Joe Mauer’s Quest For .400
Here’s a fantasy team update for anyone who’s interested…
-I won my last matchup 9-3, now I have 60 wins on the season and I’m still in the running for the top 4
-Andrew McCutchen has basically forced Melky Cabrera out of the starting lineup; I was even more happy with McCutchen after that 13 game hitting streak, the longest this year for a rookie
-However, Melky might get back into the lineup as Juan Pierre, my other great pickup, will go back to being only a role player as Manny returns to the team in a few days or so
-I am really eyeing Wakefield as he again impressed me, getting the 1-0 nothing win last week; a trade could be in order very soon
-I officially have 5 of the top 15 hitters in the AL on my team, and no more than 2 or 3 in the NL; I can’t figure out why
I also thought I should talk a little about Joe Mauer and his chase for .400. He still can’t be statistically considered the best hitter in the majors, because he’s below the required amount of plate appearances, but whenever he passes that mark (he might not reach it until the All Star break), see ya later Pujols, and the others up there. Mauer is in a different class, Pujols is one of the only guys who can even compete with Mauer’s stats right now, and Mauer is a good ways above even him.
Anyone who read the article in Sport Illustrated this week should be as full of discouragement for Mauer fans as I am, as it was loaded with reasons why it will be extremely difficult for Mauer to bat .400 this year. As Joe Sheehan discussed in his sidebar article in the issue, Mauer also needs a fair amount of luck and the ability to keep pace with his stats so far to reach the hallowed mark last reached by the great Ted Williams. He’s hitting about 1 in 4 of his fly balls this year for homeruns, more than two times more power than he’s ever had. As Sheehan said, if this powerful streak drops off a little, Mauer’s average could suffer.
Among other reasons adding to the difficulty Mauer should continue to encounter on his chase for .400 are the fact that only 2 men alive played with a .400 hitter, and the fact that so many players “destined” to hit .400 after a hot first half, or in the case of George Brett and Todd Helton, even a hot first 5 months, have suddenly dropped off and ended up to 20 points below .400. If Mauer can reverse that pattern and keep up the hot streak through September, he will have beaten all the odds. I guess that is pretty obvious.
We could witness history this year, folks, and I’m rooting for Mauer.
Also, Tim Wakefield is making his 383rd start for the Red Sox, and therefore passes Roger Clemens for first in this category. Congratulations Wake!