MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 20: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates a two-run home run during the first inning of the game on June 20, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the White Sox 9-7. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

5 Biggest Surprises for the Minnesota Twins This Season

The Minnesota Twins have proved to be one of the most surprising teams in baseball this season, and currently stand in second place in the AL Central with a record of 36-33. They trail the Indians by 1.5 games, but there's still plenty of season left. Here are five of the biggest surprises for Paul Molitor's Twins' team:

5. Young Players Turning it Around

The Twins have one of the younger rosters in MLB, with a median age of 28.2. The impressive part is this team was the worst in baseball last year yet has the wherewithal to compete this year. The call ups have bolstered the roster and elevated the Twins from the league's cellar to near tops in their division.

4. Ervin Santana's Dominance

While Ervin Santana has always been a solid pitcher throughout his career, he has been a true ace for the Twins in 2017. He has made 15 starts for Minnesota and has three complete-game shutouts. He has already thrown 100 innings and currently holds career-lows in ERA and WHIP. He has given Paul Molitor length and a legitimate number one starter to anchor the rotation.

3. The Emergence of Miguel Sano

At the heart of Minnesota's success this year has been the emergence of Miguel Sano as an All-Star talent, and one of the leaders of the club. He's averaging career-highs in batting average (.290), slugging (.571), on-base percentage (.388) and is on pace for the most home runs in his three-year career. He still holds a comfortable lead in All-Star voting, and will most likely head to Miami as a representative of the Twins.

2. Winning Close Games

The Twins' have  squeaked out the close games, and their record is surprising considering that they have a -40 run differential. They are the only team in baseball with a record .500 or better with a negative run differential. Minnesota gets many of the close games, meaning when they lose, they get shelled.

1. Thriving on the Road

Perhaps the biggest surprise for Minnesota this season is their outstanding record away from Target Field. Their 20-9 road record is one of the best in baseball, just behind the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. Going against the common baseball adage of 'home cooking,' the Twins play much better on the road, compared to their 16-24 home record.