Sweet-swinging Mauer could join the elite
Joe Mauer has a chance to join Johnny Bench and Ted Simmons and be among the top-hitting young catchers since the 19th century.
That's right, friends: the best-hitting young catcher in major league history is somebody you've probably never heard of. If you believe the record books, Frederick Herbert Carroll was born in 1864 and was 19 when he debuted with the American Association's Columbus franchise in 1884. In 69 games, Carroll batted .278/.326/.440, which probably doesn't seem all that impressive until you see that the league batted .236/.273/.321. Carroll wasn't always this good, but in 1889 -- when still only 24 -- he was the best hitter in the National League.