With one minor league prospect in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game, and three major leaguers on the American League roster, the Minnesota Twins had a good group of players on hand in St. Louis to show off to the nation.
Each of the four players played a role in the many events and represented the organization in good fashion.
As the lone representative in the All-Star Futures Game, Rene Tosoni couldn’t have represented the organization any better.†
An outfielder for the team’s double-A affiliate, the New Britain Rock Cats, Tosoni in the first half of the season put up great numbers. Tosoni hit†.278 with 10 homeruns and 51 RBI to go along with a .480 slugging percentage.†
Tosoni didn’t start, but he did enter the game in the seventh inning and delivered a go-ahead double. The World would remain ahead and go on to win the game by a final of 7-5.
Tosoni’s hit was the deciding factor, and along with a shaving cream pie to the face, the 22-year old prospect was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Past recipients of the award include Alfonso Soriano, Toby Hall, Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore, Aaron Hill, and Billy Butler.
Joe Mauer has received a lot of attention since his May return. The two-time batting champion has hit near .400 for much of the season, and his 15 homeruns got him an invitation to the Homerun Derby to compete against stars such as Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Albert Pujols.
As Mauer attempted to become the second Twin in as many seasons to win the Derby, he found himself in a swing-off with Carlos Pena and Pujols after hitting five homeruns in the first round.
Mauer wouldn’t make the second round, but he had a good showing overall, and his yellow Livestrong cleats helped with a good cause.
The big day for Mauer came in the actual game. As the American League starter behind the plate, Mauer had the opportunity to catch the likes of Roy Halladay and Zack Greinke among others. Mauer’s RBI double in the fifth inning tied the game at three and played a big part in the American League’s 4-3 victory.
Justin Morneau opted not to take part in the Homerun Derby a year after winning it, so for the most part he remained out of the spotlight. Morneau was there to root on his teammate, and throughout the events he was seen talking with stars such as Derek Jeter and Josh Hamilton.†
Morneau didn’t start in the main event, but entered the game at first base in the middle innings. While he went 0-2, Morneau made a few good catches at first base and gave the ball a ride in his second plate appearance only to be robbed by Jayson Werth.
The final All-Star for the Twins, closer Joe Nathan, quite possibly made the most memorable pitches of the night. Entering after the American League took a 4-3 lead in the top half of the inning, Nathan found himself working through the eighth as a setup man for Mariano Rivera.
The first two outs came easily for Nathan, but a two-out walk and single put runners on the corners with two outs. After Hudson moved up to second base, Nathan found himself facing St. Louis native Ryan Howard in a game-changing situation.
Nathan worked ahead of Howard, and got to a 2-2 count before the lefty fouled a few pitches away. A slider in the dirt ended the inning, and a relieved Nathan pumped his first as he walked toward the dugout.
From Tosoni to the three big names for the Twins, the 2009 All-Star festivities had All-Star representation for the organization.
All photo from the Associated Press; for more, visit Yahoo! Sports.