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Joe Mauer

Minnesota Twins — No. 7
Catcher
Born: April 19, 1983 (1983-04-19) (age 26)
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Bats: Left Throws: Right 
MLB debut
April 5, 2004 for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
(through October 4, 2009)
Batting average     .327
Home runs     72
Runs batted in     397
On-base percentage     .408
Slugging percentage     .483
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Joseph Patrick Mauer (born April 19, 1983 in Saint Paul, Minnesota) is a Major League Baseball catcher for the Minnesota Twins.

Mauer is considered by some experts to be the best catcher in baseball and has been said by some, including Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., to have one of the best swings in baseball. In his breakout 2006 season, Mauer became the first catcher in major league history to lead both leagues in batting average and the first American League catcher to win the batting title, finishing with an average of .347.[1] In 2008, he became the first American League catcher to win the batting title twice when he led the AL with an average of .328; Mauer also won his first Gold Glove Award. In 2009, he became the first catcher to lead in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage in a single year. Mauer's .365 average, which is the all-time highest mark among catchers in MLB history, led Major League Baseball.[2][3]Mauer also won his second consecutive Gold Glove in 2009.[4] Mauer was named the American League's 2009 MVP by a near-unanimous decision (27 out of 28 first place votes). [5]

Contents

High-school career

Mauer played football, basketball, and baseball for Saint Paul's Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders.[6] In his senior year he became the only athlete ever to be selected as the USA Today High School Player of the Year in two sports (football in 2000 as a quarterback and baseball in 2001 as a catcher[7] ).

Baseball

Mauer attended the same high school as Baseball Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Twin Paul Molitor.[8] Molitor has said that Mauer "has the best swing he had ever seen".[9] Jim O'Neill, Mauer's baseball coach at Cretin-Derham Hall, said that "[i]t's real difficult to tell whether Joe had a great night or a bad night by the way he acts. He's pretty consistent in his behavior, and that's a good thing for a baseball player." O'Neill said his former student "has been groomed for this job since he was a little boy. Mauer's dad, Jake, created a contraption for Joe he later named the 'Quickswing'. The device dropped balls down a tube from eye level and released them at waist level. Another guy that came from Cretin-Derham Hall, Paul Molitor, was very similar, had a good short swing," O'Neill says. "And they're both able to wait on the ball so long because they don't have the big swing. Like anything, you keep simple and keep it small or short, there's not a lot of holes in it and not a lot of room for errors."[10]

Mauer appeared in the December 25, 2000 "Faces In The Crowd" section of Sports Illustrated. A stand-out in baseball, Mauer struck out only once during his four year high-school career, and hit .605 during his senior season.[9][11] His batting average exceeded .500 every year.[10] He also set a Minnesota high-school record and tied the national preps mark by hitting a home run in seven consecutive games.[8] Mauer caught for the Team USA Junior National team from 1998 to 2000 and hit .595 during his final year on the team. He was voted best hitter at the World Junior Baseball Championship in Canada in 2000. In 2001, Mauer was voted the United States District V Player of the year.

Basketball

Mauer averaged more than 20 points a game as a point guard for Cretin-Derham Hall.[10] He was also named to the All-State team during his final two years on Cretin-Derham's basketball team.[12]

Football

Mauer had an extremely accomplished high school football career. During his senior season as the Raiders' quarterback, Mauer completed 178 of 288 passes (62% completion percentage), for 3,022 yards, 41 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He finished his two-year career as a starter with 5,528 yards and 73 touchdowns,[9] leading the Raiders to two consecutive Class 5A State Championship Game appearances and winning the title in 1999.

Mauer was honored as the 2001 Gatorade National Player of the Year in both football and baseball, was named to the USA Today All-USA high school football team, was honored as USA Today's Player of the Year, and was a Reebok/ESPN High School All-American. Mauer was also named National High School Quarterback Of The Year in 2000 by The National Quarterback Club.[12]

Early professional career

Mauer ultimately turned down a football scholarship from Florida State University to enter the Major League Baseball Draft.[12] Mauer was selected by the Twins as the first overall pick of the 2001 draft, ahead of college pitcher Mark Prior, who was taken second overall by the Chicago Cubs.[13]

Mauer was part of the United States' roster at the 2003 All-Star Futures Game at U.S. Cellular Field before being promoted to the Twins' roster in 2004 after his predecessor, A. J. Pierzynski, was traded to the San Francisco Giants, in the 2003 offseason.

Mauer went 2-for-3 in his Major League debut, hitting a single off Rafael Betancourt of the Cleveland Indians for his first major-league hit. A knee injury to his left medial meniscus on April 7, 2004, required surgery and sidelined Mauer for more than a month. After a rehabilitation stint with the Twins' AAA affiliate Rochester Red Wings, Mauer returned to the Twins' lineup in June. In July, pain and swelling in his knee forced an early end to Mauer's 2004 season.

Following his injury-shortened 2004, Mauer signed a contract for $5.7 million with the Twins on January 24, 2005. In 2005, Mauer returned to the Twins' lineup for his first full major league season and had 144 hits in 131 games, with 9 home runs and 55 RBI. He ended the year with an average of .294.

Highlights

In 2006, Mauer's performance during the months of May and June garnered attention from the national media. He recorded a .528 batting average over the first ten days of June and hit .452 over the course of the month.[14] He was also the first player since Mike Piazza in 1997 to reach base four or more times for five consecutive games.[15] On June 12, Mauer was named the American League Player of the Week by Major League Baseball for his performance the week of June 4 - 11th, during which he hit .625 (15-for-24) with 5 doubles, 4 RBI and 2 stolen bases.[16]

Mauer recorded his first five RBI game June 26, against the Los Angeles Dodgers.[14] Mauer followed that up with his first career five-hit game on June 27, also against the Los Angeles Dodgers.[14] He was also named MLB Player of the Month for June after batting .452 with a .624 slugging percentage and .528 on base percentage, 11 doubles, 14 RBI and 18 runs. Along with Johan Santana (Pitcher of the Month) and Francisco Liriano (Rookie of the Month), Mauer was part of the first-ever single-team sweep of MLB's three monthly awards.[17] On July 2, Mauer was selected by the players to his first All-Star Game.[18] Mauer appeared on the cover of the August 7, 2006 issue of Sports Illustrated. [19]

Mauer finished the 2006 regular season with a .347 batting average, edging the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter and Robinson Canó to win the American League batting title and become the first-ever American League catcher to win the crown and the first catcher to claim the title since Ernie Lombardi in 1942 with the Boston Braves. His .347 average was the highest in the Major Leagues, a feat not achieved by the previous three catchers to win NL batting titles.[1][20] He was the youngest player to win a batting title since Alex Rodriguez in 1996.[20]

After going 2-for-4 in the last game of the 2006 regular season, Mauer confessed to reporters, "When I told you I wasn’t thinking about the batting title? I was lying. I’ve never been that nervous in my life. I haven’t felt anything like that since Opening Day as a rookie.”

Mauer won his first Silver Slugger award in 2006, along with teammate Justin Morneau.[21]

On February 11, 2007, Mauer agreed to a four-year, $33 million dollar contract with the Twins to avoid arbitration. The deal ensures that Mauer will remain in Minnesota long enough to play in the Twins' Target Field in 2010.[22]

On July 21, 2007, Mauer hit his first career inside-the-park home run against Angels pitcher Scot Shields. It was his fifth home run of the season, and there were two players on base when he hit the homer. It was the first inside-the-park home run by a catcher since Kelly Stinnett did it for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005. [23]

On July 6, 2008, Mauer was announced as the starting catcher for the American League in the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. [24]

At the end of the 2008 season, Mauer won the AL batting title with a .328 batting average; it was his second in three years. Mauer underwent surgery for kidney obstruction on December 22.

Mauer won his first Gold Glove award in 2008, announced on November 6, 2008[25] He finished fourth in the balloting for American League Most Valuable Player, behind Dustin Pedroia, Justin Morneau, and Kevin Youkilis.[26]

On March 11, 2009, Mauer was diagnosed with inflammation in the sacroiliac joint by team doctors following a magnetic resonance arthrogram. He was unable to take part in team workouts during spring training due to the pain in his lower back, which he first began experiencing late in the 2008 season.[27] Mauer missed the start of the 2009 regular season and returned on May 1. He went 2 for 3 with an RBI and three runs scored in his first game back, hitting a home run on his first swing of the season.[28]

In May 2009, Mauer hit 11 home runs and drove in 32 RBI becoming the first-ever Twins player to reach that mark in a single month. During the week of May 18-24, Mauer led the major leagues in batting average at .458 (11-24), RBI with 13, and runs scored with 12, also hitting 4 HR and accumulating 25 total bases. On May 26, he was named MLB Player of the Week for his performance.[29] Through the month of May, Mauer lead the major leagues in AVG at .414, OBP at .500, and SLG at .838, in addition to his HR and RBI totals, earning him his second Player of the Month Award honors.[30]

Mauer appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated for a second time on June 24, 2009. An additional 25,000 copies of the magazine were sent to Minnesota for the occasion.[citation needed] He was selected to the 2009 MLB All Star Game as the starting catcher and participated in the Home Run Derby, losing a tiebreaker to Albert Pujols in the first round.

Later in 2009, the Twins trailed the Detroit Tigers by seven games in the American League Central division at the start of September, but rallied, winning 17 of their last 21 games to finish the season tied atop the division. On October 6, 2009, the Twins beat the Tigers 6-5 in 12 innings to secure the division title.[31] In 2009 Mauer lead the American League in batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.444), slugging percentage (.587), and OPS (1.031)[32] Mauer became the first catcher to lead the league in all four offensive categories in a single season, and the first catcher to win three batting titles.[33]

He has won as many batting championships in a span of four years as all Major League catchers in the history of baseball combined. Two National League catchers have won a total of three batting titles: Eugene "Bubbles" Hargrave in 1926, and Hall of Famer Ernie Lombardi in 1938 and 1942.[34]

On November 23, Mauer was named the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers of America, with 27 of 28 first place votes. This made Mauer the second catcher in 33 years to win the AL MVP. [35]

Among active catchers with at least 600 games played, going into the 2010 season he was second with a .996 career fielding percentage, behind Mike Redmond (.996), and ahead of A.J. Pierzynski (.995) and Brad Ausmus (.994).[36]

Other work

Mauer modeled for Perry Ellis in the 2004-05 off-season, and is featured in television commercials for Pepsi, ESPN, Fox Sports Net, and my29.

Mauer has created his own rap music in his spare time.[37]

Mauer's Quickswing Camp is held annually in the winter at a St. Paul area college. The camp teaches youth the basics of batting skills.

Video games

On December 17, 2009 it was announced that Mauer will be featured on the cover of MLB 10: The Show.[38] He will be the first catcher to be on the cover of any of the MLB the Show video games.

Personal life

Mauer used to share a house with good friend and Twins teammate Justin Morneau in Saint Paul during the 2006 season. Mauer and Morneau no longer live together, as Morneau has married.[39][40] Mauer is also recognized for the large sideburns that he has worn ever since joining the big leagues. On August 10, 2006, the Minnesota Twins held "Joe Mauer Sideburns Night" in honor of the catcher. The first 10,000 fans were given synthetic replica sideburns with double-sided tape to share in Mauer's trademark look. [41]

Relatives

  • In the 2001 draft, the Twins also selected Joe's older brother Jake as the 677th overall pick in the 23rd round. Jake played at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Some observers concluded that this was an attempt to induce Joe to sign a contract, but Mike Radcliff, the scouting director of the Twins, denied this.[42] Jake Mauer ended his playing career after the 2005 season but went on to manage the Gulf Coast League Twins (Rookie Level). After winning the GCL South with the Twins in 2009, Jake moved up and currently manages the A-Ball Fort Myers Miracle.
  • The Mauers have a third brother, Billy, who signed with the Twins as an undrafted free agent in 2003, and pitched in the organization for three seasons before chronic shoulder problems forced him to retire from the game. He ended his minor league career with a 3-4 record and 3.66 earned run average in 43 games. In September of 2009 Billy opened an auto dealership in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.[43]

References

  1. ^ a b "Mauer wins AL batting title on final day". ESPN.com. 2006-10-01. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2609825. 
  2. ^ Sports Illustrated, 23, 2009
  3. ^ Baseball-Reference.com
  4. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20091110&content_id=7648898&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
  5. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/sportsNews/idUSTRE5AM40L20091123
  6. ^ "Joe Mauer". Statistics. The Baseball Cube. 2008. http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/M/Joe-Mauer.shtml. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  7. ^ "All-USA high school baseball team". USA Today. June 29, 2001. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/preps/baseball/01allusa.htm. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Tom Wier (2001-06-29). "Mauer Honored". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/preps/baseball/2001-06-28-mauer-honored.htm. 
  9. ^ a b c Daniel Paulling (2004-07-12). "Player in the Spotlight: Joe Mauer". AtHomePlate.com. http://www.athomeplate.com/spotlightmauer.shtml. 
  10. ^ a b c Benson, Lorna, "Joe Mauer's rookie rally", Minnesota Public Radio, July 13, 2004. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
  11. ^ Jim Walsh (2006-07-05). "The Kid Who Struck Out Joe Mauer". CityPages.com. http://citypages.com/databank/27/1335/article14491.asp. 
  12. ^ a b c "Player Biography and Career Highlights". http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/team/player_career.jsp?player_id=408045. 
  13. ^ Rod Beaton (2001-06-06). "Youth, pitching dominate draft". USATODAY.com. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/01draft/2001-06-05-analysis.htm. 
  14. ^ a b c "ESPN.com Gamelog". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?playerId=5378. 
  15. ^ Elias Sports Bureau, Inc. (2006-06-11). "Elias Says...". http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=2479115. 
  16. ^ D.C. Reeves (2006-06-12). "Surging Mauer takes top AL honors". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060612&content_id=1501971&vkey=news_min&fext=.jsp&c_id=min. 
  17. ^ Jason Brummond (2006-07-02). "Twins te monthly AL honors". MLB.com. http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060702&content_id=1535971&vkey=news_min&fext=.jsp&c_id=min. 
  18. ^ "American League All-Star Roster". ESPN.com. 2006-07-07. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/allstar06/news/story?id=2512107. 
  19. ^ SI.com - Sports Illustrated Covers - Aug. 7, 2006 - Hardworking Twins catcher Joe Mauer is the ideal hometown hero, and he's poised to make history at his position
  20. ^ a b 2006 Career Highlights MLB.com
  21. ^ "Red Sox LF Ramirez wins ninth Silver Slugger award". ESPN.com. 2006-10-10. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2656967. 
  22. ^ "Mauer, Twins avoid arbitration with four-year deal". ESPN.com. 2007-02-11. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2762203. 
  23. ^ "Mauer's inside-the-park HR Twin's first since 2001". ESPN.com. 2007-07-21. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=270721109. 
  24. ^ Mauer earns first All-Star Game start | twinsbaseball.com: News
  25. ^ "Tampa Bay Ray first baseman Pena wins Gold Glove". ESPN.com. 2008-11-06. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3686717. 
  26. ^ "Youkilis finishes third in AL MVP race". MLB.com. 2008-11-18. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081118&content_id=3683501&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. 
  27. ^ "Mauer diagnosed with inflammation". mlb.com. 2009-03-11. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090311&content_id=3965946&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb&partnerId=rss_mlb. 
  28. ^ "Twins triumphant in Mauer's return". mlb.com. 2009-05-01. http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090501&content_id=4514970&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=min. 
  29. ^ "Joe Mauer named AL player of the week for week ending May 24, 2009". mlb.com. 2009-05-26. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20090526&content_id=4961956&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. 
  30. ^ "Joe Mauer named AL player of the month for May". mlb.com. 2009-06-04. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20090604&content_id=5145716&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. 
  31. ^ MidwestSportsFans.com, Twins-Yankees ALDS Preview, Pitching Matchups, and TV Schedule
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ Mauer wins AL batting title on final day
  34. ^ [2]
  35. ^ "Twin's Joe Mauer named 2009 A.L. MVP". SI.com. 2009-11-23. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/11/23/al.mvp.ap/. 
  36. ^ "Dodgers sign Brad Ausmus to one-year contract; Three-time Rawlings Gold Glove catcher to return to Los Angeles for his 18th Major League season," MLB.com, January 26, 2010, accessed January 27, 2010
  37. ^ Jeff Passan (2009-07-01). "Mauer's best rap is with a bat". Yahoo! Sports. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=At3cTRgKkkFmbF43J9Cm_WoRvLYF?slug=jp-mauer070109&prov=yhoo&type=lgns. 
  38. ^ http://stickskills.com/news/621/mlb-10-the-show-cover-athlete-first-details/
  39. ^ Jim Souhan (2006-08-10). "Morneau, Mauer share a lot -- but not MVP award". Star Tribute. http://www.startribune.com/150/story/608211.html. 
  40. ^ Jason Williams (2007-01-28). "A busy Joe". Pioneer Press. http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/baseball/16562867.htm. 
  41. ^ http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20060718&content_id=1562366&vkey=pr_min&fext=.jsp&c_id=min
  42. ^ "Twins selected Mauer's brother in 23rd round". USA Today. 2001-06-06. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/01draft/2001-06-06-mauer-brother.htm. 
  43. ^ http://www.startribune.com/blogs/59734592.html

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Adrian Gonzalez
First overall pick in the MLB Entry Draft
2001
Succeeded by
Bryan Bullington
Preceded by
Miguel Olivo
Topps Rookie All-Star Catcher
2004
Succeeded by
Brian McCann
Preceded by
Alex Rodriguez
Evan Longoria
American League Player of the Month
June, 2006
May, 2009
Succeeded by
David Ortiz
B. J. Upton
Preceded by
Michael Young
Magglio Ordóñez
American League Batting Champion
2006
2008,2009
Succeeded by
Magglio Ordóñez
Incumbent
Preceded by
Dustin Pedroia
American League Most Valuable Player
2009
Succeeded by
Incumbent

Simple English

Joe Mauer (born 1983) is a baseball player who plays for the Minnesota Twins in Major League Baseball. He plays the position of catcher. He was the 2009 Most Valuable Player in the American League, and had the highest batting average in the American League in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Mauer is from St. Paul, Minnesota.








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