Minnesota Twins: The 40 Best Players In Team History (No. 26-30)
No. 30: Scott Baker (15.9 WAR)
The Twins have had some good pitchers since the turn of the millennium, but none went under the radar like Scott Baker. Baker pitched alongside the likes of Twins pitching greats Brad Radke and Johan Santana, but never got the recognition of being an above average starter.
Baker pitched three straight double digit win seasons from 2008 to 2010. His best total came in 2009 when he recorded 15. That season, he recorded 3.3 wins above replacement, his second best total. His best came in 2008 when he put up a 4.4 mark, a season he went 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA.
Baker has found himself in the top realm of Twins starters, placing tenth in winning percentage with a tidy .568 mark. His record while in Minnesota was 63-48. He ranks just outside of the top ten in games started (159) and strikeouts (770).
After being the only Twins pitcher with a record above .500 in 2011, Baker underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012. The surgery effectively ended his Twins career after his club option was not exercised. He would pitch for three more ball clubs before retiring.
Baker’s time in Minnesota was productive and he earned wins for the squads he was on. He may have been overlooked because of starters like Radke, Santana and Francisco Liriano being in the same rotation as him. Nonetheless, Baker was a quality starter for a few years with the Twins and that should not be forgotten.