With the end of the 2010 season comes, well, the 2010 season in review I guess. And of course, we have to start with the most logical place, behind the dish…
Morales spent most of his year in AAA where he had an OK .264/.350/.380 season. He’s never had much power, but what troubled me was the spike in strikeouts. He struck out 63 times this year, which is more than his past two seasons combined. He also had a huge drop in batting average which was partly BABIP related, but at the same time there is no doubt something was off with Jose Morales this year. It could be that he was just demoralized by Wilson Ramos getting most of the playing time early, and then Drew Butera continuing to be the backup for the rest of the year.
Speaking of Drew Butera. The guy seems like he is very nice, personable, and a gamer. All those good things. The only problem is that he can’t hit at all. He is very good defensively and appears to call a good game (whatever), but a MLB team can’t carry around a .237 wOBA. That is absolutely abysmal. Even in your backup catcher. And especially when the starting catcher is Joe Mauer and gets more rest than normal starters. He’ll probably be the backup once again next year because the Twins are strapped for cash as it is, but he really needs to hit better or else the Twins should play Morales more.
After his MVP year, anything Joe Mauer did was going to be a disappointment. But Twins fans are completely overreacting. Mauer put up a 5.1 fWAR, and actually cut down on his strikeouts, striking out just 10.4% of the time which is the 2nd best mark of his career. He also kept a lot of his power, posting his 3rd best ISO. If Mauer had put this season up last year and then his MVP season this year, people would be calling last year a great success. What he did last year totally colors the perception of what he did this year. Mauer led all AL catchers in average, OBP, wOBA, fWAR and rWAR. If that’s a down year, mark me down for a down year every year.