Kirill Kaprizov, Wild forward (⬆️ UP)
As the NHL’s regular season winds down, Kaprizov has done his best to distance himself from competitors and be the choice for the league’s Calder Trophy (top rookie) winner. In Minnesota’s three games in the past week Kaprizov had three goals – including an incredible game-winner in overtime -- and three assists. In his last 20 games, which encompasses April and May, he has 15 goals and eight assists (four goals and five assists in five May games alone). Yeah, Kaprizov might be a bit older than other NHL rookies as he spent time in Russia playing in the KHL but we have two words for those crtitics: Ichiro Suzuki. And here’s two more: Calder Trophy.
Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves guard (⬆️ UP)
Speaking of making a Rookie of the Year push down the stretch … this past week Edwards was on fire. He averaged 26.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists over four games, shooting an impressive 60.3% from the field and 46.7% from 3. On May 5, he tied a career high with 42 points while draining 8 of 9 shots from behind the arc. Edwards leads all rookies with 19.0 points per game – the highest single-season average for any rookie in Timberwolves history.
Jorge Polanco, Twins second baseman (⬆️ UP)
Polanco got in a groove recently, recording three consecutive multi-hit games. He was 7-for-12 in those contests with two doubles and two home runs. It’s some much-needed production for a Twins offense which has been largely stagnant in 2021.
Miguel Sano, Twins first baseman (⬇️ DOWN)
Coming off the injured list, Sano played in four of Minnesota’s five games in the past week. He went 3-for-17 with nine strikeouts before getting a break and put on the bench for Tuesday’s game.
Ben Rortvedt, Twins catcher (⬆️ UP and ⬇️ DOWN)
Arriving in Minnesota with a reputation as a strong defensive catcher, Rortvedt has backed up the scouting report. In his 44 innings of work this season five opposing runners have tried to steal a base. Rortvedt has thrown out three of them (that’s a 60% rate for those who don’t like to do math; the current MLB average for catchers is 22%). However, the rookie has been challenged at the plate. This past week he was 0-for-8 with five strikeouts and on the season has one hit, a single, in 16 at-bats.
Twins bullpen (⬇️ DOWN)
Eight Minnesota relievers pitched last week. Six allowed at least one run. Four gave up two or more. It was not a good week.