2017 Twins Player Predictions: Joe Mauer
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailySo what’s in store for Joe Mauer in 2017? Below you will find my predictions (or guesses, if you prefer) for Joe Mauer’s 2017 season. Hopefully you will consider posting your thoughts and your predictions into the comments below. It’s always fun to take a look at the end of the season and see how our predictions look.
.224 (.610) / .272 (.793) - As you would probably guess, these numbers are Mauer’s lefty-righty splits in 2016. Even with the struggles in the final six weeks, Mauer put up solid numbers against right-handers. However, he really struggled against same-siders. Although he’s always hit better against right-handers, he had always put up solid numbers against lefties. The last couple of years, his performance against lefties has dropped. In the second half, Mauer rarely started against lefties, even before the injury. A platoon at first base for the Twins makes a lot of sense due to his production, but also in an attempt to keep those legs with all those catcher innings on them.
87 - When Joe Mauer plays his 87th game of 2017, he will have passed Rod Carew and Tony Oliva and be in fourth place in games played for the Twins. Also, if Mauer accumulates 100 hits this season, he’ll pass Tony Oliva and move into third place on the Twins list. When Mauer walks for the 17th time this year, he’ll pass Kent Hrbek into second place on the Twins list, trailing only Kent Hrbek. He’s already in the Top 10 in most Twins offensive categories. It should be fun watching him pass some of the greats in the Twins history.
Joe Mauer: 381 at-bats, .281/.350/.404 (.754), 19 doubles, 2 triples, 9 home runs.
I believe that the Twins and specifically Paul Molitor needs to be strict in making himself give Mauer days off, even two a week. Ideally, he’ll give those days off when left-handers start against the Twins. If they can keep his legs strong and put him into situations to succeed, it should show up in his statistics as well.
My prediction is that Mauer will play in about 115 games. He’ll continue to walk, though at a slightly lesser rate. He has become a very good defensive first baseman, and that will also be a very important piece to the Twins puzzle if he can help keep the errors down for the left side of the Twins infield. I think Byungho Park will get a lot of playing time at first base throughout 2017, particularly against right-handers.
Your turn. Share your thoughts on and predictions on Joe Mauer in 2017. We can take a look back at the end of the season and see how we did.
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