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Is Joe Mauer the new Wally Pipp?

Jason Heyward, you say? Hardly. The hottest rookie in the majors catches for the Twins. Aaron Gleeman:

    Sunday afternoon Wilson Ramos went 4-for-5 against the Indians to become the 12th player in baseball history and the first since 1998 to have four hits in his MLB debut. For an encore he went 3-for-4 with two doubles last night versus the Tigers, becoming the eighth player to ever collect three or more hits in each of his first two games. The other seven: Joe DiMaggio, Enos Slaughter, Hub Walker, Preston Wilson, Guy Sturdy, Charlie Bates, Coaker Triplett.

    --snip--

    And all after he hit .179 at Triple-A before the call-up, including 0-for-8 in his final two games.

As Aaron points out, DiMaggio and Slaughter are Hall of Famers, Wilson enjoyed a fine career, and

the other guys ... well, not so much. As Aaron also points out, no player in major league history has collected at least three hits in each of his first three games. So you might want to keep an eye on this game tonight.

What does it all mean? Mostly, it all means that this young man has been exceptionally fortunate. Yes, he's exceptionally talented. But how many exceptionally talented young men haven't collected seven hits in their first two games? Depending on how you define "exceptionally talented," the figures ranges from several hundred to several thousands.

Granted, Ramos is an excellent prospect. Once you get past the Catching Prospect Trinity -- Buster Posey, Jesus Montero, and Carlos Santana -- Ramos is somewhere among the five or six catchers fighting for the No. 4 spot on the list. He got called up after Drew Butera only because (frankly) Butera's not a real prospect and the Twins didn't want Ramos sitting on the bench six days every week. But once Mauer really went down, Ramos was the logical choice to take his place.

Which isn't to say he's going to be great right now.

Here's Nick Nelson after Ramos' sparkling debut (but before his splendid second appearance):

    While he has about as much raw power as anyone in the organization, Ramos has very poor plate discipline, which helps explain why he was hitting .179 with a .214 OBP in Rochester prior to his call-up. He is undoubtedly a significant upgrade over Butera while Mauer is out, particularly because he appears to be a better defender, but the 22-year-old Ramos will go through his own growing pains. Count on it.

Ramos missed most of last season with a couple of injuries, but in 59 games he drew six walks. In 16 Triple-A games this season, he drew three walks and struck out 15 times. Doesn't mean he's not a fine prospect. It does mean Nick's quite probably right about those growing pains. Let's just hope they don't start until Ramos' fourth game.