StaTuesday: Rosario mashing in April, matches Twins great

              Minnesota Twins' Eddie Rosario, right, hits a solo home run in the second inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Tommy Gilligan)

April baseball isn’t usually Eddie Rosario‘s thing.

A career .233 hitter in March and April heading into 2019, Rosario had hit just eight home runs combined in the first month (and change) of his first four seasons.

Plot twist: After going hitless in the Twins’ first series of the season, Rosario is wrapping up one of the hottest starts in Twins history.

The 27-year-old outfielder is up to nine home runs in just 20 games this season, tied with Torii Hunter (2002) for the most ever by a Twins hitter in March and April.

Rosario has been a bit more efficient about it, hitting his nine homers in just 80 at-bats, 25 fewer than Hunter.

Player Year G AB HR BA OBP SLG
Eddie Rosario 2019 20 80 9 .275 .318 .663
Torii Hunter 2002 27 105 9 .371 .409 .676
Kent Hrbek 1982 22 86 8 .314 .404 .698
Kirby Puckett 1986 21 91 8 .396 .433 .747
Dave Hollins 1996 25 82 7 .293 .437 .598
Brian Dozier 2014 24 97 7 .216 .347 .443
Miguel Sano 2017 23 79 7 .316 .443 .684
Tony Oliva 1971 19 78 7 .397 .434 .769
Roy Smalley* 1981 19 66 6 .288 .397 .621

*10 players tied with 6

He’s hitting .275/.318/.663 this season, his best 20-game start since his rookie year, 2015, when he debuted on May 6.

It didn’t take Rosario long to start heating up after going 0-for-11 in that first series with the Cleveland Indians.

Rosario registered a hit in each of his next six games, and hit his first home run seven games in, on April 6.

He hasn’t looked back.

Rosario hit five home runs in two days last week: Two against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, then three total Saturday in a doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles.

Passing Hunter doesn’t seem like much of a stretch at this point.

The Twins close out April with two more road games against the Houston Astros, then kick off a seven-game homestand with three games against Baltimore.

Perfect timing.