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  • Minnesota's Worst All-Stars


    Cody Christie

    If someone would have told me at the beginning of the season that Eduardo Nunez would be the Twins All-Star representative, I would have laughed in his face. Nunez is having a great first half of the season but he doesn't exactly conjure up thoughts of being one of the best players in baseball.

    Every team gets an All-Star and there could be a lengthy discussion over the validity of this practice. It gives each team's individual fan base someone to root for in the game. The best players might not always be on the field but that's not always what the Mid-Summer Classic is all about.

    There have been some bad Twins teams throughout the franchise's history. The early 1980's and mid 1990's come to mind as some rough times in the not so distant past. Over the last handful of years, there have been some of the organization's worst teams but those teams still get an All-Star representative.

    Image courtesy of Brad Rempel- USA Today Sports

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    Here are my picks for the top five worst All-Star selections in Twins history. I took into consideration the player's career WAR total and the season in which the player was elected but there have been some bad players who were able to put the title of All-Star next to their name.

    5. Joe Mays, 2001 All-Star (Career 9.0 WAR)

    The 2001 season was the only year Mays finished with an ERA under 4.00 and it was also his lone season of pitching more than 200 innings. He would actually lead the entire league in ERA+ that season but the rest of his career was hardly All-Star worthy. He struggled with injuries and posted a career 5.05 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Almost all of his WAR value was accumulated during the 2001 campaign when he finished in the top 10 for WAR.

    4. Dave Engle, 1984 All-Star (Career 3.9 WAR)

    Engle, the brother-in-law of Tom Brunansky, was the team's lone representative in 1984. He wasn't even having that great of a season when he was elected. He hit .266/.308/.353 with four home runs and 20 doubles during the 1984 campaign. He actually finished ninth on the team in WAR behind the likes of Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, and Gary Gaetti. Maybe he was being rewarded for his 1983 season where he combined for a .800 OPS with 34 extra-base hits.

    3. Tim Laudner, 1988 All-Star (Career 3.2 WAR)

    The two catchers on the AL roster in 1988 were Terry Steinbach and Tim Laudner. Minnesota was coming off the World Series victory and more of the team's players were represented on the roster including Kirby Puckett, Frank Viola, Jeff Reardon and Gary Gaetti. Laudner played in a career-high 117 games in 1988 and hit .251/.316/.408 with 13 home runs and 18 doubles. However, he allowed the second most stolen bases in the AL and he would play only one more season at the big league level.

    2. Eduardo Nunez, 2016 All-Star (Career 2.1 WAR)

    Nunez is thriving in one of his first opportunities to play on a regular basis. He played in 112 games for the Yankees in 2011 but those games resulted in a negative WAR total for the season (-0.5 WAR). His time in Minnesota has been more productive as he has been worth 3.7 WAR over the last three years. The Twins are bad this year and someone had to represent the team. My vote would have been for Brian Dozier but they didn't ask me.

    1. Ron Coomer, 1999 All-Star (Career 1.4 WAR)

    The 1999 version of the Twins went 63-97 so there wasn't much to be excited about. Players like Corey Koskie, Jacque Jones and Terry Steinbach might have been more deserving of an All-Star selection as Koskie's WAR ended up being more than three times that of Coomer. Mr. Coomer was in a stretch of five straight seasons with 12 home runs or more and he combined for a .744 OPS during that stretch. In an era where baseballs were flying out of stadiums at a record pace, Coomer got to be on the same roster as the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome.

    There are my top-five worst Twins All-Stars of all-time. Should someone else have made the list? Who would be your worst Twins All-Star? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    I guess I don't remember them so much by the careers they had but by the year they were having.  I always found the worst to be Coomer's season.  Mays was pretty good that 2001 season and Nunez has been shockingly good this season but there was just no argument to be made for Coomer the year he made it.  

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    Perhaps if you changed the header to "Twins Flukiest All Stars".  Less negative connotation, and more about having 1 great year, or a year with no other deserving talent.  Nunez at this point would be a fluke All-Star, but he's certainly deserving!

    Suzuki's lone All-Star game seems somewhat flukey, and I think Eddie Guardado made a team or two...

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    The all star game isn't a career achievement award and if you have the 6th best league average, you have earned a spot. Nunez is deserving of the all star selection. If Mauer was hitting .320, we would be upset that he wasn't voted in.

    A .320 average with under 10 homers and doubles for a first sacker wouldn't get my vote. Especially compared to other first basemen.

     

    An all-star IS somewhat of a lifetime achievement award. Always has been. Or it should be. A couple hot months once in a career does not make an all-star in my book, even though with the silly fan voting where a person can vote a limitless amount of times it has made it that. Kershaw being left off last year until he became an injury replacement was a joke.

     

    Good for Nunez, who is more deserving than Cuddyer was in 2011, but obligatory picks have to be made. If Nunez keeps this up through next year, then he deserves it. I would put Cuddyer in 2011 on this list. He earned it in 2013 on the Rockies, though.

    Edited by h2oface
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    Hitting .321 and on pace for 28 2B, 22 HR, and 41 SB. He's having a really nice season.

    If the all-star teams voters considered full seasons, they would/should consider the second half of the previous season and post season play. Pace? Take Dozier's year. Pace unfulfilled. Extremely. Pace should never be a consideration in my book. Pace is fantasy.

     

    I don't find this negative, Cody. Reality is not negative or positive.

    Edited by h2oface
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    career WAR is not a good thing to use to compare individual season achievement.  Year to date WAR at the AS Game time, is probably the best measure.   Pretty sure that using that, there were worse picks than the above

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    I don't get the hate on Nunez making the All-Star team.  He is not one of the "worst" all-star picks for the Twins. 

     

    Most Surprising All-Star picks, possibly. If you were to rank players you thought had the best chance of making it at the beginning of the season, Nunez probably would have been pretty far down the list, given that he wasn't even a starter until a few weeks into the season.

     

    I think he is deserving for his play this year.  It isn't a lifetime achievement award.  If you based the All-Star game on careers of players we would be having washed up stars always in and never see young stars or great rookies.

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    Sending a waiver wire pick-up, from the Yankees no less, to the All-Star game has got to be a new low. Pretty sad when one of the "best" minor league systems can't produce anything better. Just sad ;)

     

    Congrats to Nunez though, He has played very well. It's not his fault he is the best player on this team! :banghead:

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    I'm not sure I agree with the concept of this list. 

     

    The all star game is about current play, not about career play. Nunez in particular has had a strong year, especially for his position, and absolutely deserves his spot on the team.

     

    If this was all about career ability, you'd never have rookies or first-year players and it would take multiple years for guys to make the team. 

     

    Nunez is getting some time to play this year and he's doing something with it. God knows where this team would be without his ability to hit and steal bases.

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    When it comes to all-star voting in baseball, there's a mix of players that get voted in on career accolades, and players voted in on current season success. Did Derek Jeter deserve to be an all-star 14 times? Or did name recognition and past accolades help him make the roster? I'd say a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B. 

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    Negative tone or not, I'm intrigued.  I thought Butch Wynegar was a lot of hype without the game.  I'd put him as a candidate.  Doug Corbett?  68 percent save rate...ugh.  Man the Twins had some bad years in there.

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    When it comes to all-star voting in baseball, there's a mix of players that get voted in on career accolades, and players voted in on current season success. Did Derek Jeter deserve to be an all-star 14 times? Or did name recognition and past accolades help him make the roster? I'd say a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B.

    Thank you. It saves me time writing this, too

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    An all-star IS somewhat of a lifetime achievement award. Always has been. Or it should be. A couple hot months once in a career does not make an all-star in my book, even though with the silly fan voting where a person can vote a limitless amount of times it has made it that. Kershaw being left off last year until he became an injury replacement was a joke.

     

     

    The Hall of Fame is for lifetime achievement. The All Star game is for the single season.

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    Nunez definitely deserved the spot, he has been solid at the dish and provided some nice flexibility for the roster.

    It's too bad he didn't get an at bat, hopefully he can get voted in again as a Twin? (hopefully along with Sano, Buxton and Berrios in the same year!)

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    Technically a half season :)

    Think of how different an all star team would look after the season (vs in the middle)

     

    Except it would never happen because, NFL style, 75% of them would sit it out for surgery or to see their kids or whatever.

     

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    A bit unfair to compare a 29 year old whose career appears to be on the upswing to a bunch of retired players. When all is said and done, it's likely Nunez will be no higher than fourth on the list and he may not be on the list at all.

     

    But, other than that, good list. Hard to argue with most of the choices.

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