Triple Milestones – 2011

Triple Milestones – 2011

 

 

 

By Bill Gilbert

 

 

 

      Offensive production in the major leagues continued to decline slightly in 2011 but not as much as in 2010.  The number of runs per game has declined each year from 9.72 in 2006 to 8.57 in 2011.  The home run rate of 1.87 per game was the lowest since 1993. The major league batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average were all down slightly from 2010. All offensive categories are significantly below the peak year of 2000 as illustrated in the following table:

 

 

 

Year  Runs/Game HR/Game  BAVG   OBA    SLG    OPS     Triple Milestone Hitters

 

—-  ——— ——-  —-   —-   —-   —     ————————

 

1990     8.51     1.58   .258  .324   .386   .710                 2

 

1991     8.62     1.61   .255  .323   .384   .707                 3

 

1992     8.23     1.44   .256  .322   .377   .699                 2

 

1993     9.20     1.78   .266  .332   .404   .736                 5

 

1994     9.85     2.07   .270  .339   .424   .763                 3

 

1995     9.69     2.02   .267  .338   .417   .755                 8

 

1996    10.07     2.19   .270  .340   .427   .767                21

 

1997     9.53     2.05   .267  .337   .419   .756                 7

 

1998     9.58     2.08   .266  .335   .420   .755                14

 

1999    10.17     2.28   .271  .345   .434   .779                19

 

2000    10.28     2.34   .271  .345   .437   .782                26

 

2001     9.55     2.25   .264  .332   .427   .759                21

 

2002     9.24     2.09   .261  .331   .417   .748                12

 

2003     9.46     2.14   .264  .332   .422   .754                 8

 

2004     9.63     2.25   .266  .335   .428   .763                12

 

2005     9.18     2.06   .265  .330   .419   .749                10

 

2006     9.72     2.22   .269  .336   .432   .768                13

 

2007     9.59     2.04   .268  .336   .423   .759                 8 

 

2008     9.30     2.01   .264  .333   .417   .750                 7

 

2009     9.23     2.02   .262  .333   .418   .751                 6

 

2010     8.77     1.90   .257  .325   .403   .728                 6

 

2011     8.57     1.87   .255  .321   .399   .720                 7

 

 

 

      Jose Bautista of Toronto led the majors with 43 home runs in 2011, two more than Curtis Granderson.  Bautista was the only player over 50 in 2010 with 54.  In a bit of a surprise, the 30 home run level was reached by 24 players in 2011 compared to 18 in 2010. 

 

 

 

      A useful indicator for tracking offense is the number of players who hit for both power and average by achieving a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in.  A record 26 players reached all three milestones in 2000, but that figure has dropped significantly in recent years. Only seven players reached all three milestones in 2011, up from six in 2010.  Paul Konerko and Miguel Cabrera were the only players who made it in both 2010 and 2011.  For the first time in his eleven year career, Albert Pujols is not on the list, missing by a couple of whiskers (.299-37-99).  

 

 

  There were four newcomers to the .300-30-100 club in 2011, Jose Bautista, Matt Kemp, Jacoby Ellsbury and Troy Tulowitzki bringing the total to 170 players who have registered at least one .300-30-100 season starting with Babe Ruth in 1920.

 

 

 

      Following is a listing of players who achieved triple milestones

 

in 2011:

 

 

 

Player           Times  BAVG-HR-RBI         Comments

 

National

 

Ryan Braun         3    .332-33-111         Consistently productive.

 

Matt Kemp          1    .324-39-126         Breakout year.

 

Troy Tulowitzki    1    .302-30-105         Came close in 2010.

 

 

 

Player           Times  BAVG-HR-RBI         Comments

 

American

 

Miguel Cabrera     4    .344-30-105  Barely made it on home runs.

 

Paul Konerko       3    .300-31-105  A model of consistency.

 

Jose Bautista      1    .302-43-103  Led majors in HR last 2 years.

 

Jacoby Ellsbury    1    .321-32-105  New highs in HR and RBI.

 

 

 

      Four players achieved triple milestones in 2010 but fell short in 2011:

 

 

 

Player           Times    BAVG-HR-RBI    BAVG-HR-RBI    

 

                 In Past      2011           2010     Comments

 

Albert Pujols     10     .299-37- 99    .312-42-118  Missed for the first time..

 

Josh Hamilton      2     .298-25- 94    .359-32-100  Slowed by injuries.

 

Joey Votto         1     .309-29-103    .324-37-113  Needed one more HR.

 

Carlos Gonzalez    1     .295-26- 92    .336-34-117  Held back by injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

      The biggest obstacle in reaching triple milestones in 2011 was batting average.  Five players had 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in 2011 but fell short of a .300 batting average.

 

 

 

Prince Fielder           .299-38-120      Had better year than Pujols.

 

Adrian Beltre            .296-32-105      Strong in all 3 categories.

 

Curtis Granderson        .262-41-119      Batting average hurt by strikeouts.      

 

Ryan Howard              .253-33-116      6 years with 30+ HR and 100+ RBI.

 

Mark Teixeira            .248-39-111      Career low batting average.

 

     

 

      A growing list contains the names of players, active in 2011, who have had multiple .300-30-100 seasons in the past but have not done it in the last three years.  Many have been limited by injuries. Some are still very productive players like Lance Berkman and David Ortiz, but not at the same level they were in their peak years.  Since this list was started in 2004, not one player has come back with another .300-30-100 season.

 

 

 

                                 Last

 

                .300-30-100  .300-30-100 

 

Player            Seasons       Season       2012     Comments

 

 

 

Manny Ramirez       10           2008    .059- 0-  1  An inglorious end.

 

Alex Rodriguez       8           2008    .276-16- 62  Worst year of career.

 

Vladimir Guerrero    8           2006    .290-13- 63  Clearly in decline.

 

Todd Helton          5           2003    .302-14- 69  Pretty good comeback year.

 

Chipper Jones        5           2001    .275-18- 70  Might be time to retire.

 

Jason Giambi         4           2002    .260-13- 32  Still has power off the bench.

 

Magglio Ordonez      4           2002    .255- 5- 32  Too many injuries. 

 

Lance Berkman        3           2006    .301-31- 94  Comeback player of the year.

 

David Ortiz          3           2007    .309-29- 96  Similar numbers as Berkman.

 

Mark Teixeira        3           2008    .248-39-111  Career low batting average.

 

Jim Thome            2           2002    .256-15- 50  Reached the 600 HR mark.

 

Aramis Ramirez       2           2004    .306-26- 93  Still a dangerous hitter.

 

Miguel Tejada        2           2004    .239- 4- 26  Looks like end of the line.

 

Travis Hafner        2           2006    .280-13- 57  Essentially duplicated 2010.

Vernon Wells         2           2006    .218-25- 66  Big disappointment in Anaheim.

 

Matt Holliday        2           2007    .296-22- 75  Too many injuries.

 

Aubrey Huff          2           2008    .246-12- 59  Mixes bad years with good ones.

 

David Wright         2           2008    .254-14- 61  Bring back Shea Stadium.  

 

 

 

      In his 1988 Baseball Abstract, Bill James referred to triple milestone seasons as "Hall of Fame Seasons".  This was because all of the eligible players with 5 or more triple milestone seasons had been elected to the Hall of Fame.  This correlation was broken in 2011 when Juan Gonzalez and Jeff Bagwell fell short of election in their first year of eligibility.

 

 

 

            No teams had two players with triple milestones in 2011.  Twenty nine of the thirty major league teams have now had at least one triple milestone hitter since the year 2000. Kansas City has not had a triple milestone hitter since Danny Tartabull in 1991.    

 

 

 

 

 

      Minor league players also recorded triple milestone seasons in 2011. 

 

 

 

Player            Team (Level)      Organization     Age   BAVG-HR-RBI  

 

 

 

Bryan LaHair      Iowa (AAA)         Chicago Cubs      28   .331-38-109

 

                  Chicago (NL)                              .288- 2-  6

 

                                                            .326-40-115

 

 

 

Mike Carp         Tacoma (AAA)       Seattle           25   .343-21- 64

 

                  Seattle (AL)                              .276-12- 46

 

                                                            .307-33-110

 

 

 

Matt Adams        Springfield (AA)   St. Louis         22   .300-32-101

 

 

 

      Another was on the verge of a triple milestone season in the minor leagues before he was called up to the majors.                        

 

 

 

Paul Goldschmidt  Mobile (AA)        Arizona           23   .306-30- 94

 

                  Arizona (NL)                              .250- 8- 26

 

                                                            .289-38-120

 

 

 

      Goldschmidt had a minor league triple milestone season in 2010.

 

 

 

      Two former major leaguers had triple milestones in 2011 in the Mexican League.

 

 

Luis Terrero      Mexico City (MEX)  None              31   .390-38-110

 

 

 

Mendy Lopez       Puebla (MEX)       None              37   .321-31-106           

 

     

 

      No college players achieved triple milestones in 2011                                          

 

      Pitchers also strive for triple milestones – 20 wins, 200 strikeouts and an ERA under 3.00. Two pitchers made it in 2011, the same number as in 2010, Justin Verlander (24-5, 250, 2.40) and Clayton Kershaw (21-5, 248, 2.28).  Both made it for the first time and they both won the triple crown for pitchers in their leagues.

 

 

 

      A complete list of players with triple milestone seasons since 1920 can be found at Baseball-Almanac, with the following link.

 

 

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/legendary/triple_milestones.shtml

 

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