Minnesota Twins: The Top 10 Minnesota-Born Baseball Players

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN- AUGUST 18: Former pitcher Jack Morris is honored for his Hall of Fame induction poses for a photo with Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor #4 and Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins prior to the game Detroit Tigers on August 18, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 7-5. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN- AUGUST 18: Former pitcher Jack Morris is honored for his Hall of Fame induction poses for a photo with Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor #4 and Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins prior to the game Detroit Tigers on August 18, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 7-5. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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Former pitcher Jack Morris with fellow Hall of Fame players Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

No. 5: Jack Morris

Birthplace: St. Paul, MN

Jack Morris doesn’t really have any stats that jump off the page. His 3.90 career ERA and 43.5 pitching WAR are good but not great. However, Morris built a Hall of Fame-worthy career by being a winner and a playoff legend, including putting up the greatest postseason performance in Minnesota Twins history.

Morris’ 254 wins are the most by any Minnesota pitcher and place him in the top 50 all-time. He has won a World Series with three different teams, but his 1991 World Series stands out as the best. Here’s his stat line from that series:

  • 3 Starts, 2-0, 1.17 ERA, 15 K, One Complete Game, One Shutout

Morris’ ten-inning shutout in Game 7 for the Twins was nothing short of incredible, and his three twenty-win seasons and playoff performances help launch the Hall of Famer into fifth on this list as the second best pitcher in Minnesota history.

No. 4: Joe Mauer

Birthplace: St. Paul, MN

The only Minnesotan to win an MVP award, Joe Mauer is one of the ten best catchers of all-time. Mauer’s seven-year peak is the seventh best mark by a catcher, setting him up as a likely Hall of Famer a few years after he becomes eligible in 2023.

No catcher won more batting titles than Mauer’s three, and the six-time All-Star also has three Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger awards, making him one of the most decorated Minnesotans ever.

Among Minnesotans, Mauer ranks third in hits (2,123), sixth in homers (143), fourth in RBI (923), fifth in steals (52), and tied for first in batting average, helping him edge Jack Morris and landing him just outside the top three.

No. 3: Chief Bender

Birthplace: Crow Wing County, MN

Another pitcher who threw in five different World Series, Chief Bender is the greatest pitcher in Minnesota History. The Hall of Famer earned the nickname Chief because he was born a member of an Ojibwe tribe near Brainerd.

Bender was an exceptional pitcher, as he ranks third among Minnesotans in wins (212), first in ERA (2.46), and is third in WAR (48.1). He dominated hitters like no other pitcher in Minnesota history and helped the Athletics win three titles while doing it.

No. 2: Dave Winfield

Birthplace: St. Paul, MN

The hardest choice on this list was deciding which former Gopher, Hall of Famer, and St. Paul Native would top the list, with Dave Winfield winding up second. We’ll talk about the other player later. Meanwhile we can focus on the twelve-time All-Star who also has seven Gold Gloves, a World Series title, and six Silver Slugger awards on his decorated resume.

Winfield was an excellent defender who became just the 19th player ever to reach 3,000 hits, and he did it for the hometown Minnesota Twins. Winfield is first among Minnesota born players in games, homers, RBI, second in WAR, third in steals, and fifth in batting average.

He also won a World Series in 1992, helping complete his resume. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot, and all this helps him rank in as the second best Minnesotan baseball player.

No. 1: Paul Molitor

Birthplace: St. Paul, MN

The fourth St. Paul Native in the top five, Paul Molitor slots in as the greatest Minnesotan baseball player ever. Dave Winfield may be good, but Molitor, the seven-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger winner, and 1993 World Series MVP was slightly better.

The infielder/designated hitter never was known for his defensive prowess, but his offense was so good it didn’t matter. Molitor is first among Minnesotans in WAR, stolen bases, runs, hits, doubles, triples and is tied for first with Mauer in batting average.

Molitor is also second in RBI and games while also landing fourth in homers. His 3,319 set him ninth all-time, making that particularly impressive. All that combines to make him the easy call for the top Minnesota-born player.

dark. Next. Minnesota Twins: Interview with Twins Prospect Spencer Steer

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