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Article: Cooperstown Case: Should Joe Mauer Make the Hall of Fame?

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#41 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:01 PM

 

This is not a question of how much I value him as a Twin, it is a question of whether he will make the HOF.  

I didn't really mean to target you with that post, I just get frustrated how Minnesotans could watch such an amazing player and not appreciate him appropriately.

 

Joe Mauer was a legendary catcher for 5-6 seasons. He was a good catcher for 3-4 more. It's a shame that he doesn't get the credit he deserves.

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#42 ashbury

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 08:48 AM

Is 2000 hits really an accomplishment that typically gets national media coverage?

Until Joe got close, I'd never in my life heard 2000 hits even mentioned.

I think you are right. Unless I missed someone, the previous three guys to pass 2000 were (in some order) Brandon Phillips, Victor Martinez, and Nick Markakis. That latter one completely surprised me, but he's been durable. In none of these cases do I recall ticker-tape parades after the fact, to say nothing of being scheduled days in advance. :)

 

However, "gets" is not the same as "should get". There needs to be some common sense involving position. Out of 287 players to amass 2000 hits, only 10 have been primarily catchers. Joe Mauer reaching 2000 is a much bigger deal than these other guys doing it.

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#43 USAFChief

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 09:54 AM

 

I didn't really mean to target you with that post, I just get frustrated how Minnesotans could watch such an amazing player and not appreciate him appropriately.

 

Joe Mauer was a legendary catcher for 5-6 seasons. He was a good catcher for 3-4 more. It's a shame that he doesn't get the credit he deserves.

Some of us don't consider him "amazing."Nor "legendary."

 

 

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#44 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:19 AM

 

Some of us don't consider him "amazing."Nor "legendary."

I guess being one of the top ten catchers of all time for a decade isn't good enough for some people.


#45 ashbury

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:25 AM

Some of us don't consider him "amazing."Nor "legendary."

Legend has it that catchers don't win batting titles. Weren't you at least a little amazed when he won three in four years?

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. -- Arthur Conan Doyle


#46 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:29 AM

 

Legend has it that catchers don't win batting titles. Weren't you at least a little amazed when he won three in four years?

Yeah... Look at this article written before the 2014 season.

 

https://www.cbssport...seball-history/

 

Mauer is first in batting average, first in OBP, and second in OPS on the catcher leaderboard. What more did the guy need to do to be considered amazing and/or legendary?

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#47 spycake

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:44 AM

 

He is a strong candidate, especially now that his concussion symptoms seem to be behind him and he is hitting like old Mauer.

I agree that Mauer is a strong candidate, but I was about to disagree that he was "hitting like old Mauer." Because he's not really hitting like "vintage" Mauer, of course -- but perhaps he is hitting like "vintage" Mauer aged to 35 years (as of tomorrow, happy early birthday, Joe!).

 

Mauer through age 30: 135 OPS+, 134 wRC+

Mauer age 34: 115 OPS+, 116 wRC+ 

 

Compared to:

Mauer age 31-33: 103 OPS+, 99 wRC+ 

 

Obviously off to a hot start this year, but it seems primarily walk and BABIP driven. I expect he will settle into a batting line like 2017.

 

I don't know if it's the concussion symptoms clearing or what, but he seems to be back on a more graceful aging curve in 2017 and so far in 2018.

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#48 spycake

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:48 AM

 

I noticed the lack of this as well.

 

For example, Topps has their moments of the week:

 

1) The Mets five pitchers starting together and the team going 5-0.

2) Andrew McCutchen getting two walk-off hits

3) Scott Kingery having a 6 game hitting streak (Dozier has 11)

4) Gerrit Cole striking out 10 guys in three consecutive games

5) Bryce Harper hitting his 7th home run

 

Joe couldn't even make that list, especially over Kingery, which I thought was pretty lame. 

FWIW, it seems like Joe (and Dozier) only played like 2 games during the week, which makes it a little hard to highlight their accomplishments during said week. :)


#49 USAFChief

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:58 AM

 

I guess being one of the top ten catchers of all time for a decade isn't good enough for some people.

I get your point, Brock, but the wording brought a chuckle.

 

:)

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#50 ashbury

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:09 AM

I get your point, Brock, but the wording brought a chuckle.

 

:)

This post is the finest one I've read all day, until I come to a few more. :)

 

/ Cue Chief's response: wish I could say the same for yours

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#51 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:25 AM

 

I get your point, Brock, but the wording brought a chuckle.

 

:)

Yeah... that was a really awkward way to put it.

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#52 nicksaviking

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:36 AM

 

I get your point, Brock, but the wording brought a chuckle.

 

:)

 

Don't let Kurt Suzuki hear you laugh, he's suddenly feeling a bit optimistic about his chances of getting in.

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#53 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:29 PM

 

I don't know if it's the concussion symptoms clearing or what, but he seems to be back on a more graceful aging curve in 2017 and so far in 2018.

I don't know what else it could be but the concussion. It's not as if he has changed his approach or defenses stopped shifting against him.

 

I'm really relieved to see the old Joe back, aged to 34 years. I was a strong supporter of the contract because he always seemed like the type of player who would age gracefully. Unfortunately, it's unlikely we'll ever know how gracefully he would have aged had he not suffered the concussion.


#54 spycake

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 01:08 PM

 

I don't know what else it could be but the concussion. It's not as if he has changed his approach or defenses stopped shifting against him.

Well, there was the marked rise in strikeouts, even before the concussion. I don't doubt the concussion was a factor, but it could have been compounded by the rising K's (and limiting his potential futuree adjustments).

 

Has it been reported that the symptoms have cleared? I wonder if he's just learned to manage/adjust to them better over time too.


#55 KGB

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 01:10 PM

 

I don't know what else it could be but the concussion. It's not as if he has changed his approach or defenses stopped shifting against him.

 

I'm really relieved to see the old Joe back, aged to 34 years. I was a strong supporter of the contract because he always seemed like the type of player who would age gracefully. Unfortunately, it's unlikely we'll ever know how gracefully he would have aged had he not suffered the concussion.

 

The biggest reason for the upswing in 2017 was his reduction in strike outs.Not being a power hitter, he's got to put the ball in play and his strike out percentage was rising since the bilateral leg weakness year.So it maybe more a change of approach than recovery from a concussion.

 

Season K%
2011 11.40%
2012 13.70%
2013 17.50%

-------------------------Concussion
2014 18.50%
2015 16.80%
2016 16.10%
2017 13.90%
2018 14.30%

 


#56 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 01:19 PM

 

The biggest reason for the upswing in 2017 was his reduction in strike outs.Not being a power hitter, he's got to put the ball in play and his strike out percentage was rising since the bilateral leg weakness year.So it maybe more a change of approach than recovery from a concussion.

 

Season K%
2011 11.40%
2012 13.70%
2013 17.50%

-------------------------Concussion
2014 18.50%
2015 16.80%
2016 16.10%
2017 13.90%
2018 14.30%

The strikeouts blipping upward before the concussion throw a bit of a wrench in the analysis but there was a lot more going on with Joe than missing the ball... when he actually connected, the ball wasn't hit very hard, which strongly implies that something was wrong with Mauer's vision and/or coordination.

 

Hard Hit %

2012: 37.1%

2013: 37.4%

-----------------Concussion

2014: 28.0%

2015: 29.8%

2016: 31.3%

2017: 36.4%

2018: 36.7%


#57 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 02:24 PM

all of MLB was going through changes at that point. The shift was a bit one, as was an infusion of more high K pitchers into the league. Don't forget that Mauer started seeing some really odd shifts and needed to reinvent his swing on the fly. That probably compounds things a bit.


#58 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 02:30 PM

 

all of MLB was going through changes at that point. The shift was a bit one, as was an infusion of more high K pitchers into the league. Don't forget that Mauer started seeing some really odd shifts and needed to reinvent his swing on the fly. That probably compounds things a bit.

Yeah, in no way do I believe that the concussion is 100% responsible for his decline.

 

But I'd be surprised if it's less than, say, 60% of the reason. Mauer didn't just decline... he literally lost 150 OPS points season-over-season. It's hard to suggest a shift could be responsible for even half that number.

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#59 kab21

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 05:09 PM

The biggest factor in favor of Joe's HOF case is that he was an elite player at his position for quite a few years. This is a pretty important criteria for me.

 

He did things statistically that are unheard of as a catcher. Especially one that was at least very good defensively (hello Piazza - another great hitting catcher).

 

The negatives are that his raw counting stats (HR's, hits, etc...) don't measure up. I don't know how much HOF voters will focus on that or if they will take into account that he played much of his career as a catcher with days off and extra injuries. Or if they will take into account the concussion (much different than Puckett's career ending glaucoma though). The other negative is that he will have spent a substantial time at 1B but so have other HOF catchers.

Mauer would be a HOF for me. And I would consider him a HOF'er over most of the other borderline Twins candidates (Johan - Morris - Bert - Oliva - Kaat). Not saying that the others don't have a case but if I had one vote then it would be for Joe.

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#60 KGB

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 06:28 PM

 

The strikeouts blipping upward before the concussion throw a bit of a wrench in the analysis but there was a lot more going on with Joe than missing the ball... when he actually connected, the ball wasn't hit very hard, which strongly implies that something was wrong with Mauer's vision and/or coordination.

 

Hard Hit %

2012: 37.1%

2013: 37.4%

-----------------Concussion

2014: 28.0%

2015: 29.8%

2016: 31.3%

2017: 36.4%

2018: 36.7%

http://twinsdaily.co...et-again/page-3

 

As we discussed before the correlation between his hard hit rate and average of ball in play is close to poor, so I'm don't think it supports his drop in production being related to his concussion.