There are some very qualified individuals on the 18-person ballot and there are some questionable names on the list. It will all come down to the final vote and the results will be announced over Twins Fest Weekend in January.
How do the players stack-up against one another? Here is a break down of the top ten players on the ballot according to their WAR rankings from Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.
|(Click Image to Enlarge)|
1. Chuck Knoblach, 2B 1992-1997
By looking at this list, it seems easy to think that Chuck Knoblach should be a lock to be selected into the Twins Hall of Fame. He is one of the top ten players in franchise history and he was one of the catalysts that helped the Twins to their second World Series crown. His exit from the team and his return to Minnesota were full of some ugly moments but plenty of time has passed since those events transpired. It should be time for Knoblach to be enshrined with the other top players from the organization but 2012 might not be his year.
2. Camilo Pascual, RHP 1961-1966
The right-handed pitcher had already played seven seasons at the big league level before the Senators moved to Minnesota. He was an original member of the Twins and he put together six great seasons with the Twins name on the front of his uniform. He was a vital part of the first team from Minnesota to qualify for the World Series. In recent weeks there has been a push by multiple Twin Cities media members for Pascual to be elected to the team HOF (Reusse article, Christensen article) and this could be enough to push him over the top for 2012.
3. David Goltz, RHP 1972-1979
Goltz might be a name that is unfamiliar to the newest generations of Twins fans. The Minnesota native spent much of the 1970's playing with the team from his home state. He was never overpowering on the mound but he had a stretch of six seasons in a row in which he won double-digit games. In 1977 he was a 20 game winner and he finished sixth in the Cy Young voting. Statistically he looks like a Brad Radke type of player from an earlier era.
4. Cesar Tovar, OF 1965-1972
As a rookie on the 1965 World Series team, Tovar gained experience that will help him be a leader with the next decade of Twins players. He was part of the two Twins teams in the 1969 and 1970 who lost in the playoffs to the powerful Baltimore Orioles. Mr. Tovar would continually find his name on the MVP balloting at the end of the year. He finished seventh in 1967 and he would finish in the top 24 in each of the next four seasons. He even started one game in 1968 but only pitched one inning because he would end up playing all nine positions on the day.
5. Corey Koskie, 3B 1998-2004
The newer generation of Twins fans will be very familiar with the name of Corey Koskie. He was a vital part of the revival of Twins baseball in the early 2000's. The defense he played at third base was good and he combined that with a powerful swing from the left side of the plate. The 2001 season might have been his best where he set personal bests with 26 home runs and 103 RBI. Concussions hampered the end of his career and it was tough to watch him suffer through his last couple years in Toronto and Milwaukee. His role in the revival of Twins baseball could be enough to get him into the Twins Hall of Fame in the future.
There is a good chance that all of the top five candidates will get their opportunity to be recognized as members of the Twins Hall of Fame. The problem is that only two of the players can be enshrined in any single season. If I could only pick two players, I would vote for Knoblach and Pascual. On the online voting, the fans can vote for up to five players and I will most likely vote for all of the players listed in my top five.
That being said, my prediction is the committee in charge of the Twins Hall of Fame will only put one player in this season and it will be Camilo Pascual.