1999 Minnesota Twins season
|1999 Minnesota Twins|
|Major League affiliations|
Midwest Sports Channel
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer, Paul Molitor)
830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon)
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The 1999 Minnesota Twins began their season on a positive note, with Brad Radke getting the win in a 6-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately for the Twins, the team finished the season in last place.
- Offseason 1
Regular season 2
- Offense 2.1
- Pitching 2.2
- Defense 2.3
- Season standings 2.4
- Roster 2.5
- Notable transactions 2.6
Player stats 3
- Starters by position 3.1.1
- Other batters 3.1.2
- Starting pitchers 3.2.1
- Other pitchers 3.2.2
- Relief pitchers 3.2.3
- Batting 3.1
- Farm system 4
- References 5
- External links 6
- October 2, 1998: Todd Ritchie was released by the Twins.
- December 14, 1998: Alex Ochoa was traded by the Twins to the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later. The Brewers completed the deal by sending Darrell Nicholas (minors) to the Twins on December 15.
- December 15, 1998: Melvin Nieves was signed as a free agent by the Twins.
- December 21, 1998: 
- January 27, 1999: Bob Wells was signed as a free agent by the Twins.
- February 16, 1999: Bobby Kielty was signed as an amateur free agent by the Twins.
- March 20, 1999: Melvin Nieves was purchased from the Twins by the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks.
- March 31, 1999: Dan Serafini was purchased from the Twins by the Chicago Cubs.
Seventeen rookies saw playing time for manager Tom Kelly in the 1999 season. Some of these rookies, such as Corey Koskie, Torii Hunter, and Joe Mays, would go on to future success. The season was not without its bright spots, including Doug Mientkiewicz's .997 fielding percentage and Koskie's team-leading .310 batting average. Another bright spot occurred on September 11, when pitcher Eric Milton threw the only no-hitter of his career against an Anaheim Angels team that consisted mainly of September call-ups. However, the euphemism "rebuilding year" must be applied to the Twins’ 1999 campaign.
It was only May 21 when the team's brain trust realized that this would not be a world champion team. On that day, the Twins traded Rick Aguilera, then their highest paid player, to the Chicago Cubs. The team also traded Scott Downs and received Jason Ryan and future starter Kyle Lohse in return. The team finished the season with a 63-97 record, ranked fifth in the American League Central Division. The team's lone all-star representative was Ron Coomer.
- The lone representative of the Twins in the All-Star Game was second baseman Ron Coomer.
- The highest paid Twin in 1999 was Rick Aguilera at $4,300,000; followed by Marty Cordova at $3,000,000.
The offense was not impressive. Minnesota was last in the league in slugging and had only one more walk than the league-worst White Sox. The team leaders were: Coomer with 16 home runs; Cordova with 70 RBI; Koskie with a .310 average; Walker with 148 hits and 37 doubles; and Lawton with 26 stolen bases.
Several players failed to meet expectations offensively. In June, Lawton was hit in the face by a pitch. He missed a month and had trouble finding his swing after returning. Mientkiewicz had a great season batting-wise at the double-A level in 1998, but was not able to follow it up the following year at the major league level.
Radke, Milton, and LaTroy Hawkins filled the first three spots in the starting rotation throughout the season. The fourth and fifth spots were less predictable. Mays did emerge as a capable starter midway through the season, making 20 starts. Also making an appreciable number of starts in 1999 were Mike Lincoln (15), Dan Perkins (12), and Jason Ryan (8).
Aguilera started the season as the Twins’ closer and recorded eight saves, but Mike Trombley took over the closer duties in May and finished the season with 24 saves. Trombley, Bob Wells, Travis Miller, Eddie Guardado, and Héctor Carrasco had respectable seasons out of the bullpen.
Overall, the pitching staff allowed the second fewest walks in the American League and had an average ERA.
Like most of manager Tom Kelly's teams, this one was fundamentally sound. For example, the team committed the third fewest errors in the major leagues in spite of its inexperience.
Chad Allen, Hunter, and Matt Lawton saw consistent playing time in the outfield. However, Jacque Jones saw enough at bats to supplant Allen the following season, leading to the "Soul Patrol" of Jones, Hunter, and Lawton. Terry Steinbach was the starting catcher, with Javier Valentín as his backup. Three of the infield positions were fairly stable, with Mientkiewicz getting the bulk of the time at first base, Todd Walker at second, and Cristian Guzmán at short. Although Coomer was the opening day third baseman, Koskie ended up playing the most games at that position. (Coomer saw time at first when it became apparent that Mientkiewicz was not yet ready to face major-league pitchers.) Brent Gates also saw substantial playing time at third, as well as second. Marty Cordova played in 88 games as the designated hitter.
|Chicago White Sox||75||86||0.466||21½||38–42||37–44|
|Kansas City Royals||64||97||0.398||32½||33–47||31–50|
- April 22: Jack Cressend was selected off waivers by the Twins from the Boston Red Sox.
- May 14: Midre Cummings was signed as a free agent by the Twins.
- May 21: Rick Aguilera and Scott Downs were traded by the Twins to the Chicago Cubs for Kyle Lohse and Jason Ryan.
- May 26: Frank Rodriguez was selected off waivers from the Twins by the Seattle Mariners.
- June 2: 1999 Major League Baseball Draft
- August 3, 1999: George Williams was traded by the Twins to the Houston Astros for Josh Dimmick (minors).
Starters by positionNote: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Other battersNote: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
|Davidson, CleatusCleatus Davidson||12||22||3||.136||0||3|
Starting pitchersNote: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts
Other pitchersNote: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts
Relief pitchersNote: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts
- Todd Ritchie page at Baseball Reference
- Alex Ochoa page at Baseball Reference
- Melvin Nieves page at Baseball Reference
- George Williams page at Baseball Reference
- Bob Wells page at Baseball Reference
- Bobby Kielty page at Baseball Reference
- Dan Serafini page at Baseball Reference
- Jack Cressend page at Baseball Reference
- Midre Cummings page at Baseball Reference
- Rick Aguilera page at Baseball Reference
- Frank Rodriguez page at Baseball Reference
- Rob Bowen page at Baseball Reference
- Justin Morneau page at Baseball Reference
- Terry Tiffee page at Baseball Reference
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007
- Diamond Mind's Analysis of the Twins' 1999 season
- Player stats from www.baseball-reference.com
- 1999 Standings