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The Best Twin Right Fielder

Posted by mikelink45 , 25 February 2019 · 1,838 views

lawton oliva rightfield twins cuddyer
The Best Twin Right Fielder
  • Matt Lawton
  • Michael Cuddyer
  • Tom Brunansky
  • Tony Oliva

Last full time position – Right Field – who fills out the rosters. For me Clemente epitomizes RF, the arm, the bat, the range so who do the Twins have?

In 1961 Bob Allison was there 150 games. He was written about in LF so I will not go into details here. Allison dominated 1962 as well with Tuttle and George Banks getting the other games. In 1963 it was Allison, Jimmie Hall and Wally Post. 1964 Tony Oliva sent Allison to 1B.

Tony Oliva was a dream. I loved to watch him. He was almost perfect in my eyes so my prejudice is showing. In 1965 he was backed up by Sandy Valdespino and Andy Kosco. In 1966 Hall and Allison picked up the games Oliva did not cover. 1967 Oliva still dominated. In 1968 Oliva had 126 games, Holt, Craig Nettles, Tovar and Kostro all had double figure appearances. Oliva was injured and missed 34 games. In 1969 he again joined the greats in the game leading the league in hits and doubles. Healthy in 1970 he played 154 games in RF and finished third for the batting title. He hit 325, with 23 home runs and 107 RBIs. He also led the AL in hits (204) for the fifth time, in doubles (36) for the fourth time, and finished second in MVP voting for the second time, this time to Baltimore's Boog Powell. In 1971, Oliva won his third AL batting title with a .337 average and led the league in slugging percentage (.546), but his knees began to ache and force him out of many games. Surgery took him off the field and Tovar took over RF in 1972 with Bobby Darwin. From there to the end he was DH.

Oliva 15 years .304/.353/.476/.830 43.1 WAR 1138 games out of 1676 in RF.

Bobby Darwin had the most starts in RF in 1973, Jim Holt had 21. Darwin had 142, Hisle 27 in 1974.
In 1975 Lyman Bostock was there 55 games, Steve Brye 51, Bobby Darwin 27, John Briggs 16, Mike Poepping 13! Dan Ford was there 139 games in 1976 with Brye and Hisle getting 18 each. Dan was there 135 in 1977 with Glenn Adams and Rich Chiles getting 20+ each. In the 1978 season Ford switched to center and Hosken Powell took over right. Then in 1979 it was Powell, Bombo Rivera, Willie Norwood, Dave Edwards, Rick Sofield and Glenn Adams, obviously an unsettled position. After a career year in 1979, Powell spiraled down in BA. Powell held on to RF in 1980 on the strength of 1979. And Dave Engle got the most starts in an Engle/Powell tandem in 1981.

Tom Brunansky was the number one RF starter in 1982 – 97 games, Engle and Gary Ward and Mickey Hatcher were all in more than 20 games. 1983 Brunansky 120, Hatcher 47. It was nearly all Brunansky in 1984, 1985, 1986, and in 1987 Brunansky was there 107 games, Randy Bush 73, Mark Davidson 33. In 1988 Brunansky was traded to the Cardinals for Tommy Herr. Big Mistake! Randy Bush took over right with Mark Davidson behind him

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Tom Brunansky 7 years 163 HRs .250/.330/.452/.782 16.1 WAR

Randy Bush had the most games in RF in 1989 – 88, john Moses 63, Carmelo Castillo 61, and Gene Larkin 31. It was an unsettled position. 1990 had six players with 19 or more games in RF – John Moses, Shane Mack, Gene Larkin, Randy Bush, Carmelo Castillo and Pedro Munoz. Shane Mack was equally in all three OF positions in 1991 with Gene Larkin, Pedro Munoz, Randy Bush, Jarvis Brown and Kirby Puckett having 19 or more games there and still we won the WS.

1992 saw Pedro Munoz in RF 117 games and Larkin, JT Bruett, Randy Bush and Jarvis Brown having 18 or more. 1993 was another of those years I call a scrum. Puckett moved over from CF for 47, Pedro Munoz 41, Dave McCarty 34, DAVE WINFIELD 31, and Gene Larkin 25. In 1994 Puckett was in RF 95 games, but I have to put him in CF for this exercise. Munoz 19. Kirby kept RF in 1995 and it was Pedro Munoz last year.


Pedro Munoz 6 years .275/.316/.444/.760 minus -0.4 – I cannot rank him.

1996 saw four with more than 20 games starting with Matt Lawton and 60, Roberto Kelly, Denny Hocking, Ron Coomer. 1997 another mix – Lawton playing all three positions had 66 in RF, Roberto Kelly 57, Brent Brede 40, Rich Beckerr 14. 1998 Matt Lawton gave us a 100 game starter. Alex Ochoa and Orland Merced were next. Matt Lawton had 103 in 1999 and a big mix of 13+ by Marty Cordova, Coery Koskie, Jacque Jones, Torii Hunter, Denny Hocking. 2000 had Lawton bounce back and forth LF/RF with 83 games in RF, Midre Cummings 33, Brian Buchanan 24, Denny Hocking 19, Butch Huskey 15, and Chad Allen 13. Lawton continued was RF only 94 games in 2001 with Brian Buchanan and Bobby Kielty behind him. In conflict with the Twins over arbitration – “In February 2001, Twins general manager Terry Ryan stated that he did not plan on trading Lawton, contrary to other reports.[36] Furthermore, Twins manager Tom Kelley stated that he did not expect Lawton would be traded under any circumstances.[36] It was noted in spring training in 2001 that Lawton had gained 14 pounds (6.4 kg).[37] Lawton was taken out of the Twins starting lineup in May, due to lack of production.[38] As a member of the Twins that year, he batted .293 with 71 runs scored, 110 hits, 25 doubles, 10 home runs, 51 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases in 103 games played.” Wiki. In 2001 he was a Met.

Matt Lawton 7 years .277/.379/.428/.808 11.3 WAR

Dustin Mohr led in appearances in 2002 with Bobby Kielty, a Minnesota legend having 50, Cuddyer 25, Buchanan 24. Mohr and Kielty again in 2003 and Jacque Jones with Lew Ford in 2004. Jones, Cuddyer, and Ford – 2005, Cuddyer 142 in 2006 with Lew Ford 22. Cuddyer and Tyner in 2007. In 2008 Span had the most games in RF followed by Cuddyer and Kubel. Cuddyer was in 117 in 2009, Span 39 (playing mostly CF) and Kubel 30. Kubel then had 83 in 2010, Cuddyer 66, Repko 39. Cuddyer 77 in 2011, Kubel 50, Repko 27.

Michael Cuddyer 11 years .272/.343/.451/.794 12.8 WAR 903/1427 appearances in RF.

Ben Revere started 84 games in RF in 2012 which blows the great arm qualification. Mastroianni 34, Parmelee 18, Plouffe 15. Parmelee had 68 in RF in 2013 and Ryan Doumit 32 and Oswaldo Arcia 20 with Chris Herrmann 21. Looking at that group I can see why we were 66 – 96. Oswaldo Arcia had 100 games backed by Parmelee and Chris Colbello and Chris Herrmann in 2014 – yikes. Torii Hunter was the primary starter in 123 RF games in 2015, but he is in the CF rankings.

Now we have Kepler and he does not fit in this ranking.

In fact most of the names above do not; the best I can come up with is:
1. Oliva 15 years .304/.353/.476/.830 43.1 WAR 1138 games out of 1676 in RF. 220 HR.
2. Tom Brunansky 7 years 163 HRs .250/.330/.452/.782 16.1 WAR
3. Michael Cuddyer 11 years .272/.343/.451/.794 12.8 WAR 903/1427 appearances in RF.
4. Matt Lawton 7 years .277/.379/.428/.808 11.3 WAR

  • dbminn and David HK like this



Tony O. is my favorite Twin of all-time.

    • Longdistancetwins, mikelink45, IndianaTwin and 1 other like this
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Kelly Vance
Feb 26 2019 10:04 AM

Not even close, Pedro in a landslide

    • mikelink45 and David HK like this

Tony O was incredible. Too bad he had knee problems. Post-surgery, his right knee bent inwards in a way knees aren't supposed to bend. 

    • mikelink45 likes this
Oliva in a landslide. just plain a great natural hitter, both average and power. Proof positive that good, bad ball hitters can excel. Was a see the ball, hit the ball guy. Great arm, and turned himself into an adequate glove man. Brings back fond memories of their lineup in those years.
    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Oliva in a landslide. just plain a great natural hitter, both average and power. Proof positive that good, bad ball hitters can excel. Was a see the ball, hit the ball guy. Great arm, and turned himself into an adequate glove man. Brings back fond memories of their lineup in those years.

This is the only position where the choice is so overwhelming.

    • David HK likes this

 

This is the only position where the choice is so overwhelming.

I will have to disagree with this statement.I see Kirby as overwhelming in Center. Rod Carew at second base and First base. And Joe at catcher. But that's my opinion.

    • mikelink45 likes this

I will have to disagree with this statement.I see Kirby as overwhelming in Center. Rod Carew at second base and First base. And Joe at catcher. But that's my opinion.

you are right I just was so overwhelmed by how many people were saying Tonio that it seems more overwhelming than the other post I've had. But I'm going to pull together the consensus team after I finish with starting pitchers DHS and relief pitchers and I think there will be a lot of consensus at a lot of positions

Mike, this series has been great!

 

Thank you for the work you put in to allow the rest of us to jog down memory lane, or be introduced to Twinkie shadows of the past. 

 

Kudos, sir!

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Mike, this series has been great!

 

Thank you for the work you put in to allow the rest of us to jog down memory lane, or be introduced to Twinkie shadows of the past. 

 

Kudos, sir!

Thank you

 

Once again I tell you that this series has been outstanding! (Even though I spent more time enjoying the read, memories, and names I remembered, forgot, or didn't know vs actually commenting).

I think my biggest surprise, in retrospect, was how many guys, really good guys, filled the OF spots. For example, Allison was before my time, but I'm familiar with him. But I didn't realize how much he moved around. I always thought he was the RF before Oliva. I forgot how much Brunansky moved around, having remem9him only as a RF. Other examples, of course, but attempting to be brief.

One position that really struck me was 3B when comparing Gaetti and Koskie. I loved both players and remember them well. Yet, if I recall your WAR rankings correctly, (And I'm not a big WAR person), Koskie was higher than Gaetti there.

For fun, since I held back so much until the end of your posts, I'd like to offer up my humble opinions.

1B] Hrbek...(LOVE Morneau, but injuries are a reality that suck)
2B] Carew
SS] Smalley (Gagne a STRONG 2nd place!)
3B] Gaetti or Koskie, sue me for not being able to choose.
LF] Mack...(actually forgot how good he was)
CF] Puckett...duh!
RF] Oliva
C ] Mauer
DH] Killibrew...HOF at 3 spots. Just put him at DH and play wherever!
Utility] Knoblauch and Allison. Want to debate these two? Dare anyone!
    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Once again I tell you that this series has been outstanding! (Even though I spent more time enjoying the read, memories, and names I remembered, forgot, or didn't know vs actually commenting).

I think my biggest surprise, in retrospect, was how many guys, really good guys, filled the OF spots. For example, Allison was before my time, but I'm familiar with him. But I didn't realize how much he moved around. I always thought he was the RF before Oliva. I forgot how much Brunansky moved around, having remem9him only as a RF. Other examples, of course, but attempting to be brief.

One position that really struck me was 3B when comparing Gaetti and Koskie. I loved both players and remember them well. Yet, if I recall your WAR rankings correctly, (And I'm not a big WAR person), Koskie was higher than Gaetti there.

For fun, since I held back so much until the end of your posts, I'd like to offer up my humble opinions.

1B] Hrbek...(LOVE Morneau, but injuries are a reality that suck)
2B] Carew
SS] Smalley (Gagne a STRONG 2nd place!)
3B] Gaetti or Koskie, sue me for not being able to choose.
LF] Mack...(actually forgot how good he was)
CF] Puckett...duh!
RF] Oliva
C ] Mauer
DH] Killibrew...HOF at 3 spots. Just put him at DH and play wherever!
Utility] Knoblauch and Allison. Want to debate these two? Dare anyone!

Isn't it fun to move through the history and all the names?