The Numbers Behind Joe Mauer's Rising Star
Minnesota Twins starting catcher Joe Mauer currently sits atop Major League Baseball’s hitting leaderboard with a .392 batting average. A former Twin, Hall of Famer Rod Carew flirted with a .400 batting average toward the end of his amazing 1977 season when he ended with a .388 average, which is the closest anyone has come to Ted Williams‘ record season average of .406 in 1941.
That’s how hot Joe Mauer and his .392 average is right now. There’s every reason to believe he could maintain that type of production in the second half of the season, considering that he’s been a steady rather than streaky hitter.
We’ve been charting the online buzz Joe Mauer is creating for our client, Quickswing, and the data gives an interesting glimpse into how search traffic and Internet buzz surges and wanes with events.
Joe Mauer Search Queries
As a small market team in a division that has been dominated by the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers the past few seasons, the Twins don’t garner a lot of attention. Joe Mauer’s national awareness suffers as a result. Couple that with the fact that he was injured for much of his rookie season and had a good but not astounding full season last year, and it should come as no surprise that the volume of "Joe Mauer" related searches should be relatively modest. The following Google Trends chart shows Joe Mauer searches from 2003 to 2006:
You can see that the Joe Mauer search history has thus far been one of spikes and flatlines. That first spike was no media coverage of the Twins picking him first overall in the MLB draft. But, as you can tell from the 2006 data, he’s starting to garner a lot of attention. During the past 90 days, there were 364 Joe Mauer-related searches, according to Wordtracker data. The following Google Trends chart shows Joe Mauer searches for January through June, 2006:
Though Joe Mauer related search volume is gaining, the real buzz is happening in the blogosphere and it has really taken off during the past few days as Mauer’s batting average approaches .400. The following Technorati chart shows "Joe Mauer" blog mentions from May 31 to June 29, 2006: