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Rock the Vote: Twins Top Pitchers of All-Time

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On Tuesday, many of us voted. Maybe your candidate won. Maybe not. But here at Twins Daily, we also voted for the Top 10 Twins Hitters of All-Time. Generally speaking, the top three players were the same on most ballots. It was also interesting to see how people chose to vote 6-10.

Today, I will present a group of twelve of the best pitchers in the Twins 52 year history. You can see how long each spent with heir Twins, how many innings they pitched and how well they performed. Each is pretty good, but the choice is yours. Put your ballot in the comments section, ranking them 1-10. In a couple of days, we’ll be sure to tally the votes and see how these pitchers rank.

With that, here are a couple of charts looking at the top Twins pitchers statistically. These lists are alphabetical so as not to provide any bias.


Player Yrs w/Twins W-L (S) ERA ERA+ WHIP
Rick Aguilera 1989-1999 40-47 (254) 3.50 130 1.18
Bert Blyleven 1970-76, 1985-88 149-138 3.28 119 1.19
Dave Goltz 1972-1979 96-79 3.48 112 1.31
Mudcat Grant 1964-1967 50-35 3.35 107 1.21
Jim Kaat 1961-1973 190-159 3.34 110 1.23
Joe Nathan 2004-2011 24-13 (260) 2.16 204 0.96
Camilo Pascual 1961-1966 88-57 3.31 113 1.22
Jim Perry 1963-1973 128-90 3.15 113 1.20
Brad Radke 1995-2006 148-139 4.22 113 1.26
Johan Santana 2000-2007 93-44 3.22 141 1.09
Kevin Tapani 1989-1995 75-63 4.06 108 1.27
Frank Viola 1982-1989 112-93 3.86 111 1.30


As you can see, I did include two closers in the analysis. They certainly stand out compared to other relievers. So, how will you vote for them relative to the starters. It’s also fun to see the Adjusted ERA (ERA+) from the various eras. Johan Santana’s 3.22 ERA during the first eight seasons of this millennium shows an ERA+ of 141 while Jim Perry’s 3.15 ERA through the ‘60s and early ‘70s is ‘just’ a 113 ERA+.


Player WAR Innings Walks:Strikeouts K/9
Rick Aguilera 14.6 694 179:586 7.6
Bert Blyleven 46.3 2,566 674:2,035 7.1
Dave Goltz 22.5 1,638 493:887 4.9
Mudcat Grant 5.0 780 163:377 4.3
Jim Kaat 27.2 3,014 729:1,851 5.5
Joe Nathan 17.8 463 134:561 10.9
Camilo Pascual 16.9 1,284 431:994 7.0
Jim Perry 24.2 1,883 541:1,025 4.9
Brad Radke 42.6 2,451 445:1,467 5.4
Johan Santana 34.0 1,308 364:1,381 9.5
Kevin Tapani 17.8 1,171 255:724 5.6
Frank Viola 25.0 1,772 521:1,214 6.2


So how important are the number of innings pitched to you in your rankings? In other words, how does Santana’s or Nathan’s dominance over less innings compare to the longevity of pitchers like Kaat and Blyleven? How important is the strikeout statistic to you? In other words, Santana and Nathan are clearly the most dominant pitchers on this list, but the numbers that guys like Perry and Goltz put up while barely striking out a batter every other inning are also incredible. It also speaks to the era they pitched in, when hitters took pride in not striking out.

So, what does your Top 10 list look like? I’ll post mine in the Comments section, but be sure to have your voice heard!
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