MINNEAPOLIS -- Even though Sunday marked Danny Valencia's 26th birthday, it seems the Twins' rookie third baseman's birthday wishes have already come true.
Valencia has impressed Twins fans with his stellar defense and clutch hitting since joining Minnesota in June.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Valencia's success is due to his willingness to watch and learn from his more accomplished teammates and coaches.
"He's learned the game and how to handle himself. He's listened to other hitters, he's watched film of pitchers. The physical ability is there. When we got him up here he was willing to listen and he worked. He is a nice looking player," Gardenhire said.
Valencia had the highest batting average on the team at .340 heading into Sunday's tilt with Oakland. He has also added four home runs and 33 RBIs.
Valencia's addition to the team has done something else; it has stabilized the third base position for the Twins. For several years Minnesota has looked for someone to take over the third base position, and it looks like Valencia is finally the man to do the job for years to come.