Minnesota Twins: 5 best outfields in team history

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 06: (L-R) Eddie Rosario
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 06: (L-R) Eddie Rosario /
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Minnesota Twins
ANAHEIM, CA – OCTOBER 11: Torii Hunter /

No. 3 — 2002 Twins Outfield

Bobby Kielty, Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones, and Dustan Mohr

After 2001 when the Twins saw competitive baseball again after years of cellar dwelling, 2002 saw that continue as the Twins went 94-67 to take first place in the American League Central. The Twins went on to win their American League Division Series matchup over the Oakland Athletics. In advancing to the American League Championship the Twins met the Anaheim Angels but lost the series 3-1 as a part of Francisco Rodriguez‘s breakout party.

Torii Hunter is the name that jumps off the page out of this trio. Hunter batted .289/.334/.524 with 29 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 2002 for a 3.5 WAR. Those numbers helped Hunter earn his first All-Star appearance, a sixth-place finish in MVP voting, and earned his second of nine career Gold Gloves.

While Hunter had a solid season, he was outdone by left fielder Jacque Jones. In 2002, Jones had a career year as he hit .300/.341/.511 with 27 home runs and his career high 5.4 WAR. Along with his best offensive season, he also turned in his best season in the field according to his defensive WAR of 1.0.

Bobby Kielty played the role of  utility outfielder for the 2002 Twins. As he rotated defensively, he remained solid at the plate as he batted .291/.405/.484 and added 12 home runs and 14 doubles to his stat line resulting in a 2.7 WAR. Kielty gained attention around the league and finished 4th in Rookie of the Year voting. Another rookie, Dustan Mohr, ended with a WAR above 2 at 2.2. His batting numbers of .269/325/.433 and 12 home runs also got him enough attention in Rookie of the Year voting to finish 8th.