A couple years ago Patrick Reusse pointed out that, despite the difference in talent, AJ Pierzynski had produced as much for his teams as Joe Mauer since the Twins traded AJ to San Francisco to make room for Mauer as the Twins big league catcher. He quoted Bud Grant that "durability is as important as ability". Strangely, since he missed the first month of the season with an injury, Joe Mauer proved Reusse right when he claimed the MVP award this week. After his missed April, Mauer played almost every day the rest of the way, mostly at catcher. His gaudy MVP numbers reflect that durability. Justin Morneau's MVP season was a similar testament to durability and had he stayed healthy he might have challenged Mauer for the MVP this year.
Several bloggers have made a point that the Twins had a lot of players, including Mauer, who had good years last season. But they ignore the fact that their two MVP's, Mauer and Morneau, each missed a month of the season. A healthy, durable Morneau and Mauer playing a full season next year will make the team better regardless of any off-season acquisitions or emergence of young players like Delmon Young. But durability remains the key - you can't use your talent if you can't stay in the lineup.