Minnesota Twins’ Greatest Catcher. Round 1 results are in.
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After four first round match-ups, leading towards our goal of determining who the greatest Minnesota Twins catcher is (according to our readers), the results are in and second round match-ups are set. This set of polls is part of a larger effort to eventually face off the winners at each position against one other. When it’s all been said and done, we’ll arrive at the greatest Twin overall according to you.
We set a few ground rules for the competition: Players need at least 700 plate appearances as a Twin, players must have been a literal Minnesota Twin (post-1961 only) and a player’s position will be determined by which position he played the highest number of fielding innings at. We also requested that readers not treat the polls as a popularity contest. We hoped that voters would consider each player only on the basis of their work at their designated position and only on their time as a Twin. But of course there’s no way to enforce that. Honor system!
A.J Pierzynski beat Mitterwald handily: 79% to 21%. Mitterwald was the superior defender but Pierzynski had a much better bat. This was not an upset. Absolute and rated WAR were both accurate predictors of the winner.
Battey bested Harper by a similar margin as match-up #1. Battey received 80% of votes and Harper, 20%. Even though Harper helped the Twins to a World Series title, this wasn’t much of a surprise. Battey was one of the best catchers of the 60s.
Laudner crushed Borgmann in their duel. Laudner had 88% of the vote. This victory could be considered an upset. Borgmann had a fairly wide edge in terms of absolute and rated WAR. On the other hand, Laudner had his status as a World Series hero going in his favor.
To the surprise of no one, Mauer eased past Wynegar with 88% of the vote. Wynegar is probably the Twins’ best ever defensive catcher but Mauer is one of the greatest offensive catchers in MLB history. Bad luck for Wynegar.
Battey will face off against Laudner in match-up #1 of round 2 and Pierzynski will face Mauer in match-up #2. Check back here and vote for both match-ups to ensure your favored players moves on.