Puckett’s Pond continues to take a look back at the best Minnesota Twins and Washington Senators to wear each jersey number with numbers 51-99.
With Jackie Robinson Day being Wednesday, we wanted to take a look at the top player to wear each number in Minnesota Twins history. Two days ago, we took a look at the top players to wear the numbers 1-25, and yesterday we went over numbers 26-50. With a longer list of numbers 51-99 today, let’s jump right in.
No. 51: Minnesota Twins’ Carl Willis (1991-1995)
A very solid reliever for the 1991 Twins, Carl Willis and Doug Mientkiewicz are the only players worth mentioning to wear the number. Mientkiewicz only wore the number for a year though so Willis gets the nod as he pitched in 204 games with a 3.65 ERA, making him a solid contributor.
No. 52: Minnesota Twins’ Brian Duensing (2009-2015)
Carlos Silva and Brian Duensing are the only players to wear the number that are worth mentioning here, though if Zack Littell keeps getting better that could change. Duensing is the easy choice however, as he wore the number longer and was a productive reliever, while Silva was just an average starter for most of his career.
No. 53: Minnesota Twins’ Mark Guthrie (1989-1995)
This comes down to two players that were below average with the Twins: reliever Mark Guthrie and starter Nick Blackburn. Guthrie only gets the edge because he was a part of the 1991 World Series team and wore the number a little while longer, but this is a close one.
No. 54: Minnesota Twins’ Matt Guerrier (2004-2010, 2014)
One of the best setup men in the game over his time with the Twins, Matt Guerrier led the league in games pitched twice with the team and posted a 3.40 ERA over 420 games. Ervin Santana also earns a mention here as the starter was an All-Star and performed really well over three of his four seasons in Minnesota.
No. 55: Minnesota Twins’ Taylor Rogers (2016-2019)
Mike Redmond was an excellent backup catcher for Joe Mauer, and Matt Capps was a very solid reliever, but neither was as elite of a player as Taylor Rogers. Though he may not be the closer for the team forever, Rogers is an excellent reliever as his 3.04 ERA over 258 games illustrate. He also has a 6.4 WAR over four seasons, an incredible mark for a reliever.
No. 56: Minnesota Twins Caleb Thielbar (2013-2015)
Tyler Duffey wore this number for three years, but he wasn’t any good until he switched over to his current number 21. This leaves Caleb Thielbar as the only choice. The Minnesota native put up a 2.74 ERA over three years and 109 games, and is now back with the team as a minor leaguer. Meat Raffle is a baseball hero in the Twin Cities, so it’s good to see he’s back around.
No. 57: Minnesota Twins’ Johan Santana (2000-2007)
Super reliever Ryan Pressly wore this number most recently, but the number belongs to Johan Santana, Twins Hall of Famer and one of the best pitchers in team history. Santana, who won two Cy Young awards, put together the most dominant three-year run of any pitcher in team history.
No. 58: Minnesota Twins’ Scott Diamond (2011-2013)
More from Puckett's Pond
- Minnesota Twins: 2022 Year in Review for Twins Baseball
- Minnesota Twins: Making the Case for the Current 2023 Rotation
- Minnesota Twins: Does the MLB or the Twins have a Spending Problem?
- Minnesota Twins: 2 Possible Free Agent Reunions for 2023
- Minnesota Twins: Holiday Wish List for the rest of the Offseason
Very few players wore this jersey for more than a year, but none of those players had a better season than Scott Diamond in 2012. Diamond started 27 games and went 12-9 with a 3.54 ERA and was the ace for a bad Twins team that year, helping make him the choice.
No. 59: Minnesota Twins’ Kevin Slowey (2007-2011)
Kevin Slowey and Michael Tonkin are the only players to wear this number for more than two years, each donning No. 59 for five seasons. Slowey and Tonkin both only had one good season, but Slowey is the choice as his 4.7 K-BB ratio is second in Twins history and was a better pitcher.
No. 60: Minnesota Twins’ Jon Rauch (2009-2010)
No. 60 came down to Jake Cave vs. Jon Rauch. Rauch, a 6′ 11″ reliever was electric to watch for the Twins and saved 21 games in 2010. His heavy metal intro and importance give him the edge, but give Cave a couple more seasons as a reliable backup and this answer may change.
No. 61: Minnesota Twins’ Jared Burton (2012-2014)
One of the last true competitions, Jared Burton gets the nod as a reliable reliever who put up a 3.47 ERA, 162 K, and 10 saves over 203 games and three seasons for the Minnesota Twins. Burton beat out Cody Stashak and Ryan O’Rourke here, but like Cave, Stashak could take this one in a couple of seasons.
No. 62: Minnesota Twins’ Liam Hendriks (2011-2013)
Despite being an All-Star closer in Oakland now, Liam Hendriks started his career as a poor starter in Minnesota. However, Hendriks’ three sub-par years as a starter are better than the three other very bad relievers the team has seen wear the number.
No. 63: Minnesota Twins’ Joe Benson (2011)
Similar to 62, four players wore this number, and all four weren’t very good. Joe Benson, the Twins’ second round pick in 2006, played 21 games in 2011 and hit .239 with 2 RBI and never made it back to the majors. For the best a number can get, that’s not great.
No. 64: Minnesota Twins’ Willians Astudillo (2018-2019)
Like most numbers in the sixties, there isn’t a lot to chose from. However, No. 64 has Willians Astudillo. La Tortuga is far from an all-time great, but his stat line over 87 games looks like this: .297 BA, 7 HR, 42 RBI. That’s not bad. Astudillo is the easy choice. Now here are some Astudillo highlights to make your day:
No. 65: Minnesota Twins’ Trevor May (2014-2019)
The only player to wear the number in team history, Trevor May has gone from a bust as a starter to a dominant reliever. May is an essential part of the Twins bullpen and is the team’s gaming representative to boot.
No. 66: Washington Senators’ Ray Scarborough (1942)
A number with five players who wore the number for less than 20 games, Ray Scarborough is the choice, as his rookie season he pitched to a 4.12 ERA mark over 63.1 IP. Jorge Alcala may take this spot if he keeps the number, but that remains to be seen.
No. 67: Minnesota Twins’ Max Kepler (2015-2016)
It’s technically cheating to have Max Kepler make the list twice, but Kepler was so much better than Alan Busenitz and Luis Perdomo, so Kepler had to get this spot. Kepler hit 17 homers and knocked in 63 RBI over 113 games in 2016, so I had to pick him.
No. 68: Minnesota Twins’ Randy Dobnak (2019)
Randy Dobnak tops Matt Magill for this spot because Dobnak was excellent down the stretch last season, and Dobnak started wearing the number after Magill was traded midseason. Dobnak also started a game in the playoffs, and although it didn’t go well, it’s enough to put him here.
No. 69-No. 99
For the Numbers 69 and above, very few of the numbers have been worn. Each one was worn by one player for one year (77 excluded) and most came within the past three years.
Three numbers are worth noting: 71, 72, and 77, so we picked the best to wear each of those numbers. the other four numbers included four seasons that were not very good for these players, so they don’t need to be remembered.
Here is 71,72, and 77:
No. 71: Minnesota Twins’ Joe Roa (2004)
Only two players have worn No. 71; Joe Roa and another reliever from last season, Sean Poppen. Roa gets the spot here because he pitched more than Poppen, even though his 2004 wasn’t all that great. Poppen will likely take this spot by this time next year.
No. 72: Minnesota Twins’ Pat Neshek (2006)
Pat Neshek wore this number shortly in 2006 during his rookie year before switching to his preferred No. 17 later in the year. However, Neshek put up a 2.19 ERA over 32 games in this jersey and as the only player to wear the number, he is the choice.
No. 77: Minnesota Twins’ Fernando Romero (2018-2019)
For this one, Fernando Romero tops former All-Star Tony Batista in a battle of disappointing tenures with the Twins. However, Batista played less than a full season and wasn’t very good, while Romero hasn’t reached his potential. Romero still could meet his potential, making him the choice.
Here are the four to forget. The players stats for the season were included so you can look at why they weren’t really a part of the list.
No. 74: Minnesota Twins’ Ronald Torreyes (2019)
7 G, .188 BA, 1 RBI, -0.2 WAR
No. 76: Minnesota Twins’ Felix Jorge (2017)
2 G, 7.2 IP, 10.57 ERA, 4 K, -0.3 WAR
No. 80: Minnesota Twins’ Ryan Eades (2019)
2 G, 3.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 K, 0.1 WAR, waived by the team midseason
No. 99: Minnesota Twins’ Logan Morrison (2018)
95 G, .186 BA, 15 HR, 39 RBI, -0.6 WAR