Results tagged ‘ Joe Mauer ’

Mauer on the Cover

It was announced in the final weeks of December that Minnesota Twins’ catcher and American League MVP Joe Mauer would grace the cover of MLB ’10: The Show. Sony has released the cover with the Minnesota idol:

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The game will hit stores on March 2 for the Playstation Portable, Playstation 2, and Playstation 3. 

All-Decade Team: Infield

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The year is changing to 2010, and the first decade of the 21st century is coming to an end. It has without a doubt been an interesting 10 years for the Minnesota Twins as they’ve faced contraction, made the playoffs in five of the past eight seasons, and put forth two great comebacks. 
Several Minnesota Twins’ bloggers and writers were sent questionnaires to help put together the All-Decade team, and four responded: Seth Stohs from SethSpeaks.net, John Bonnes from TwinsGeek, Nick Nelson from Nick’s Twins Blog, and Michael Rand from RandBall, all made their picks for the best of the decade.
Catcher
Who played: Matt LeCroy, A.J. Pierzynski, Henry Blanco, Joe Mauer

Seth
Stohs
John
Bonnes
Nick
Nelson
Michael
Rand
Alex
Catcher
Joe
Mauer
Joe
Mauer
Joe
Mauer
Joe
Mauer
Joe
Mauer

Joe Mauer was the unanimous selection at catcher, and the reasoning in pretty simple. After being injured during his rookie season in 2004, Mauer began taking off with his first full season in 2005.
In 2006 Mauer became the first American League catcher to ever win a batting title, and he won a second in 2008 and a third in 2009. He made the All-Star Game three times, won two Gold Glove awards, was chosen as a Silver Slugger winner twice, and capped off the incredible decade with an American League MVP award.
The decade was great to Mauer, and the greatest hope for the new decade is that Mauer will again be in Minnesota. 
First BaseWho player: Ron Coomer, Doug Mientkiewicz, Justin Morneau

Seth
Stohs
John
Bonnes
Nick
Nelson
Michael
Rand
Alex
First
Base
Justin
Morneau
Justin
Morneau
Justin
Morneau
Justin
Morneau
Justin
Morneau

Much like his good friend and teammate Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau was the unanimous selection at first base. Morneau received his first opportunity in 2003, and took over first base full time when the team traded Doug Mientkiewicz in 2004.
In 2006, Morneau broke out. He hit 30 homeruns on his way to winning the American League MVP award, and was an integral part to a historic second half comeback. In the past decade, Morneau made the All-Star Game three times, won two Silver Slugger awards, and won the 2008 Homerun Derby.
Second BaseWho played: Jay Canizaro, Luis Rivas, Nick Punto, Luis Castillo, Alexi Casilla

Seth
Stohs
John
Bonnes
Nick
Nelson
Michael
Rand
Alex
Second
Base
Luis
Castillo
Luis
Castillo
Luis
Castillo
Luis
Castillo
Luis
Castillo

Rolling along with the unanimous selections, Luis Castillo was selected as the second baseman of the decade. The Twins acquired Castillo before the 2006 season, and played in Minnesota for two years.
In 2006, Castillo was an integral part to the historic comeback, hitting .296 with 25 stolen bases. In his two seasons combined in Minneapolis, Castillo hit .299 with 3 homeruns and 67 RBI.
Third BaseWho played: Corey Koskie, Michael Cuddyer, Nick Punto, Brian Buscher, Joe Crede

Seth
Stohs
John
Bonnes
Nick
Nelson
Michael
Rand
Alex
Third
Base
Corey
Koskie
Corey
Koskie
Corey
Koskie
Corey
Koskie
Corey
Koskie

Corey Koskie was a fan favorite, and he was also the last player at third base before the position became a consistent question mark. Koskie played in Minnesota for seven season, with five coming in the decade.
In seven seasons with the Twins, Koskie hit .280 with 101 homeruns and 437 RBI. He played a solid third base defensively, and appeared in the playoffs in three seasons for the team. 
ShortstopWho played: Cristian Guzman, Jason Bartlett, Nick Punto, Orlando Cabrera

Seth
Stohs
John
Bonnes
Nick
Nelson
Michael
Rand
Alex
Shortstop
Cristian
Guzman
Cristian
Guzman
Cristian
Guzman
Cristian
Guzman
Cristian
Guzman

Rounding out the unanimous selections in the infield is shortstop Cristian Guzman. Guzman played in Minneapolis for six seasons, and five of those seasons came in the decade.
Guzman began his career in 1999, and in 2001 he established himself as he represented the Twins in the All-Star Game. In six seasons with the Twins, Guzman his .266 with 39 homeruns, 289 RBI and 102 stolen bases. 

Designated Hitter
Who played: David Ortiz, Matt LeCroy, Jose Offerman, Rondell White, Jason Kubel
Seth
Stohs
John
Bonnes
Nick
Nelson
Michael
Rand
Alex
Designated
Hitter
Jason
Kubel
Jason
Kubel
Jason
Kubel
Jason
Kubel
Jason
Kubel

Had David Ortiz played longer in Minnesota, he may have been the choice as the designated hitter of the decade. He didn’t however, and the title deservingly goes to Jason Kubel. Kubel has been in Minnesota for six years, and has played five seasons.
Knee injuries hindered Kubel’s career in the early years, but in 2007 he started becoming the player everybody expected. In five seasons as a Twin, Kubel has hit .278 with 71 homeruns and 279 RBI. He nearly hit 30 homeruns during the 2009 season, and received an MVP vote. 

Mauer Catches ‘The Show’ Cover

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Joe Mauer has had quite the off-season. From the final regular season game to date, Mauer has collected the Batting Title, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, and the American League Most Valuable Player award. Now, he has grabbed the cover of MLB ’10: The Show, which will come out on Playstation systems next March.
The moment will mark the first time in franchise history that a player has made a video game cover. Several new features will make the game, one closely related to Mauer’s position. With the MVP and catcher on the cover, ‘The Show’ will now offer gamers the chance to call the pitches in the ‘Road to the Show’ mode as Mauer does with his own pitching staff.
Not only will Mauer grace the cover, MLB ’10: The Show will also be worth waiting for as it’ll include the all-new Target Field. 
Watch for more information on the cover, Target Field, and the game in the coming weeks. 

One Final Award

Mauer MVP.pngFor the first month of the season fans anxiously awaited the arrival of the hometown catcher while backups Jose Morales and Mike Redmond held down the fort. An injury and a late start weren’t enough to hold Joe Mauer back in 2009 however, and as November comes to a close the All-Star catcher has accomplished things that may never be accomplished again.
Some of the best catchers in baseball eternity never did the things that Joe Mauer did over the course of the past six months. Yogi Berra and Johnny Bench were two of the greatest catchers of all time, yet neither did some of the things Mauer did in his sixth major league season.
Mauer became the first player since 1980 and the first catcher ever to lead the league in batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, his .365 average is now the best by a catcher in baseball history, and his third batting title matches the total of all catchers to ever play the game combined. 
Despite doing things nobody has ever done, Mauer had yet to win the Most Valuable Player award until now. He becomes the tenth catcher to win the award, joining the likes of Berra, Bench, Ivan Rodriguez and others.
The MVP award caps off an eventful early off-season for Mauer, who had already won the American League Batting Title, the American League Silver Slugger, the American League Gold Glove, and the American League Outstanding Player award.
Mauer’s off-season will now fully begin with the awards all handed out, but his schedule isn’t likely to slow down. The rising star has already been in Chicago on behalf of Gatorade this month and his contract, which expires after next season, will be a hot topic as winter moves forward. 

MVP: ESPN Picks Mauer

The American League Most Valuable Player will be announced on Monday afternoon, and if the 22 baseball personalities at ESPN are any indication of the actual voting, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer will become the fifth player in franchise history to walk away with the award.

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Mauer has already been awarded the American League Batting Title, the American League Gold Glove, the American League Silver Slugger, and the American League Players Choice Award for Outstanding Player.
By Monday night he just might cap off his historic year with one more piece of hardware. 

All-Star Representation

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With one minor league prospect in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game, and three major leaguers on the American League roster, the Minnesota Twins had a good group of players on hand in St. Louis to show off to the nation.
Each of the four players played a role in the many events and represented the organization in good fashion.
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As the lone representative in the All-Star Futures Game, Rene Tosoni couldn’t have represented the organization any better.
An outfielder for the team’s double-A affiliate, the New Britain Rock Cats, Tosoni in the first half of the season put up great numbers. Tosoni hit.278 with 10 homeruns and 51 RBI to go along with a .480 slugging percentage.
Tosoni didn’t start, but he did enter the game in the seventh inning and delivered a go-ahead double. The World would remain ahead and go on to win the game by a final of 7-5.
Tosoni’s hit was the deciding factor, and along with a shaving cream pie to the face, the 22-year old prospect was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Past recipients of the award include Alfonso Soriano, Toby Hall, Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore, Aaron Hill, and Billy Butler.
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Joe Mauer has received a lot of attention since his May return. The two-time batting champion has hit near .400 for much of the season, and his 15 homeruns got him an invitation to the Homerun Derby to compete against stars such as Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Albert Pujols.
As Mauer attempted to become the second Twin in as many seasons to win the Derby, he found himself in a swing-off with Carlos Pena and Pujols after hitting five homeruns in the first round.
Mauer wouldn’t make the second round, but he had a good showing overall, and his yellow Livestrong cleats helped with a good cause.
The big day for Mauer came in the actual game. As the American League starter behind the plate, Mauer had the opportunity to catch the likes of Roy Halladay and Zack Greinke among others. Mauer’s RBI double in the fifth inning tied the game at three and played a big part in the American League’s 4-3 victory.
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Justin Morneau opted not to take part in the Homerun Derby a year after winning it, so for the most part he remained out of the spotlight. Morneau was there to root on his teammate, and throughout the events he was seen talking with stars such as Derek Jeter and Josh Hamilton.
Morneau didn’t start in the main event, but entered the game at first base in the middle innings. While he went 0-2, Morneau made a few good catches at first base and gave the ball a ride in his second plate appearance only to be robbed by Jayson Werth.
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The final All-Star for the Twins, closer Joe Nathan, quite possibly made the most memorable pitches of the night. Entering after the American League took a 4-3 lead in the top half of the inning, Nathan found himself working through the eighth as a setup man for Mariano Rivera.
The first two outs came easily for Nathan, but a two-out walk and single put runners on the corners with two outs. After Hudson moved up to second base, Nathan found himself facing St. Louis native Ryan Howard in a game-changing situation.
Nathan worked ahead of Howard, and got to a 2-2 count before the lefty fouled a few pitches away. A slider in the dirt ended the inning, and a relieved Nathan pumped his first as he walked toward the dugout.
From Tosoni to the three big names for the Twins, the 2009 All-Star festivities had All-Star representation for the organization.
All photo from the Associated Press; for more, visit Yahoo! Sports.

Sitting on Top

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With his at-bats last night, Joe Mauer does officially qualify to be a league leader. Now we can focus on making a big run.

On Pace: Hitters

With a 5-hour, 16-inning game, the Minnesota Twins have played 81 games in the 2009 season; signifying the completion of half of the season. Through the midway point, the Twins find themselves one game above .500 with a record of 41-40 (compared to 44-37 last season).

The Twins have some work to do in the second half if they hope to make the playoffs. Some players will need to step up, while others will need to continue their first half production. After three months, many players are on pace for career numbers.
** Denard Span is on pace to hit for a .292 average, hit 9 homeruns, and drive in 58 runners. More impressive is his projection to walk 74 times, collect 171 hits and score 97 runs from the leadoff spot.
** Joe Mauer is on pace to knock out a career high 34 homeruns and collect 110 runs batted in. In addition to those eye-popping numbers, Mauer is projected to collect 201 hits despite missing the first month of the season. Some other key projections include a .390 average and 78 walks compared to only 69 strikeouts.
** Justin Morneau is on pace to reach a career high in the homerun department with 38 and in the RBI category with 131 runs batted in. Some other key projections include 191 hits and 42 doubles; all while hitting .311.
** Jason Kubel is on pace to hit a career high 28 homeruns and drive in a career high 90 runners. The career high projections also carry over into the hits and average categories where Kubel is on pace to collect 163 hits and hit for a .304 average.
** Michael Cuddyer is on pace to hit .280 with 25 homeruns and 92 runs batted in. The thus far healthy right fielder is also projected to collect 38 doubles and an astonishing 10 triples.
** Joe Crede is on pace to provide some of the best production from third base in quite some time. The powerful right-hander is projected to hit 28 homeruns, drive in 83 runners, and possibly most impressively, be the best defensive third basemen in all of baseball.
** Delmon Young has had a down year, but is starting to heat up which could alter his projections. The youngster is on pace to hit 8 homeruns, drive in 62 runners, and collect 124 hits in only 132 games.
** Brendan Harris is on pace for a solid year with projections of 9 homeruns and 48 runs batted in (compared to projections of 9 HR and 47 RBI midway last season) over the course of a projected 149 games. Harris is also on pace to tie a career high 149 hits and a .280 batting average.
** Nick Punto is on pace for 37 runs batted in, Matt Tolbert is on pace for 32 runs batted in, Brian Buscher is on pace for 6 homeruns and 26 runs batted in, Carlos Gomez is on pace for 2 homeruns and 26 runs batted in, Jose Morales is one pace to hit .356, and Mike Redmond is on pace for 16 runs batted in.
Due to lack of games, both Alexi Casilla and Jason Pridie were excluded from the list.
The second half of the “On Pace” series, the pitchers, is due up next.

Making the Cover

For the second time in his career, Joe Mauer made the cover of Sports Illustrated. It’s a rare commodity to make the cover, and Mauer is the only Twin to have made the cover for the Minnesota Twins since Matt Lawton graced it on April 30, 2001.

With nearly 600 covers of Sports Illustrated involving Major League Baseball, the Twins have all-time seen a total of 21 players make the cover. Mauer has done it the past two times, but the team has seen other stars such as Rod Carew, Kent Hrbek, and Kirby Puckett accomplish the feat too.

While Justin Morneau, a league MVP and All-Star, waits to make the newsstand, here is the Twins’ All-Time Cover Roster:

The most interesting cover includes the league’s last .400 hitter, Ted Williams, and Rod Carew, a Twin who was in a similar position to Mauer. As hard as it is to hit .400, the media’s coverage with things like a national magazine cover seems to make things harder.