Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Seasons in Minnesota
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker, USA TodayHow would you rank… these four Twins players? (1.) Dean Chance, 2.) Nelson Cruz, 3.) Greg Gagne, 4.) Eddie Guardado)
We all like lists and rankings, right? On this site, our prospect rankings often are the most heavily-discussed articles that we put together. Everyone can have their varying opinions and none are completely wrong, well, some are just more debatable.
But this new e-book, The Top 60 Twins in 60 Seasons in Minnesota, should hopefully create a lot of discussion for our readers, but also for fathers and sons, husbands and wives, grandparents and grandkids. And for just $7.99.
Before last month, I had never talked to “Nate Tubbs Rules.” However, for the past decade, I have eagerly awaited his updated Top 300 Twins Player rankings. Shortly after each season, it was fun to see which current players jumped furthest up the rankings. Which players fell out of the Top 300.
For his rankings, “NTR” considers several factors, and they are things that we all think about probably as we think about how we might rank the players. (No, most of us wouldn’t think to actually rank them to 60, much less 300!) As he explains, these are some of the factors that go into these rankings (and by the way, you should see all the Excel spreadsheets that go into this!).
- “Longevity” includes how many years the player was with the Twins as well as how many plate appearances or innings pitched that player had during those years.
- For “Peak Value”, I looked at their stats, honors, and awards in their best seasons, as well as how they compared to their teammates.
- Did they lead their team in OPS or home runs or ERA for starters or WPA? If so, that got some bonus points.
- Postseason Heroics,
- Awards (Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, MVPs, Cy Youngs),
- Statistical achievements (batting titles, home run leaders, ERA champs, etc),
- Honors (All Star appearances), and
- Team Success. If you were the #1 starter on a division-winning champ, that gave you more “points” than the #1 starter on a cellar dweller.
In the handbook, you will find profiles for each of the Top 60 on his list, but you will also find the Top 300 rankings. At the very back of the book, I tried it myself. You can find my Top 60 Twins rankings there.
So, let’s go back to that original question: How would you rank… these four Twins players? (1.) Dean Chance, 2.) Nelson Cruz, 3.) Greg Gagne, 4.) Eddie Guardado)
Dean Chance was really good for about three seasons as a starter for the Twins. He was an All Star, threw a no-hitter, posted a 2.67 ERA over three years.
Nelson Cruz has two Silver Sluggers at DH for the Twins in his two seasons, and the team won the division both years.
Greg Gagne is a Twins Hall of Famer with two World Series rings. His offense wasn’t great, though most shortstops not named Ripken or Trammell did, but he was great defensively. And, he hit for some power at times.
Eddie Guardado struggled as a starter and then became a solid, and frequently-used reliever before becoming an All Star closer.
Leave your comments below for how you might rank those players, but as you can see, this is a fun exercise for Twins fans. And, it brings in all of the factors. Varying longevity in a Twins uniform. Varying levels of team success. Some won awards or were All Stars. Others were just really solid for several years. How do you compare starting pitchers to relievers, to power hitters and defensively-strong players?
Those are the types of questions you will find yourself asking yourself and your friends over and over while reading through this book.
For each of the Top 60, you will find a profile. I wrote the profiles, but “Nate Tubbs Rules” added his comments on why he ranked each player where he did. There are lists. There are rankings. And it’s just a lot of fun. We think that if you are a passionate Twins fan, you will really enjoy this book.
We made it and it is only available as an e-book. We are asking for $7.99 per book. We were told we could charge more, and if you want to give more, you can, but we just want it to get in the hands of as many Twins fans as possible. The history of the organization is a lot of fun to read about and discuss.
Oh, and then you can discuss who you would rank higher… Mudcat Grant or Jack Morris?
Or which DH would you rank highest? Randy Bush, Nelson Cruz, Chili Davis, Jason Kubel or Paul Molitor? And why…
We certainly hope that you will enjoy the book as much as Nate Tubbs Rules and I enjoyed researching and writing it!
Tuesday night at 7 pm, "Nate Tubbs Rules" and I will be discussing the book and talking about the controversial rankings and answering any questions you would like to ask.
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