Over the past week we have been counting down the best 25 pro athletes in Minnesota. With such a great talent pool to choose from it was hard narrowing down this list, but here with are with part 4 of this series featuring players ranked 6th-10th.
10. Ryan Suter | Wild | D | @rsuter20
Since signing with Minnesota, before the 2012-2013 NHL season, Ryan Suter has been the backbone of the Minnesota Wild’s defense that ranks eighth in goals allowed over that time. Suter is currently on pace to lead the NHL in Time on Ice for the fourth time in his six seasons with the Wild, having finished second and third in the two years he didn’t. His benefits to the Wild really show, as since the 2012-2013 season, the Wild have a goal differential of +62 with Suter on the ice, while they have a goal differential of just +31 when his isn’t on the ice.
9. Sylvia Fowles | Lynx | C | @SylviaFowles
In 2017, Sylvia Fowles had a career year averaging 18.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, on her way to her first career WNBA MVP award. Fowles also stepped up big when it mattered most, leading the Lynx to their second championship in the three seasons she has been with the team, taking home the finals MVP award during both championships. All these awards have been well deserved, as her defensive post presence helped hold Lynx opponents to a WNBA low 74.2 points per game in 2017.
8. Brian Dozier | Twins | 2B | @BrianDozier
Ever since his breakout season in 2013, Brian Dozier has been far and away the best player on the Minnesota Twins. According to Fangraphs, Dozier has either finished first or second on the team in WAR every year since then, including first in each of the last three seasons. Dozier has also provided plenty of pop, having lead the majors in home runs by a second baseman in each of the last four seasons. Dozier has also been a reliable defender up the middle for the Twins, having taken home his first career Gold-Glove award in 2017.
7. Adam Thielen | Vikings | WR | @athielen19
What more can I say, that hasn’t already been said about this Detroit Lakes, Minnesota native? He has been a Vikings fan favorite since he joined the team in 2014, and now he is getting recognition on the national level after establishing himself has one of the NFL’s best wide-receivers. This season, Thielen hauled in 91 passes for 1,276 yards, which ranked eighth and fifth in the NFL respectively. Add that in with his 2016 campaign, and Thielen has combined for 2,243 receiving yards over the last two seasons.
6. Everson Griffen | Vikings | DE | @EversonGriffen
Much like Thielen, Everson Griffen had to pave his way on the Vikings as a member of their special-teams unit. Griffen thrived in this role from 2010 to 2013 before finally getting the opportunity to step in as a full-time starter on their defensive-line in 2014. Over that time, his 43.5 sacks rank third in the NFL. Griffen has been an absolute monster in 2017, with a career high 13 sacks, which was tied for fourth best in the NFL. Griffen has been rewarded for his efforts by receiving his third straight pro bowl selection earlier this week.