Colorado Rockies vs. Minnesota Twins: 5 key players to watch

Apr 3, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Fans surround Target Field as they await the gates to open for the game with the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Fans surround Target Field as they await the gates to open for the game with the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 11, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer (7) celebrates after scoring during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer (7) celebrates after scoring during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /

Joe Mauer, 1B/DH, Minnesota

The first overall pick in the 2001 MLB draft is showing he can still play this season. A career .307 hitter, Mauer hasn’t finished a season batting above .277 since 2013. However, he’s on a hot streak entering the Colorado series.

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Mauer is hitting .324 in May, including a five-game hitting streak coming into Tuesday. There are just two games this month where the 34-year-old Mauer doesn’t have a hit. He also has his only two homers of the season this month.

However, Mauer has struggled playing on his own field. He’s hitting just .226 at Target Field. He’s also hitting just .200 against left-handed pitching. With southpaw Kyle Freeland getting the first start of the series on Tuesday night, that could be a good thing for the Rockies.

Colorado will be looking to do anything it can to slow down Mauer, Minnesota’s hottest hitter of the month. If home field and a left-hander can help do that, the Rockies will try to get the upper hand on the Twins on Tuesday night.