With two new catchers, the Minnesota Twins had a solid duo in 2017. Who has made up the best catching units in Twins history?
The Minnesota Twins have a history that is filled with plenty of successes, headlined by World Series victories in 1987 and 1991. Of course, there are plenty of seasons we would like to forget as well. Here is the next installment of a series where we have been going through the top five of different position groups through Twins history. So far we have covered the outfield, middle infields, and corner infields. Next up is the best catching groups of all-time.
The Twins seem to have been lucky enough over long stretches of time to have some very solid catching situations. There have been some lean years, especially at the front end of Joe Mauer‘s concussion issues, but rarely has that been a huge hole that the Twins have needed to address. Before the 2017 season the Twins did need to address the position and did so by bringing in two catchers, Jason Castro and Chris Gimenez.
Castro was the big free agent signing for the new Twins front office. His ability defensively was one of the big reasons that Castro was targeted by the Twins and it certainly seemed to pay off for the club. Along the way, Castro also had one of his better offensive seasons. His slash line was his best since his 2013 All-Star season as he slashed .242/.333/.388 for the 2017 season. Castro also added 10 home runs and 22 doubles to his numbers. There were also stretches in the season where he just seemed to come up with hits at just the right moments for the Twins.
Gimenez was brought to the Twins on a minor league deal and ended up making the club out of spring training over Mitch Garver and John Ryan Murphy. The career backup catcher saw his most action in any season so far with 225 plate appearances. In those appearances, Gimenez hit .220/.350/.382 with 7 home runs and 9 doubles. He also had plenty of opportunities to try to prove himself as one of the best relief pitchers for the Twins.
This duo actually made a push to be included on the top 5 list. Castro’s 2.5 WAR combined with Gimenez’s 0.7 WAR which combined for a 3.2 WAR had them just sitting outside of it. In case you haven’t been following along, WAR plays a big role in deciding how this list unfolds. It isn’t the only measure though, as sometimes different discernment needs to be used. Without any more delay, let’s get to the first group on our list!