August 12, 2010

Joe Mauer on historic doubles pace

Games like last night's aren't much fun to write about, but it seems like forever since I've done anything Twins-related in this space and I'm sure everyone is sick of seeing pictures of me and my fellow nerds as the top entry, so ...

Joe Mauer had two more hits in the loss, making him 39-for-89 (.438) with 17 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs in 22 games since the All-Star break. One of those hits was his 38th double of the year, which ties Mauer for the AL lead with Nick Markakis and puts him on pace to break both the all-time record by a catcher and the Twins' team record. Ivan Rodriguez holds the catcher mark with 47 doubles in 1996:

Ivan Rodriguez      1999     47
Brian McCann        2008     42
Jorge Posada        2007     42
Brian Harper        1990     42
Lance Parrish       1983     42
Terry Kennedy       1982     42
Mickey Cochrane     1930     42

A couple things. First, a Brian Harper sighting! He's the 25th-best player in Twins history for a reason, after all. Second, it seems weird that six different catchers have 42 doubles, but none have 43-46 doubles and only one has more than 42 doubles. Coincidentally, 47 doubles is also the Twins' record:

Justin Morneau      2008     47
Marty Cordova       1996     46
Torii Hunter        2007     45
Chuck Knoblauch     1994     45
Kirby Puckett       1989     45
Zoilo Versalles     1965     45

It's worth noting that Chuck Knoblauch hit 45 doubles in a strike-shortened season. Prorated to a full schedule he'd have 65, which is amazing given that the MLB record is 68 by Earl Webb in 1931. Mauer isn't on quite that pace, but with 38 doubles through 114 games he's on track for 54. In four weeks he's raised his average from .293 to .327 and his OPS from .792 to .886, both of which lead the team now that Justin Morneau no longer qualifies for the batting title.

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