Joe Mauer hit his 8th HR and drove in RBIs 19 through 24. For the season, he has a gaudy .417/.500/.819 slash stats line. Absolutely no one saw this coming. Between the sacroliliac injury and Baltimore Orioles uber-prospect, C Matt Wieters, Mauer was not expected to be the most productive catcher in the American League.
As a matter of fact, I don't believe most fantasy players thought Mauer would be better than Matt Wieters. Wieters' PECOTA projection from Baseball Prospectus combined with the live appearances of its staff and Mauer's injury set the tone for this eventual conclusion.
Even if fantasy sites didn't truly believe it, the sites still repeated the claims and supported the un-said belief. (ed: Do you have something in your navel?) The hype got to the point where I passed on Wieters in the 9th round in favor of Mauer and was seriously questioned about the decision.
For those who were born yesterday, here are the PECOTA projections for Wieters and Mauer. Tell me who you'd rather have if one of them had a back injury that was going to keep him out for a month or more.
|Catcher||HR||RBI||Slash Stats||BP 2009 Notes|
|Wieters||31||102||311/395/544||take anything said about any player in any year...Wieters had a better year|
|Mauer||10||68||307/388/436||unless radically alter grounder-generating...never develop into...home-run - or even doubles- producer|
That was then. What is now?