Monday, December 3, 2012

Looking at the 2013 Twins HOF Candidates

At the beginning of last week, the ballot for the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame was released. This year's ballot includes 18 former players including players from five decades of Twins baseball. Since the original class of six was selected in 2000, the Twins have regularly inducted one to two former players or other important people in the club's history. Last season, former pitcher Camilo Pascual was inducted and this followed pitcher Jim Perry and shortstop Greg Gagne in the two previous seasons.

There are a wide variety of players on this year's ballot. Early members of the Twins like Dave Boswell, Mudcat Grant, and Cesar Tovar helped the franchise to their first World Series birth. Plenty of players are on the list from the Twins World Series runs in 1987 and 1991. There are even players from the rebirth of Twins baseball in the early 2000s.

Here is a look at the top five players on the ballot according to their Wins Above Replacement with the Twins. When it comes to picking out members of the Twins HOF, there is more that goes into it than just their numbers on the field but it is a good starting point.

If a person looks at the list above, it seems obvious that Knoblach should be elected to the club's HOF. His offensive numbers with the team put him near the top of a variety of offensive categories so it seems likely that he should be elected at some point in the future. He didn't exactly leave the team on good terms and many people might remember the ugly day when fans started throwing hot dogs at him when he was playing in the Metrodome outfield.

In recent years, the push has been for players from the early years of the Twins. This could bode well for a player like Cesar Tovar and Dave Goltz. Tovar played parts of eight seasons with the Twins as an outfielder. For his career with the Twins, he hit .281/.337/.377 with a little bit of power. Goltz was a pitcher for the Twins in the 1970's that amassed a 96-79 record with a 3.48 ERA. He won 20 games in 1977 and finished sixth in the Cy Young voting that season.

It could be time for the Twins to look to a player from more recent years with a little more fan appeal. Roy Smalley sees a lot of time during the FSN broadcasts and this has allowed fans to get to know him better in the last few seasons. Corey Koskie was always an appreciated player and the third baseman has stayed close with the organization since his departure. One of these players might have the upper hand in this year's voting.

This season doesn't seem like the right time for Knoblach to get the nod in the election process. There just hasn't been enough time since his falling out with the club. He should get in at some point but the timing definitely needs to be right. I would love to see Corey Koskie get recognized for his time with the Twins. He was under-appreciated during his time in a Twins uniform and I think that has become more noticeable in recent years as the Twins struggle to find a reliable man at third base.

As a Twins fan from the new generation of Twins baseball, Koskie is the man I would like to see elected.


Joel A. said...

Tovar is beloved. He should already be there.

Maybe it's too early to talk about Brad Radke, but hey, he won almost 150 games for the Twins.

Corey K. could still be standing on third base!

NoDak Twins Fan said...

Radke got in a couple of years ago. I think he made it on the first ballot.