Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Letting Mauer Tell the Story

With this week signifying the last of the 2018 Major League Baseball regular season, we very well could be watching the final games of Joe Mauer's career. Yet to indicate or announce his intentions for 2019, the Minnesota Twins longtime star has compiled quite a resume. Over the course of this season, he's surpassed plenty of the legends and greats before him throughout Twins history. Trying to narrate that tale is one I'd fall short of, but the numbers do some significant justice.

Although the meat and potatoes of Joe's career is how he's been a lunch pail type player, that's come to work every day, and simply got the job done. He put together a 7-10 year stretch in which he was on par with Johnny Bench for the title of greatest catcher the game has ever seen. He reinvented himself and became a defensive wizard at first base. He's had ups, and he's had downs. Wherever along the journey you'd like to examine though, the final tallies are nothing short of impressive.

Joe is who he has always been, and the living legend isn't ever going to acknowledge his rightful place in Twins Territory. We can do that for him though, simply by using his merits.

  • .306 career average- 3rd all time for the Twins. Behind Carew and Puckett
  • 1011 runs- 3rd all time for the Twins. Behind Killebrew and Puckett
  • .388 on-base percentage- 3rd all time for the Twins. Behind Carew and Knoblauch
  • 2,114 hits- 2nd all time for the Twins. Behind only Puckett
  • 599 extra-base hits- 4th all time for the Twins. Behind Killebrew, Puckett, and Hrbek
  • 1,852 games- 2nd all time for the Twins. Behind only Killebrew
  • 3,073 times on base- 1st all time for the Twins.
  • 2009 American League Most Valuable Player
  • 3-time (2008-10) American League Gold Glove Winner- Catcher
  • 5-time (2006, 2008-10, 2013) American League Silver Slugger Winner- Catcher
  • 3-time American League Batting Champion- Only AL C to ever do so. Only C to ever do it 3 times.
  • 6-time (2006, 2008-10, 2012-13) All Star- American League Starting Catcher
  • 2009 Sports Illustrated MLB All-Decade Team
  • Baseball America Major League Player of the Year (2009)
  • Career 49.1 fWAR 
  • Career valuation of $306.9MM compared to $218.025MM career earnings
  • Career .995 Fielding % as a C ranks 8th all time
  • Career .996 Fielding % as 1B ranks 5th all time
  • 2006-2013 hit .327/.410/.473 with a 139 OPS+
  • Would be third 1st Overall pick to make Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, joining Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones.
Selfishly, I hope this isn't the end. I want to see Joe back in 2019 for what should be a competitive season in Twins Territory. Regardless what happens, the list above is otherworldly, and it's been a joy to watch it unfold.