Aug 20, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins first basemanJoe Mauer
(7) hits a single eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. The Indians won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Mauer Batting Average: .300
Danny Santana was the only qualifying Twins player in 2014 to hit above .300 (he hit .319 across 101 games). Mauer saw his average, typically his biggest asset and strength, finish at .277 in 2014. In his first season as the Twins every day first basemen, Mauer has plenty of distractions to overcome. Of them, a new perspective at the plate may have been the biggest.
Recently at Twins Fest, Mauer noted harder throwers and bigger strike zones attributing to his increased swing and miss tendencies. While that may be true, he also no longer has the benefit of seeing the zone from behind the plate prior to stepping into the box. Now with that knowledge to his benefit, Mauer will have a chance to prove that 2014 was not a drop off, but in fact an adjustment period.
A professional hitter, Mauer should return more towards his average and provide the Twins with the asset of a reliable hitter once again. The last season Mauer’s average dipped below .300 (hit .287 in 2011), he responded by batting .319 in 2012. I’d expect him to hit somewhere around .305 when all is said and done this season.
Prediction: Over .300 Average