Minnesota Twins: The 40 Best Players In Team History (No. 21-25)
No. 23: Kevin Tapani (19.2 WAR)
The Twins had some stellar pitching during the 1991 season with the likes of Scott Erickson and Jack Morris. Another pitcher had a great season during that championship run and ended up pitching well throughout the early 1990s. Kevin Tapani would end up recording five double digit win seasons from 1990 to 1994 in Minnesota.
His best season came during that magical year in 1991. During that season, he would go 16-9 with a 2.99 ERA to go along with 6.8 wins above replacement. He finished seventh in Cy Young Award voting that year, five spots behind his teammate Erickson.
He would go on to win 16 games again in 1992, but did not have the incredible WAR that he had the previous year. His ERA was almost a full run higher with a 3.97 mark, which was still respectable. It wasn’t just about the double digit wins that made him a valuable pitcher.
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Tapani was a workhorse, pitching over 200 inning three times as a Twin, once pitching 244 innings in a season. His ability to work through games helped him record 19 complete games when he was in Minnesota. He ranks 9th all-time in Twins history with 1171.1 innings pitched.
Along with his incredible amount of innings, Tapani is ninth all-time in wins as a Twin with 75 and seventh in games started with 180 starts in a Twins uniform. He was able to win ballgames for the squad and eat innings while doing it. While he may not have made an All-Star team, Tapani proved his worth with value statistics.