in his six-year minor-league career, just under one in every 229 at-bats.

He homered in just his fourth game with Minnesota, as sure a sign as any that the 2019 Twins are primed to keep mashing for the foreseeable future.