No. 17: Cesar Tovar (25.8 WAR)
Cesar Tovar earned the nickname “Mr. Versatility” over his time in Minnesota for good reason. He played every position at least once over his career. In fact, he played every position on the field in one game. Tovar was known for his speed and his ability to be a valuable asset anywhere on the diamond.
Tovar played well year in and year out for the Twins over the span of eight seasons from 1965 to 1972. While never making an All-Star team, he received American League Most Valuable Player votes in five straight seasons from 1967 to 1971. His highest finish in the MVP race was seventh.
Tovar stole 30 or more bases three times, maxing out at a career-high of 45 in 1969. He led the AL in triples in 1970 with 13. He would make his mark in the Twins record books in both categories, as he is third in Twins history in stolen bases and seventh in team history in triples.
More from Minnesota Twins All-Time Lists
- Minnesota Twins: Biggest Hall of Fame Snubs at Each Position
- Minnesota Twins: 2010s All-Decade Starting Lineup
- A Lineup with my Favorite Minnesota Twins: Part 2
- A Lineup With My Favorite Minnesota Twins Part 1
- Minnesota Twins: Top 5 Switch-Hitters in Twins History
His best season, according to wins above replacement, was 1968 when he had 4.8. The next season he recorded a slightly less 4.6. He had three or more wins above replacement in six of his eight seasons with the Twins, showing he was a valuable part of the team.
Tovar’s combination of versatility and speed helped the Twins win ballgames with him in the lineup. His WAR numbers are reflective of that. He may not have been the most decorated of players, but he was sure valuable.