Right now is an exciting time to be a Minnesota sports fan. There has been a real youth movement in recent years, and now Minnesotans are being rewarded with a crop of very good players to follow. So, I decided to rank the top 25 current players in Minnesota. Here is the first installment of this list, featuring players ranked 21 through 25.
25. Joe Mauer – Twins | 1B
In the early part of his career, Joe Mauer would have been a mainstay at the top of this list. Mauer had a resurgent season in 2017, hitting .305/.384/.417, and Mauer’s 0.384 OBP was the fifth best in the American League. Joe also played excellent defense at first base, committing just two errors on the season, and finishing the season third among first basemen in defensive runs saved. 2018 could very well be the Mauer’s last season in Minnesota, as he is on the final year of his 8-year/$184M contract. Hopefully, Joe can put together another good season for the Twins, in what might be a Hall of Fame career.
24. Lindsay Whalen – Lynx | PG | @Lindsay_13
Lindsay Whalen has had the ultimate Minnesota basketball career. After having a successful career at Hutchinson High School, Whalen went on to have a storied career for the Gophers, where she currently ranks second all-time in both points and assists. Whalen has also won two Olympic Gold Medals, as a member of the 2012 and 2016 USA Women’s Basketball Teams. Whalen appears to be entering the latter part of her career, but she is still a valuable player for the four-time champion Lynx.
23. Kyle Rudolph – Vikings | TE | @KyleRudolph82
During his time in the NFL, Kyle Rudolph has been the Vikings premier Red Zone threat. His big body and sure hands have helped Rudolph lead the team in TD receptions in each of the last three seasons. Rudolph has made life easier on Case Keenum this season, catching 71.8% of passes thrown his way, which ranks sixth among Tight Ends. Even though Rudolph is one of the longest tenured Vikings, he still has a long career ahead of him, as he just turned 28 in November.
22. Andrew Wiggins – Timberwolves | G/F | @22wiggins
In the early stages of his career, Andrew Wiggins has developed into one of the NBA’s premier scoring threats, averaging 21.4 points per game over the last three seasons. Wiggins has also played his fare share of minutes, currently ranking in the top ten in the NBA in minutes per game, for what would be the third time in his career. Wiggins still needs some improvement if he wants to become the all-around player that he has the talent to be, but hopefully a player like Jimmy Butler will provide a veteran presence to help Wiggins get there.
21. Eric Kendricks – Vikings | MLB | @EricKendricks54
After being selected in the second-round of the 2015 draft, Eric Kendricks has stepped in from day one as the quarterback of the Vikings defense. In the complex Mike Zimmer defense, Kendricks ability to grasp what he needs to do, and line everyone up in the correct positions has been crucial to their success. Kendricks has been the model of consistency for the Vikings, having recorded five or more tackles in 86% of the games he has played in. In addition to that, Kendricks has recorded 7.5 career sacks, and 2 INTs, both of which were returned for touchdowns.