The Minnesota Twins have had major stars like Kirby Puckett, Johan Santana, and Joe Mauer pass through town in the past, so the team's fans are no stranger to individual success from top talent. However, there have been players who have surprised just about everyone by leading the team in WAR for an entire season.
Diehard Twins fans might not have realized these guys were able to do that!
4. Joe Mays
Joe Mays had gone a combined 13-26 for the Twins from 1999-2000. Then came a special 2001 season where he went 17-13 with a 3.16 ERA. His 6.6 WAR that year led the team and earned him an All-Star Game nod. Sadly, Mays could never recreate that special season and Tommy John surgery held him out for all of 2004. He would be out of MLB after the 2006 season.
3. Gary Gaetti
Gary Gaetti was a two-time All-Star in Minnesota and a member of the 1987 World Series champion team. The fact he led the team in WAR in 1986 is not too much of a shock until you realize who he beat. Gaetti finished with a mark of 5.8 to just edge out Kirby Puckett, who had a 5.7 WAR. Puckett was the perennial All-Star, but 1986 saw Gaetti log a career year out of nowhere.
2. Jacque Jones
Jacque Jones never made an All-Star Game and finished his 10-year career with an 11.6 WAR, and 5.5 of that total came in the 2002 season when he led the team in WAR and helped the Twins win a playoff series for the first time since 1991. Jones had 27 home runs, 37 doubles, and batted an even .300 in his great 2002 season. He would never eclipse the 2.0 WAR mark again in his entire career.
1. Scott Baker
The 2011 Twins lost 99 games after winning two straight division titles. One of the only positives was pitcher Scott Baker posting a 4.2 WAR. The next closest player was Denard Span at 2.4. Baker went 8-6 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 games, primarily as a starting pitcher. He was the only starter with an ERA under 4.00 and led the team in strikeouts even though he only logged 134.2 innings.