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Article: 2015 Projections and Rankings: Joe Mauer

joe mauer miguel cabrera jose abreu eric hosmer carlos santana
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 09:21 AM

Earlier, we discussed Kurt Suzuki and the rest of the AL Central catchers. Now, we take a look at Joe Mauer and the AL Central first basemen. Mauer had a tough season in 2014 and looks to rebound in 2015. There are some really good first basemen in the division as well.

As we continue through this series, we’ll be taking a look at the Twins roster. We’ll make some projections and compare the Twins players to the rest of the American League Central.MINNESOTA TWINS – JOE MAUER

After ten years as a major league catcher, foul tips to the mask finally caught up to Mauer and he made the move to first base in 2014. Did the concussion(s) affect the beginning of Mauer’s 2014 season at the plate? I think it would be hard to argue that it didn’t, and Mauer had the most difficult offensive season of his career. (Admittedly, he had set the bar very high) He hit just .277/.361/.371 (.732) with 27 doubles and four home runs.

One big question for the Minnesota Twins in 2015 has to do with the soon-to-be 32-year-old Mauer. Will he be able to get close to those remarkable offensive numbers he put up for most of his first decade in the big leagues, or did that decade behind the plate do him in and he’ll continue to “struggle” in 2015? That’s the question, and of course, there is no way to answer that question with any certainty.

So what are we projecting from Joe Mauer in 2015?

The projections of our Twins Daily writers:

Seth – .296/.371/.428 (.799) with 37 doubles and 8 HR.
Nick – .315/.410/.445 (.855) with 40 doubles and 10 HR.
Parker –
John – .300/.380/.400 (780 OPS) with 35 doubles, and 8 HR.
AL CENTRAL FIRST BASEMEN

Opponent – Player – 2015 Age – 2014 Statistics
Chicago – Jose Abreu – 28 - .317/.383/.581 (.964) with 35 doubles, 36-HR
Cleveland – Carlos Santana – 29 - .231/.365/.427 (.792) with 25 doubles, 27-HR
Detroit – Miguel Cabrera – 32 - .313/.371/.524 (.895) with 52 doubles, 25-HR
Kansas City – Eric Hosmer – 25 - .270/.318/.398 (.716) with 35 doubles, 9-HR

AL CENTRAL FIRST BASEMAN RANKINGS

#1 – Jose Abreu – Chicago
#2 – Miguel Cabrera – Detroit
#3 – Carlos Santana – Cleveland
#4 – Joe Mauer – Minnesota
#5 – Eric Hosmer – Kansas City

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

Give it a little thought and then go to the comments section below and post two things. First, make your statistical projection for Joe Mauer in 2015. Second, how would you rank the AL Central first basemen? Of course, then discuss with the rest of the Twins Daily community. Finally, check back throughout this next week as we’ll do these same things for each of the positions.

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#2 mikelink45

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:15 AM

280/380/410  I rank him last.  I will take the HRs and I think that Hosmer will build from his series success. Joe seems to be aging poorly and I have read that he will be rebounding his numbers for three years.  I think he has settled into the definition of a replacement player, not elite, not bad, just a person who can fill a spot. 

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#3 HitInAPinch

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:37 AM

Seth,

 

About a couple months ago, Mauer told CBS Sports that he had left knee problems over the past year. 

 

http://fantasynews.cbssports.com/fantasybaseball/update/24994322/twins-joe-mauer-says-his-legs-feel-strong-heading-into-2015

 

I've read one account that said over the past 2 years, but can't locate that one.

 

That being said, I'm expecting a much better year (at 1st and at the plate) for Mauer..300+ ave. 15+ HR's 45+ 2B's

 

It's not my fault !


#4 jimmer

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:43 AM

 

Joe seems to be aging poorly and I have read that he will be rebounding his numbers for three years. 

Three years?

 

His 2013 was very good until the concussion (which is out of his control), his 2012 was also very good. So not sure what you were hoping for or how you think he hadn't rebounded. The people telling you he'd rebound must not have known his mean either.

 

2014 was an off year for him for sure, but he was showing good signs in the 2nd half as he gets further from his concussion.

Edited by jimmer, 31 March 2015 - 10:49 AM.

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#5 jimmer

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:47 AM

Mauer is another year removed from concussion. He's had one bad year in the last three years and that was last year, and that was after a concussion ended his 2013. And he's only had one other bad year in his career and that was 2011 when he played 1/2 a season.

Edited by jimmer, 31 March 2015 - 10:47 AM.


#6 Willihammer

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:49 AM

I am fearful that Mauer will continue to suffer from: age/health, better outfield shifting, a bigger strikezone, and adjusting his approach at this point in his career..265/.345/.395 in 425 PAs.

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Well, there's that.

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#7 tobi0040

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:54 AM

I think not being comfortable at 1B hurt his hitting more than we realize.From all accounts in ST he seems better defenisvely, which should help him at the plate. I also think an off-season of reviewing the way defenses played him last year will help him.

 

I say .310/.385/430.8-10 HR.35-40 Doubles.That .815 OPS probably puts him ahead of Santana and Hosmer.I will also say that Cabrera will be ahead of Abreau.Cespedes and Puig had a nice retreat in year two after the first one.Pitchers have tape on them now.

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#8 jimmer

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 11:10 AM

I expect his slash line right near his career slash line and a wRC+ in the 130s at minimum.  Wouldn't be surprised if it was in the 140s.  And since this division just happens to have two beasts at 1B in Abreu and Cabrera, that puts him third in the division at 1B, but still top 10 in the majors.

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#9 Hrbowski

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 11:13 AM

I would rank Mauer 3rd. I think he is a better all around player than Santana, and will likely hit better than Hosmer.

I hate Trevor Bauer.


#10 BK432

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 11:32 AM

 

I expect his slash line right near his career slash line and a wRC+ in the 130s at minimum.  Wouldn't be surprised if it was in the 140s.  And since this division just happens to have two beasts at 1B in Abreu and Cabrera, that puts him third in the division at 1B, but still top 10 in the majors.

 

I second this. I think this is mighty reasonable.

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#11 nicksaviking

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 11:35 AM

Mauer will be fine if he goes ahead and makes a concerted effort in beating the Mauer shift, he always was a good enough hitter to do what he wanted with the ball anyway. 

 

However it was clear last year that he needed to adjust, and he didn't, so I'm not sure he's willing or able to adjust any longer.


#12 troyhobbs

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 11:53 AM

Mauer still has a pretty high floor which is probably about where he was last year but I feel like his ceiling is plummeting and doubt his health improves as he ages despite moving to 1B. He probably finishes '15 somewhere between last year and his career norms and but he's probably played in his last all star game now that he's at 1B. I'd probably take any of the other 4 over him mainly because you might more than 120 games out them but that's not say Mauer is washed up by any means.


#13 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 12:07 PM

I feel like the main question is actually how many games he plays, as games played will likely be indicative of his health. If he ends up playing 155 games, he likely stayed healthy and I'm willing to bet put up "normal" Mauer numbers. If it's a season of 130 games played, it's fair to guess he was injured/playing through injuries again.
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#14 Oxtung

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 01:02 PM

I am fearful that Mauer will continue to suffer from: age/health, better outfield shifting, a bigger strikezone, and adjusting his approach at this point in his career. .265/.345/.395 in 425 PAs.


I'm with WillihMmer. His k rate continues to increase as he ages and his BABIP can't compensate enough. I think he's on the downward arc of his career. An OPS around .740.

Edited by Oxtung, 31 March 2015 - 01:04 PM.


#15 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 02:02 PM

Mauer doesn't seem like the type, but he performed a seance one night recently in which he invited Ted Williams' cryogenically frozen head to appear and give him advice. And Ted did. He said, in his irascible way, "Come on, Joe, all you gotta do is hit the ball. They're shifting ya, okay, now make 'em pay!"

 

Not sure if the story is true or not.

 

[Just tuning up my game for the Daily Thread ...]

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#16 D. Hocking

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 02:45 PM

 

Mauer doesn't seem like the type, but he performed a seance one night recently in which he invited Ted Williams' cryogenically frozen head to appear and give him advice. And Ted did. He said, in his irascible way, "Come on, Joe, all you gotta do is hit the ball. They're shifting ya, okay, now make 'em pay!"

 

Not sure if the story is true or not.

 

[Just tuning up my game for the Daily Thread ...]

 

You forgot where Babe Ruth showed up and told him to clear his head between games with some drinking and carousing and said there was too much damn clean living in baseball these days.  Then he took a deep inhale of his cigar and returned to the baseball diamond (or bar) in the sky.

 

I think his season will be somewhere between the predictions of Nick and John.

 

Nick – .315/.410/.445 (.855) with 40 doubles and 10 HR.

 

John – .300/.380/.400 (780 OPS) with 35 doubles, and 8 HR.

 

 

As a Mauer apologist, I am going to be proactive with my excuses for a slow April -- he is known to have slow starts (2009 withstanding - although I guess he completely missed April there) and I think he will have a period of adjustment where he seeks to find the right balance between his traditional way of hitting and the pulling to right field he has been trying to develop this spring.  I think it will take part of the regular season before he gets any  adjustments mastered.

 

I know it is hard to judge vets by their spring training, esp. when they are trying to do new things, but I would feel a little more confident if his grapefruit season would have been better.


#17 jimmer

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 02:55 PM

Mauer seems to get pitched outside...a lot. If that continues, I hope he doesn't still try and pull the ball or we're going to continue to see an uptick in 4-3 putouts. or 4-6-3 DPs.  Seems that's what he was trying to do last year as well.

Edited by jimmer, 31 March 2015 - 02:58 PM.

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#18 jay

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 03:04 PM

It's a sample size of 1, but I was pleasantly surprised by the HR he pulled down the line the other day. Only 4 of his 25 HRs the last 3 years have landed in that area (45-65 degrees on ESPN's home run tracker site).

With most outfields shading him to LF, it'd be a great change in approach if he can generate more pull power.

#19 dgwills

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 03:07 PM

I've never been against Mauer, but he did not get drafted in my fantasy baseball draft. I think that says a lot. 

 

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#20 jimmer

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 03:08 PM

 

I've never been against Mauer, but he did not get drafted in my fantasy baseball draft. I think that says a lot. 

It says there are a lot of players in your league I'd like to play fantasy baseball with or that your league is small or the format is bad. Or that your players are easily spooked by one bad year. Most fantasy baseball leagues don't count defense other than errors. Many fantasy leagues will think Howard is better than Mauer.  He's not. 

 

Fantasy Baseball formats often doesn't reflect reality on who is an overall good ballplayer and who isn't. Someone decides what stats deserve the most points which ones deserve too little, which ones don't have any value at all. Most go by the most traditional stats possible.  

 

Whether or not he's drafted or not by some fantasy players doesn't really tell us anything about what he'll do.

Edited by jimmer, 31 March 2015 - 03:22 PM.




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