|This Mauer guy can hit a little
Yesterday we detailed the incredible 10 homer month by Raul Ibanez, but another player having an out-of-this-world May is Joe Mauer.
Since returning from inflammation of the sacroiliac joint in his back on May 1, Mauer is smoking the ball at a .429 clip. He has 10 multi-hit games and 28 RBI through his first 21 games. But where he's really surprised is in the power department. With a fifth-inning blast against the Brewers on Saturday night, he now has a remarkable nine home runs in 77 at-bats, equaling his total from all of last season. At this rate, he'll easily best his career-high of 13 homers from 2006.
Nobody is expecting him to become an elite slugger all of a sudden but his extraordinary start deserves recognition. While not having enough at-bats to qualify, Mauer currently has a 1.360 OPS. His closest contemporary is Raul Ibanez with a 1.156. Same story with slugging percentage, as Mauer entered play on Sunday with at .844, with Ibanez on his heels at .744. While I talked about Ibanez's major-league leading .385 Isolated Power (slugging percentage minus batting average), nearly double his career average, Mauer's progression is even more pronounced. He enters Sunday's action with a ridiculous .416 ISO, easily tripling his career average.
These numbers are fun to talk about and their respective runs have been a pleasure to watch, but here's your chance to chime in. Who do you think has had the better month?