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His average exit velocity is 2nd on the Twins, according to Baseball Savant, behind only Miguel Sano (92.8 mph). For this factoid, I owe a tip of the cap to the fine folks at Twins Radio, who pointed out that Mauer has more 2-strike hits than anybody in baseball.
He ranks 31st in baseball in that category, nestled in between Robinson Cano and Ryan Braun. Here’s the leaderboard entering Sunday, which Mauer led with 77 two-strike hits, before he added another in Sunday’s win. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a hitter more comfortable taking strike one if he doesn’t like the pitch.
Mauer’s also been really good at the diving-stop plays, judging which balls are within his range, and then sure-handedly picking them up for outs, often making the play look routine even though it’s not.
Lastly, he’s been really impressive hunting fly balls in foul territory and tracking them down for outs. Fan tracks the rate of “hard” contact, and Mauer’s made a big jump forward this year, after he made weaker contact the past three years–statistically and anecdotally.
He’s one of the most clutch hitters on the Twins this year.
Maybe this shouldn’t be surprising, but it caught me off guard.
The first is saving his infield teammates from throwing errors.
He’s got 24 scoops this season, according to Fan Graphs, and while you expect your first baseman to scoop a ball out of the dirt, you don’t necessarily expect that he’ll make of those plays.
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With teammates in scoring position, he’s upped that to .331/.461/.466.
Versus lefties, versus righties, it hardly matters.
But we did learn a little more about Joe Mauer, which we wrote about for Page 2. this morning, Clarence is absolutely correct about the second part of his e-mail.
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