Joe Mauer. A 6 time all-star, 5 time Silver Slugger, 3 time Gold Glove winner, 3 time batting champion, and 2009 MVP. The career of Mauer lasted 15 seasons in which he compiled 2123 hits, a 55.1 WAR value (bbr), and slashed .306/.388/.439 (.827 OPS). In terms of catchers, he is among the best of all time, and no doubt a Hall of Famer. Despite all of his accolades and personal accomplishments, I feel as if the career of Joe Mauer was extremely underrated.
Mauer was my favorite baseball player when I was growing up. In every baseball game I ever owned, the first move I made with any team I was using, was trade for Mauer. My first year doing fantasy baseball was 2009 where I took Mauer with the first overall pick. Mauer won the MVP that year and guided me to a championship as an 11 year old.
Prime Joe Mauer
His 2004-2013 run was absolutely incredible. He batted .323 during that 9 year span as a catcher. At a position in which offense was near impossible to find, Mauer was one of the best offensive players in baseball. The prime of Mauer was better than anyone else at his position of his generation.
Looking at Mauer’s 2009 season is comical. He took home all of the hardware that season with a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, and MVP award. He slashed .365/.444/.587. Mauer would set his career high in homeruns with 28 and RBI with 96. He totaled a 7.8 WAR value overall in the 2009 season and led the Twins to an AL Central title.
In today’s game, there seems to be a lost appreciation for guys who can simply put the ball in play and collect base hits. The homerun ball is relied on very heavily in the game today and rightfully so. Mauers approach at the plate has been the same from game one of his career until the very end. He tried to get on base any way he could, and was successful at a Hall of Fame rate. Mauer was one of the best pure hitters to ever play the game of baseball. I can only hope his career is looked back on as one of the greatest by a catcher of all time.