It isn’t overstatement to call Joe Mauer a Twins legend. He’s the first Minnesotan taken with the first pick in the baseball draft. The only other Minnesotans picked in the upper part of the first round of the MLB draft are in Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame; Paul Molitor was picked third overall by the Milwaukee Brewers while Dave Winfield was picked 4th overall by the San Diego Padres. It’s worth noting that Molitor and Winfield were drafted after playing for the Minnesota Golden Gophers while Joe Mauer was drafted first overall right after high school.

Joe Mauer is the only catcher in MLB history to lead the Major Leagues in hitting. He’s also the only catcher to win 3 batting titles in his career. Add to that Joe’s defensive skills and you’ve put together the ingredients for a once-in-a-generation type player and a future first ballot Hall of Famer. Here’s video of one of Mauer’s legendary defensive plays:

I remember that play. I remember thinking to myself “Are you kidding me? No other catcher in MLB history was capable of making that play.” I’m still convinced of that. This play was pretty good, too:

As good as those plays were, this is the best, in my humble opinion:

This article wouldn’t be complete without talking about Joe Mauer’s hitting ability. In his Twins career, Joe reached base more often than any other Twin. That’s quite a statement considering the fact that Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew each had lengthy careers with the Twins. Joe retires as the Twins’ leader in doubles, too.

Finally, the 2019 Twins will miss Joe’s leadership, talent and professionalism. Good luck, Joe.

2 Responses to “Joe Mauer, Twins legend”

  • eric z says:

    Fox Sports Network today had a “hitting” session – discussion between Oliva, Carew and Mauer, with a moderator, about stances, bat grip, foot placement in the batter’s box, and it was informative, e.g., Carew adopting a partial crouch because Nolan Ryan was always striking him out with high fastballs and the crouch made Ryan’s high strike have enough downward drop to follow it better, and he began hitting Ryan to where one game Ryan yelled, “Stand up straight,” and Carew just kept the stance for all pitchers. Also, hitting adjustments with two strikes was a discussion topic.

    I think among all outstanding catchers Bench had the best throwing arm among the moderns. Mauer was offered college quarterback scholarships, so his throwing arm was no slouch; best infield arm currently, Sano, best outfield arm ever, Clemente.

  • Gary Gross says:

    I agree with you on Bench. Mauer didn’t have Bench’s arm but it was pretty good. It’s important not to omit Jim Sundberg & Pudge Rodriguez. Sano has the best third base arm, though I’ll argue that Gary Gaetti’s arm was pretty special, too. Clemente’s arm was special, too, though I’d put Willie Mays’ arm up there, too.

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