When the Minnesota Twins and Torii Hunter agreed to a one-year contract this offseason, many onlookers viewed the signing as a swan song for the veteran outfielder.
Hunter was drafted in the first round by the Twins in 1993 and he stayed with the organization through the 2007 season. His career in Minnesota was a very successful one. Hunter made the AL All-Star team twice, won seven gold gloves and became an overwhelming fan favorite. Returning to the franchise for one last season seemed like a good way to say goodbye, but as June begins it only looks like Hunter is reintroducing himself as the Twins have suddenly become a force in the American League.
With the team on a roll, Hunter has been arguably their best player. Hunter is currently on pace for 23 home runs and 106 RBI’s which would both be incredible feats. He hasn’t slugged 20 homers since 2011, he hasn’t driven in over 100 runs since 2007, his last year in Minnesota, and his .279 batting average is right on par with his career average. This is not a man who is slowing down as he has the red-hot Twins at the top of the standings.
Hunter’s 25 runs batted in during May was second in the American League behind Prince Fielder and the soon to be 40-year old has now hit safely in nine straight games.
It’s easy to say that the Twins will play as well as Hunter plays. Minnesota got off to a forgettable 1-6 start to the season and it was equally forgettable for Hunter, who hit just .160 in those opening seven games. It’s been a completely different story since then and Minnesota is firing on all cylinders with Hunter leading the way.
The Twins will start a new month on the road tonight against the Boston Red Sox after last night’s contest was rained out. Playing at Fenway Park is something that might make Hunter smile as he and his team look to continue their winning ways. He is a career .323 hitter in Boston and Minnesota is coming off a sweep of the Red Sox from just last week.