Monday, July 11, 2016

Minnesota's Worst All-Stars

Photo Credit: Brad Rempel, USA Today Sports
If someone would have told me at the beginning of the season that Eduardo Nunez would be the Twins All-Star representative, I would have laughed in their face. Nunez is having a great first half of the season but he doesn't exactly conjure up thoughts of being one of the best players in baseball.

Every team gets an All-Star and there could be a length discussion over the validity of this practice. It gives each team's individual fan base someone to root for in the game. The best players might not always be on the field but that's not always what the Mid-Summer Classic is all about.

There have been some bad Twins teams throughout the franchise's history. The early 1980's and mid 1990's come to mind as some rough times in the not so distance past. Over the last handful of years, there have been some of the organization's worst teams but those teams still get an All-Star representative.

Here are my picks for the top five worst All-Star selections in Twins history. I took into consideration the player's career WAR total and the season in which the player was elected but there have been some bad players that were able to put the title of All-Star next to their name.

5. Joe Mays, 2001 All-Star (Career 9.0 WAR)
The 2001 season was the only year Mays finished with an ERA under 4.00 and it was also his lone season of pitching more than 200 innings. He would actually lead the entire league in ERA+ that season but the rest of his career was hardly All-Star worthy. He struggled with injuries and posted a career 5.05 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Almost all of his WAR value was accumulated during the 2001 campaign where he finished in the top-10 for WAR.

4. Dave Engle, 1984 All-Star (Career 3.9 WAR)
Engle, the brother-in-law of Tom Brunansky, was the team's lone representative in 1984. He wasn't even having that great of a season when he was elected. He hit .266/.308/.353 with four home runs and 20 doubles during the 1984 campaign. He actually finished ninth on the team in WAR behind the likes of Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, and Gary Gaetti. Maybe he was being rewarded for his 1983 season where he combined for a .800 OPS with 34 extra-base hits.

3. Tim Laudner, 1988 All-Star (Career 3.2 WAR)
The two catchers on the AL roster in 1988 were Terry Steinbach and Tim Laudner. Minnesota was coming off the World Series and more of the team's players were represented on the roster including Kirby Puckett, Frank Viola, Jeff Reardon, and Gary Gaetti. Laudner played in a career-high 117 games in 1988 and hit .251/.316/.408 with 13 home runs and 18 doubles. However, he allowed the second most stolen bases in the AL and he would only play one more season at the big league level.

2. Eduardo Nunez, 2016 All-Star (Career 2.1 WAR)
Nunez is thriving in one of his first opportunities to play on a regular basis. He played in 112 games for the Yankees in 2011 but those games resulted in a negative WAR total for the season (-0.5 WAR). His time in Minnesota has been more productive as he has been worth 3.7 WAR over the last three years. The Twins are bad this year and someone had to represent the team. My vote would have been for Brian Dozier but they didn't ask me.

1. Ron Coomer, 1999 All-Star (Career 1.4 WAR)
The 1999 version of the Twins went 63-97 so there wasn't much to be excited about. Players like Corey Koskie, Jacque Jones, and Terry Steinbach might have been more deserving of an All-Star selection as Koskie's WAR ended up being more than three times that of Coomer. Mr. Coomer was in a stretch of five straight seasons with 12 home runs or more and he combined for a .744 OPS during that stretch. In an era where baseballs were flying out of stadiums at a record pace, Coomer got to be on the same roster as the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome.

There's my top-five worst Twins All-Stars of all-time. Should someone else have made the list? Who would be your worst Twins All-Star? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

1 comment:

Berdj Joseph Rassam said...

That's quite a list of worst all-stars!