Minnesota Twins: The Top 5 Catchers in Franchise History
By Otto Johnson
No. 4: Brian Harper
Years: 1988-1993 (6 Seasons)
Brian Harper is a player that few people would have expected for this list. Harper joined the team as a bit of an unknown, a backup catcher who many thought didn’t have a ton of talent. Harper broke this reputation as soon as he put on a Twins uniform, because he HIT.
Brian Harper hit .295, .325, .294, .311, .307, and .304 over his six seasons, earning him a career batting average of .306 with the team, good for 11th all-time. His 1989 batting average was good enough for seventh in the majors. He hit at a rate that no catcher for the Twins ever had.
His biggest contribution will be his 1991 season, where he hit .311 with 10 home runs, 69 RBI, and only 22 strikeouts. He played in 123 games and was a cornerstone for the team that took the AL Pennant and then the World Series title, where he helped earn the team its third championship through gritty plays like this:
Harper finished his Twins career in 1993 with excellent numbers: the .306 batting average, 346 RBIs, 15.4 WAR, and 2.3 dWAR. While his metric stats don’t look as good, he was the best catcher the team had since Earl Battey. He earned this spot through his great play, but he cemented the spot through clutch hitting and a World Series Ring.