Minnesota Twins: The Top 50 Players in Franchise History: 50-41

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Pitcher Eddie Guardado (L), Corey Koskie (R) who hit the game winning RBI, and staring pitcher Joe Mays (2nd R) of the Minnesota Twins celebrate after defeating the Anaheim Angels 08 October, 2002, in game one of the American League Championship Series in Minneapolis. The Twins won 2-1. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo by Timothy A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Pitcher Eddie Guardado (L), Corey Koskie (R) who hit the game winning RBI, and staring pitcher Joe Mays (2nd R) of the Minnesota Twins celebrate after defeating the Anaheim Angels 08 October, 2002, in game one of the American League Championship Series in Minneapolis. The Twins won 2-1. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo by Timothy A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
Eddie Guardado (L), Corey Koskie (R) of the Minnesota Twins (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) /

As the Minnesota Twins come up on their 120th season, we look back at the fifty best players in franchise history, starting with No. 50 through No. 41

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 players deserved some recognition. When I started this project three weeks ago, I wanted to list the top fifty players in franchise history and go over the Top 5 at each position. With a top five list at each position completed, it’s time to finally get into the big one: The Top 50 Players in Franchise History.

In order to make this list the Twins player needed to appear on one of the Top 5 positional lists, pitch in at least 150 games or hit in at least four hundred (only one player did both), perform excellently on the diamond, and mean something to the franchise and it’s fans.

Because this is such a lengthy list, it has to be broken down, with the Honorable Mentions and players 50-41 on this list, 40-21 on the next list, and 20-1 on the final list. With that in mind, we’ll start as we always do with the Honorable Mentions.

Top 50 Minnesota Twins Honorable Mentions (No. 55-No. 51)

No. 55: Minnesota Twins’ Doug Mientkiewicz 1998-2004 (7 Seasons)-643 G, 590 Hits, 43 HR, 266 RBI, 300 BB, .275 BA, 6.4 WAR, -2.1 dWAR, One Gold Glove

Positional Ranking: No. 6 First Baseman

Doug Mientkiewicz is one of the only glue guys on this list, as his stats over seven seasons weren’t exceptional. He only posted a .275 batting average over his time with the team, but his largest contribution was his work on defense.

Over his seven seasons with the team, Mientkiewicz built a -2.1 dWAR, the second best number in team history among first basemen. He was also beloved by the fans, helping secure his spot as an honorable mention.

No. 54: Washington Senators’ Joe Kuhel 1930-1937, 1944-1946 (11 Seasons)-1205 G, 1338 Hits, 56 HR, 667 RBI, .288 BA, 16.5 WAR, -7.1 dWAR, 5 Top-25 MVP finishes, 1933 AL Pennant

Positional Ranking: No. 5 First Baseman

Joe Kuhel was a solid hitter, producing one of the twenty-five best offensive careers in franchise history. He finished in the Top-25 of MVP voting an impressive five times and even more impressively helped lead the team to the AL Pennant in 1933.

On the flip side, Kuhel struggled defensively and didn’t have any exceptional skills. He wasn’t fast and he wasn’t a good power hitter. His excellent work hitting for contact earns him a mention, but not much more that.

No. 53: Minnesota Twins’ Denard Span 2008-2012 (5 Seasons)-589 G, 669 H, 360 R, 23 HR, 230 RBI, 90 SB, .284 BA, 17.2 WAR, 4.6 dWAR

Positional Ranking: No. 5 Center Field

Denard Span was an excellent defender who helped the Twins through a tough period in team history when they weren’t doing a lot of winning. His 4.6 dWAR is twenty-fifth in team history after just five seasons.

His offense was also good, as he averaged a .284 batting average, 46 RBI, and 18 SB, good stats for a leadoff man. Unfortunately, Span didn’t get to play long enough with the Twins to put up the stats to be in the Top 50.

No. 52: Washington Senators’ George McBride 1908-1920 (13 Seasons)-1459 G, 1068 H, 5 HR, 393 RBI, 116 SB, 381 BB, .221 BA, 22.3 WAR, 22.4 dWAR, 4 Top-25 MVP Finishes

Positional Ranking: No. 6 Shortstop

The most one-sided player in team history, George McBride was a true defensive specialist. McBride completed his career on a terrible team with a stellar 22.4 dWAR, the highest mark in team history by an insane ten points.

However, McBride was downright disappointing on offense. Despite having decent speed (116 steals), McBride only managed a depressing .221 batting average. His team also struggled to compete, keeping him outside of the top 50.

No. 51: Washington Senators’ George Case 1937-1945, 1947 (10 Seasons) 1108 G, 1306 H, 739 R, 20 HR, 355 RBI, 321 SB, 392 BB, .288 BA, 18.3 WAR, -1.9 dWAR, Three Top-25 MVP Finishes, Three Time All-Star

Positional Ranking: No. 5 Left Fielder

George Case was one of the Senators stars who never got to play in the World Series. He was a good player, hitting .288 and stealing 321 bases (third most in team history. He was a pretty solid defender as his -1.9 dWAR was a good mark for a leftfielder over ten seasons.

Despite being a three-time All-Star, Case doesn’t make the list because he was only a good player, not a great one. With so many memorable Twins ahead of him, It would be hard for him to make the cut, leaving him 51st in franchise history.

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