Friday, February 14, 2014

All Valentine's Day Twins Team

Catcher: Javier Valentin
His last name was almost enough to be a "Valentine" but he fell a letter short. In parts of four seasons with the Twins, he didn't show a lot of love to the fans. He combined to hit .230/.288/.350 in 141 games during his early 20's. His career improved when he went to Cincinnati and he finished his career as a .251/.310/.402 hitter.

1B: Greg Wells
Sometimes you need to make a wish for love to come true and a wishing "Well(s)" is the best place to start. Wells played in all of 15 games for the Twins and barely hit over .200. He did collect three extra-base hits over 54 at-bats but that wasn't nearly enough to keep the 28-year old around in Minnesota. After he left the Twins organization, he went on to a very successful career in Japan including three seasons of 40 or more home runs.

2B: Chip Hale
A perfect Valentine's Day gift is something sweet and perhaps that would include a chocolate "Chip" or two. All but 12 of Hale's big league at-bats came while wearing a Twins uniform. Most of his playing time was on some of the rough Twins teams of the mid-1990's. He hit .333/.408/.425 in 213 plate appearances during the 1993 season but that might have been the pinnacle of his career. His career high in games played was 85 in 1996 and his career was over by 1998.

3B: Rich Rollins
On Valentine's Day, it always helps to be "Rich" so you can buy your lady all of the things she desires. One of the Twins regulars on their early years in Minnesota, Rollins averaged over 125 games played from 1962-1968. During that same stretch of time, he averaged double digits in home runs and over 15 doubles per season. With the roster created so far, he might be the team's middle of the order bat.

SS: Bill Bethea
On this day, it's very important for the guy to pick up the "Bill." Ten games as a 22-year old were the extent of Bethea's career. He floated through the minor league system of multiple organization but the Twins were the only place were he would make it to "The Show." In the minor leagues, he hit .235 with very little power so there was really no reason for him to get more than a cup of coffee at baseball's highest level.

DH: Tom Prince
Every girl is looking for her "Prince" especially on Valentine's Day. Prince spent parts of three seasons with the Twins in the early 2000's and he was part of the team's first AL Central Championship in 2002. He never played more than 64 games in a season and he was a career .208/.286/.331 hitter. All of his career postseason at-bats came with Minnesota when he was a 37-year old back-up catcher.

OF: Mike Hart
One of the themes throughout Valentine's Day is having a big "Hart" even if it is misspelled. Hart's time in Minnesota was short lived as he struggled to hit above .170 during a small sample size of 13 games. He didn't manage to collect a single extra-base hit but he played in over 840 games at the Triple-A level. Any success he had in the minors never translated to his big league career.

OF: Lenny Green
If you can't think of anything else to give your significant other, some flowers with "Green" stems are always a nice choice. Green played a dozen seasons for five different AL teams but the majority of his career came with the Minnesota/Washington organization. He hit .270/.359/.384 while compiling a WAR of 7.0 over 700 games. The 1962 season might have been his best as he had a higher batting average than Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison.

OF: Quinton McCracken
The perfect Valentine's Day meal might be sitting back and "Cracken" some lobster tails open. Like many of the players on this list, McCraken's Twins career didn't last very long. He squeezed in 70 at-bats during the 2001 season but only went 14-for-64 during that stretch. It would be his only season with the organization but he would still play parts of the next three seasons at the big league level including a career high 134 games in 2005.

SP: Frank Viola
There's nothing like a little "Sweet Music" from Mr. Frank Viola to serenade a loved one. Viola used his sweet music to guide the Twins to their first World Series championship in 1987. He won MVP of that series and the next year he was awarded the Cy Young when he led the AL with 24 wins. Over his big league career, he pitched in one postseason but he made the most of it in 1987.

No comments: