12, two at home
12, two at home
Depends on where he plays. If he catches 120+ games, I'll say 8-10. If that number is around 80, with more time at 1B and DH, maybe 15. I think a full season of catching is a drain on Mauer's power numbers
Someone should average out all our guesses. Perhaps I should just go ahead and do that...
If you add up all the homeruns he has hit, which I believe is 84, and then divide it by 8 which is the years he's been in the show, you get 10.5.... So I'll say 10. Maybe 15-20 if he's really hitting the ball well.
I am going to guess 19. Obviously I think most of those will come on the road, but I think he will have a fire lit under him and if he is healthy I think he will have a great season. More importantly, I look for him to have at least 40 doubles.
Ten. I was going to go with 12 in 2012 but I think that's too high.
8 ... I just have a feeling that playing 81 games @ Target affects the way he hits all the time.
16 (10 away, 6 home)
21. Better OBP from the first two hitters will put more pressure on pitchers, forcing them to pitch to Mauer from the stretch more often.
More interesting than Mauer's actual home run total is what factors people think will affect his total. The one year that he actually hit a serious load of taters was when he was relatively healthy and still in the Metrodome, where his opposite field power put a bunch over the left field fence.
Today's Joe Mauer is a couple years older, has had problems with his back, his knee, and his shoulder. He's playing at a park where the left field fence is too far to reach with his opposite field swing, which means he would have to turn on inside pitches. We've seen in the past that pitchers are loathe to give Mauer anything inside, which means his opportunities to turn on inside stuff will be very limited. That means Mauer will probably again be relegated to hitting most of his long balls to the opposite field.
That said, Mauer has the ability to control the strike zone. If he punishes pitchers with enough of his patented down-the-line doubles, maybe they'll get desperate and pitch him inside. If that happens, we could see the joyful cranking of some very hard-hit dingers to right field. Playing into that scenario is Mauer's history of being a line drive hitter, which means most pitchers don't expect him to elevate the ball. They pitch him inside expecting at worst a line drive single to right. Joe is going to have to be ready to do more than that. Can he load up for inside pitches? Will he recognize the hitting situation and take advantage?
I think Mauer is a smart enough hitter to start turning on inside pitches. I'm going high with my estimate. 22 homers in 2012, if he's reasonably healthy. Half of them to right field.
But truly, I care less about HRs, Mauer's asset is not "pop."
I wish for Mauer to:
a. Stay healthy
b. Win another BA championship
c. Be a leader to a team that needs it
d. Improve his relationship with the fan
Go Twins! And good luck Joe!
Goin with 22...have a feeling he thinks he has something to prove in that area
Mauer will hit the lucky 13 home runs--it's gotta be his year
I'm pessimistic about this for some reason and I'd have to go with 7 just because his opposite field power is negated 81 games a year. But I do think he'll hit around 40 doubles if healthy.
I'm going with 10.
25. 8 to RF, 7 to CF and 10 to LF. 2 walk offs and 1 grand slam. Check back in October.
I dont think Mauer can get to double digits in HR unless he plays less than 100 games at C. If he plays mostly at C, he will get tired (at best) injured (at worst). Time to move Mauer to 1B and Morneau to DH.
I don't doubt he gets double digits this year with my guess being 14 (5 at home).
Mauer definitely changes his approach when he's hurt. I think people assume that all the criticism of him stems from the fact that he was a #1 pick, hometown hero, and this 6'5" guy that should have power. I think what frustrates them more is that you can just tell what his approach is when he gets up to the plate, and it isn't one of a guy who wants to be a star or a team leader. He reminds me of how I felt in Little League...I was a big kid and a good player, but I wasn't a power hitter. I was more focused on doing good for the team, and was just as happy to walk or slap a single somewhere because that would pass the buck to the NEXT guy, who may strike out or strand all the runners on base. Mauer's like that too, to a degree...he plays scared. He's a great hitter and very confident in what he does, but he either doesn't know or doesn't want to be the guy that's asked to carry the team. And that bothers the hell out of me as a fan.
When Mauer's hurt, he doesn't seem to have ANY interest in driving the ball, whereas he would normally pick his spots and occasionally turn on one. I don't think he can stay healthy at catcher, but I think the start of this season is huge. I think he gets down on himself easily, and if he gets to May and only has a homer or two, I think he's on pace for another 9-12 homer year. Also agree with the guy above who said that hitting at Target Field affects his approach at OTHER ballparks, as well.
Here's a few pertinent splits: Between 2004 and 2007, Mauer hit 13 Home runs at the Metrodome and 22 in away parks. In 2008 He figured out how to hit for power in the Metrodome, hitting 7 at home, the most in a season there up to that point. We all know what happened in 2009, and in total, Mauer hit 23 home runs at the Metrodome and 14 at away parks in 2008 and 2009. Since moving to Target Field, Mauer has hit 1 home run at home and 11 in away parks.
A lot has been made of how hitting at Target field has hurt his hitting on the road as well, but I don't really buy that. He hit 8 home runs at away parks in 2010, which is third in his career to 12 in 2009 and 10 in 2006. Last year he was injured and his hitting suffered everywhere. But I don't think his power has really dropped off that much on the road.
The truth is, it's just hard to hit it out of Target Field, especially for a gap hitter like Mauer. As long as he plays at Target Field half of the year, I don't see him breaking 15 home runs in a season. Which assumes he can hit a healthy 10 or so on the road, but only a few more at home.
But this won't really matter much if he can stay healthy, get on base, and play behind the plate on a regular basis. We'll see how that goes.