Sep 1, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer (7) hits a two run triple during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Twins won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
3. Joe Mauer
Last season was not good for Joe Mauer. He played in only 120 games and struggled mightily at the plate. Although he may never be a guy that plays more than 130 games again in his career, 2015 should be a return to form for the hometown kid.
After batting just .277/.361/.371 last season, Mauer can expect to rebound in a big way this season. In 2014, the move to first base provided more challenges than were immediately expected. The biggest challenge for Mauer may have been in understanding the strike zone without the knowledge of what it looked like. Previously in his career, Mauer had the benefit of sitting behind the plate and studying it prior to stepping in the batters box. With a season under his belt in which he now had to understand from a different perspective, expecting adjustments is logical.
Look for Joe Mauer to take strides forward on both the offensive and defensive sides of the baseball this season. With narratives not so focused on him, the pressure should be alleviated and the results should be beneficial. On a team that already hit will last season, adding back in Mauer’s bat as an asset is a great thing.