Greatest Minnesota Twins Shortstop Polls: Versalles vs Bartlett
Puckett’s Pond faces off two notable Minnesota Twins players and you decide which one was greater
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Puckett’s Pond is enlisting your help in deciding who the greatest Minnesota Twins in history are at each position. Eventually we’ll square off each position against the others and wind up with the greatest Minnesota Twin, as selected by you. The first position we’ll be selecting is catcher. We’ll only be counting literal Minnesota Twins and not the pre-1961 Washington franchises. Players also will need 700 PAs as a Twin to qualify. We ask you to consider the player based solely on his time as a Twin and at the position specified.
We faced off Guzman vs Escobar in the first match up (You can still vote in that poll), Cardenas vs Smalley in the second (vote here) and Gagne vs Reboulet in the third (vote here)
Matchup #4: Zoilo Versalles vs Jason Bartlett
Versalles was signed as an amateur free agent by the Senators in 1958. He made his debut in 1959. His two seasons in Washington were cups of coffee. After the team moved to Minnesota, Zoilo broke out and became the club’s starting shortstop. He held that role until 1967. He spent 7 seasons as a Twin. He was traded to the Dodgers prior to the 1968 season. His best season in Minnesota came in 1965 when he won the AL MVP and posted 7.2 WAR.
Zoilo was a decent hitter for a shortstop but was a great defender. He had above average power for a shortstop and could steal a base every now and then. Over 4500 plate appearances with the Twins he posted a .679 OPS, 85.5 defensive runs above average and 16 WAR.
Bartlett was drafted by the Padres in 2001. He was traded to the Twins in 2002 and made his debut in 2004. He spent parts of five seasons in Minnesota. His best came in 2007 when he put up a .699 OPS and a 4.6 WAR. Bartlett was traded the Devil Rays prior to the 2008 season. Bartlett retired as a Twin in 2014.
Bartlett was an average hitter for a shortstop but was a superb defender. He had little power, he got on base and was an excellent baserunner (tops among qualifying Twins’ shortstops). Over 1212 plate appearances as a Twin he put up a .702 OPS, 43.9 defensive runs above average and 8 WAR.
Who was the greater Twins shortstop? Have your say:
Feel free to leave your reasoning in the comments. Check back here for the rest of the match ups and to see who moves on.