Top 10 Outfielders in Minnesota Twins History

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Aug 1, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Former Minnesota Twins

Tony Oliva

waves to fans during a pre game ceremony for the 1965 Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

player. 2. 15 Seasons (1962-1976) – WAR 40.0. RF. MN. Tony Oliva. 2

Tony Oliva played his whole career with the Twins. He has a statue outside of Target Field. His no. 6 was retired in 1991. But he is not no. 1 in this list. Let’s look at his rankings.

  • Second in Runs Scored (870)
  • Second in Hits (1917)
  • First in Home Runs (220)
  • Second in Runs Batted In (947)
  • Fifth in Stolen Bases (86)
  • Third in Batting Average (.304)
  • Fifth in On Base Percentage (.353)
  • Fourth in Slugging Percentage (.476)

Oliva was a great hitter for the Twins. He led the AL in hits five times (1964-1966,1969,1970). He led the AL in doubles four times (1964,1967,1969,1970). He led the AL in batting average three times (1964,1965,1971). In 1964 he led the AL in runs scored with 109, and in 1971 he led the AL in SLG with .546.

Oliva was an all-star  from 1964 to 1971. He finished second in MVP voting twice in that span, won Rookie of the Year  in 1964 and won a Gold Glove Award in 1966. Got all that?

Looking at the statistical rankings, Oliva does not rank below fifth in any category. He is a far step above Allison and Hunter. Oliva did not win the Gold Glove as many times as Hunter did, but he was a much better offensive player. He was an all-around better hitter than Allison and Hunter. The stats do not lie.

Oliva is so popular in Twins Territory that there is a sandwich named after him at Target Field.  Yet he is not popular enough among Hall of Fame voters to be shrined alongside the best in baseball.

Oliva battled with injuries and was used as a DH in the last four years of his career. Which, depending on who you are, might be cause for debate. Whether you judge a player’s career harshly because they were or were not a DH. Rants aside, he fits here at no. 2 on the list.

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