- C, DH
- April 19, 1983
- 6' 5"
- 230 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-05-2004 with MIN
- Allstar Selections:
- 2006 SS, 2008 GG, 2008 SS, 2009 GG, 2009 MVP, 2009 SS, 2010 GG, 2010 SS
"Mauer has the best swing I have ever seen" - Paul Molitor
A heralded prospect out of St. Paul, Minnesota, fresh-faced Joe Mauer became a star for his hometown Twins. In 2006, he became the first catcher in American League history to win the batting title, when he hit .347 with 181 hits. It was the first batting crown won by a receiver since 1942. He has since won 2 more titles, becoming the only 3 time batting title winner catcher in baseball history. Mauer has also won a MVP and 3 Gold Gloves.
2006 In his breakout 2006 season, Mauer became the first catcher in major league history to lead the majors in batting average and the first American League catcher to win the batting title, finishing with an average of .347. 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. He was also the first player since Mike Piazza in 1997 to reach base four or more times for five consecutive games. 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. Mauer recorded his first five RBI game June 26, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mauer followed that up with his first career five-hit game on June 27, also against the Los Angeles Dodgers. 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. On July 2, Mauer was selected by the players to his first All-Star Game.Mauer appeared on the cover of the August 7, 2006 issue of Sports Illustrated.
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. He was the youngest player to win a batting title since Alex Rodriguez in 1996. 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.
2007 On February 11, Mauer agreed to a four-year, $33 million contract with the Twins to avoid arbitration. The deal ensured that Mauer would remain in Minnesota long enough to play in the Twins' Target Field in 2010.
On July 21, 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.
2008 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.
On July 6, Mauer was announced as the starting catcher for the American League in the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
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, He finished fourth in the balloting for American League Most Valuable Player, behind Dustin Pedroia, Justin Morneau, and Kevin Youkilis.
2009 In 2009, he became the first catcher to lead the league in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage in a single year, and the first player to lead the American League in all three since George Brett did so in 1980. Mauer's .365 average, which is the all-time highest mark among catchers in MLB history, led Major League Baseball. Mauer also won his second consecutive Gold Glove in 2009. Mauer was named the American League's 2009 MVP by a near-unanimous decision (27 out of 28 first place votes). On March 11, 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. 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.
He returned May 1, and had the best month of his career. 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. 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.
Mauer appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated for a second time on June 24. An additional 25,000 copies of the magazine were sent to Minnesota for the occasion. 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.
Role in 2009 AL Central race 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, the Twins beat the Tigers 6-5 in 12 innings to secure the division title. In 2009 Mauer led the American League in batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.444), slugging percentage (.587), and OPS (1.031) 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.
He has won as many batting championships in a span of four years as all other 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.
On October 29, Baseball America named Mauer its 2009 Major League Player of the Year.
On November 23, Mauer was named the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Association of America, with 27 of 28 first place votes. This made Mauer the second catcher in 33 years to win the AL MVP. 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).
2010 On March 21, 2010, Mauer agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Twins worth $184 million, which will take effect from the 2011 season to the 2018 season. It is the richest contract in the history of major league baseball for a catcher. He hit his 1,000th career Major League hit on 9/14/10 against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Mauer finished third in the AL with a .327 batting average, and his 43 doubles rank second on baseball's All-Time list for doubles by a catcher (behind Ivan Rodriguez's 47 with Texas in 1996).
For the second straight year, Mauer was named the Twins' Most Valuable Player, as he was voted the Calvin R. Griffith Award.