Well, it’s about time. The Joe Mauer is moving to first base on a permanent basis and I don’t think it could come at a better time. Justin Morneau is gone and I don’t think anybody actually thinks Chris Parmelee or Chris Colabello are worthy of taking on the role of full-time Major League first baseman.
The offensive production is what everyone is asking about. He flat out rakes. But can he match what first baseman are asked to do? Hit homers and produce runs? I say yes. Remember in 2009 when Mauer missed the first month of the season and came out swinging to hit 28 homers? Could it have been that his body had that extra time to rest? Possibly. Maybe he’ll be able to get back to the 18-25 homer range with a fresh body.
In 2012, The Joe Mauer played in a career-high 147 games. 30 of those games came at first, 42 at designated hitter and just 74 (72 starts) at catcher. Is it a coincidence that keeping Mauer from behind the plate put him in more games? Probably not. He also produced a just a 4.4 WAR, however, his lowest total for a full season since 2007.
This goes to show that a lot of his value comes from behind the plate but some people in the industry believe he has the athleticism to become a top defensive first baseman that can not only prevent runs by himself but provide a large target for his infielders.
Anywho, instead of rambling, I’ll share my humble opinion. The Joe Mauer will most likely provide the Twins fair value at his now home. If he can improve his power numbers, play in at least 150 games and still show that All American smile, Terry Ryan and co. will be happy the transition is finally being made.