Since their inception, the Minnesota Twins have largely been an offense-driven club. Sure, some great hurlers have toed the rubber, but success has usually been derived by parabolas of lumber. In 2022, this continued with Luis Arraez’s batting title. Even as the Twins tumbled down the standings, he provided a reason to tune in or head to the ballpark.
This got me thinking about the best offensive seasons from Minnesota batsmen. Actually, “best” isn’t a word I love in baseball-related arguments, as it relies far too much on number-crunching. “Favorite” or “most useful” are far better conversation-starters—as evidenced by my earlier Joe Posnanski-inspired look at the greatest Twins hitters and pitchers of all time.
I have compiled a list of what I consider to be the seven top batting campaigns in team history. So, let’s do what we always do here at Twinkie Town: discuss the issue, put it to a vote—and have James Fillmore ultimately tell a story that is far more interesting.
- Tony Oliva—1964 (217 H, 43 2B, 32 HR, 109 R, .323 BA, .916 OPS). Perhaps the most balanced bat-wielding performance of the bunch.
- Harmon Killebrew—1969 (49 HR, 140 RBI, .276 BA, 1.011 OPS). Everyone remembers the Summer of ‘69—but for Twins fans it wasn’t just because of Bryan Adams. In terms of pure middle-of-the-order power, it probably doesn’t get better than this.
- Rod Carew—1977 (239 H, 16 3B, 23 SB, 128 R, 100 RBI, .388 BA, 1.019). Flirting with .400 will get one on the all-time roll. I was also surprised he drove in 100 runs.
- Kirby Puckett—1988 (234 H, 42 2B, 24 HR, 109 R, 121 RBI, .356 BA, .920 OPS). The best single season from perhaps the greatest Twin to ever don the MN uniform.
- Chuck Knoblauch—1996 (197 H, 14 3B, 45 SB, .341 BA, .965 OPS). ‘96 was the first year I really started watching the Twins consistently, and you couldn’t ask for a better leadoff man.
- Justin Morneau—2006 (190 H, 34 HR, 130 RBI, .321 BA, .934 OPS): If you value the ability to drive in runs, this is the season for you.
- Joe Mauer—2009 (191 H, 30 2B, 28 HR, .365 BA, 1.031 OPS): The perfect conflation of Mauer’s prime and his ability to pop the ball just over the shallow LF Metrodome fence.
As promised, let’s get democratic about this...
Which batting season is most impressive/valuable?
This poll is closed