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I am leaving this page a little open ended.  I am planning to write about player use characteristics adding a new player periodically. I am comfortable with a couple players and their use characteristics.  However, I am hoping that visitors will email me with information regarding unique use characteristics of player's bat that they have observed.  

 

Past featured players

Harmon Killebrew use characteristics Wade Boggs use characteristics
George Brett use characteristics Kirby Puckett use characteristics
Joe Mauer use characteristics Eddie Murray use characteristics

Current featured player

Joe Mauer

Written 2006, Updated 2009

 

 

 

Player Joe Mauer
Bat Specifications

 

In 2006, Joe Mauer helped to propel the Minnesota Twins into the post season with his tremendous hitting.  Batting .347, Mauer capture the AL batting title, making him the first AL catcher to do so.  In 2008, Joe went on to win his second AL Batting title.  In 2009, Joe once again one upped himself by taking a third AL Batting title and increasing his power numbers on his way to becoming the AL MVP.  Joe's recent success has driven demand for his bats through the roof in Minnesota and across the nation. 

I have had the opportunity to handle numerous Mauer bats over the past several years and have identified certain use characteristics.  On this page I will outline my observations regarding what I believe are legitimate and consistent use characteristics.  Like all players, Joe’s use characteristics have evolved and will likely continue to evolve; this should not be interpreted as a definitive list of Joe’s use characteristics.

As many collectors are already aware, Joe uses Rawlings bats the vast majority of the time.  However, I have located photos of him using other manufacturers bats such as Louisville Slugger, XBAT, MAX BAT, and BWP in 2004 and 2005.  Based on information from other collectors I am aware that Joe has also swung Carolina Clubs, Old Hickory, Diable, and Ironwood among others.  So, although Rawlings in clearly Joe's manufacturer of choice he has been known to atleast try others.  I have several photos from 2010 of Joe trying Mariucci bats in games. 

In terms of specifications, the 2006 Mauer bat I have seen has been a model 456MR and weighing between 31 and 33 ounces.  I believe that Joe has used other Rawlings models including 456GS and 491B.  Rawlings apparently created a model for Joe (JM7) which appears to have become his model of choice.  I am not certain but I believe this model started showing up sometime in 2007.  Of the 2008 and 2009 bats that I have owned, all have been model JM7.  In  atleast one instance I have noted that in 2010 Mauer has used a model AJM7 which must be just a slight variation of the JM7

Use Characteristics

Pine tar

The most consistent of trait is Mauer’s use and application of pine tar. Joe has consistently applied a concentration at the center of the bat just below, and sometimes extending into the Rawlings "R" at the center of the bat.  This pine tar occasionally works it way down to the handle area.  I have noticed a reduction in the amount of pine tar transfer on Mauer bats recently more recently (08 and 09) as compared to the bats that I owned from 2006.  I have noted this both in bats I have owned as well as photos of Joe particularly during 2009 (see photo sets). 

Tape

 

It appears that Joe taped his handles in 2004 and 2005.  I am sure how consistent this is but I have owned both 2004 and 2005 Mauer bats with taped handles.  The tape will white athletic type tape wrapped in a solid spiral extending approximately 7 inches starting at the knob.

 

Markings

In terms of markings Joe does not seem to be consistent in his knob markings.  It seems that Joe does not typically his uniform number on the knob.  The majority of 2006 Mauer bats that I have owned (with the vast majority coming directly from he Twins) have shown no writing on the knob other than the factory written player's name and bat weight.  With that having been said, I have owned several Mauer gamers, which had his number 7 on the knob written in small black marker (one also had his number written on the barrel end).  Interestingly I have also seen several of his bats with an "X" on either the knob or on both ends.  I believe this has been used in indicate a bat is cracked after it has been broken.  I have seen other players/teams do this and do not believe it is unique to Joe.

Hit pattern

As one might expect from a great left handed contact hitter, a heavy concentration of seam and ball marks can almost always be found on the left handed side of the barrel.  However, all of the Mauer bats that I have owned have also had deep seam marks on other areas of the barrel to some degree.  So there is not the same kind of extremely consented area of seam marks that I have seen on with other great contact hitters like Brett and Gwynn.  I have seen photos of Mauer hitting with both the label up and down which would explain seam marks on both sides of the barrel.

Although this information is not earth shattering by any means, it is my hope that his information along with posted photos will aid any collector interested in obtaining a high quality Mauer game used bat in determining what traits to look for.

 

2010 Mauer bats

(2009 bat used in early 2010)

 

2009 Mauer bats

 

2008 Mauer bats

(2008 bat used early in 2009 during rehab stint) 

 

2006 Mauer bat

 

2005 Mauer bat

 

2004 Mauer bats

 

   

Photos showing pine tar application (top two photos from 2006.  Bottom two from 2009 - notice the reduction in pine tar transfer to the lower handle area). 

2009
Photos of Joe using different kinds of bats including Carolina Clubs, Marruci and XBat


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