Monday, May 29, 2006

Catcher-ing up with the Twins

Just another day at the park for Joe Mauer on Sunday. With three more hits (3 for 4 games are starting to become the norm here) he raised his batting average to .350, moving up the ladder to third place in race for the AL batting crown behind Derek Jeter (.352) and Alex Rios (.351). It is becoming pretty obvious that, barring injury, when all is said and done Mauer will go down as the best catcher in Twins history.

There has been much criticism in the last couple years, and rightly so, of the Twins inability to develop major league hitters, especially power hitters. But at the same time, I have heard virtually no praise of the franchise's uncanny ability to develop quality major league catchers.

A glance at the current rosters reveals eight active big league catchers who made their major league debut in a Twins uniform.

Count 'em up... in addition to Mauer there's A.J. Pierzynski of the White Sox, Damian Miller and Chad Moeller of the Brewers, Javier Valentin of the Reds, Danny Ardoin of the Rockies, Rob Bowen of the Padres, and Matthew LeCroy of the Nationals.

I have to imagine this is some kind of record. It would be pretty exhaustive for me to research it on my own dime, so maybe I'll leave it to an expert like ESPN's Jayson Stark, but I wonder what the previous record was for this, if this in fact a new record.


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