I'd go Killebrew at #1 (clear OPS advantage at 145, with the Twins org for 21 seasons, counting stats etc.) but I don't think it's as big a gulf as people might think. Mauer without concussions probably catches him- conjecture of course, can't predict the "what ifs"
Yes...I'm not one for "Mauer without concussions take".What about Puckett without glaucoma?What about Oliva without devestating, crippling really, knee injuries?One had his counting stats severely truncated...the other say his productivity numbers nose-dive as he attempted to play for seasons without legs.You are what you are, you did what you did.Joe is not nearly the first to have a 'reason/excuse' (whatever you want to call it) for not having 'even better' numbers.
With regard to Carew vs Mauer...both were ridiculously great for a few years.But, Carew sustained the "really goodness" for more seasons than did Joe.I have no problem with people that feel Joe's 2009 was better than Carew's 1977 based on the fact that Joe caught 105 games that season.(Joe only caught 100+ games in 5 seasons.)
Joe is to be congratulated for his milestone accomplishments.He's lucky in that he is in a situation where he should be able to complete a full career with his original club...an opportunity Carew would have loved, but wasn't offered in any serious manner.I think Joe appreciates this.
FWIW...someone gave Carew credit for a Gold Glove earlier in this thread.He never won one.Wasn't ever really considered that strong of a second-baseman.Good range, a bit stiff around the bag, making the turn, etc.Average hands...which seems ironic given what they did with a bat.He ended up being an above-average first-baseman.Also, Carew missed the better part of an entire season, as well....1970.Early in his career also missed significant games with mandatory/periodic exercises with the Army Reserve (or was it the National Guard)?