Chris Herrmann had an opportunity in 2012 that he failed to take advantage of.
He was called up from Double-A New Britain in mid-September and stayed with the Twins for the remainder of the season, going 1-for-18 in the batter’s box and clarifying that he simply wasn’t ready for the Majors.
This season, the 25-year-old catcher is doing all he can to dispel that idea. With Joe Mauer on paternity leave this week following the birth of his twin daughters, Herrmann has been able to inherit increased playing time as a result.
Since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on July 19, Herrmann has started four games for the Twins, batting .278 with two multi-hit performances – one of which included his first career grand slam in the top of the 10th inning against the Angels on Tuesday night.
Herrmann – who played second base during his high school days in Tomball, Texas, and played college ball at University of Miami – played in seven games for the Twins this season prior to his most recent call-up.
In 31 at-bats in the big leagues this year, he’s batting .355 with two home runs and nine RBIs – good enough for a .613 slugging percentage, highest on the Twins roster (I know it’s only been 31 at-bats).
What makes Herrmann’s success in the Majors this season especially strange is that in 69 games in Triple-A this year, he’s batting .227 with two homers and 22 RBIs. He’s never hit above .300 at any minor league level, despite having played more than 480 games in the minors since 2009.
Herrmann has hit as many home runs in 11 games with the Twins this season as he has in 69 games with Triple-A Rochester: two.
Drew Butera was also called up to help relieve Mauer’s absence, but has only seen one at-bat thus far. Butera has never hit above .200 in more than 180 games at the big league level, so hopefully Herrmann’s play will continue to keep him productive and in the lineup so Butera can remain on the bench.