Minnesota Twins Tickets – Morneau Needs to Get Respect as Elite Player

December 15, 2010

It must be written down somewhere that Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau isn’t supposed to be a top-tier player.  If he played in Boston, New York or L.A., he might already be a household name.    When he won the AL MVP in 2006, most barely knew anything about him and he still remains the best player that nobody seems to talk about, one blanketed in obscurity and hidden in the shadows of Joe Mauer.  After another hot start this season, though, Morneau is proving that he deserves to be in the conversation of the best hitters in the game, even if Twins fans have known that for a while now.

Morneau has done nothing but put up numbers every year in Minnesota.  This season, while most talk of the Albert Pujols’ and Alex Rodriguez’s of the world, Morneau is arguably off to the best start out of all the hitters in the league.  Through May 18th, Morneau had 11 home runs and 29 RBI while hitting .366, which is tops in the AL.  His OPS near 1.2 is also nothing short of absurd, placing him as the early frontrunner for the AL MVP.  His ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark and put up runs certainly helps Minnesota sell plenty of <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://www.stubhub.com/minnesota-twins-tickets/”>Minnesota Twins tickets</a>.

These types of numbers are not too out of the ordinary for Morneau, as he has been one of the most consistent power hitters over the last five seasons.  Morneau broke out in 2006, when he put up a .321 average with 34 bombs and 130 RBIs, which was enough to edge out Derek Jeter for the AL MVP.  For the last four seasons, Morneau has driven in 100 runs in the heart of the Twins’ lineup, even last season when he missed almost 30 games due to injury.  Morneau also rarely strikes out for a power hitter and has never had 100 Ks in a season.

This season, Morneau has even improved the one potential chink in his armor.  Though he’s been a solid run producer for quite a while, prior to 2010 he also didn’t walk very much.  His career average on-base percentage of .359 is fairly low for a slugger of his caliber, but he has shifted course this season.  Not only is he currently hitting .366, Morneau has upped his on-base percentage to .482, which makes a tremendous difference in the middle of any lineup and suggests that he’s being more selective at the plate.  Morneau is on pace to shatter his career best in walks, making him even more dangerous than he already is.

Not only is Morneau once again putting up big numbers, the Twins are also playing very good baseball.  After 39 games, the Twins were 24-15, which had them two games up on the Tigers in the AL Central.  With Mauer and Morneau in the heart of the order, not to mention a revival year for starting pitcher Francisco Liriano, the Twins have enough to get back to the postseason, where they will once again be a dangerous team.

Even if Morneau doesn’t keep the prodigious batting average he has thus far in the season, it’s time for the rest of the league to start to take notice of the other superstar in Minnesota.  It might take a second AL MVP, but eventually Morneau will get the attention he deserves.





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Kids ask tough questions when they interview up and coming Twins center fielder Denard Span at TwinsFest 2010 at Mall of America Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on January 30, 2010. Listen for the funny answers and the final serious answer. Did anyone see Denard hit three triples at Target Field on July 29, 2010? Go, Denard!
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