Minnesota Twins Greatest Right-Hander No. 5: Chuck Knoblauch (1991-1997)
Not the most popular Minnesota Twin after his trade request, but Chuck Knoblauch put up some very impressive numbers in his 7 years in Minnesota. While with the Twins, he scored 713 runs, batted .289 and stole 407 bases. In fact he still ranks 4th on the all-time franchise list of players with the most stolen bases.
Chuck was a 4-time All-Star; the 1991 AL Rookie of the year and he won a Gold Glove in 1997. To me, Chuck will always be remembered as the lightning rod for the World Series Champion Minnesota Twins in 1991. His art of deception play in Game 7 of that Series, where he duped Lonnie Smith into staying at first after what should have been a clear double, was excellent.
While he was a great hitter in Minnesota, he struggled mightily after being traded away, developing the yips and ending up out of baseball by the end of 2002. Off-field incidents have since tarnished his legacy, but he still was excellent in his stint here.
Minnesota Twins Greatest Right-Hander No. 4: Torii Hunter (1997-2007, 2015)
Torii Hunter was a dynamic player during his tenure with the Minnesota Twins. He hit 214 home runs coupled with 792 runs batted in and a .793 OPS. In his Twins career, he hit 20 or more home runs in a season 6 times and topped 90 RBI 5 times during this stretch.
Hunter is best known as a defensive wizard who was the best defensive center fielder in baseball during his era. Torii won seven of his nine Gold Gloves with the Twins and I have great personal memories of watching him reach over the fence to rob an opponent of another home run. He is one of the two best center fielders ever to play for the Twins.
Torii was also a team leader and a fun presence in the locker room. He is also well known for his community service and giving spirit. In 2009, while playing for the California Angels, he was named the Branch Rickey Award winner for community service excellence.
Torii Hunter is currently a Special Assistant for Baseball Operations for the Twins. In this capacity, he will sometimes appear on the team’s television broadcasts as an analyst. He currently is on the Hall of Fame ballot and may actually hang around a few years.