Minnesota Twins: The Top 5 First Basemen in Franchise History
By Otto Johnson
No. 3: Justin Morneau
Years: 2003-2013 (11 Seasons)
Key Stats: 1278 G, 1318 Hits, 221 HR, 860 RBI, .278 BA, 23.3 WAR, -5.2 dWAR, 4-Time All-Star, 4 Top 25 MVP Finishes, Two Silver Sluggers, 2006 MVP
The most recent player on this list, Justin Morneau was one of the best players on the team for several seasons, forming a dominate duo with the other M&M brother, Joe Mauer. Morneau hit fourth in a loaded lineup, allowing him to rack up stats and awards.
Morneau made the team in 2003, winning the job away from Doug Mientkiewicz. After Mientkiewicz was traded, Morneau proceeded to become one of the top first basemen in the league. He led the team in homers and RBI during his time with the team and made 4 All-Star teams.
His best season came in 2006, when Morneau hit .321 with 34 home runs, and knocked in 130 RBI. He and Johan Santana led the team to a American League Central title that year, one of five division titles he won with the team. Morneau also earned one of his two Silver Slugger awards that year. He also finished in the Top 25 in the MVP race four other times during his tenure.
Morneau now sits in the franchise’s Top 10 in homers, RBI, doubles, and slugging percentage. Morneau’s 221 homers and his slugging percentage of .485 are fifth and his 860 RBI are tenth. His power made him a force to be reckoned with.
His defense was also pretty decent for a first baseman. Over his eleven seasons with the team, Morneau compiled a dWAR of -5.2. That’s not a great rating and won’t win him any awards, but it was still solid. His career fielding percentage of .996 is excellent.
Even though teams starring Morneau never made it past the ALDS, he is still remembered fondly by Minnesota Twins fans. He led the team through a period of a lot of wins and his WAR of 23.3 shows how valuable he was.