Minnesota Twins: The Top 50 Players in Franchise History: 40-21
By Otto Johnson
Minnesota Twins Greats
The next level of players is primarily Minnesota Twins players that had a major impact on the organization. Six of the players are already in the Twins Hall of Fame, and one was scheduled to be inducted this summer. The list also includes one Hall of Famer for the Senators and one other Twins Great. Lets get after it.
No. 30: Minnesota Twins’ Jim Perry 1963-1972 (10 Seasons) 376 G, 1,883.1 IP, 128-90 W-L, 3.15 ERA, 1,025-541 K-BB, 61 CG, 17 Shutouts, 26.3 WAR, 2-Time All-Star, 1970 Cy Young Award, Two Top-10 Cy Young Finishes, Two Top-25 MVP Finishes, 1965 AL Pennant
Positional Ranking: No. 8 Starting Pitcher
The first of many starting pitchers in the top thirty, Jim Perry won the 1970 Cy Young and was one of the best pitchers in Twins history. Elected into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2011, Perry put up some of the best pitching numbers in team history.
His 3.15 ERA puts him fifteenth in franchise history, his 128 wins are sixth, and his 1,025 strikeouts are eighth. With so many stars, his relatively lower WAR of 26.3 and just ten seasons hold him back from a higher slot.
No. 29: Washington Senators’ Buddy Myer 1925-1927, 1929-1941 (16 Seasons) 1643 G, 1828 Hits, 757 RBI, 118 SB, 864 BB, .303 BA, 41.9 WAR, 5.5 dWAR, 2 Time All-Star, 3 Top MVP Finishes, One-time Batting Champ
Positional Ranking: No. 3 Second Baseman
Another Senators player who spent most of his career with the team, Buddy Myer put up very impressive numbers over his sixteen seasons with the team. His career WAR of 41.9 is ninth in team history.
Myer was best known for his ability to hit, with a career batting average of .303. He was also a solid defender and a batting champ in 1935. Although he was never able to win a title, his teams won two AL Pennant and he’s the starting second baseman on our Washington Senators All-Time team.
No. 28: Minnesota Twins’ Rick Aguilera 1989-1999 (11 Seasons) 490 G, 694 IP, 40-47 W-L, 3.50 ERA, 254 SV, 586-179 K-BB, 15.5 WAR, Three Time All-Star, One Top-25 MVP Finish
Positional Ranking: No. 2 Relief Pitcher
The Twins haven’t had many excellent relief pitchers over the years, but Rick Aguilera was definitely one of them. Aguilera was the Twins closer for eight seasons including 1991. Aguilera was named to the Twins’ Hall of Fame in 2008 and it was well deserved.
Aguilera is second in saves in team history and is twenty-second all time. As an absolutely dominant reliever and a key member of the greatest team in franchise history, he belongs on this list.
No. 27: Washington Senators’ Heinie Manush 1930-1935 (6 Seasons) 792 G, 1078 H, 576 R, 47 HR, 491 RBI, 29 SB, 205 BB, .328 BA, 21.1 WAR, -2.4 dWAR, 1926 Batting Title, Two Top-25 MVP Finishes, One Time All-Star, 1933 AL Pennant, Hall of Fame
Positional Ranking: No. 2 Left Fielder
Far and away the lowest Hall of Fame player on this list, Heinie Manush only falls this far because he played with the Senators for just six seasons. Manush was an excellent hitter, despite being a below average defender (-2.4 dWAR).
Manush’s average yearly stat line of .328 BA, .371 OBP, and 82 RBI was incredible and the Senators don’t win the AL Pennant without him in 1933. However, despite those great stats, playing with the team for such a short amount of time holds him out of the Top 25.
No. 26: Minnesota Twins’ Camilo “Little Potato” Pascual 1954-1966 (13 Seasons) 432 G, 2,465 IP, 145-141 W-L, 3.66 ERA, 1,885-909 K-BB, 119 CG, 31 Shutouts, 33.2 WAR, 5-Time All-Star, Three Top-25 MVP Finishes, 1965 AL Pennant
Positional Ranking: No. 7 Starting Pitcher
The next Twins Hall of Famer on this list and one of the most underrated players in team history, Camilo Pascual was one of the Twins most reliable pitchers over his career with the team. The Little Potato has his name written all over the Twins record books.
Pascual came over with the Senators in 1961 and just kept on pitching. He is ranked third in strikeouts (1,885), fourth in innings (2,465), and fifth in wins (145) and WAR (33.2). That stat line helps earn him his spot at number 26.
No. 25: Minnesota Twins’ Earl Battey 1961-1967 (7 Seasons) 990 G, .277 BA, 410 RBI, 91 HR, 17.5 WAR, 5.4 dWAR, Three MVP-10 finishes, 4 time All-Star, 3 Gold Gloves, 1965 AL Pennant Team
Positional Ranking: No. 2 Catcher
The first player to sneak into the Top 25 is Earl Battey, the Twins’ first Gold Glove winner in Minnesota. The franchise’s backstop for the first seven seasons in Minnesota, Battey was a steady presence that caught for some of the franchise’s best pitchers.
Battey was a three-time Gold Glove winner and four-time All-Star. Even though he only played seven seasons with the franchise, he had a huge impact, landing him in the Twins Hall of Fame in 2004 and in the number 25 spot on this list.
No. 24: Minnesota Twins’ Cesar Tovar 1965-1972 (8 Seasons) 1090 G, 1164 H, 646 R, 38 HR, 319 RBI, 186 SB, 299 BB, .281 BA, 25.9 WAR, 3.3 dWAR, Five Top-25 MVP Finishes, 1965 Pennant
Positional Ranking: No. 4 Center Fielder
The fact that the Twins fourth best center fielder still makes the top twenty-five is incredible. Cesar Tovar was a star for the Twins when the team regularly worked their way into the playoffs. Tovar was a solid hitter and defender, but his versatility was his greatest weapon.
One of the only Major Leaguers ever to play all nine positions in one game, Tovar was a star for the Twins and finished in the Top-25 of MVP voting five times despite never making an All-Star Game. His uniqueness helps him land in the top 25 here.
No. 23: Minnesota Twins’ Brad Radke 1995-2006 (12 Seasons) 378 G, 2,451 IP, 148-139 W-L, 4.22 ERA, 1,467-445 K-BB, 37 CG, 10 Shutouts, 45.6 WAR, One-Time All-Star, One Top-10 Cy Young Finish, One Top-25 MVP Finish
Positional Ranking: No. 6 Starting Pitcher
The most consistent player in Twins history, when Brad Radke took the mound, you knew what you were getting: above-average pitching and team leadership. A Twins Hall of Famer since 2009, no pitcher was more reliable than Radke.
Radke’s 45.6 WAR ranks third in team history for pitchers and he ranks fourth in wins and fifth in strikeouts. Reliability was what the early-2000s Twins needed, and Radke provided it, earning him the number 23 spot.
No. 22: Minnesota Twins’ Justin Morneau 2003-2013 (11 Seasons) 1278 G, 1318 Hits, 221 HR, 860 RBI, .278 BA, 23.3 WAR, -5.2 dWAR, Four Time All-Star, 4 Top-25 MVP Finishes, Two Silver Sluggers, 2006 MVP
Positional Ranking: No. 3 First Baseman
The second to last player in this group, Justin Morneau was the pride and joy of the Minnesota Twins in the late 2000s as part of the M&M Boys. The newest member of the Twins Hall of Fame, the 2000’s Twins wouldn’t have been as good without Morneau in the four hole.
The 2006 MVP and four-time All-Star was an excellent hitter and decent defender at first, as his 221 homers are fourth in team history. He was a fan favorite and a star for some very good teams, earning him the number twenty-two spot.
No. 21: Minnesota Twins’ Joe Nathan 2004-2009, 2011 (7 Seasons) 460 G, 463.1 IP, 24-13 W-L, 2.16 ERA, 260 SV, 561-134 K-BB, 18.4 WAR, Four Time All-Star, Two Top-25 MVP Finishes, Two Top-10 Cy Young Finishes
Positional Ranking: No. 1 Relief Pitcher
The last player in this group, and the top relief pitcher in franchise history, Joe Nathan was named to the Twins Hall of Fame in 2019 and is tops in team history in saves with 260 (eighth in MLB history).
A four-time All-Star and a part of one of the best trades in Twins history, Nathan was an easy call for the top twenty-five, but unfortunately for him, his teams never made it past the ALDS, keeping him outside of the top twenty.