A Brief Look at Historical Batting WAR


I am planning to delve much deeper into the best and worst teams in franchise history, but for now, here is the offense in graphical form:

I used batting WAR because it makes it easy to quickly compare lineups of different eras, though it’s hardly the definitive measure of an offense. A few other notes, after the jump.

  • The 1977 Twins posted a franchise-best 33.8 oWAR, though mostly due to three outliers: Rod Carew (10.0), Lyman Bostock (6.8), and Larry Hisle (6.0). Butch Wynegar was the only other player to crack 3.0. That team scored 874 runs, but finished with an 84-77 record and finished fourth in the AL West.
  • The worst? Technically, that would be the the 1981 Twins, whose 0.4 oWAR is the worst by far in franchise history. However, that season was shortened to just 110 games due to the strike, and I tend to think that a team batting .240/.293/.338 would finish the season above 1.0 (though not by much). Over an entire 162-game season, the 1999 Twins were undoubtedly the most offensively inept. They batted .264/.328/.384, worth an entire offensive 1.9 wins above replacement. Their best hitter was Corey Koskie, who batted .310/.386/.468 in his first full season, worth 1.7 batting wins above replacement.
  • So, how ’bout those ’87 Twins? I don’t think anyone would argue that they were a thoroughly mediocre team that lucked into a championship, and yeah, maybe they were the worst World Series champions ever. I also don’t know any Twins fans who care.