The next inductees to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame should be
Nathan was drafted with a very different career in mind than what transpired. A shortstop with a cannon arm and the frame to project future power, Nathan was the 6th round selection of the San Francisco Giants in 1995. He moved to the mound in 1997, and he moved up the system quickly as a starter with a blazing fastball and devastating slider. However, after reaching the majors as a starter in 2000, he struggled in the role and was converted to relief in 2003, winning a dozen games as a middle reliever for the 100-win Giants.
With Joe Mauer ready for the major leagues, the Minnesota Twins made a deal with the Giants in November of 2003 that sent starting catcher A.J. Pierzynski to San Francisco in exchange for Nathan and two pitching prospects, Boof Bonser and Francisco Liriano, both of whom would become starters for the Twins in the future.
Nathan made an impact on the Twins immediately, making the first of his four All-Star teams as a Twin in 2004, taking over the role of closer and saving 44 games with an impressive 1.62 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 72 1/3 innings with a 23/89 BB/K ratio. He missed all of the 2010 and a large chunk of the 2011 season after Tommy John surgery, but in his time with the Twins, Nathan was nothing short of dominant, with a 2.16 ERA and 0.96 WHIP, saving 260 games, and averaging 66 innings and 80 strikeouts per season.
At age 37, the Twins elected to allow Nathan to leave as a free agent after the 2011 season. He revitalized his career with two more dominant seasons with the Texas Rangers, but after that struggled with the Detroit Tigers and a few other teams that have picked him up for auditions since.
While Nathan technically has not officially retired, he is currently unemployed by a major league team after being released by the Washington Nationals at the end of May this season. He would be an excellent choice, active or not, to honor with a spot in the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame.
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