Gleeman: Joe Mauer lived up to the hype

From SABR member Aaron Gleeman at Baseball Prospectus on October 1, 2018:

Things so rarely live up to the hype, and yet when they do credit is so rarely given. Try a much-hyped restaurant for the first time and have a bad experience? You’ll tell everyone. Or, worse, post a Yelp review. But have a good experience? That’s not really much of a story, although odds are you’ll go back and enjoy the food again. Similarly, ask any fan of any team and they’ll have no trouble reciting a list of top prospects who failed to deliver on the hype. Busts. You’re probably thinking of one right now. (Delmon Young‘s Yelp reviews are terrible.) Much less interesting are the top prospects who delivered on the hype. After all, that’s just what they were supposed to do. Joe Mauer lived up to the hype. Boring, that.

Mauer was drafted first overall in 2001—a decision that caused many people to criticize the Twins for passing on a “sure thing” with even more hype—and later became the consensus no. 1 prospect in baseball. He debuted as a 20-year-old and played what’s assumed to be his final game Sunday as a 35-year-old, all for the Twins. If he retires, it’ll be as Minnesota’s all-time leader in times on base, surpassing Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, and trailing only Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett on the team’s all-time hits list. Among the 52 different no. 1 overall draft picks in MLB history, Mauer ranks first in career batting average and fourth in Wins Above Replacement, behind only Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Chipper Jones.

“I’d heard a lot about how great he was supposed to be and he was great” the Yelp review of Mauer would read, with five stars given and no photos attached.

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Originally published: October 1, 2018. Last Updated: October 1, 2018.