Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/15): Pitching Paves...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:50 AM
On the day that Lewis Thorpe was promoted to Triple-A, both he and Brusdar Graterol turned in outstanding efforts. From the batter’s box,...
Full topic ›

A way, way too early look at the 2019 rotation. And yet...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:36 AM
This is stupid! Its way, way too early! And we will have months ahead of us to discuss the 2019 season. And yet, between a disappointing...
Full topic ›

Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Closing Time

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:09 AM
Twins Daily Roundtable is a weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respond i...
Full topic ›

Dozier v Forsythe

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:09 AM
Never thought this would be necessary, but I'm going to post periodic updates comparing the two the rest of the year. Forsythe doesn't ha...
Full topic ›

Article: What To Do With Byron Buxton?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:41 PM
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins activated Byron Buxton from his fourth separate stint on the disabled list this season. It's been a night...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs

Twins Blogosphere


Cooperstown Case: Helping Joe Mauer’s Hall Chances

If Joe Mauer retired today, there is a good chance he wouldn’t get the call from Cooperstown. He wasn’t able to play long enough at catcher and he doesn’t fit the profile of a first baseman. His Cooperstown Case has some merit but there are still things he has left to accomplish in his career. Here is a checklist for Mr. Mauer to follow if he wants to be remembered as one of the best players of all-time.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Chasing 3000
The 3,000 hit mark has been a magical threshold for players to get into Cooperstown. Out of Hall of Fame eligible players, only two players with over 3,000 hits have failed to be enshrined. Pete Rose has been banned from baseball and Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for a banned substance during his playing career.

Mauer just cracked hit number 2,000 so he’d have to play for most of the next decade to get close to the 3,000 hit mark. As I wrote about last week, Mauer is approaching rarified air among the best hitting catchers of all-time. This season alone, he has a chance to pass Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, and Mike Piazza.

If Mauer had been able to stay behind the plate, he could have gone down as one of the best hitting catchers of all-time.

Keep Bad Seasons To A Minimum
For a player to make the Hall of Fame, he doesn’t need to be great for every season of his career. However, one of the most important things to do is to avoid have prolonged seasons where the player is viewed as slumping. Concussions and blurred vision put Mauer into a three-year stretch where he didn’t hit like he had before the injuries

When Mauer suffered his concussion in 2013, he entered a three year stretch where there were some offensive struggles. From 2014-2016, he hit .267/.353/.380 while averaging 28 doubles, eight home runs, and 100 strikeouts. To put that in perspective, the AL average numbers for 2017 were .257/.321/.423.

Even in Mauer’s bad seasons, he was hitting higher than the league average and getting on base much higher than the league average. He came back in 2017 and hit over .300 for the first time since his injury. He might have weathered the worst seasons of his career if he can post a similar batting line (.305/.384/.417) to last season in the years to come.

Continue Playing
Joe Mauer’s future is a little up in the air. His contract expires at season’s end and no one know if he will continue to suit up for the Twins or for any other team for that matter. His positional switch has helped him to average more games played per season (127 games/season as a catcher, 138 games/season as a first baseman). If he is feeling healthy and continues to perform well, there’s no reason Mauer can’t continue to play throughout his upper-30s.

Some of the all-time greats had to finish their careers in other uniforms and one has to wonder if that will be the eventual path for Mauer. Willie Mays played into his 40s but he ended his career in a Mets jersey. Babe Ruth finished his age-40 season in a Boston Braves uniform. Yogi Berra is best remembered for being a Yankee but his last game came with the Mets. Even Twins great Harmon Killebrew finished in a Royals jersey.

It’s hard for some of the best players in the world to hang it up. When baseball has been your entire life, walking away from the game can be the tough decision. Mauer is one of the best players in Twins history but he will need to continue playing if he wants to get the call from the Hall.

Around Twins Daily
Cooperstown Case: Should Joe Mauer Make the Hall of Fame?
A Look Back to 2001: What if the Twins Drafted Mark Prior?
Myth Busting: How Has Joe Mauer Fared in the Clutch?


  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

15 Comments

Currently Joe is #286 on the hit list with less than stellar stars - Shawn Green and Todd Zeile just above him.He needs to get into more rarified air if he has a chance.

 

In walks Barry Bonds has 2558 and Ted Williams, Rickey Henderson and Babe Ruth are the only other ones with 2000. Joe has 900 - right behind David Justice and Ferris Fain and he is way behind his contemporary - Joey Votto who has 1001.Since OBP is his top claim, he has a long ways to go.  

 

Put them together and get On Base percentage where Joe ranks 97 right behind Mike Tiernan with 392. This is way behind contemporaries Miguel Cabrera 395 and Paul Goldschmidt 399 or Mike Trout 409. That is not good enough to make the hall.

 

I really like Joe Mauer and he has been an excellent player who will be in the Twins Hall of Fame with Hrbek, Allison and other very good players who did not make the national HOF. That is okay.  

​But looking at it realistically, he just is not going to be in Cooperstown.

 

Currently Joe is #286 on the hit list with less than stellar stars - Shawn Green and Todd Zeile just above him.He needs to get into more rarified air if he has a chance.

 

In walks Barry Bonds has 2558 and Ted Williams, Rickey Henderson and Babe Ruth are the only other ones with 2000. Joe has 900 - right behind David Justice and Ferris Fain and he is way behind his contemporary - Joey Votto who has 1001.Since OBP is his top claim, he has a long ways to go.  

 

Put them together and get On Base percentage where Joe ranks 97 right behind Mike Tiernan with 392. This is way behind contemporaries Miguel Cabrera 395 and Paul Goldschmidt 399 or Mike Trout 409. That is not good enough to make the hall.

 

I really like Joe Mauer and he has been an excellent player who will be in the Twins Hall of Fame with Hrbek, Allison and other very good players who did not make the national HOF. That is okay.  

​But looking at it realistically, he just is not going to be in Cooperstown.

For his HOF case it probably would have been better if he had retired for 3 years and then come back after the concussion. I think his career average at the time was .319 and his career OBP was .401.The accumulation of hits just helped him get to 2000 hits but hurt him in every other way.If voters took that kind of thing into consideration like with Puckett it might make a difference but I doubt they do. Another batting title would do it.

"Mauer had been able to stay behind the plate, he could have gone down as one of the best hitting catchers of all-time." "Best hitting" is a subjective term. The ONLY catcher in the history of MLB with three batting titles is not. Nor was Mauer a bat only catcher, he was one of the best defenders in the game. And while he doesn't have the power bat one would look for at 1B, most of those guys carry a steel plate in their glove. One last point: Even at his age, and after the concussions, I would doubt a poll of MLB pitchers on who in the league they would least like to face with two out and the winning run in scoring position, would not include Mauer, very near the top.
    • Puckett34, CUtomorrownight and MN_ExPat like this
Photo
Twinsoholic
Apr 19 2018 08:11 AM

Why is there so much being written about Mauer and the Hall of Fame? The world will not end if he gets in or does not get in. The anxiety that he might not get in is parochial. Why not wait until he retires to assess if he belongs in the Hall? What we are getting in these threads is often provincial--one needs a lot of historical context to reframe a presentist perspective.

    • adorduan likes this

 

Currently Joe is #286 on the hit list with less than stellar stars - Shawn Green and Todd Zeile just above him.He needs to get into more rarified air if he has a chance.

 

In walks Barry Bonds has 2558 and Ted Williams, Rickey Henderson and Babe Ruth are the only other ones with 2000. Joe has 900 - right behind David Justice and Ferris Fain and he is way behind his contemporary - Joey Votto who has 1001.Since OBP is his top claim, he has a long ways to go.  

 

Put them together and get On Base percentage where Joe ranks 97 right behind Mike Tiernan with 392. This is way behind contemporaries Miguel Cabrera 395 and Paul Goldschmidt 399 or Mike Trout 409. That is not good enough to make the hall.

 

I really like Joe Mauer and he has been an excellent player who will be in the Twins Hall of Fame with Hrbek, Allison and other very good players who did not make the national HOF. That is okay.  

​But looking at it realistically, he just is not going to be in Cooperstown.

 

because Joe spent his prime years as a catcher (no one today expects a catcher to grind through 162), his counting stats are going to be lower than guys you're comparing him to, all of whom played far less stressful defensive positions. Beyond that, calling Paul Goldschmidt a contemporary, especially in OBP, is distinctly unfair: Goldschmidt has played 7 full seasons, Mauer is at 14. Goldy has played his entire career at 1B, Joe spent his first 10 years getting beat up at catcher...which is why in making a Cooperstown Case most of us are looking at other catchers as relevant comps.

 

As noted earlier: absent injury, Joe should pass both Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza on the hit chart this season. How rare does the air need to be?

 

There's over 125 years of professional baseball history and we're 70 years past the color line being broken (thank god). According to several statistical analyses, Joe Mauer is one of the top 15 catchers of all-time. You've got an awfully small Hall if that's not good enough.

 

Joe is a Hall of Famer right now in my opinion (he compares favorably with Ernie Lombardi and similarly to Mickey Cochrane, two unquestionable Hall of Famers). What he does in the next few years is about trying to convince the naysayers. He'll likely add another few hundred hits, assuming he plays this season and maybe 2 more. Winning a Gold Glove a 1B sure would help: it's a rare achievement to win at two different positions, and certainly adds to the resume. If he somehow manages to pull off another batting title? it would be absurd to exclude him.

    • CUtomorrownight and SF Twins Fan like this
Mauer's unique set of accomplishments puts him in a select group of players. The most comparable player to Joe in the context of these is Larry Walker who also won a triple-slash title, three batting titles, an MVP award and a number of Gold Gloves. Walker finished his career with 2,160 hits and spent a good deal of his career playing in an offensive-skewed ballpark in Colorado, which is why his Hall of Fame voting results have been low. (Although improving as of late)
 
[Obviously the Gold Glove award and MVP did not exist for some or part of these earlier 20th century players.]
 
mauer Hof

 

 

Why is there so much being written about Mauer and the Hall of Fame? The world will not end if he gets in or does not get in. The anxiety that he might not get in is parochial. Why not wait until he retires to assess if he belongs in the Hall? What we are getting in these threads is often provincial--one needs a lot of historical context to reframe a presentist perspective.

I am also a little curious why there have been so many of these. I have the same level of anxiety about Mauer getting in as I do of Oliva getting in which is to say none.Its just a minor debate or intellectual exercise. Pick any of the topics on the board and I can make a world not ending comment about it. Is Berrios an ace?Was sending Lamarre down a smart move? Why did Lindor make the comment about not trying to offend the Twins with a home run celebration? None of it matters in the big scheme of things. All of it just falls under hobby and Mauer is just one of the many many sub sets of that hobby.

If one did not discuss things like this on this site, there wouldn't be much use for, or of the site. Then what would Brock do? That thought alone should motivate us, and make no topic too trivial to pursue. :). As an aside, I have no angst over anyone making, or not making a HOF. But there's still a foot of snow in my backyard. :)
    • CUtomorrownight likes this

As a catcher, he was Cooperstown bound, even with a short career because of the batting titles alone.

 

 

Even if he doesn't hit 3,000 hits, he still has a decent on-base-percentage.

 

He can't have an average slump like he did for anymore of his playing days.

 

And he will have to know when to hang it up. One year from now, three years from now?

 

Of course, have a super year would help, too. Like batting .400 (not going to happen).

 

Photo
mickeymental
Apr 19 2018 12:08 PM

can't help wondering if joe ever read the schoolboy book called "the kid who batted 1.000," about a country-hick chicken farmer who plays townball with an uncanny knack for fouling off every strike until he inevitably earns a walk.

 

the kid gets scouted, hooks up with a last-place major-league team, continues to work his on-base magic and leads them to the world series. along the way, however, he becomes frustrated with "merely" walking in every at-bat -- and his one and only non-walk is a home run to win the world series. he finishes his career 1-for-1, then retires to the chicken farm with his 1.000 intact.

    • IndianaTwin likes this
Photo
stringer bell
Apr 19 2018 12:15 PM
1 doable thing will get Joe Mauer in the Hall of Fame. Joe needs to win a fourth batting title. The cynic in me says that he needs to sign with the Rockies and win that title in 2019, but maybe he could win his fourth championship as a Twin. Happy Birthday Joe.
Photo
IndianaTwin
Apr 19 2018 03:41 PM

 

can't help wondering if joe ever read the schoolboy book called "the kid who batted 1.000," about a country-hick chicken farmer who plays townball with an uncanny knack for fouling off every strike until he inevitably earns a walk.

 

the kid gets scouted, hooks up with a last-place major-league team, continues to work his on-base magic and leads them to the world series. along the way, however, he becomes frustrated with "merely" walking in every at-bat -- and his one and only non-walk is a home run to win the world series. he finishes his career 1-for-1, then retires to the chicken farm with his 1.000 intact.

 

Don't know about Joe, but I sure did. Great classic from my childhood. 

 

Also by the same author is a biography -- Ryan LaMarre: The Kid Who BABIPed 1.000

 

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, snepp and 3 others like this
The Hall of Stats (which I might add is a very good site) has Joe Mauer being inducted into that Hall of Fame.

http://www.hallofsta...layer/mauerjo01
    • dbminn likes this
Photo
Matthew Lenz
Apr 19 2018 07:21 PM

I think he's in, not first ballot, but in.That said, continue playing at an above average level for the next 2-3 years would solidify it even more.

 

Also, thanks for linking to my article.Appreciate the share!

Fair or not, a world series championship would help too.I'm like a few others that have posted, I don't really care if he makes the HOF.


Similar Articles


by Nick Nelson , 22 Jul 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 21 Jul 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 13 Jul 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 04 Jul 2018
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 30 Jun 2018
Photo