Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

How high would you go for Cole?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:33 PM
Let’s say Cole would sign if we gave him enough money. How high would you be willing to go? What if we could get him for 8 years, 300 mil...

Front Page: Local Uncle Eager to Blame Quiet Twins Offsea...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:04 PM
Bert Galligan, a divorced business machine salesman from West St. Paul, has begun blaming the Minnesota Twins’ slow start to free agency...

Front Page: Free Agent Faceoff: Madison Bumgarner Is Not...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:49 PM
With Zack Wheeler coming off the board, Twins Territory seems to have attached to Madison Bumgarner as the must-have free agent of the of...

Chasing Madison Bumgarner Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:47 PM
Looks like the market is heating up for Bumgarner now, and the Twins are in. Post rumors and thoughts as they arise, please:  

Front Page: Passan: Twins to Sign Catcher Alex Avila

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:44 PM
Jeff Passan of ESPN reported Friday morning that the Twins had an agreement with veteran catcher Alex Avila on a one-year, $4.25 million...

Photo

The Best Centerfielder in Twins history

Posted by mikelink45 , 24 February 2019 · 1,418 views

green puckett centerfield twins torii hunter
The Best Centerfielder in Twins history
  • Torii Hunter
  • Ted Uhlaender
  • Rich Becker
  • Mastroianni And Hicks
  • Lyman Bostock
  • Lenny Green
  • Kirby Puckett
  • Jimmie Hall
  • Jacque Jones
  • Denard Span

The Best Twins Centerfielder in history? The outfield is a challenge because so many times managers see them as interchangeable parts. But a great Centerfielder must have range and perhaps some flare. The NY press had a great time when there were three teams – and they had Mays, Mantle, and Snider.

Lenny Green Was our first year CF and Bill Tuttle backed him up when he was not playing out of position at 3B. The same two in 1962. Green was traded to the Angels for Frank Kostro and Jerry Kindall.

Green would play 6 years for the Twins/Senators .270/.359/.384/.743. 7 WAR.

The phenom Jimmie Hall took over center in 1963 after an injury to Green, but Green started more games. Hall, Allison, and Oliva played Center in 1964 which would make quite an outfield with all three in the same game. Hall had the most by far, but lost time after being hit on the cheek in the All Star game by Bo Belinsky. Hall, Nossek, Oliva in 1965. Hall would play 8 years in MLB. His last four years were a minus -1 WAR. Hall was traded to Angels with Pete Cimino and Don Mincher for Dean Chance and Jackie Hernandez. After the trade his career was terrible. A Sabr article said, “Little is known about Hall’s life after his baseball career ended. He returned to Elm City, North Carolina, and made his living as both a woodworker and longhaul truck driver. When he wasn’t working, he was an outdoorsman who liked to hunt and fish. He also enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. Hall stayed away from the game entirely, even refusing to return to Minneapolis in 2005 for a 40th-anniversary reunion of the 1965 team.” https://sabr.org/bio...person/6ad8a4ec

Hall played 4 years. .269/.334/.481/.815 14.8 WAR

Ted Uhlaender took over with Hall and Oliva getting some action and kept the position in 1967, 1968, and 1969 with Tovar behind him. He was traded with Graig Nettles, Dean Chance and Bob Miller to the Indians for Luis Tiant and Stan Williams in 1969.

Uhlaender was a Twin 5 years. .262/.306/.354/.661. 3.2 WAR.

1970 Tovar was the centerfielder, and I would have had him there all the time, but he was so versatile. Holt was the most frequent CF in 1971, but Jim Nettles and Tovar matched him. Then in 1972 we had Bobby Darwin at CF with Nettles and Brye next in line. Darwin lost the position quickly and Larry Hisle took over in 1973, with Brye having just a few less games there. Hisle divided his time between LF and CF so Brye had the most CF games in 1974. In 1975 Dan Ford dominated the position with Lyman Bostock taking the majority of other appearances.

Then in 1976 Bostock took over CF and Brye still had 57 games. 1977 Bostock, Hisle and Norwood shared the position. Bostock had a total of 17 putouts in a doubleheader which is a good example of his fielding prowess, which set an American League record for outfielders. Then in 1978 Bostock was gone from MN and one year later he was just gone. In Gary Indiana while visiting his uncle, the uncle Turner agreed to give Hawkins and her sister, Barbara Smith, a ride to their cousin's house. “Turner drove his vehicle, with Hawkins seated in the front passenger's seat. Bostock and Barbara Smith rode in the vehicle's back seat. Barbara Smith had been living with Hawkins while estranged from her husband, Leonard Smith. Unbeknownst to the group, Leonard Smith was outside Hawkins' home in his car, and observed the group's departure in Turner's car. According to Leonard Smith, his wife was frequently unfaithful to him, and though he did not know Bostock, he later said that upon seeing Bostock get into the back seat of Turner's vehicle with his wife, he concluded that the two were having an affair. In fact, however, Bostock had only met the woman 20 minutes previously, when he and his uncle arrived at Hawkins' home.” Wiki. The gunshot that was intended for the wife, caught Bostock, a killing blow and a great young man and his career were finished.

By 1978 Bostock had 3 years and .311/.365/.427 /.791. 10.3 WAR

Steve Brye had 7 years in MN .261/.311/.360/.671. 4.7 WAR.

In 1978 Dan Ford was in CF. In 1979 Kenny Landreaux was the centerfielder. 1980 was another of those years where it did not seem like we could make up our mind. Landreaux 67, Rick Sofield 51, Dave Edwards, Greg Johnston 14. I liked Landreaux but he was not here long enough to get in the conversation. Of course in 1981 Mickey Hatcher had 86 games and he is not going to be the best and Gary Ward had 19. Bobby Mitchell who I do not remember was in 115 games as our CF in 1982 With Brunansky and Eisenreich behind him. Then the who is Hell is he continued in 1983 with Darrell Brown 76, Bobby Mitchell 44, Tom Brunansky (in center?) 38, and Rusty Kuntz 27.

Kenny Landreaux 2 years, .294/.341/.435/.776 1.8 WAR

Sigh of relief – 1984 and Kirby Puckett was in Center! Finally. Kirby dominated the CF position in 1985, 1986 with no others having any claim. Then in the WS year Mark Davidson had 20 games behind Puckett. Moses was behind him in 1987 and in 1988. Puckett, Mack and Moses in 1990. Puckett, Mack and Jarvis Brown in 1991. Puckett, Bruett and Brown in 1992. 1993 Puckett had a strong backup with Mack getting 67 starts and Puckett was moved to RF. “Puckett woke up on March 28 without vision in his right eye. He was diagnosed with glaucoma and was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his professional career. Three surgeries over the next few months could not restore vision in the eye.” WIKI.

Puckett 12 years .318/.360/.477/.837 51.1 WAR

1995 Rich Becker took over CF with Alex Cole and Matt Lawton behind him. Becker stayed in control in 1996 with Roberto Kelly and Lawton behind him. 1997 Becker, Lawton and Darrin Jackson. 1998 Otis Nixon was in CF.
Rich Becker, 5 years. .267/.349/.379/.728. 6.5 WAR. Nixon was gone in 1999 and Torii Hunter was in CF with Jacque Jones getting substantial appearances. Hunter, Jones, Hocking were there in 2000. Torii with Kielty had 2001, 2002, and in 2003 Lew Ford backed up Hunter. Again, Hunter and Ford in 2004, 2005, and 2006 Tyner was behind Hunter and again in 2007. In 2008 Span was behind Hunter. Hunter was a first round pick, one of our best. As a free Agent Hunter went to the Angels, then at the end of his career reappeared in a Twins uniform. He had nine consecutive Gold Gloves!

Torii Hunter 12 years, .268/.321/.462/.783 26.4 WAR

2008 Carlos Gomez was in CF with Denard Span behind him (no wonder Denard left us). Same two in 2009. Span finally got the position he deserved in 2010 and Repko backed him with Revere. Revere started the most in center in 2011 and Span was second. Then in 2012 Span had most of the games and Revere a few. We traded Span for Alex Meyer.

Span had 5 years .284/.357/.389/ .746 17.2 WAR

Aaron Hicks took over in 2013 with Clete Thomas in 50, and Alex Pressley 28. Then Danny Santana got the most starts over Hicks in 2014 and Sam Fuld got too many too. Then in 2015 Hicks was pushed by Buxton and was soon to be a Yankee.

Who is the Best? Hicks could have been really good, but not for us; Gomez looked good but had a short shelf life, Eisenreich was exciting and faded fast.

1. Kirby Puckett 12 years .318/.360/.477/.837 51.1 WAR
2. Torii Hunter 12 years, .268/.321/.462/.783 26.4 WAR
3. Denard Span had 5 years .284/.357/.389/ .746 17.2 WAR
4. Bostock had 3 years and .311/.365/.427 /.791. 10.3 WAR
5. Jimmie Hall played 4 years. .269/.334/.481/.815 14.8 WAR
6. Lenny Green 6 years for the Twins .270/.359/.384/.743. 7 WAR
7. Rich Becker, 5 years. .267/.349/.379/.728. 6.5 WAR
8. Steve Brye had 7 years in MN .261/.311/.360/.671. 4.7 WAR
9. Uhlaender was a Twin 5 years. .262/.306/.354/.661. 3.2 WAR.
10. Kenny Landreaux 2 years, .294/.341/.435/.776 1.8 WAR








Entry
The best SS in Twins history?
Last Update Feb 21 2019 11:12 AM


Entry
The Twins best second baseman.
Last Update Feb 16 2019 10:53 AM





  • h2oface, Devereaux and dbminn like this



Photo
Nine of twelve
Feb 24 2019 08:07 PM

1974: Lew Ford? Must be a typo or editing error.

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

1974: Lew Ford? Must be a typo or editing error.

You are right - https://www.baseball.../fordle01.shtmlI should have had Dan Fordin 1975 https://www.baseball- https://www.baseball.../fordda01.shtml

Glad you many of you caught the error - Disco Dan versus Lew Ford.Both MN CFs

If I remember correctly Tovar started in CF pretty much all of 1970.  He played all over the place (LF, 3B, etc), so its hard to put him at any one position, but statistically he was better than a bunch of the folks listed here, LF and 3B,

 

Oh, and Steve Brye is listed at #8 and #10

 

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

If I remember correctly Tovar started in CF pretty much all of 1970.  He played all over the place (LF, 3B, etc), so its hard to put him at any one position, but statistically he was better than a bunch of the folks listed here, LF and 3B,

 

Oh, and Steve Brye is listed at #8 and #10

You are right - Tovar was one of my all time favorites!

 

Just the way you have them listed is the way I would go. Probably the best overall depth of any position ever for the Twins.

    • mikelink45 and dbminn like this