Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer is a good first baseman

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 27: Jose Ramirez /

The Minnesota Twins are set up well for a nice run of contention in the American League. However, there are some tough decisions to be made about who will and who won’t be involved in the future plans.

One of those players is Joe Mauer, one of the most popular players in Minnesota Twins history. Mauer is entering the final season on his contract and could be on his way out of the Twin Cities. That will be a sad day for most Twins fans. However, there is a small fraction of the fanbase that wants Mauer gone, and the question I have is why?

Mauer grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and is entering his 15th season playing for his hometown team. He is a career .308 hitter with an excellent 12.8% strikeout rate and 12% walk rate. He also has a .391 on-base percentage and does everything for this team except hitting home runs. Minnesota Twins fans complain about his lack of power or his lack of clutch, so let’s dive a little deeper into his numbers.

Showing you how clutch Mauer was in 2017

First of all, Mauer doesn’t fit the profile of a typical first baseman and he never will. He will only hit around 10 home runs a season and won’t be in the heart of the batting order. However, Mauer gets on base at an above-average rate and plays solid defense at first base.

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One knock you often hear about Mauer is his propensity to hit into double plays. However, he hit into 17 double plays last season, and that’s right in line with other top first basemen around the league. Next, we’re going to be going deep into his clutch stats so you can see the impact that Mauer provides.

Mauer hit .280 with a .455 on-base percentage with two out and runners in scoring position for the Minnesota Twins. He had 22 runs batted in while striking out only six times in 66 plate appearances. Mauer does a great job at keeping innings alive and setting the table for the run producers.

In a tie ballgame Mauer had more strikeouts, however, he still had a .395 on-base percentage with 176 plate appearances. On top of his clutch abilities, Mauer has proved to be more than competent at first base defensively.

Showing Mauer’s defensive prowess

Mauer had a legitimate chance at winning the Gold Glove at first base last season with only two errors in 1,012 chances. He has a career .996 fielding percentage at first base and has not committed over five errors in any one season. He is as good as they come defensively at first base.

The Minnesota Twins are set at first base for the 2018 season with Joe Mauer. Hopefully, Mauer is extended during this season and can finish his career with the Twins. If anybody has earned that, it is Joe Mauer.

Next: Taking a look at the 2018 Minnesota Twins bullpen

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