Just a quick post from me tonight while I watch the game. This is something I’ve been wanting to write about for awhile, and with Minnesota in town, now seems like a good time to do it.
Joe Mauer is the best pure hitter in all of baseball.
Yes, even over venerable hitters like Ichiro and Albert Pujols. From a pure, unadulterated hitting perspective, Joe Mauer with his amazing swing is the best hitter in the game right now. His swing is so simple, so clean, so effective, that it’s just amazing to watch. That swing combined with one of the best eyes for the strike zone have made Mauer into one of the hardest batters in the league for a pitcher to work against, and his presence in Minnesota’s lineup is a major part of why the Twins have been successful in recent years.
The smooth, compact stride, the quick wrists, the bat speed… there is nothing not to like in that swing that Mauer brings every day. On any given pitch, he can drop the barrel of the bat and poke a single the other way, or square up and swing through a pitch to send a ball twenty rows back.
Mauer is also one of the most amazingly consistent hitters in the game. His .270 batting average in June of this year was by far his lowest batting average in a month since his injury-plagued 2007 campaign. In fact, that was the first time he had hit below .300 in a month in that time. Even hitters like Ichiro and Pujols can’t say that.
Oh, and of course Mauer has tortured the M’s over his career, to the tune of a .380 batting average and a 1.085 OPS in 45 games against us. Yowch.
I know Mauer is generally considered the best hitting catcher in the game and one of the better hitters overall, but what he does at the plate is truly remarkable. In fifteen or twenty years, I hope people can look back and appreciate just how incredible a hitter Mauer was.