The Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer is a Minnesotan through and through. He now leads the league with his longevity and desire to stay a Twin.
The Minnesota Twins hometown boy Joe Mauer leads all active players in a stat that certainly takes longevity to achieve. It may not be the most exciting stat like the active home run leader or maybe even the active leader in steals. As Mark Newman wrote earlier this week on MLB.com Mauer is the longest-tenured player with one baseball team.
Mauer played his first game with the Twins April 5, 2004. That puts Mauer in the league roughly 2 months longer than the second player on this list, Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals. As Newman writes, Mauer always wanted to be a Twin and that is all he knows to this point in his career. He is also doing his best with a resurgent 2017 to make a bid for another contract with his current contract running out after the 2018 season.
The question becomes, how much longer does Mauer need to continue playing in order to hit some milestones or even top some other leaderboards? Even with several lost years struggling with concussions, Mauer will be pushing for some notable achievements.
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Mauer currently sits at 1,986 career hits. It is hard to truly pinpoint what might be Mauer’s average for hits per season after the down years. For the sake of our number exercise, we will use Mauer’s 2017 total of 160 hits as an average number of hits per season. At that pace to reach 2,500 hits Mauer will need to play 3.2 more seasons. To join the esteemed 3,000 hit club with his manager Paul Molitor, Mauer would need to play another 6.3 seasons.
Sam Rice holds the honor of most hits for the Twins/Senators franchise with 2,889 hits. Mauer currently sits 8th with his 1,989 hits and at a 160 hit per season pace it would take him 5.6 seasons to take over that top spot. If Mauer stays healthy for 2018 he should surpass two Twins greats on the franchise list in Harmon Killebrew (2,024) and Rod Carew (2,085). Second place, currently occupied by Kirby Puckett (2,304), is fairly attainable for Mauer if he stays a Twins he should be able to reach that mark in just under 2 seasons.
Mauer again looks up at Rice for franchise leader in doubles. If Mauer remains with the Twins that is a spot he may be able to take away from Rice. Mauer currently sits 4th with 401 doubles, while Rice has 479. If Mauer is able to hit 30 doubles per season (he hit 36 in 2017) he should be able to surpass Rice in 2.6 seasons.
While we do not know Mauer’s fate past the 2018 season, he has already made his mark on Twins and MLB history. If he repeats his 2017 he will certainly have his fair share of supporters to bring him back on another contract. The longer he is with the Twins, the more franchise records he can potentially claim.