Coming into the season, Joe Mauer was thought of as one of the best catchers in baseball. Mauer has a variety of skills, which include hitting for average, getting on base, playing great defense behind the plate, and call a fantastic game. His skill set is obviously impressive and well rounded.
But the only knock on Mauer to date has been his lack of home run power. Mauer has never hit more than 13 home runs in a season, and from 2004-2008, Mauer averaged almost 9 home runs per season. Those numbers do not reflect the kind of pop that baseball personnel believed Mauer would have at the big league level.
However, so far in 2009, Mauer's power has been on display. Through 41 at bats this season, Mauer already has 4 home runs (and 3 doubles), which is impressive considering that Mauer only hit 9 home runs in 536 ABs last season. Perhaps Mauer's power is finally starting to shine through.
It remains to be seen if Mauer can keep this pace up, but these have to be encouraging signs for Twins fans. If Mauer can increase his power output in 2009, he will firmly cement himself as the best catcher in baseball.