For the second time this week, I get to congratulate Joe Mauer on this blog. Yesterday, the 25-year-old Minnesota Golden Boy truly won gold. After winning his second batting title in 2008, Joe will have to find room in his trophy case for his first ever Gold Glove Award.
The Gold Glove Award often has the reputation of being biased towards players who are good at their position, but also do great things with the bat. Mauer certainly fits the bill, but really is a great defensive catcher and proved it this year with his numbers.
Mauer caught a career high 134 games behind the plate and refused to rest down the stretch during the playoff run, putting on the pads and gear everyday. Mauer posted a .997 fielding percentage, which ranked first in the American League.
The award winner committed only three errors all year while throwing out 29 of 80 potential basestealers, a rate of 36 percent, which ranks second in the A.L.
As usual, Torii Hunter collected his eighth straight Gold Glove, so it was good to see another Twin win the award after the perennial winner Hunter left. Mauer becomes just the second catcher to win the award in franchise history. Former great, Earl Battey, won the award twice in 1961 and 1962. As long as Joe stays healthy, I have no reason to believe he won't win a few more Gold Gloves of his own.
With a 2008 season that ended in a batting title and a Gold Glove, there is no denying that Joe Mauer is one of the best, if not the best, catchers in baseball!