August 11, 2007

Tolbert Still Impressing

Matt Tolbert has been a huge surprise to both the Minnesota Twins organization this season, and the Minnesota Twins fans everywhere. In a way, he came out of nowhere. A lot of us knew who he was when the season started, but his quick and steady start shocked all of us.

Last season, Tolbert finished the season at AA New Britain after playing in 40 games for the Fort Myers Miracle and hitting .303 with 4 homeruns and 24 RBI. His performance at New Britain (72 games, .258 avg and 35 RBI) wasn't really "awesome", but it was good enough to get him to Rochester to start this season.

At Rochester, Tolbert got off to a rapid start, hitting near .400 for a while before getting injured. Upon his return, his average dropped a little bit, but nobody really expected it to stay that high for the whole season anyways.

When he returned though, he got a few rewards for his great play, including an appearance in San Francisco at the MLB Futures Game, and an appearance in the International League All-Star Game.

Recently, the Twins decided they were going to call up a replacement for Punto at third. At first, the speculation was heavily on Matt Tolbert, but the Twins called up Brian Buscher who had also been impressing. Then, a few days ago, the team placed him on the disabled list and needed another replacement. This time, there was no doubt -- the guy would be Tolbert.

Instead, the Twins called up Tommy Watkins, who again deserved a chance, but none the less it was still surprising that Tolbert didn't get the call in two separate chances.

Within the last ten games or so, around the time when Buscher was called up, Tolbert has responded. He is currently on a six game hitting streak, and has hits in eight of his last nine games.

In addition to this, in his last ten games, he is 14-37 which gives him a .378 batting average. Meanwhile, as I mentioned above, he has a six game hitting streak in which he is 11-24 giving him a .458 batting average in that span. On the season, Tolbert still has an average above .300 at .307, and has 5 homeruns and 43 RBI to go along with it.

You know what they say, "the third time's a charm". So, next time the Twins need a bat, don't be surprised if Tolbert finally gets his shot.