As the Minnesota Twins coming up on their 120th season, we look back at the five best third basemen in franchise history.
The Minnesota Twins are one of the oldest franchises in baseball, dating back to 1901, when they were the league bottom-dweller known as the Washington Senators. Since that time, the team has won three championships, six pennants, and eleven division titles.
It has also suffered through seven 100+ loss seasons, fourteen playoff defeats, and have lost over 1100 games to the New York Yankees. The team has had some really good seasons, and some really bad seasons. Throughout it all, there have been some excellent players who have carried the team.
These excellent players deserve some recognition , so Puckett’s Pond will be putting together a list of the top players at each position to get ready for the top 50 players of all time. In order to make it on this list, players need to have played over 400 games, been excellent on offense and defense, and played an important role for the team.
We’ll continue to move in positional order, moving onto third base. Third base, unlike second base and shortstop has been one of the Twins’ strongest positions in team history, with multiple contenders for the list, so we’ll get into it.
Minnesota Twins’ John Castino
Years with the Minnesota Twins: 1979-1984 (6 Seasons)
Key Stats with the Minnesota Twins: 666 G, 646 H, 41 HR, 249 RBI, 177 BB, .278 BA, 15.2 WAR, 6.3 dWAR, 1979 Rookie of the Year
John Castino manned the hot corner for the Minnesota Twins over a six-year period where the team didn’t win more than 81 wins in a season. He was a relative bright spot over this period, earning the 1979 Rookie of the year award and averaging 111 games per season.
Castino was solid on offense hitting .278 and knocking in 249 RBI over his time in Minnesota. He also was a pretty reliable defender, posting a 6.3 dWAR and only having one year with more than fifteen errors. His best season, 1980, saw him hit .302 and hit 13 homers with 64 RBI.
Castino’s career was cut short because of chronic back pain in 1984, but he was undoubtably talented. He had the potential to be one of the best Twins of all time, and his reliable bat earns him an honorable mention.
Washington Senators’ Eddie “Kid” Foster
Years with the Washington Senators: 1912-1919 (8 Seasons)
Key Stats with the Washington Senators: 1121 G, 1177 H, 6 HR, 355 RBI, 166 SB, 385 BB, .266 BA, 20.7 WAR, 4.3 dWAR, Two Top-25 MVP Finishes
Eddie Foster, known as Kid, was one of the top players on a very bad Senators team from 1912 until 1919. Foster played solid defense, producing a dWAR of 4.3 over his career with the team and finishing in the Top-25 of MVP voting twice.
Foster never hit for power, finishing his career with only six home runs, but he did steal 166 stolen bases (tenth in team history) and managed a .266 batting average and building a 20.7 WAR over his twelve seasons.
Foster led the American League in at-bats four times and was a fixture on top of the Washington order. He also knocked in 355 RBI as well, attempting to help the team win games. Unfortunately, his teams never finished closer than six games out of first, keeping him outside of the top 5.