Best duos in Minnesota Twins history

Written by:
May 16, 2022
Schyler // Wikimedia Commons

Best duos in Minnesota Twins history

In Major League Baseball, it takes more than one skilled player to field a championship contender. It takes talent all over the field at a variety of positions, both in terms of pitchers and hitters. While having a star pitcher and a star hitter at the same time is no guarantee of success, it does put your team in a position to have the type of season that fans will talk about for generations.

While it’s not quite the same as the NBA, where one standout duo can take a team from the cellar to playoff contention, it’s not uncommon for an outstanding season from a pitcher and position player duo to add 20 wins or more, according to Baseball Reference’s wins above replacement player metric. The number is designed to illustrate the difference between a star player and the type of player that would be considered “replacement level”—that is, one who could be easily signed as a midseason free agent or called up from the minor leagues.

The following is a list of the top pitcher/position player duos in Minnesota Twins history. Using wins above replacement, Stacker compiled a list of the seasons in franchise history that had a pitcher and hitter with the most combined value. Note that, for the purpose of capturing and examining the game's "modern era", only seasons after 1969 were used for this list.

#10. 1969 Minnesota Twins
- Harmon Killebrew: 6.1 WAR (#15 position player in 1969)
- Jim Perry: 6.3 WAR (#12 pitcher in 1969)
- Total: 12.4 WAR

#9. 1978 Minnesota Twins
- Roy Smalley: 5.9 WAR (#7 position player in 1978)
- Dave Goltz: 6.6 WAR (#5 pitcher in 1978)
- Total: 12.5 WAR

#8. 2001 Minnesota Twins
- Corey Koskie: 6.3 WAR (#17 position player in 2001)
- Joe Mays: 6.6 WAR (#4 pitcher in 2001)
- Total: 12.9 WAR

#7. 2004 Minnesota Twins
- Lew Ford: 4.5 WAR (#34 position player in 2004)
- Johan Santana: 8.7 WAR (#1 pitcher in 2004)
- Total: 13.2 WAR

#6. 2006 Minnesota Twins
- Joe Mauer: 5.8 WAR (#15 position player in 2006)
- Johan Santana: 7.6 WAR (#1 pitcher in 2006)
- Total: 13.4 WAR

#5. 1975 Minnesota Twins
- Rod Carew: 7.8 WAR (#2 position player in 1975)
- Bert Blyleven: 6 WAR (#14 pitcher in 1975)
- Total: 13.8 WAR

#4. 1977 Minnesota Twins
- Rod Carew: 9.7 WAR (#1 position player in 1977)
- Dave Goltz: 5.5 WAR (#14 pitcher in 1977)
- Total: 15.2 WAR

#3. 1974 Minnesota Twins
- Rod Carew: 7.5 WAR (#5 position player in 1974)
- Bert Blyleven: 7.8 WAR (#4 pitcher in 1974)
- Total: 15.3 WAR

#2. 1988 Minnesota Twins
- Kirby Puckett: 7.8 WAR (#2 position player in 1988)
- Frank Viola: 7.7 WAR (#2 pitcher in 1988)
- Total: 15.5 WAR

#1. 1973 Minnesota Twins
- Rod Carew: 7 WAR (#11 position player in 1973)
- Bert Blyleven: 9.7 WAR (#2 pitcher in 1973)
- Total: 16.7 WAR

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