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Can Joe Mauer Bat .400?

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  • Can Joe Mauer Bat .400?

    It’s been nearly 68 years since the Splendid Splinter batted .406, but despite a hot start and two batting titles, Joe Mauer has more than history working against him.

    The position that he plays.

    Even with watered down pitching, a strike zone designed to protect hitters and all the battle gear this side of the Stanley Cup finals, no one has been able to bat .400 in nearly seven decades. With all of those advantages, not one player has pulled it off, and no catcher has ever batted better than .362 (Mike Piazza in 1997 and Bill Dickey in 1936). And when one considers what receivers go through, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    Catchers have to call games, handle pitchers, squat hundreds of times and withstand foul tips that ravage their shoulders, knees, hands, feet and arms – every night. Having to endure all of that abuse, how could anyone possibly withstand that beating and still bat .400?

    Rod Carew batted .388 in 1977, then George Brett finished with a .390 mark in 1980, and there have been a smattering of .360’s over the years. The closest anyone has come, though, has been Tony Gwynn’s .394 average in the strike-shortened 1994 season. Even during Ichiro’s record-breaking 262-hit campaign of 2004, he only managed to bat .372. Unlike Suzuki, however, Mauer takes a lot of pitches, has an almost inhuman ability to work the count into his favor, and draws walks.

    Mauer walked 84 times last season...CONTINUE.
    Last edited by SouthPaw77; 06-17-2009, 09:19 PM. Reason: Needed to add a bit more.
    Check out my articles at Bugs & Cranks.

  • #2
    You are right, he has very little chance of hitting .400. He may even have a problem getting to the required number of plate appearances to qualify for the batting title which he must do to be considered a .400 hitter.
    Last edited by KCGHOST; 06-17-2009, 10:33 AM.
    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KCGHOST View Post
      You are right, he has very little chance of hitting .400. He may even have a problem getting to the required number of plate appearances to qualify for the batting title which he must do to be considered a .400 hitter.
      I don't think Mauer will have much trouble with the needed plate appearances. He current has 185 PA's. He needs 205 PA's right now to qualify. But he is quickly catching up in PA's. In 2005 Mauer played just 131 games and still racked up 554 PA's. In 2006 he played 140 games and racked up 608 PA's. Even in '08 he only played 109 games and still had 471 PA's, just 31 PA's short of qualifying.
      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SouthPaw77 View Post
        With all of those advantages, not one player has pulled it off
        So maybe it's safe to say that they are not necessarily advantages?

        That being said, it would be amazing to see someone hit .400 again. Especially a catcher!

        Comment


        • #5
          According to ESPN, Mauer is on pace for about ~590 PA's and 513 AB's. Using the 513 AB's, Mauer would need 205 hits.

          205/513 = .39961

          This would be rounded up to .400. So Mauer would need to go 138/357 for the rest of the season.

          138/357 = .386

          A .386 BA over the rest of the season is asking a lot of Mauer.
          Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 06-17-2009, 01:10 PM.
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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          • #6
            The odds are definately against him, being a catcher. I don't think he will get close to .400, but maybe around .360 ot .370. It is just too hard to hit .400. I can't even see the best player in the game, Albert Pujols, doing it.
            St. Louis Cardinals! 10 Time World Champions!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
              According to ESPN, Mauer is on pace for about ~590 PA's and 513 AB's. Using the 513 AB's, Mauer would need 205 hits.

              205/513 = .39961

              This would be rounded up to .400. So Mauer would need to go 138/357 for the rest of the season.

              138/357 = .386

              A .386 BA of the rest of the season is asking a lot of Mauer.
              He did hit .382 over a 263 AB stretch in 2006, and he's clearly a better hitter now than he was then.

              But the odds are pretty small. An MVP award would be a more reasonable best case scenerio for his '09 season, I'm thinking. Maybe that would be enough to get him his own thread in the HoF forum.
              Last edited by mwiggins; 06-17-2009, 12:53 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mwiggins View Post
                He did hit .382 over a 263 AB stretch in 2006, and he's clearly a better hitter now than he was then.
                Oh?

                But the odds are pretty small. An MVP award would be a more reasonable best case scenerio for his '09 season, I'm thinking. Maybe that would be enough to get him his own thread in the HoF forum.
                Are you kidding? Mauer is clearly behind Matt Wieters and Bryce Harper in terms of HoF hype!
                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                  Oh?



                  Are you kidding? Mauer is clearly behind Matt Wieters and Bryce Harper in terms of HoF hype!
                  To me, if Mauer stays healthy, he's not too far from getting to the point where his peak is going to be great enough, for a catcher, to almost guarentee him a spot in Cooperstown. If in the next three years (counting this year) he racks up an MVP, another couple of batting titles, and another Gold Glove or two, that's going to be a pretty awesome 7 year peak. He could play out the string as an OK LF or 3B hitting .290 with 10 HR's and 70 walks a year and still probably get in with that kind of peak. He'd have that nice hook of "He's a Gold Glove catcher who won mutiple batting titles" to sell voters on his case.

                  Esp. if he goes to Boston and hits 45 doubles a year off the Monster, which I hope doesn't happen.

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                  • #10
                    If Mauer could do it, it would certainly be impressive. However, I think we'd be better off discussing this if he's still batting over .400 in early September.
                    RIP Ronnie James Dio (July 10, 1942 - May 16, 2010).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mwiggins View Post
                      To me, if Mauer stays healthy, he's not too far from getting to the point where his peak is going to be great enough, for a catcher, to almost guarentee him a spot in Cooperstown. If in the next three years (counting this year) he racks up an MVP, another couple of batting titles, and another Gold Glove or two, that's going to be a pretty awesome 7 year peak. He could play out the string as an OK LF or 3B hitting .290 with 10 HR's and 70 walks a year and still probably get in with that kind of peak. He'd have that nice hook of "He's a Gold Glove catcher who won mutiple batting titles" to sell voters on his case.
                      Is Mauer capable of playing third base? If so, he could be another Wade Boggs type of player at third base.

                      Esp. if he goes to Boston and hits 45 doubles a year off the Monster, which I hope doesn't happen.
                      Better Boston than the Yankees!
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ace Venom View Post
                        If Mauer could do it, it would certainly be impressive. However, I think we'd be better off discussing this if he's still batting over .400 in early September.
                        Or at least August. Only George Brett (1980) and John Olerud (1993) have reached August batting over .400. Todd Helton (2000) was one hit shy of .400 in mid-August 2000.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                          Is Mauer capable of playing third base? If so, he could be another Wade Boggs type of player at third base.


                          Better Boston than the Yankees!
                          I don't know. Due to his injury history, and the fact that catching every day would likely shorten both his career and his offensive peak, that's always been a topic of conversation locally.

                          I think he's a good enough athlete, and he has a strong enough arm, that he could probably at least hold his own there and not be too much of a liability.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I made this list last season when we were tracking Chipper Jones. It lists the latest a player was hitting .400 since 1942.


                            September
                            09/19/1980 George Brett

                            August
                            08/18/2000 Todd Helton (.399-one hit shy of .400)
                            08/03/1993 John Olerud

                            July
                            07/20/2000 Nomar Garciaparra
                            07/18/1997 Larry Walker
                            07/15/1948 Stan Musial
                            07/14/1983 Rod Carew
                            07/14/1997 Tony Gwynn
                            07/10/1977 Rod Carew
                            07/05/1993 Andres Galarraga

                            June
                            06/29/1999 Tony Fernandez
                            06/27/1974 Rod Carew
                            06/18/2008 Chipper Jones
                            06/17/1970 Rico Carty
                            06/16/1975 Rod Carew
                            06/16/1994 Paul O'Neil
                            06/15/1959 Hank Aaron
                            06/11/1990 Lenny Dykstra
                            06/10/2000 Todd Helton
                            06/10/1996 Roberto Alomar
                            06/08/1956 Mickey Mantle
                            06/07/1986 Wade Boggs
                            06/06/1988 Carney Langsford
                            06/05/1957 Ted Williams
                            Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 06-19-2009, 01:36 PM.
                            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is almost the exact same tone of conversation in 2006:

                              'Can he win the batting title?'

                              'Of course he can't win the batting title. He's a catcher. No AL catcher has ever won the batting title and no catcher has won a batting title since 1942.'

                              'Yeah, you're probably right. But what IF?'

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