Also, Johnny Bench's career OPS+ was 126. And he's kinda the benchmark for catchers. (I know, terrible pun.)
Well, nobody else said it:
Tony Oliva - 3 batting crowns, health issues, Twin his entire career, no championships.
And of course, I think Tony Oliva should have gotten more consideration for the hall anyway. But I'm a homer, and I know it.
Don't disagree. Still, the similarities are there.
He's in... He's Famous... Head and Shoulders are not going to pay him for endorsement unless they know who he is on the east coast.
Book it... Done deal....
every year he tacks on like last season he starts passing milestone questions like 1st ballot, inner-ring HoFer, Top 5 catcher all-time, best hitting catcher all-time, etc. I really believe that when Mauer's career is over we'll be talking about him as a once in a generation hitter and one of the best all-time at his position, a lock for the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
If he wins 2 more batting titles id say he gets in for sure ( assuming the titles are as an at least part time catcher)
As long as Mauer's career doesn't spiral downward like Knoblauch's then he's a lock for the HOF. And then he's probably still in. It's better that he stays at C but I don't think it matters as long as he keeps hitting.
FWIW, Bill James has Mauer's "HOF Score" at a 66, where 100 is a HOFer. I think the scores are somewhat low as he only has Miguel Cabrera at 96 and I would say he is a lock.
Baseball reference's top comps for Mauer by age is Victor Martinez.
The first name that came to mind for me was Bill Madlock, a guy with a bunch of batting titles but less than eye popping power and RBI numbers.
This is a dankind-ish thing to say but at this point in his career Mauer would be a very underwhelming HOF candidate in my opinion. None of his accumulative numbers will likely scream out HOF, it will be his slash numbers and "new" stats like WAR, OPS+, etc.
On the other hand there are a lot of what I would call mediocre players in the HOF already so if you want to compare Mauer to recent inductees Dawson and Blyleven I think he is a better player than them.
Mauer is a lock. The true debate where he will rank all-time. These guys are asking the right questions.
The Twins go 74-88 in 2013, and Morneau and Willingham are dealt just before the trade deadline for talent. Ron Gardenhire's contract is not renewed. Paul Molitor is named the new manager and introduces a hustling, up-tempo offense that jells with his young core of talented position players, bolstered by one more good draft.
Buxton and Hicks exceed Span and Revere as outfielders, and Rosario, Michael, and Santana solidify the middle infield, Sano's glove catches up to his bat and his arm at 3rd base, and Chris Hermann spells Mauer as a fine defensive catcher. Arcia, or a gloveless Sano becomes a memorable Twins designated hitter... (Who was the last memorable designated hitter?? A New but Old Problem: Who Is the Twins' Designated Hitter? - Twinkie Town C'mon, we're due here!)
Mauer develops into a catcher/coach of promising young pitchers (a talent that he hasn't displayed, to me...), and Terry Ryan is named Sweet Genius for trading to get Alex Myer and Trevor May. (Gibson, Berrios, Bard, Hendricks, Diamond? Pick three and they round out a very solid rotation.) The bullpen doesn't crash, and Glen Perkins emerges as a top-five closer.
Mauer produces with a batting average that gradually decreases from .320 to .280 over the next six years. He stays healthy as the Twins go deep into the playoffs from 2015-2018, takes home some hardware. Six years of catching roughly 100 games a season takes its toll. Mauer retires when he's 35, and his contract expires after the 2018 season. He ends up coaching alongside his big brother, Jake, for many more years in the Twins organization.
This is not just wishful thinking. Stranger things have happened, we just don't believe in them. After all, we are Minnesotans.
Only catcher to have three batting titles.
Only AL Catcher to win a batting title.
Only catcher to lead the majors in BA.
Only catcher to lead his league in BA/OBP/SLG in same year.
In '09 became the 1st player in the AL to lead the league in BA/OBP/SLG since 1980.
slash line of .323/.405/.468
Not even 30 yet.
and after all that, we're still wondering if he'll be a HOFer?
I'm with Seth on this one, Mauer is already a lock for the hall. If he can continue to be a .300/.400/XXX hitter for the next few years, even if only half those games are behind the plate, he'll be a shoe-in when he finally hangs up his cleats.
I think he's got many of the "career highlights" to get in already, but he really needs to start adding to his totals to be a cinch. Hits especially.