Minnesota Twins: 5 best outfields in team history
By Nate Palmer
No. 4–1976 Twins Outfield
Larry Hisle, Lyman Bostock, Dan Ford, and Steve Braun
The 1976 Minnesota Twins went 85-77 finishing third in the American League West. In today’s game of baseball their 5th best AL record would have meant a playoff appearance but in 1976 it didn’t mean much of anything. When taking into the account the top three WAR totals of this group, the 1976 Twins outfield accounted for an 11 WAR. It is one of the few groups that had four outfielders end the season with a WAR above 2.0.
Larry Hisle led the way with a 4.3 WAR as the primary left fielder. In his fourth season with the Twins after being traded to Minnesota from the St. Louis Cardinals, Hisle hit .272/.335/.394 and 14 home runs and 31 stolen bases. As can be seen in the tweet above, HIsle also hit for the cycle in a game against the Baltimore Orioles on June 4, 1976.
Lyman Bostock was the primary center fielder for the 1976 Twins and finished with a slash line of .323/.364/.430 with 21 doubles and 9 triples and 3.6 WAR. It would turn out to be his last season with the Twins after being the teams 1972 26th round draft pick. Bostock would be granted free agency and sign with the California Angels for the 1977 season.
Right fielder Dan Ford hit .267/.323/.457 with 20 home runs which were good for a WAR of 2.9. “Disco Dan” was in his third season of major league baseball after being drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1970. While Ford qualifies as the regular right fielder for the Twins, utility player Steve Braun had a better WAR at 3.1 as he hit .288/.384/.353.
The 1977 outfield received a little more attention from places outside of Minnesota than the 1976 outfield here at number four. Hisle and Bostock both garnered MVP votes in seasons where both finished with a WAR over 5. Disco Dan’s numbers were down and Braun was not around as a potent fourth outfield option. That gives the nod to the 1976 crew of outfielders for number four on this list.