As the Minnesota Twins coming up on their 120th season, we look back at the five best centerfielders 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.
The next position on the list is centerfield, featuring one of the top three Twins players in franchise history. This group is a little top heavy, but that top features some absolute stars, and if you’re looking for Byron buxton, he misses this list by seven games. As always, we’ll start with the honorable mentions.
Minnesota Twins’ Jimmie Hall
Years with the Minnesota Twins: 1963-1966 (4 Seasons)
Key Stats with the Minnesota Twins: 573 G, 507 H, 282 R, 98 HR, 288 RBI, 23 SB, 191 BB, .269 BA, 14.8 WAR, 1.4 dWAR, One Top-25 MVP Finish, Two Time All-Star, 1965 AL Pennant
One of the members of the 1965 American League Pennant-winning team, Jimmie Hall is one of the few players on any of these lists to only play four seasons with the Twins. Hall was a very solid centerfielder, finishing with a 1.4 dWAR over four seasons, but his hitting was his strong suit.
Hall averaged a stat line of a .269 BA, 24 HR, and 72 RBI per season over his time with the Twins and earned a career WAR of 14.8. He was named an All-Star twice in four seasons, but he was traded away after falling off in the fourth season. Hall’s biggest struggle was his inability to hit lefties, leading to his trade and keeping him off this list.
Minnesota Twins’ Larry Hisle
Years with the Minnesota Twins: 1973-1977 (5 Seasons)
Key Stats with the Minnesota Twins: 662 G, 697 H, 369 R, 87 HR, 409 RBI, 92 SB, 251 BB, .286 BA, 17.2 WAR, -1.9 dWAR, One Top-25 MVP Finishes, One Time All-Star
Larry Hisle could be listed as either a left fielder or centerfielder for these lists, but he played a little more in centerfield so he lands here. Hisle was a tremendous hitter over his time with the Twins, hitting a solid .286 with 87 homers and 409 RBI.
Hisle was a very well-rounded player who helped the team stay competitive during a seventeen season playoff drought, playing in the all-star game once and compiling a 17.2 WAR throughout his career. His slightly below average defense is all that holds him off this list.