Monday, July 15, 2013

Let's Not Forget... Mauer Is A Projected HOFer

At work today I was clicking around Baseball Reference’s website and I stumbled across an interesting section of the website that I have never explored before. If you scroll to the bottom of a player’s profile page you will see a section titled Hall Of Fame Statistics, which is a bunch of sabermetrics designed to project if a player is a Hall of Fame candidate.

Amongst the multiple equations there is one that is entitled JAWS which stands for Jaffe WAR Scoresystem, the system was designed by sabermetrician Jay Jaffe as a means to measure a player's Hall of Fame worthiness and easily compares the players. The main components to the equation are a player’s WAR (wins above replacement) and his 7-year peak WAR.

Not a whole lot of Twins are high up on any of the position lists. Take Justin Morneau for example, he is currently ranked 105 on the list for first basemen. This puts Morneau just six spots above Aubrey Huff, five behind Mike Sweeney or 10 behind John Kruk. That’s pretty tough for a guy who won an American League MVP award just a handful of years ago.

What really caught my eye was where hometown boy Joe Mauer was ranked. Mauer, a 10-year MLB veteran, is currently ranked 14th all-time amongst catchers. Mauer is in great company trailing seven current Hall of Famers and already ahead of six other members of the Hall.

The catchers that Mauer is behind are the following from first to 13th: Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlton Piazza, Mike Piazza, Yogi Berra, Joe Torre, Bill Dickey, Mickey Cochrane, Ted Simmons, Gabby Harnett, Thurman Munson and Gene Tenance.

All of those players are retired and have no chance of moving up or down the list. The closet active player is the Detroit Tiger’s Victor Martinez who is ranked 33rd. Granted, Joe Mauer could move himself down the list since the JAWS system is based a lot on a player’s WAR, but we have no reason to believe that Mauer will turn sour anytime soon.

The scary thing is that Mauer has a good amount of years left in his major league career; at least the Twins hope so since he is signed thru the 2018 season. It’s more than likely that Joe Mauer will move into the top 10 if not the top five before he hangs it up someday.

What really hit me is that while the Twins wallow in dismay and are on pace for their third straight ninety-plus loss season, the Twins have a catcher to that looks to be a Hall of Famer and when it’s all over there shouldn’t be much question about it.

So while you are laughing at what the MLB All-Star game festivities have become and pondering what really is Ron Gardenhire’s job status, just sit back and remember that we are watching a future Hall of Famer every night behind the plate… unless it’s a day game after a night game.

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