Joe Mauer doesn’t have enough plate appearances to officially qualify for the American League batting title just yet, although he’s getting close. Still if the season were to end today, Mauer would be crowned the AL batting champion.
Well, thanks to Twins Geek I stumbled across an interesting tidbit today. Heading into Tuesday’s game, Mauer was 21 plate appearances short of qualifying for the batting title. But if Mauer were to be given an 0-for-21, something to make up for his missing plate appearances, his .364 batting average still would have beat out Ichiro Suzuki’s .360 — thus giving him the title.
All of this is even before Mauer went 4-for-4 in Tuesday’s 8-2 win, raising his batting average to an astounding .429. It’s June 16 and his batting average is closer to .450 than it is .400. That’s pretty amazing in itself.
Humble as ever, Mauer doesn’t seem to like to talk about his hitting much. He won’t let on if he’s as amazed by all of this and he certainly isn’t ready to talk about whether he could possibly hit .400 for a season, a feat that hasn’t been done since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.
With how great of a season that Mauer is currently putting together, I couldn’t help but laugh last weekend during a coversation I had with him. While the team was in Seattle, I took advantage of Friday’s night game to play a course near Tacoma that I’d been wanting to play — Chambers Bay, the site of the 2015 U.S. Open. I had told Mauer and Justin Morneau that I was going to play golf there so when I got a chance to talk to Mauer on Saturday, one of the first things he asked me was how golf went.
I told him I had a pretty decent round, shooting 83 while playing the course at about 6500 yards — a little bit longer than I usually play. Considering that I had rented clubs and it was a pretty challenging course, I felt pretty good overall about my round.
“You haven’t played since Spring Training, right?” Mauer asked me.
Nope, I told him.
“Geez, it must be nice to be that good,” Mauer said.
This coming from a guy that’s now hitting .429 on the season. Yeah Joe, it must be nice to be that good.