The 2016 Minnesota Twins have the worst record in all of MLB. They have scored the fewest runs in the American League, while allowing the most of any AL team. In the midst of all of this turmoil, the Twins have the best base running in all of baseball.
That’s right. The hapless Twins are the best base runners in the game today. They are on their second closer with an ERA over 5.00, the only regular hitting .300 is emergency shortstop fill-in in Eduardo Nunez and no pitcher has more than two wins on the entire staff. This is a team riddled with chaos, but they can run.
The Twins lead baseball in base running runs at 7.2 this year. It doesn’t help much when you are last in overall runs scored, but that means that 7.2 runs can be attributed to the Twins running the bases better than average MLB team in the same situations. The Twins also lead the AL in ground advancement runs or the number of runs attributed to advancing on ground outs above what other teams in MLB would do. This is reflected in the Twins grounding into the second fewest double plays in the AL behind only the Tampa Bay Rays.
Second baseman Brian Dozier is leading the team in BRR, but demoted right fielder Eddie Rosario is also in the top 30 in MLB in BRR. The Twins have a style of play that works for a young, aggressive bunch. Danny Santana is leading the team in stolen bases with 10 and should run again once he returns from the 15-day DL. In the meantime, Nunez and Dozier can continue this assault on the base paths.
The Twins have taken a step back in 2016, but if they can keep this base running system in place, they could be dangerous in 2017 and beyond.