StaTuesday: Closing in on Puckett, Mauer moving up Twins’ leaderboards

Joe Mauer has been the face of the Minnesota Twins franchise for a long time.

And it’s no surprise why. The No. 1 overall pick in 2001 who just happened to be from St. Paul, Mauer was made for the role.

Making his debut with the Twins in 2004, Mauer has played his entire career in Minnesota, winning the MVP in 2009 — the last Twins player to win one of the major awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year).

As a lifelong Twin — and a productive one for most of his career — it should come as no surprise that Mauer’s name is spread around all over Minnesota’s all-time offensive leaderboards along with other longtime Twins such as Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva and Kirby Puckett.

The countdown is on, though, for Mauer to be atop one offensive category in Twins history.

Entering Tuesday’s game, Mauer has 410 doubles in his career, just four shy of Puckett for the franchise’s lead since the team moved to Minnesota in 1961. No one else in franchise history is within 80 doubles.

PLAYER DOUBLES
Kirby Puckett 414
Joe Mauer 410
Tony Oliva 329
Kent Hrbek 312
Rod Carew 305
Justin Morneau 289
Torii Hunter 281
Gary Gaetti 252
Michael Cuddyer 239
Harmon Killebrew 232

Mauer is also set to pass Puckett in another category — games played, and that could come as soon as Sunday. It would take a couple of more seasons to reach the top spot.

PLAYER SEASONS GAMES
Harmon Killebrew 1961-74 1939
Kirby Puckett 1984-95 1783
Joe Mauer 2004- 1777
Kent Hrbek 1981-94 1747
Tony Oliva 1962-75 1676
Rod Carew 1965-78 1635
Torii Hunter 1997-2007, 2015 1373
Gary Gaetti 1981-90 1361
Justin Morneau 2003-13 1278
Bob Allison 1961-70 1236

Last year, Mauer passed Carew on the Twins’ all-time runs scored list. He’s scored 23 runs in 2018 and needs just 23 more to reach 1,000.

PLAYER RUNS
Kirby Puckett 1071
Harmon Killebrew 1047
Joe Mauer 977
Rod Carew 950
Kent Hrbek 903

Also in 2017, Mauer passed Kent Hrbek for second place on Minnesota’s all-time walk list — a spot he seems destined to stay as Killebrew has a lead of over 400.

PLAYER WALKS
Harmon Killebrew 1321
Joe Mauer 917
Kent Hrbek 838
Bob Allison 641
Rod Carew 613

While Mauer’s batting average has taken a dip since he suffered the concussion which forced him to move from catcher to first base, he still is in the top 10 in Twins history (min. 1,000 at-bats). Upping the ante to 2,000 career at-bats and Mauer is fourth all-time; make it 3,000 and he’s tihrd.

If Mauer had been able to avoid injury, who knows what would have happened — he was a .323 hitter through the 2013 season — but then again, many players’ careers have been impacted by injury.

PLAYER AVERAGE AB
Rod Carew .334 6235
Kirby Puckett .318 7244
Lyman Bostock .318 1436
Paul Molitor .312 1700
Shane Mack .309 2161
Joe Mauer .307 6613
Brian Harper .306 2503
Chuck Knoblauch .304 3939
Tony Oliva .304 6301
A.J. Pierzynski .301 1428

As noted above, Mauer has always been able to take a walk. Combine that with his ability to hit and only Carew has a better on-base percentage in Twins history.

PLAYER OBP PA
Rod Carew .393 6980
Joe Mauer .391 7618
Chuck Knoblauch .391 4573
Harmon Killebrew .383 8018
Matt Lawton .379 3150

With Mauer filling up the leaderboards, it should also come as no surprise that he is one of the most valuable players in franchise history. Using Wins Above Replacement (WAR) he comes in third among all Twins players — even above a certain Hall of Famer he’s about to pass in a couple of offensive categories.

PLAYER WAR
Rod Carew 63.8
Harmon Killebrew 60.5
Joe Mauer 54.5
Kirby Puckett 51.1
Tony Oliva 43.1

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns