(American League, West Division)
The Twins will always remember their World Series wins led by Kirby Puckett in 1987 and 1991, but their all-time ace has Washington roots in “The Big Train” Walter Johnson.
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Active 26 Man Roster
Catchers & Infielders:
- C – Mitch Garver
- C/1B – Joe Mauer
- 1B – Harmon Killebrew (3B/LF)
- 2B – Rod Carew (1B)
- SS – Cecil Travis (3B)
- 3B – Miguel Sano (1B)
- MI – Chuck Knoblauch (2B/SS)
- CI – Brian Dozier (2B)
- LF – Goose Goslin (CF)
- CF – Kirby Puckett (RF)
- RF – Max Kepler
- OF – Roy Sievers (1B/LF)
- OF – Heinie Manush (CF/LF)
- RF – Tony Oliva (LF/CF)
- SP – Walter Johnson
- SP – Bert Blyleven
- SP – Johan Santana
- SP – Jim Shaw
- SP – Jim Kaat
- SP – Dutch Leonard
- CL – Joe Nathan
- SU – Taylor Rogers
- RP – Eddie Guardado
- RP – LaTroy Hawkins
- SP – Camilo Pascual
- RP – Frank Viola
On the Farm
Catchers & Infielders:
- 1B – Justin Morneau
- 1B – Kent Hrbek
- 1B – Joe Judge
- 2B – Buddy Myer
- C – Rick Ferrell (3B/LF)
- 2B – Jorge Polanco (SS)
- CF – Torii Hunter
- RF – Bob Allison
- RF – Sam Rice
- P – Jim Perry
- P – Rick Aguilera
- P – Ron Davis
- P – Dave Goltz
- P – Bill Campbell
Building the Roster: Minnesota Twins
With every team, we started building their all-time 25-man and 40-man rosters by using the Hall of Fame as a starting point, figuring that a player enshrined in baseball’s immortal Hall would certainly qualify to make his team’s all-time roster.
Almost all the Hall of Fame members are easily identifiable with one team so it’s a simple way to start every roster with near-inarguable selections.
As with every team, we are trying to build an active roster with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, and then a 15-player inactive roster of guys who just missed the cut, but remain valuable as callups in case of slumps or injuries.
The 13 active position players are usually two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders. The stats are built around the average of the player’s best three consecutive seasons.
Keep in mind that the Twins franchise was originally the Senators, so the Twins get to pull from sixty seasons of Washington baseball. The National Baseball Hall of Fame gives us a good start here.
Cooperstown gives the Twins Rick Ferrell, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Goose Goslin, Heinie Manush, Walter Johnson, Bert Blyleven, and Sam Rice.
The Hall of Fame gives just two of our 40-man roster, and WAR (Wins Above Replacement), a great stat for looking at the all-around contribution to a team for both hitters and pitchers, can help us with the rest.
We get lots of help here, as in order we find: Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Joe Mauer, Sam Rice, Kirby Puckett, Joe Judge, Tony Oliva, Goose Goslin, Buddy Myer, Clyde Milan, Kent Hrbek, Chuck Knoblauch, Bob Allison, Cecil Travis, Buddy Lewis, Ossie Bluege, Mickey Vernon, Gary Gaetti, Eddie Yost, Torii Hunter, Cesar Tovar, Justin Morneau, George McBrade, Brian Dozier, Corey Koskie, Zoilo Versalles, and Stan Spence.
Young stars Mitch Garver, Miguel Sano, and Max Kepler are on the radar here, and because each team needs at least three catchers, Brian Harper merits consideration as well.
Once plugged into the simulation software, we looked at their OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) and their defensive rankings and they break down like this:
CATCHER: Mitch Garver, Joe Mauer
FIRST BASE: Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew
SECOND BASE: Brian Dozier, Chuck Knoblauch
SHORTSTOP: Cecil Travis, Chuck Knoblauch (sometimes)
THIRD BASE: Miguel Sano, Harmon Killebrew (sometimes)
LEFT FIELD: Goose Goslin, Heinie Manush
CENTER FIELD: Kirby Puckett
RIGHT FIELD: Max Kepler, Roy Sievers (sometimes)
Minnesota will use a designated hitter on most days, so Mauer/Killebrew/Dozier/Manush/Sievers will see some at-bats there too. Killebrew and Knoblauch are subpar defensive replacements at 3B and SS, but it allows the Twins to carry Brian Dozier AND Rod Carew instead of replacing one with a backup infielder type.
That leaves inactive roster options for Kent Hrbek, Justin Morneau, Joe Judge, Torii Hunter, Sam Rice, Bob Allison, Tony Oliva, Sam Spence, Rick Ferrell, and Buddy Myer.
For the pitching staff we’re looking for six starters and six relievers. Bear in mind that across the whole game you will see dynamic, outstanding starting pitchers that can’t crack an all-time rotation but are better served as relievers on a team than sitting inactive.
Pitchers from the Hall of Fame automatically make the roster so Minnesota has two spots reserved for Walter Johnson and Bert Blyleven. With 25 players on the total roster we have room for 15 more pitchers.
Once we dug into the career WAR rankings (as Twins) we came up with: Brad Radke, Johan Santana, Camilo Pascual, Jim Kaat, Frank Viola, Jim Perry, Firpo Marberry, Dutch Leonard, Dave Goltz, Jim Shaw, Kevin Tapani, and Tom Zachary. Quality relievers Rick Aguilera, Joe Nathan, Taylor Rogers, Glen Perkins, Eddie Guardado and Ron Davis are candidates as well.
We looked at their overall numbers in the simulation software and leaned heavily on ERA to come up with these designations:
STARTING ROTATION: Walter Johnson, Bert Blyleven, Johan Santana, Jim Shaw, Jim Kaat, Dutch Leonard
RELIEVERS: Camilo Pascual, Frank Viola, LaTroy Hawkins, Eddie Guardado
SET-UP: Taylor Rogers
CLOSER: Joe Nathan
If you’re a Twins fan who is not that familiar with the old-time Washington Senators, get ready to fall in love with Walter “The Big Train” Johnson – he’s your ace, and probably one of the top five starting pitchers in baseball history.
The inactive pitcher options are Dave Goltz, Jim Perry, Bill Campbell, Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani, and Ron Davis.
So how did we do?
The closest roster race was Roy Sievers edging Tony Oliva for the backup outfield job. Would you let Killebrew sneak some at-bats in at third base?
How would you divvy up the second base at-bats between Rod Carew, Brian Dozier, and Chuck Knoblauch?
What batting order would you suggest versus lefties and righties?
Let us know in the forums below and if you make a compelling case we will adapt it in-game. We want every squad to be the best they possibly can be and appreciate your help fine-tuning the Twins for Eternal Baseball.
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Give your 2 cents on the composition of the roster!
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