Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/5/12

A year ago, Joe Mauer was fielding questions about bilateral leg weakness; now it's about whether he can win his fourth AL batting title.

At this time last season, Mauer had missed 56 games and was batting .236, and the only questions he got were related to his health. At the midpoint of 2012, the Minnesota Twins catcher is batting .332 with five home runs and 38 RBI. On Wednesday he fielded his first question about whether he can win his fourth AL batting title.

"It's funny," he said. "I've won three batting titles and this is kind of the time of year where it starts to pick up the talk about that. But I've never really paid too much attention to that, or my average, or where other guys' average is at. It's more of a mid- to late September deal."

Entering play Wednesday, Mauer's batting average ranked third in the AL behind the Angels' Mike Trout (.343) and the White Sox's Paul Konerko (.337), and his .420 on-base percentage was tops in the AL and third in the majors.

"I'm swinging the bat well," he said.

In 22 games since June 2, Mauer is batting .427 (35 for 82) with three homers, six doubles and 17 RBI.

Mauer rebounded to hit .287 in 82 games last season, but it was a career low. So were his three homers and 30 RBI, not unexpected in a season plagued by injuries ranging from leg weakness to pneumonia. He never recovered from offseason surgery to his left knee and missed 56 games because of what the team called, somewhat unfortunately, bilateral leg weakness.

"It's definitely better than last year -- the whole body, really," he said. "Compared to last year, it's really hard to judge, but I'm feeling really good at the plate. I feel like I'm getting to where I need to get to, and that's a good feeling."

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