Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Joe Mauer

I am not as rabid
a baseball fan as my wife (who was also a better ballplayer than I was). Our home team, the Twins are a very good Major League baseball team, with minor league pitchers, with the exception of closer Joe Nathan. The only way I can watch them is to concentrate on the play of Justin Morneau on first base, and more specifically catcher Joe Mauer, who is just an amazing ball player. I have followed baseball for 50 years and I've never seen a better player, certainly not a catcher.

He calls a nearly perfect game. When he guns the throw down to second the shortstop doesn't even have to move his glove. The ball is delivered 3" off the ground just to the first base side of the bag. At first you think that it is a fortune throw, but he does it time after time. Eventually they've pretty much stopped trying to steal. Defensively he's good enough that last year he was the Rawlins Gold Glove winner.

This year he started late, missing the first month and a half with a strained back. Still his numbers are pretty good, as he's finally delivering the power that was expected of him. As of last night this is the way it stands. If he had played in the early season, he might be running the board.
  • 1st AL AVG (.383)
  • 10th AL RBI (77)
  • 1st AL SLG (.653)
  • 9th AL HR (25)
  • 1st AL OBP (.448)
  • 1st AL OPS (1.101)
Incidently he was not only the top rated high school baseball player, he also was the top ranked football player, throwing 42 touchdown passes his senior year. Go Joe.

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