No. 1: Kent Hrbek
Years: 1981-1994 (14 Seasons)
Key Stats: 1747 G, 1749 Hits, 293 HR, 1086 RBI, 838 BB, .282 BA, 38.6 WAR, -7.7 dWAR, One All-Star, 2 Top 25 MVP Finishes, 2 Time World Series Champ
Kent Hrbek was one of the faces of the Minnesota Twins for over a decade. He was a Minneapolis native who rose through the organization after being a 17th round pick in 1978. Less than 10 years later, he helped bring home the Twins’ first title in Minnesota. Four years later, he helped bring home another one.
Hrbek lasted 1,747 games in Minnesota, racking up 1,749 hits, 1086 RBI, and 293 home runs. He’s second in home runs and ranks in the top 12 of almost every single offense category for the Minnesota Twins. “Herbie” as he was affectionately known, also drew 838 walks, showing his ability to get on base (and the respect pitchers had for his power).
His defense was solid, as his -7.7 dWAR is an okay number for a first baseman who played fourteen seasons. Hrbek deserved more award consideration than he got, as he almost always had to compete with Don Mattingly, who won more awards because he played out East with the New York Yankees.
His most important contribution to the Minnesota Twins wasn’t his offense, it wasn’t his defense, it was his personality and his ability to help the Twins get over the hill and win titles. In addition to all of that, Herbie provided one of the most memorable moments in Twins history:
Kent Hrbek may not have had the numbers that Joe Judge did, but very few players meant more to the Minnesota Twins than Hrbek did. His awesome personality, his style of play, and his ability to help his hometown team win made him the best first baseman in franchise history.