Who should become the next member of the Twins Hall of Fame?

As part of the club's 40th Season Celebration in 2000, the Minnesota Twins created the Twins Hall of Fame, which they've since used to honor 23 players, coaches and executives "who have contributed to the organization's growth and success since the Twin Cities broke into the Major Leagues in 1961."

Earlier this week, the team released the newest ballot for the Twins Hall of Fame and announced the 2012 inductees will be revealed at TwinsFest, which is set for January 27-29 at the Metrodome. According to the team's website, "voting is conducted by a 54-member committee, which includes local and national baseball writers, Twins broadcasters, Twins Hall of Fame members, local TV and Radio members, select Twins front office personnel and the fans." Fans can make their selections at http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/min/fan_forum/hof_ballot.jsp before midnight on January 4. At most, two players will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2012.

For those interested in taking part in the voting, I put together a chart that includes the total Wins Above Replacement (WAR ) generated by the players currently in the Twins Hall of Fame and those currently being considered for inclusion. The WAR totals listed below only reflect the wins created by these players while wearing a Twins uniform, excluding value they may have generated for other teams or for the Senators before they moved to Minnesota in 1961.

The chart, and more, after the jump:

NAME

WAR

NAME

WAR

Rod Carew

62.7

Larry Hisle

17.5

Harmon Killebrew

54.9

Kevin Tapani

17.5

Bert Blyleven

45.7

Rick Aguilera

16.1

Kirby Puckett

44.8

Camilo Pascual

16.1

Tony Oliva

42.4

Earl Battey

15.5

Brad Radke

41.4

Greg Gagne

15.1

Chuck Knoblauch

35.4

Zoilo Versalles

14.8

Kent Hrbek

35.3

Tom Brunansky

14.6

Bob Allison

31.1

John Castino

13.1

Jim Kaat

28.1

Brian Harper

12.3

Cesar Tovar

25.8

Dean Chance

11.2

Frank Viola

24.5

Dave Boswell

8.7

Gary Gaetti

23.8

Eddie Guardado

8.4

Dave Goltz

23.7

Al Worthington

7.0

Jim Perry

22.2

Mudcat Grant

4.6

Roy Smalley

21.4

Jeff Reardon

4.3

Corey Koskie

21.1

Dan Gladden

4.1

The players in bold are currently in the Twins Hall of Fame, the other players listed are on this year's ballot. I should also note that I'm using the WAR totals from baseball-reference.com.

In addition, just because I was interested, I put together a list of the best Twins players that aren't already in the Hall or on the current ballot. The players in italics are ineligible because they're either currently playing or haven't completed the required two-year waiting period following retirement.

NAME

WAR

NAME

WAR

Joe Mauer

40.7

Michael Cuddyer

11.7

Johan Santana

32.1

Denard Span

11.1

Joe Nathan

19.8

Lyman Bostock

10.9

Justin Morneau

19.5

Leo Cardenas

10.9

Shane Mack

18.5

Jerry Koosman

10.6

Torii Hunter

16.9

Matt Lawton

9.3

Jimmie Hall

15.5

Jacque Jones

9.2

Steve Braun

14.7

Gary Ward

9.2

Scott Baker

14.5

Jim Merritt

9.1

Butch Wynegar

14.0

Eric Soderholm

8.9

Eric Milton

13.2

Geoff Zahn

8.7

Rich Rollins

12.0

Francisco Liriano

8.3

Scott Erickson

11.9

Side Note: Had I used Fangraphs' WAR totals, Torii would have fared much better on this chart. His defense is valued far more in their calculations than it is under the Baseball Reference system. FYI.

Just a couple random thoughts:

It's pretty clear that Chuck Knoblauch is the best eligible player not currently in the Twins Hall of Fame. But do you want to see him inducted? I mean, this isn't Cooperstown. This is a decade-old awards program created to honor the players that have meant the most to the franchise and its fans. As someone who had the pleasure of sitting in the Metrodome's left field foul territory during this debacle, it's hard to think of Chuck's name listed alongside my boyhood heroes.

If it's possible to get "hosed " in the Twins Hall of Fame selection process, Shane Mack should be outraged. Mack ranks as the best player not currently in the Twins Hall of Fame or under consideration this season. Looking solely at WAR, Mack would rank ahead of 4 players currently in the Hall, and appears to be a better candidate than 13 of the 18 players on this year's ballot. In five seasons with the club, Shane batted .309/.375/.479 with a 130 OPS+ and, of course, helped the club win a World Series in 1991.

Joe Mauer and Johan Santana. Wow. Joe Mauer is not even 30, and he has already accumulated the 7th highest WAR in Minnesota Twins history (5th highest among position players). Johan Santana was traded away before his 29th birthday, and he still ranks as the 3rd most valuable pitcher in Twins history.

So, who do you think deserves to have their name enshrined next to the likes of Killebrew, Puckett, Blyleven and Carew? If you take the time to vote, put your ballot and rationale in the comments section.

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