Earlier this week we took a look at the pitchers eligible for the Twins Hall of Fame this year. Right now we're going to look at the batters who are eligible. These players are different than pitchers in that they don't throw the ball from the mound, but instead hit the ball thrown by the player on the mound with a piece of wood.
Once again, you can vote for players by liking the pictures of the players on Facebook or hash-tagging the player on Twitter. I think. I don't actually use Twitter. I'm probably wrong. If only there were some way to have a poll on the internet to vote for things like this instead...
Tom Brunansky OF (1982-1988)
Stats (Team Rank): WAR 16.0 (38th), AVG .250 (50+), OBP .330 (50+), SLG .452 (23rd), HR 163 (10th), RBI 469 (32nd), Hits 829 (45th)
Accolades: All Star in 1985, hit .412 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, and 9 RBI in the 1987 ALCS
Brunansky was traded to the Twins in May of 1982 after playing only 11 games for the Angels in his first taste of MLB action the season before. He spent the next seven seasons as a solid, reliable outfielder. He played in 155 games in five of those seasons and hit 20 or more home runs in each of his seasons. In fact, despite only playing for the club for seven years, he remains in the top ten in team history in home runs hit.
Dan Gladden OF (1987-1991)
Stats: WAR 5.6 (50+), AVG .268 (50+), OBP .318 (50+), SLG .382 (50+), HR 38 (50+), RBI 238 (50+), Hits 661 (50+), Triples 26 (43rd), SB 116 (18th)
Accolades: uhhh...No awards...but was pretty good in the postseason? .279/.348/.423, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 6 doubles, 3 triples, 7 SB in 24 games in 4 series.
Gladden was traded to the Twins before the 1987 season. He was only with the team for five seasons, but he couldn't have picked a better five-year span to play with the team as he won two World Series rings with the team. Gladden wasn't much of a hitter as he had an OPS+ higher than 88 only twice as a Twin, but really came through for the team in the playoffs as you can see above. After the 1991 season he was released and played only two more seasons in the MLB.
Cristian Guzman SS (1999-2004)
Stats: WAR 7.5 (50+), AVG .266 (50+), OBP .303 (50+), SLG .383 (50+), HR 39 (50+), RBI 289 (50+), Hits 871 (38th), Triples 61 (17th), SB 102 (20th), Runs 458 (38th)
Accolades: All Star in 2001, Finished 16th in MVP voting in 2001, Led MLB in triples in 2000, 2001, and 2003.
Guzman actually came to the Twins as a minor leaguer as part of the trade that sent Chuck Knoblauch to the Yankees. Guzman was a crazy fast shortstop for six seasons. He led the league in triples three times and is one of only 20 players in team history to steal 100 or more bases. Guzman's best season was his All-Star campaign of 2001 when he hit .302/.337/.477 with 10 HR, 51 RBI, a league leading 14 triples, and 25 SB.
Jacque Jones OF (1999-2005)
Stats: WAR 11.9 (50+), AVG .279 (41st), OBP .327 (50+), SLG .455 (20th), HR 132 (15th), RBI 476 (31st), Hits 974 (35th), Doubles 189 (30th), SB 67 (47th), Runs (492 (34th)
Jones was drafted by the Twins in the 1996 draft and made his debut with the team only three years later in 1999. The next seven seasons saw Jones mash the baseball over the fence a bunch while consistently just playing in a lot of games for the team. He didn't win any awards or lead the league in any categories in his career, but he hit between 16 and 27 home runs and 69 and 85 RBI in five of his Twins seasons. He was one of the main cogs in bringing the team back to relevance after years of mediocrity.
Corey Koskie 3B (1998-2004)
Stats: WAR 22.2 (26th), AVG .280 (40th), OBP .373 (18th), SLG .463 (15th), HR 101 (20th), RBI 437 (35th), Hits 781 (47th), Doubles 180 (35th)
Accolades: 25th in MVP voting in 2001, my personal baseball role-model and all-time favorite player when growing up.
Koskie was another draft success story for the Twins. He was drafted in 1994 and first appeared for the team in 1998. Like Guzman and Jones, Koskie was an integral part of the Twins playoff teams in the early 2000's. Koskie was a very solid bat in the lineup with an OPS+ of 110 or more in every season except his rookie season that only saw him play 11 games. His standout campaign was in 2001 when he hit .276/.362/.488 with 26 HR, 103 RBI, and an even 100 runs scored.
Shane Mack OF (1990-1994)
Stats: WAR 19.6 (31st), AVG .309 (10th), OBP .375 (15th), SLG .479 (7th), HR 67 (40th), RBI 315 (50+), Hits 668 (50+)
Accolades: Led AL in HBP in 1992 with 15.
Mack came to the Twins via the rule 5 draft in 1989 and although he only spent five seasons with the team, holy crap did hit the crap out of the ball. His OPS+ was 133 or higher in four of those seasons. His OPS+ was eighth highest in the league in 1992 and 1994. His SLG of .479 is seventh highest in team history. Mack could mash.
Roy Smalley IF (1976-1982, 1985-1987)
Stats: WAR 20.8 (28th), AVG .262 (50th), OBP .350 (42nd), SLG .401 (50+), HR 110 (18th), RBI 485 (29th), Hits 1046 (33rd), Doubles 184 (32nd), Runs 551 (31st)
Accolades: All Star in 1979, finished 16th in MVP voting in 1979, Led AL in Games and Plate Appearances in 1979.
Smalley had two stints with the Twins in his career. The first ran from 1976-1982 and saw the infielder play out the prime of his career and the second spanned the 1985-1987 seasons where Smalley finished off his career with a World Series ring. His premier season came in 1979 when he made his lone All-Star appearance and hit .271/.353/.441 on the year with 24 home runs and 95 RBI while playing in every single game for the team.
Cesar Tovar, All of the positions (1965-1972)
Stats: WAR 25.8 (22nd), AVG .281 (37th), OBP .337 (50+), SLG .377 (50+), HR 38 (50+), RBI 319 (50+), Hits 1164 (27th), Doubles 193 (28th), Triples 45 (28th), SB 186 (7th), Runs 646 (24th)
Accolades: Finished 7th in MVP voting in 1967, 23rd in 1968, 17th in 1969, 18th in 1970, and 24th in 1971. Led MLB in Games played and plate appearances and AL in AB in 1967. Led AL in doubles and triples in 1970. Led AL in hits in 1971.
Tovar was traded to the Twins in 1964 and debuted for the club the next season and quickly took over as one of the best players on the team for the next eight years. The Venezuela native was a light hitter, but his value came from his incredible versatility and speed. Tovar somehow played in 164 games in 1967 and played literally every position in the 1968 season. His 186 stolen bases ranks seventh all time in Twins history and he received MVP votes in every season from 1967-1971 despite only hitting between 1 and 11 home runs in those campaigns.