StaTuesday: Closing in on Puckett, Mauer moving up Twins’ leaderboards
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.
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.
|Torii Hunter||1997-2007, 2015||1373|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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