Nelson Cruz, Twins designated hitter (⬆️ UP)
Cruz had a tough month of May, batting .221/.302/.360 with three homers in 24 games. Well, everyone’s favorite 40-year-old slugger (who turns 41 on July 1) has found his swing again in June. "Boomstick" has clobbered six dingers and is batting .400/.486/.767 across 17 contests this month, tallying 13 RBI and six doubles along the way. Having Cruz produce at this level is great news for the Twins – he'll either lead an improbable Minnesota playoff run or boost his trade value ahead of the July 30 deadline. Unfortunately, the latter is more likely.
Minnesota Timberwolves’ luck (⬇️ DOWN)
Welp. Due to the Wolves’ trade for guard D’Angelo Russell at the 2019-20 deadline, Minnesota had to land a top-three pick in the 2021 draft lottery in order to keep it, otherwise it went to Golden State. Well, the ping pong balls didn’t bounce in the Wolves’ favor. Instead, Detroit, Houston and Cleveland jumped into the top three and Minnesota exited the lottery with no draft choice
Rachel Banham, Lynx guard (⬆️ UP)
Banham, the former star at Lakeville North and the University of Minnesota, has been automatic from 3-point range for the Lynx this season. Banham has nailed 17-of-33 attempts from deep (51.5%) in 2021 with multiple 3s in her last five outings. Not worried about lowering her 3-point clip, Banham launched from about 52 feet right before halftime of Minnesota’s matchup against Dallas on Sunday. And guess what? She cashed it.
Luis Arraez, Twins infielder (⬆️ UP)
Since returning from the injured list June 14, Arraez has collected nine hits in 27 at-bats (.333). One of his base knocks stands out. As they have done for much of the 2021 campaign, the Twins fell behind quickly in extra innings Monday night. Cincinnati scored two runs in the top of the 10th and looked primed to steal the first game of a two-game series at Target Field. However, Arraez led off the bottom of the 10th with an RBI double, and later scored on Trevor Larnach’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at 5. That set up Sano’s walk-off winner in the 12th.
Miguel Sano, Twins infielder (⬆️ UP)
You know what Sano did Monday night. We just wanted an excuse to watch it again. Fun fact: It was the 52nd walk-off homer in extra innings in Twins history.
Minnesota Lynx at the Olympics (⬆️ UP)
Napheesa Collier, Sylvia Fowles and Cheryl Reeve will represent the Lynx while playing (and for Reeve, coaching) for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympic Games next month. It marks Collier’s Olympic debut, while Fowles will play in her fourth Summer Games and Reeve will be on the sidelines as an assistant to head coach Dawn Staley.
Byron Buxton, Twins outfielder (⬇️ DOWN)
Sometimes life isn’t fair. For Buck, it seems like that’s the case more often than not. Three games after returning from the injured list, Buxton was drilled by a pitch Monday night and suffered a left-hand fracture. In 27 games, the outfielder is hitting .369/.409/.767 with 11 doubles, 10 homers, 19 RBI and five stolen bases. Baseball gods, just let him play. Please!