Minnesota Twins: Best Player In Each Decade Since 1961
2000-2009: Johan Santana
There were some good pitchers in the early part of the decade, but in the middle, the Twins had arguably the best. Johan Santana pitched eight seasons with the Twins, but the last four were what gave him this spot.
In that span, from 2004 to 2007, Santana won two Cy Young Awards, went to three All Star games and had a 70-32 record. His ERA was below three for three straight seasons in that span, as well. Nobody could touch him. He achieved the pitching triple crown in 2006 and led the American League in strikeouts in each season from 2004 to 2006.
During his time with the Twins, they made the playoffs four times, losing in the ALDS in three of the four appearances. Two of those playoff appearances came during his dominant stretch. The Twins never had winners year after year like they did when Santana was there.
Santana’s last season in Minnesota was in 2007, after which he was traded to the New York Mets. He made an All Star team there, but injuries caught up with him. He could have been one of the greatest had injuries not set him back.
There were plenty of amazing amazing Twins during this era. Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan and the next decade’s best player, but none were as dominant as Johan Santana. There may never be another one like him. The next player, however, has been a franchise guy for quite some time. Many still view him as such.