Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau Approaching Franchise Milestones

Kevork Djansezian

Today's off-day gives us a chance to breath after disappointingly dropping two of three to the White Sox. This morning, we look at how a couple of Twins are making their way up franchise all-time lists.

There are two kinds of statistics in Major League Baseball: the rolling averages and the cumulative, or counting, stats. On the one hand, rolling averages are great. They set a benchmark for a player's success with a team not just in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality. As of today, for example, Joe Mauer is the fifth-most valuable Minnesota Twin of all time based on Wins Above Replacement (41.0). He's also second in batting average (.324) and first in on-base percentage (.406). Justin Morneau is second in slugging (.489).

The down side to rolling averages is that they really only tell their full story when the player's career is over. A player can rise or fall dramatically based off of a couple good or bad seasons. Counting stats, meanwhile, can be leveraged against longetivity. Longetivity isn't always a good thing, but the great thing about these numbers is that they tell an undeniable truth about that player's accomplishments within the context of the franchise's history.

With those things in mind, here are a few franchise milestones that players are approaching for our Twins in the near future.

  • Justin Morneau currently has 206 career home runs, which makes him sixth all-time. While a new contract would force us to re-evaluate how far up this list he could go, his next home run will tie him for fifth with the man, the myth, the legend Kirby Puckett. If he hit 13 after that this season, Morneau would tie Tony Oliva for fourth with 220 career bombs. Third on the all-time list is Bob Allison with 256, which seems to be a number that Morneau wouldn't be likely to catch until 2015. Unless he finds some lost power. But he'd still need another contract with Minnesota to get there.
  • Morneau is currently fifth in franchise history with 816 runs batted in. Tony Oliva owns fourth place on this list as well, with 947 career RBI. Once again, we're probably looking at 2015 if Morneau is going to have a chance to catch Tony O. Joe Mauer is tenth, with 600 RBI on the nose. Next on the list is Torii Hunter, with 711, a number that Joe could surpass in 2014.
  • In a category that isn't as awful as it might sound, Morneau has struck out 763 times for the Twins. That's eighth all-time. He's likely to pass Kent Hrbek's 798 this season, and probably Michael Cuddyer's 805 as well, which would give Justin ownership of sixth place. Torii Hunter's 870 and Gary Gaetti's 877 are next, both of which would be passed in 2014.
  • An intentional walk is usually a sign of respect. Joe Mauer is currently tied with Rod Carew for fourth on this list, with 99 intentional free passes; Morneau is seventh with 81 and needs four more to tie Kirby Puckett for fifth. Mauer's next one gives him sole possession of fourth place but with Kent Hrbek's 110 next on the list, Joe won't reach that milestone until 2014.
  • Mauer is sixth all-time in hits, with 1321. Fifth is Kent Hrbek at 1749, which at his current pace Mauer is likely to reach in 2015. Morneau, meanwhile, is ninth with 1234. Provided he stays healthy, he will easily pass Gary Gaetti and Bob Allison to put himself directly behind Mauer in seventh place.
  • Morneau is sixth all-time in doubles. Totaling 268, he'll pass Harmon Killebrew at some point this year. Mauer is seventh, with 263, and is also likely to pass Killebrew. Depending on how Justin and Joe perform, one of them will finish the season fifth and the other sixth, with Harmon dropping into seventh place.
  • Joe Mauer has collected 576 walks in his career, good for fifth all-time for the Twins. This is 38% of Harmon Killebrew's totals, which gives you a grand sense of perspective knowing how incredible Mauer has been with walks in his career. Joe will need 37 more walks this season to tie Rod Carew for fourth place, at 613. In third place is Bob Allison, with 795 walks, a number that Mauer might be able to reach in 2015. Morneau is eighth, with 474 total walks. 39 more will tie him with Chuck Knoblauch for seventh. Roy Smalley's 549 is a number Justin could reach in 2014.
That's all for now. We'll be back later with more off-day news!
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