I thought I would do a post professing my love for Justin Morneau since I don't think he gets the attention and praise he deserves. This was brought up by Peter Gammons on the Mike and Mike Show today. He listed Joe Mauer as one of the players he would like to build a team around. Mauer is good and yes two batting titles is impressive but I would rather build the team around Justin.
We have seen in these 3 weeks what this team would look like without Mauer and while it isn't that good this team is functioning. Imagine this team without Justin Morneau in the middle of the lineup. It should be noted that we can only imagine since he has yet to get injured for a significant period of time. Who would hit for power? Who would be a threat? Who would drive in the runs?
Morneau has driven in over 100 rbi's for three consecutive seasons, and while we take that for granted Kirby Puckett went over 100 rbi's only three times in his career. Kent Herbek only hit over 100 rbi's once in his career. If he gets over 100 rbi's this year he will do something Harmon Killebrew never even did. In those 3 years he has driven in 370 runs. Only Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard have driven in more runs in that time. He drove in more runs as such stalwarts as Albert Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and David Wright.
He has hit over 20 home runs four straight years and was the first Twin to hit over 30 home runs since Hrbek in 1987. In the last three years he has hit 115 doubles and 88 home runs. It is also forgotten that he is one of the best defensive first basemen in the game and should win multiple Gold Gloves before he is done. I know winning batting titles is special, but I would take Morneau's bat and the assurance that he will be in the lineup every day over Joe Mauer's .330 all single average any day.