Minnesota Twins: The Top 50 Players in Franchise History: 20-1

Former Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer and Torii Hunter greet each other. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Former Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer and Torii Hunter greet each other. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Twins All-Time Greats

This list, is reserved for the elite players in Twins history that just fell outside of the Top 10. Two of the players are in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, five are in the Twins Hall of Fame, two are Senators greats, and the last player is Chuck Knoblauch. Let’s get into it.

No. 20: Minnesota Twins’ Chuck Knoblauch 1991-1998 (8 Seasons) 1013 G, 1197 Hits, 43 HR, 391 RBI, 276 SB, 513 BB, .304 BA, 38.0 WAR, 8.6 dWAR, Rookie of the Year, 4 Time All-Star, 3 Top 25 MVP, Two Silver Sluggers, One Gold Glove

Positional Ranking: No. 2 Second Baseman

Chuck Knoblauch was one of the Twins top young players, churning out a 38.0 WAR over just eight seasons. His yearly average of .304 BA, 49 RBI, 64 BB, and 35 steals with a 4.75 WAR is incredible. He was the 1991 Rookie of the Year and was a key piece of the 1991 World Championship team.

He was supposed to be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame, but personal issues got in the way of that. Regardless of that, Knoblauch was a star in Minnesota before he forced his way out. And who knows, if he never leaves Minnesota, his career could’ve been very different.

No. 19: Minnesota Twins’ Jim “Kitty” Kaat 1959-1973 (15 Seasons) 484 G, 3,014.1 IP, 190-159 W-L, 3.34 ERA, 1,851-729 K-BB, 133 CG, 23 Shutouts, 30.6 WAR, 2-Time All-Star, 12 Gold Gloves, Two Top-25 MVP Finishes, 1965 AL Pennant

Positional Ranking: No. 5 Starting Pitcher

One of the greatest defensive pitchers in league history, Jim Kaat won twelve of his fifteen Gold Gloves during his time in Minnesota. A 2001 inductee to the Twins Hall of Fame, Kaat is one of the best pitchers in Twins history.

Kaat played 15 seasons in Minnesota and helped the team win the AL Pennant in 1965. He was a force on the mound and ranks second in team history in Wins and fourth in strikeouts and shutouts. Kitty Kaat is a franchise icon that belongs in the top twenty.

No. 18: Minnesota Twins’ Gary Gaetti 1981-1990 (10 Seasons) 1361 G, 1276 H, 201 HR, 74 SB, 758 RBI, 358 BB, .256 BA, 27.2 WAR, 11.3 dWAR, Three Top-25 MVP Finishes, Two-time All-Star, Four Gold Gloves, 1987 World Series Champion, 1987 ALCS MVP

Positional Ranking: No. 2 Third Baseman

Gary Gaetti was a playoff stalwart for the Minnesota Twins and was an excellent all-around player. The 1987 ALCS MVP also won four Gold Gloves and was a two-time All-Star. He was one of the most complete players in team history.

Gaetti was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2007 and was a foundational piece of the team that brought the first World Series to Minnesota. His 11.3 dWAR is fifth in team history and he only played ten years with the team, helping him lock down the eighteenth spot.

No. 17: Minnesota Twins’ Frank “Sweet Music” Viola 1982-1989 (8 Seasons) 260 G, 1,772.2 IP, 112-93 W-L, 3.86 ERA, 1,214-521 K-BB, 54 CG, 10 Shutouts, 27.0 WAR, One-time All-Star, 1988 Cy Young, Three Top-10 Cy Young Finishes, One Top-25 MVP Finish, 1987 World Series

Positional Ranking: No. 4 Starting Pitcher

One of the most dominant starters in Twins history, Frankie V was the driving force behind the team’s run to the 1987 World Series, and he deservedly won the World Series MVP that year and the Cy Young Award the next.

He became the third starter inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame, as Viola meant everything to the Twins over that two-year span and his trade helped bring back several key pieces of the 1991 Championship team. He was a true leader of the team and earned his spot at number seventeen.

No. 16: Minnesota Twins’ Johan Santana 2000-2007 (8 Seasons) 251 G, 1,308.2 IP, 93-44 W-L, 3.22 ERA, 1,381-364 K-BB, 6 CG, 4 Shutouts, 35.8 WAR, 3-Time All-Star, 2004 and 2006 Cy Young, One Gold Glove, Five Top-10 Cy Young Finishes, Two Top-25 MVP Finishes

Positional Ranking: No. 3 Starting Pitcher

Johan Santana was the pitcher responsible for the best three-year run in team history, when he went 55-19, with a 2.75 ERA, and 748 strikeouts en route to picking up two Cy Young Awards. The team won two division titles and averaging over 90 wins a season.

Santana was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame in 2018 and is considered one of the most dominant pitchers of the 2000s. The only reason he stays outside of the Top 15 is because he was traded away too early in his career.

No. 15: Minnesota Twins’ Bob Allison 1958-1970 (13 Seasons) 1541 G, 1281 H, 811 R, 256 HR, 796 RBI, 84 SB, 795 BB, .255 BA, 34.1 WAR, -5.3 dWAR, 1959 Rookie of the Year, Three Top-25 MVP Finishes, Three Time All-Star

Positional Ranking: No. 3 Right Fielder

Bob Allison is one of the Twins thought of extremely highly by Twins fans. He was an excellent power hitter, as his 256 homers sit third in Twins history and that power helped make fans love him.

Bob wasn’t that great at much else, but his likable personality makes him an easy choice for the top fifteen. He was part of the fourth class in the Twins Hall of Fame and is remembered fondly by the organization. The 1959 Rookie of the Year is a Twins star.

No. 14: Washington Senators’ Clyde “Deerfoot” Milan 1907-1922 (16 Seasons) 1982 G, 2100 H, 1004 R, 17 HR, 617 RBI, 495 SB, 685 BB, .285 BA, 40.0 WAR, -5.7 dWAR, Four Top-25 MVP Finishes

Positional Ranking: No. 3 Center Fielder

The franchise’s all-time leader in steals, Deerfoot Milan was known for two things: Getting hits and stealing bases. Milan finished his career with 495 stolen bases, which when he retired, placed him in the top five in league history.

Milan’s .285 batting average is in the top thirty in franchise history and helped him build a career WAR of 40, tenth in the team record books. This helps land Deerfoot in the fourteenth slot, with only five Senators in front of him.

No. 13: Washington Senators’ Joe Judge 1915-1932 (18 Seasons) 2084 G, 2291 Hits, 71 HR, 1001 RBI, 210 SB, 943 BB, .299 BA, 47.1 WAR, -5.3 dWAR, 4 top 25 MVP finishes, World Series Champion

Positional Ranking: No. 2 First Baseman

The second best first baseman in team history and the starter at first for the All-Time Senators team, Joe Judge could hit and run. His WAR of 47.1 is sixth in team history, but he’s ranked in the top ten of several other categories.

He is third in games (2,084) walks (943), and hits (2,291), sixth in steals (210), and tenth in OBP (.379). He also helped bring the team its first World Series in 1924 and second pennant a year later. He belongs in the top 15.

No. 12: Washington Senators’ Joe Cronin 1928-1934 (7 Seasons) 940 G, 1090 H, 51 HR, 673 RBI, 56 SB, 460 BB, .304 BA, 36.7 WAR, 11.8 dWAR, 2 Top-25 MVP Finishes, 1933 AL Pennant, Hall of Fame

Positional Ranking: No. 1 Shortstop

The top shortstop on the list, Hall of Famer Joe Cronin was a star over his seven seasons with the team. Though he played more games over his time in Boston, Cronin played for the Senators first and played better in Washington.

Cronin was a great hitter, with his .304 average ranking tying him for thirteenth in team history. He was also a great defender, with his 11.8 dWAR placing him fourth on the franchise list. His most impressive achievement is his 36.7 WAR, built over just seven seasons, showing his value to the team.

No. 11: Washington Senators’ Goose Goslin 1921-1930, 1933, 1938 (12 Seasons) 1361 G, 1659 H, 854 R, 127 HR, 932 RBI, 117 SB, 488 BB, .323 BA, 43.0 WAR, -1.4 dWAR, 1928 Batting Title, Three Top-25 MVP Finishes, 1924, 1925, 1933 AL Pennant, 1924 World Series, Hall of Fame

Positional Ranking: No. 1 Left Fielder

The next Hall of Famer and the best left fielder in team history, Goose Goslin helped lead the team to three AL Pennants and the 1924 World Series title. An excellent hitter and defender, Goslin played twelve seasons for the Senators.

His .323 batting average is third in team history, and he ranks in the top twenty of almost every single statistic, including eighth in RBI. He is one of the three best hitters in Senators history and just misses the cut for the Top 10.