Fear the Beard: Joe Mauer is Back


The Minnesota Twins and Joe Mauer agreed to be partners through the 2018 season when he signed the largest contract ever taken by a catcher, at $184 million in 2010.

Coming off a 2010 season where he hit .327 and brought home a gold glove award and silver slugger award, this contract looked to be the start to something that could get Mauer into the hall of fame.  Unfortunately though, Mauer’s numbers have been steadily sinking.

Ever since that 2010 season, and the enormous contract extension, Mauer has batted .301, with one silver slugger and two all star game appearances.  Now, those stats aren’t that bad, but for a man that is getting payed $23 million a year, he should be doing more.  Last season, Mauer posted a career low .277 average with little production in other categories like runs, runs batted in, and home runs.

When Mauer moved to first base, due to nagging injuries and to prevent further injuries that Mauer could sustain from catching, fans began to wonder if this is the end of the Joe Mauer era?

Since I have watched the Twins for years, I can say that I do miss seeing Joe behind the dish, but if we want a Joe Mauer that will last through his contract (and maybe longer), we need to take care of him.  So, is this the turnaround season for Joe Mauer?  Will he go back to his old hitting ways?

So far, the Twins have played 22 games, and Mauer has batted .318, while posting a hit in 17 games.  It might be early to say, but this looks like a season of old for Joe Mauer.  That average will steadily climb, hit streaks will happen, and Mauer will be the foundation of our lineup.

It is especially important that Mauer starts to go back to his old ways this year, due to the likelihood that prospects such as Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton will be brought up.  Mauer could be that baseball “father figure” to these promising young prospects, hopefully turning them into all-stars.

Mauer’s poor performance last year angered the fans, and also, himself.  Since Joe is a former all-star, batting champion, MVP,  and gold glove winner, he knows that he has a lot to live up to in order to justify his reputation.  Which leads me to my conclusion:

Joe Mauer is back.