Minnesota Twins: The 40 Best Players In Team History (No. 1-5)

Apr 11, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins hall of fame player Rod Carew (center) holds out a ceremonial first pitch brought to him by former teammate Tony Oliva that he threw to first baseman Joe Mauer (7) before the game between the Twins and the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins hall of fame player Rod Carew (center) holds out a ceremonial first pitch brought to him by former teammate Tony Oliva that he threw to first baseman Joe Mauer (7) before the game between the Twins and the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins
Apr 11, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins hall of fame player Rod Carew throws out a ceremonial first pitch before the game between the Twins and the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: Rod Carew (63.7 WAR)

The Minnesota Twins have had many legends come through their organization. Killebrew, Puckett, Tony Oliva and others have been valuable parts to the franchise. They played their parts by helping the team win and being the best they could be to help the team get wins. The best of them all, according to the wins above replacement statistic, is Rod Carew.

Carew was one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. His .328 lifetime batting average is impressive. He hit .334 during his 12 years in Minnesota, which is first in franchise history. Carew hit .350 or better in five of his seasons in a Twins uniform, including an insane .388 batting average in 1977.

Carew was perennially impressive. He went to 12 All-Star Games, picked up seven batting titles and won an American League MVP during his years in the Twins Cities. He took home hardware and put up impressive amounts of hits. His value, however, is shown in his Twins franchise-leading WAR total.

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Carew put up five straight seasons of 6.5 or more wins above replacement. His best season was his MVP campaign in 1977 when he recorded an AL-best 9.7 position player WAR. He led the AL two other times in 1974 and 1975 when he tallied 7.4 and 7.8 in those years.

Carew’s value would be rewarded when he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. He made it on the first ballot. He was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. His value cannot be matched on a lot of levels, including in the Twins organization on the field. According to WAR, he is the great Twins player of all-time. It is hard to disagree with the career he ended up with.

Next: Top 40 Greatest Twins No. 6-10