Minnesota Twins: Five things that defined Joe Mauer’s career

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Joe Mauer
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Joe Mauer /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 21: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins hits a double in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 21, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Mauer’s double set a team record for with 415. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 21: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins hits a double in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 21, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Mauer’s double set a team record for with 415. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Mauer was one of the greatest offensive catchers of All-Time

If there was a strength to Mauer’s game, the first thing people would bring up was his excellence in the batter’s box. While some people would have liked to see a little more power, no hitter had a more pure swing than the one Mauer had for the Twins.

Mauer was a master at taking the ball the other way thanks to a compact swing that was focused on making solid contact as opposed to today’s trend of launch angle and other all-or-nothing approaches.

A look at Fangraphs’ spray chart for Mauer from 2012 (the first year Fangraphs started gathering information) to 2018 confirms this as the left field portion of the graph is almost painted in solid red for line drives to the opposite field.

While one of the major critiques of Mauer’s game was a reluctance to pull the ball, you can’t argue with the results. Mauer would compile a .306 batting average during his career and wound up with 428 doubles thanks to his ability to attack the gaps.

This offensive ability was a rarity at the catcher position as no catcher had ever won the American League batting title before Mauer did in 2006. Just for good measure, Mauer would triple down on the feat, collecting two more batting titles in 2008 and 2009 while also winning five Silver Slugger awards while behind the plate.

Could Mauer have put more balls over the fence? Sure. But with numbers like these, it’s hard to argue that Mauer wasn’t one of the greatest hitting catchers in the history of Major League Baseball.

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