The Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer placed himself up another rung on the franchises all-time leaderboard with his 2,085th career hit.
The Minnesota Twins have had the privilege of writing into the lineup for the past 15 seasons someone who is truly a generational talent in Joe Mauer. As we wonder just how much longer Mauer will play baseball as he completes the last season of his eight-year contract, he continues to make his way up all-time leaderboards. Most recently, Thursday night Mauer tied Rod Carew for second most hits in a Twins uniform at 2,085.
That 2,085 hits now puts Mauer only behind Kirby Puckett‘s 2,304 hits in Twins history. Mauer is also now just behind another former Twins player on the MLB all-time hit leaderboard. That being Harmon Killebrew and his 2,086 career hits. Mauer currently sits 241st all-time on MLB all-time hits list. With about a month left in the season he has plenty of time to climb up that leaderboard before making big offseason decisions about his future.
How more fitting for Mauer than for that tying hit to come on a single up the middle against Oakland Athletic’s starter Trevor Cahill. A hit that helped drive in Twins catcher Mitch Garver. Mauer’s approach at the plate and swing has often resulted in that same very squared outcome with a ball lining or bouncing right over the second base bag. The only other outcome that could have been more Mauer-esque would have been an opposite field hit to the gap in left-center.
Mauer continues to put together the final pieces to what will certainly be an interesting and polarizing Hall of Fame resume. The most intriguing part of Mauer’s Hall of Fame evaluation will be how much voters will weigh his historically dominant years as a catcher.
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Right now Mauer’s career numbers sit at .306/.389/.440, a .829 OPS, 2,085 hits, 420 doubles, 30 triples, 142 home runs, and 914 RBIs. Those also include accolades such as the 2009 MVP, a six-time All-Star, five-time silver slugger, and three-time Gold Glove and Batting Title winner. As we covered a lot this offseason, Mauer could have or should have arguably won his fourth gold glove at his second position of first base last season for his defensive efforts in 2017.
While Mauer is by no means a lock for the Hall, but in my opinion, he should make it eventually. His 54.8 career WAR which bests Puckett’s 51.1 WAR just begins to tell the story of why he should. Mauer’s 2009 MVP season was good for a 7.8 WAR, the ninth best season of WAR by a catcher. The dominance Mauer had at catcher and his ability to remake himself as a first baseman should give the St. Paul kid consideration to join the group he stood with on the field at Target Field recently in Cooperstown.
What are your thoughts and Mauer’s legacy? Where does he rank all-time as a Twin? Is he Hall of Fame worthy? Let us know!