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Dahitman44

Thoughts on Joe Mauer

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Dahitman44

This may not be a very popular thing to say but I think we should expect more from the Golden Child.

He has an awesome swing -- But needs to bulk up. I don't mean a steroid condition at all but working on his forearms and wrists. We all know that he can drive the ball but only so far. Some added strength in the forearms would not hurt him as a a catcher but would allow him to get more power on the ball.

He also needs to be switched to 3B down the road. They say he grew another inch last year.

What do you guys think? I think we all know what Rosen thinks, but how about the rest of us? The Golden Child needs to hit the weights and I think the Twins, like Rosen are afraid to tell him that.

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brady_d

Mauer is plenty strong to hit the ball out of the park. He is just a good hitter who hits it where it's pitched. He doesn't try to smash the ball out of the stadium - he tries to hit the gaps with line drives.

Why try to change an almost perfect swing? I'll take singles and doubles all day long from him when you've got Morneau and Cuddyer behind him to hit the long ball.

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Dahitman44

Brady --

I think you miss my point I would not change his swing at all, but but adding some more muscle onto his frame would make those doubles turn into dingers. I am not saying to change ANY aspect on how he swings, but if you have seen him in person or on TV -- he could use a little meat added to his forearms.

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colonel42

I think if you add bulk to the forearms you loose the awesome swing. To be a good hitter you have to have good bat speed. All of the swing comes from the wrist and forearms. Why try to change an almost perfect swing? Good Comment!!!! After the lose of Hunter and Santana we should be able to afford a long ball hitter. I like to see Mouer spank the ball the way he does.

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Willy

I think it is fair to expect a little more out of him, but I also believe he is big and strong enough to be a power hitter. The approach he takes doesn't allow him to hit for power. He will usually see a few pitches, then go with the pitch with a contact type swing not designed to drive the ball, or try to draw a walk. He really approaches his at-bats like a leadoff hitter IMO.

If he would start swinging earlier in the count and look to turn on the ball more, I would bet you'd see 15-20 homers a year. How many times do you see him drive the ball to right or right-center? Most the times he hits up the middle or to the left side. If he did do this though, I think you might see his BA and OBP dip also. What make Mauer a good hitter right now is his ability to get on base and work counts. I don't know how much of that you want to mess with.

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Juan Grande

A guy that's 6'5"/220 lbs should have no trouble hitting the ball out of the park.

I agree that he has one of the sweetest swings in the game, but I'd like to see him hit 20+ homers before I consider him an elite hitter.

Heck, even speedsters like Jose Reyes (12) and Hanley Ramirez (29), who are hitting to get on base and steal, have hit more HRs.

Granted, Joe only played like 110 games last year so that also hurts his overall stats.

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B. Amish

 Originally Posted By: Willy
The approach he takes doesn't allow him to hit for power

exactly. if joe's goal was to hit 30+ dingers a year, he could do it easily.

joe does a lot of little things during his at bats that go unnoticed. like working the count. driving up the opposing pitchers pitch count.

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beer batter

 Originally Posted By: Dahitman44
He also needs to be switched to 3B down the road. They say he grew another inch last year.

What do you guys think?

This is kind of a tough one. Is playing the catching position what is causing him to be sidelined for many games through the season? Or is he just injury prone and it would happen at any position? He's darn near the best defensive catcher in the game and calls a great game for his pitchers. But if it will keep him in more games, then I agree - he should change positions.

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Scott K

If only he could just add stregnth and not mess up his swing, it would be ideal, but how do you tell him to go work out, then all of a sudden he is batting .250, and hits 20 hr. I think the Twins leave his swing alone and spend some money on a different hr king!

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Windy City Walleye Hunter

I would have to disagree with the theory that homerun swings come from the wrist and arms. I would say the primary force comes from the rotation of the hips. It's all in the legs!

Windy

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hanson1287

I have a question....why does everybody think we shoudl move him to 3rd base. The guy is a natural catcher and one of the best at that. Why would you take away the position from him just to leave a HUGE hole in the field like that. Your not gonna find anybody better than Mauer right now for that position. Moving him will not solve anything it will just make matters worse.

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Scott K

Because of his leg injuries. From kneeling all the time. If he was at third there would be less games missed do to injuries, then you can keep his offense in the game more!

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hanson1287

His legs are fine....it doesnt happen from just kneeling all the time. You could tear your MCL or your hammy just running bases....anything can happen to anybody anytime....cant blame the position.

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EYESTALKER

I have to agree with Windy. While bat speed is key, the quality of the entire swing comes from the legs...specifically the back leg and hips.

A great baseball mind (and former major leaguer) once told me that if you take 100% of your at bats in a given season and make them all ground balls, you'll bat near .700. If you hit all linedrives, you'll bat .400, and if you'd hit all pop-flies (including all the dingers), you'll hit .070.

I'm thinking I like where his swing is at currently...

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OLY

Windy is right on. Your power comes from your lower body and the mechanics of your swing. It has little or nothing to do with your arms, ask anyone who knows anything about the physics of a baseball swing and they will tell you that. Mauer is a great defensive catcher and a great game caller and I also believe he has a calming effect on our young pitchers when he is behind the plate. Maybe when he gets into his 30's you think about moving him, but for now he needs to stay right were he is. As far as hitting homeruns goes I think he will hit around 20 if he stays healthy all year and thats really all you can ask out of your catcher. Its funny how people complain about having a catcher with a rocket lazer arm and a 300+ average its not always about the long ball he brings so much more to this team than power.

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maros91

Swinging for power comes from the hips, then bat speed. You do not need to be a big guy to hit home runs. Alfonso Soriano is not big and he hits about 35-40 a year.

Keep Mauer at catcher. Catcher's are hard to come by, especially ones that can hit and play defense.

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B. Amish

i don't know....

the biggest power guys usually have the fastest bat speeds also

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DinkADunk

He needs to improve his core and concentrate on building up and stretching out (improve flexability) in those areas where he's sustaining injuries. 3rd base is fine for now although for longevity he needs to look at another position. He's getting too tall to have a long career at catcher. Power can be developed once he finally stops growing.

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PierBridge

Joe Mauer works out "clean" as much or more than anybody in baseball.

He'll get stronger and hit more homeruns over time.

I highly doubt they wll cave into fan pressure and move him from the catcher position anytime soon.

Homerun power comes from a number of variables, hand eye coorination, upper and lower body strength to name a few.

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Windy City Walleye Hunter

Hey Dink,

I have two words to say about the "too tall to have a long career at catcher", Carlton Fisk.

Windy

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Dahitman44

Hey Deer Head guy --

You are 100 percent correct about the little things he does -- and they do mean a lot for the team. He is very patient with an excellent eye -- I don;t think he should be leadoff, but that is why I put him in the two hole. Three, for me, should be a guy that will hit a 3-0 fastball down the middle not work the count for a walk with a guy on third and two outs and down by a run.

A am NOT bashing Mauer -- he is awesome and I am a BASEBALL JUNKIE so I do know a little about what I am talking about, but I think he could be better by adding "some" bulk to his forearms and I don't think it will mess up his swing IMO.

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Dahitman44

4-wandering --

Good point but Joe is too good of a hitter for that to happen. He is not going to hit .250 unless he is hurt.

Plus we have Monroe to fill that -- .250 with 20 hrs. -- sounds about right.

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Dahitman44

The should move him because of injuries and the fact that they have a good young catcher in A ball. That is a long way from the majors, but I think we have to be considering that at some point down the road.

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Dahitman44

I agree that it is a combination of things. No question, but look at Soriano he is not a big guy but has strong legs, great bat speed and powerful forearms and wrists. Hunter had huge forearms as well, but the don't need to be huge in Mauer's situation.

I am not saying that is the only thing that helps your power but your forearms and wrists make a big impact on your power you can generate. Of course eye-hand and leg strength are all very important, I have just noticed that he could add some bulk in that area and it would help him IMO.

Just a thought.

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brady_d

Dahitman-

By bulking up it may add more homeruns to Mauer's stats. But why fix it if it ain't broke?

And I have to say that I really wish I was a few years older. Then I could have beaten Joe in the state tourney back in 1999!

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