By Taylor Henrichs on March 14, 2014
Before having season-ending Tommy John surgery, Twins prospect Miguel Sano claimed he was capable of hitting 45-55 homers in a season. Sano won't have a chance to back up his claim in 2014, but the rest of the Twins' lineup may do it for him. Matured Oswaldo Arcia, Brian Dozier and well-rested Joe Mauer, could make power hitting much more prevalent in Minnesota in 2014.
In light of this, here's a look at the top five sluggers in Twins history.
For the first 10 years of his 20-year MLB career, Gary Gaetti occupied third base for the Twins. Gaetti played great defense, winning four gold gloves with Minnesota, but swung a powerful bat also. He hit more than 30 home runs twice in a season, with 34 in 1986 and 31 in the Twins’ 1987 World Series run. Gaetti ranks seventh all-time in Minnesota with 201 homers. He would go on to finish his career with 360 long-balls.
Known as the greatest all-round Twin to ever play the game, Puckett had serious pop in his bat. He played all 12 of his pro seasons in Minnesota, hitting 207 total home runs, 31 in the 1986 season alone. A 10-time All-Star, Puckett also won six golden gloves, six silver sluggers and finished top seven in AL MVP voting in seven different years. Slugging a career .477, his game six homer in the 91 World Series is still the biggest in Twins history.
Justin Morneau will start his first season away from Minnesota in 2014. In parts of 11 seasons, Morneau ranks fourth all-time on the Twins’ home run list with 221. He hit more than 30 dingers in three seasons, including 34 in his 2006 AL MVP campaign. The 2008 home run derby champion was well on the way to his best year in 2010, before a concussion drastically changed his game. Morneau’s career .485 slugging mark ranks second in Twins history.
A fan favorite throughout the 80s and 90s, first base slugger Kent Hrbek comes in at the No. 2 spot. Hrbek spent the entirety of his 14-year career in Minnesota, and belted 293 homers, second all-time for the Twins. His mark of 34 dingers in 1987 was the only time he produced more than 30 in a season, but he remained a consistently powerful presence at the plate. Hrbek hit more than 20 homers in 10 of his 14 seasons, and slugged a career .481.
Harmon Killebrew was not only the best power hitter in Twins history, but one of the best in MLB history. His 573 career home runs rank 11th all-time in MLB. In 21 seasons, the Killer was an 11-time All-Star, and recipient of the 1969 AL MVP. He produced eight seasons with more than 40 home runs, his highest mark being 49 in both ’64 and ’69. With a career .509 slugging percentage, Killebrew truly stands alone in Minnesota’s slugging history.
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