Minnesota Twins: Nelson Cruz joins elite home run club

Minneapolis, MN-September 19: Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) hit a two-run home run with catcher Mitch Garver (18) on base in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images)
Minneapolis, MN-September 19: Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) hit a two-run home run with catcher Mitch Garver (18) on base in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins slugger Nelson Cruz joined an elite club yesterday with his 40th home run of the 2019 season.  

The club that the Minnesota Twins‘ slugger Nelson Cruz joined happens to only have two other members.  Those members are Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.

Cruz became the third player to hit 40+ home runs at age-39 or older.  Both Bonds and Aaron only accomplished this feat at exactly 39 years old and the drop off the season after was significant.

This season has been a great one for the Twins’ outfielder/DH as if he continues to hit the way he has, it will be only the 4th season he has hit over .300 over the entire year.

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Nelson Cruz is slugging .303/.387/.631 with 40 home runs and 105 RBI’s.  To be hitting at that high of a level at 39 is remarkable.  Most players have significantly declined by the time they are about to hit their 40’s.

The Twins are certainly happy with the way he has performed in his first year with the club.  He has helped the team almost clinch a division title.  They have a four game lead on the Cleveland Indians at 96-60.

He will be a wonderful veteran presence in that clubhouse as they prepare for a playoff appearance.  The Twins have a young team and it can only help having someone who has been to the World Series twice.

Unfortunately he has never been able to win one, losing to the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals as a member of the Texas Rangers.

I really hope he can get over the hump of winning a World Series title.  It would be the crowning achievement for someone who has honed his craft for so long.  He most certainly is running out of time in that department.

He is signed through only this year with a team option for next year.  I fully expect the Minnesota Twins to pick up that option with how valuable he has been to the team.  I’m silently rooting for the Twins to make it far.

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I know I mentioned in a previous post that I’d love to see the New York Yankees against the Atlanta Braves to play in the Fall Classic, but let’s be real.  That was merely for nostalgia sake.  I can never cheer for the Yanks.