Justin Morneau is one of the Minnesota Twins’ more memorable players. The first baseman played over the first ten seasons of his career in the Twin Cities. But one of the best seasons of his career was in 2006 when he took home the American League MVP award.
During that season, Morneau pieced together a .321/.375/.559 line, crushing 34 home runs. Morneau only struck out 14.1% of the time while posting a solid 8% walk rate. His .238 isolated slugging percentage was also well above average. Overall, Morneau had a .390 wOBA and 138 wRC+. While his numbers were far from terrible, others like Grady Sizemore, Alex Rodriguez, Vernon Wells, and Travis Hafner posted comparable or better numbers at the dish while providing a similar or better glove at their respective positions.
Regardless, Morneau would go on to play nearly seven more seasons with the Twins and make four all-star games. These were the only four all-star appearances he made and his 2006 season was a rare instance where a player won MVP despite not making the Mid-Summer Classic. In 2013, the first baseman had a solid .259/.315/.426 line, including a 102 wRC+, the Twins decided to trade Morneau at the August waiver deadline, given that they were just 58-76 at the time. Morneau was sent to the Pirates for outfielder Alex Presley and pitcher Duke Welker, but the former MVP would struggle down the line.
Morneau would bat just 260/.370/.312 with a 99 wRC+ in 25 games/92 plate appearances in black and gold. Although Morneau drew 13 walks and struck out just 12 times, he had just four extra-base hits during his time in Pittsburgh. They were all doubles, and he did not hit a single home run in September. Morneau had just a .052 ISO, a far cry from the .167 mark he had with Minnesota in ’13’13.
After the 2013 season, Morneau would go on to play with the Colorado Rockies in 2014 and 2015 and then the Chicago White Sox in 2016. Although Morneau never reached his late-2000s/early-2010s peak again because of a head injury, he still had some decent seasons in the home stretch of his playing career.