According to Mike Berardino from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Twins will announce that catcher Joe Mauer will move to first base on a full time basis in 2014. Here is his tweet:
Mauer moving to first base full time, #mntwins announce. Wow.— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 11, 2013
The reports state that after consulting with team doctors and the Mayo clinic, the team decided that there was a risk of more concussions should he stay at catcher, thus the move to first base. I speculated about this move earlier this offseason.
This move helps his fantasy value in 2014 as he will play every day at first base, and not have to deal with the little injuries that catchers play with on a daily basis. He will still have catcher eligibility in 2014, so fantasy owners can draft him as a catcher, but after 2014, his value will fall a bit, as he is not the big power bat you want at the first base position on your rosters.
There is a small chance that we see him alter his approach at the plate to fit the power hitter model that teams expect out of their first baseman, but I highly doubt it. He is one of he best pure hitters in baseball, but ti would be nice if he could rekindle the 28 home run power that he put up back in 2009.
I ranked him as my # 7 fantasy catcher in my early 2014 catcher rankings a few weeks ago, and I may move him up a spot or two as a result of this decision by the Twins.
The performance of young catcher Josmil Pinto last season probably helped the team in making this decision. Pinto hit .342-.398-.566 with 4 HRs and 12 RBI in 21 games in 2013.
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