Joe Mauer Off To A Hot Start In 2013
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Sunday April 21, 2013
By Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Writer): Follow @TheKHolland13
There is no arguing that Joe Mauer is the face of the Minnesota Twins. The only other possible option would be the first basemen Justin Morneau. The only problem with him is the fact he has suffered his fair share of injuries the past few years. So really, Joe Mauer is hands down the face of the Twins organization.
Only three times in Joe Mauer’s 9 year career has he hit below .300. He hit .294 in 2005, .293 in 2007, and .287 in his injury shortened 2011 campaign. Those 3 years, 2005, 2007, and 2011 just happen to be the only years he has not appeared in the MLB All-Star Game.
The man from Minneapolis has also got a very good looking resume under his belt. This includes 4 Silver Slugger Awards, 3 Gold Glove Awards as the backstop, 5 All-Star Game appearances, and 1 AL MVP Award. Pretty impressive for a catcher who is only 30 years old.
Joe Mauer 2012 Highlights:
Mauer has had great summers of baseball in the past and 2013 is starting off no different.
To start his season off this year he competed in the 2013 edition of the World Baseball Classic as a Catcher/1B. He hit an astonishing .429, 18th in the tournament and 2nd for Team USA behind David Wright. He also drew 5 BB en route to a .538 OPB, 14th in the WBC and 1st for Team USA. After Captain America, David Wright, went down with an injury, Mauer arguably became the most prominent player on Team USA.
After the USA fell short in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, losing 2 straight in the 2nd round, Mauer returned to camp with the Twins. Although he only made an appearance in 12 Spring Training games, he was certainly impressive. He collected 14 hits through 32 AB, a .452 Avg, while drawing 6 BB, and picking up 8 RBI including one HR.
After that stat line, even in Spring Training, the Twins had reason to think he would have another All-Star season in 2013 like he has in the past. So far, Joe Mauer has yet to disappoint.
He’s showed that he’s poised to have another Mauer-like season ever since Opening Day on April 1. Mauer and the Twins had to go up against the defending AL Champions the Detroit Tigers and the best pitcher in baseball, Justin Verlander. Although the team fell short of a victory losing 4-2 to Detroit, Mauer had a day for himself. He went 3-4 while scoring a run in the process. After one day of baseball, Mauer was hitting .750.
Quite obviously Mauer didn’t keep the .750 Avg. up. After the 3 game series against the Tigers Mauer was hitting .308 after an 0-4 and 1-5 outing.
After 14 games so far in this young 2013 season, the 2009 AL MVP is still showing what he’s got. He is hitting a whopping .393, 3rd in the entire MLB, with a .439 OBP while putting up 2 HRs, Tied as the leader on the Twins.
If Mauer can stay consistent all year he could be taking home all kinds of awards to the Mauer house. Is it likely that he hits .380+ all year? No, not at all. But could he hit upwards towards .335 or .340. All he has to do is stay hot which is entirely possible with the 5 – time All-Star.
He has proven to be one of the best and most consistent hitter in the MLB right now so there is no reason to doubt that Mauer won’t take home a batting title or maybe even an MVP.
Mauer’s ability does not stop at the plate though. Through 9 seasons and 844 games behind the plate for the Twins Mauer committed only 28 Errors. Sure, that may seem like a lot of Errors, but if you look at it in a mathematical standpoint he is only averaging about 3.1 Errors a year. That’s including any dropped popups, and throwing errors, and mishandled balls, and passed balls. That’s pretty impressive through 9 years.
Catching isn’t the only position Mauer can play in the field. The last 2 years he has made appearances at 1B for Minnesota. He has a pretty low 3 errors as a first baseman. He has only played 48 games at First Base but for someone who had never played first before it’s a pretty good looking stat.
All in all, the 3 time Gold Glove Award winner is off to a fantastic start in 2013. He has been consistent in the past and if he stays hot then he could be appearing in another All-Star Game, bring in another Gold Glove Award, another Silver Slugger Award, and possibly another MVP.
Considering the Twins are only 14 games deep anything can happen. Mauer could go on a cold streak or God forbid get injured. We don’t know yet. But what we do know is Mauer is hot and could do a lot of damage to opposing teams during his 2013 campaign.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to our MLB Reports Writer Kyle Holland for preparing today’s featured article. Kyle is a life long baseball fan outside of Boston. He is a sophomore in high school has played baseball since he was 5.
Although growing up in one of the best baseball towns in the major leagues, he has been a Giants fan since 2009. He credits his aunt with the Giants being his favorite team as she lives in San Francisco.
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Posted on April 21, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2009 AL MVP, 2013 Spring Training, 2013 WBC, 2013 world baseball classic, @thekholland13, @TheKholland13 on twitter, AL MVP Award Winner, david wright, detroit tigers, Gold Glove Award, joe mauer, justin verlander, Kyle Holland, minnesota twins, MLB ALL-Star Game, MVP Award, Silver Slugger Award, team usa. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.