Triple Milestones - 2006
Pujols is six-for-six
Pujols is six-for-six

Posted Oct 29, 2006


Our annual look at players that achieved the triple milestones of a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 RBI

Our annual look at players that achieved the triple milestones of a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 RBI. Thirteen players made it this year, up from 10 in 2005. Albert Pujols’ sixth straight puts him in some lofty company.

Offensive production in the major leagues increased significantly in 2006, especially in the power categories (homeruns per game and slugging average). Runs per game were at the highest level since 2000 and the major league batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average were also at the highest levels since 2000.

All significant offensive categories were up in 2006 after being down in 2005 as illustrated in the following table:

Year Runs/Gm HR/Gm BAVG OBA SLG OPS
             
1990 8.51 1.58 0.258 0.324 0.386 0.710
1991 8.62 1.61 0.255 0.323 0.384 0.707
1992 8.23 1.44 0.256 0.322 0.377 0.699
1993 9.2 1.78 0.266 0.332 0.404 0.736
1994 9.85 2.07 0.270 0.339 0.424 0.763
1995 9.69 2.02 0.267 0.338 0.417 0.755
1996 10.07 2.19 0.270 0.340 0.427 0.767
1997 9.53 2.05 0.267 0.337 0.419 0.756
1998 9.58 2.08 0.266 0.335 0.420 0.755
1999 10.17 2.28 0.271 0.345 0.434 0.779
2000 10.28 2.34 0.271 0.345 0.437 0.782
2001 9.55 2.25 0.264 0.332 0.427 0.759
2002 9.24 2.09 0.261 0.331 0.417 0.748
2003 9.46 2.14 0.264 0.332 0.422 0.754
2004 9.63 2.25 0.266 0.335 0.428 0.763
2005 9.18 2.06 0.265 0.330 0.419 0.749
2006 9.72 2.22 0.269 0.336 0.431 0.767

Two players hit 50 home runs in 2006, Ryan Howard with 58 and David Ortiz with 54. Andruw Jones was the only one to reach this level in 2005 with 51. A total of 11 players hit 40 home runs in 2006, up from nine in 2005. The 30 home run level was reached by 34 players in 2006, up from 27 in 2005.

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 in recent years to ten in 2005 and 13 this year. Only three players made it in both 2005 and 2006, Albert Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero and Travis Hafner.

Eight American League players and five National League players made it. Albert Pujols became the only player to do it in his first six seasons. Six players, Justin Morneau, Paul Konerko, Carlos Lee, Matt Holliday, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley recorded triple milestones for the first time.

Following is a listing of players who achieved triple milestones in 2006:

Player Times BAVG-HR-RBI   Comments
American      
Manny Ramirez

9

.321-35-102 Only Ruth and Gehrig have more.
Vladimir Guerrero

8

.329-33-116 Eight of last nine years.
Jermaine Dye

2

.315-44-120 New highs in HR and RBI.
Travis Hafner

2

.308-42-117 This guy can hit.
Vernon Wells

2

.303-32-106 Also made it in 2003.
Justin Morneau

1

.321-34-130 Emerging star.
Paul Konerko

1

.313-35-113 Finally made it.
Carlos Lee

1

.300-37-116 Missed by 1 RBI in 2004.
       
       
Player Times BAVG-HR-RBI   Comments
National      
Albert Pujols

6

.331-49-137 Made it easily all six years.
Lance Berkman

3

.315-45-136 New highs in HR and RBI.
Matt Holliday

1

.326-34-114 Another emerging star.
Ryan Howard

1

.313-58-149 No sophomore slump.
Chase Utley

1

.309-32-102 Two Phillies made it.

Seven players achieved triple milestones in 2005 but fell short in 2006:

Player Times BAVG-HR-  BAVG-HR- Comments
  Prev. RBI 2005 RBI 2006  
American        
Alex Rodriguez

8

.321-48-130 .290-35-121 Down in all three.
David Ortiz

2

.300-47-148 .287-54-137 Not enough singles.
Mark Teixeira

1

.301-43-144 .282-33-110 Bad first half.
         
National        
Carlos Delgado

3

.301-33-115 .265-38-114 Good pwr. Low avg.
Jason Bay

1

.306-32-101 .286-35-109 Couldn’t hold BAVG.
Miguel Cabrera

1

.323-33-116 .339-26-114 Short on homers.
Derrek Lee

1

.335-46-107 .286- 8- 30 Injury ruined season.
         
Another player deserves mention for coming very close in 2006.
         
Garrett Atkins     .329-29-120 Would be 2nd Rockie.

A longer list contains the names of players, active in 2006, 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 but some are still productive players but not at the same level they were in their peak years.

 

.300-

Last .300-

 

 

 

30-100

30-100

 
Player

Seasons

Season

2006 Comments
Frank Thomas

7

2000

.270-39-114 Strong comeback season.

Mike Piazza

6

2000

.283-22- 68 Solid comeback season.
Gary Sheffield

6

2003

.298- 6- 25 Missed 123 games.
Todd Helton

5

2003

.302-15- 81 Power outage continues.
Chipper Jones

5

2001

.324-26- 86 Missed 52 games.
Jason Giambi

4

2002

.253-37-113 Still has power.
Magglio Ordonez

4

2002

.298-24-104 Came pretty close.
Ken Griffey, Jr.

3

1997

.252-27- 72 On the downside.
Vinny Castilla

3

1998

.229- 5- 27 Tank is empty.
Moises Alou

2

2000

.301-22- 74 Missed 64 games.
Brian Giles

2

2000

.263-14- 83 Worst year in last 10.
Luis Gonzalez

2

2001

.271-15- 73 In career decline phase.
Phil Nevin

2

2001

.239-22- 68 Two straight bad years
Jim Thome

2

2002

.288-42-109 Another great comeback.
Jeff Kent

2

2002

.292-14- 68 Missed 47 games.

In his 1988 Baseball Abstract, Bill James referred to triple milestone seasons as "Hall of Fame Seasons". This is because all of the eligible players with five or more triple milestone seasons have been elected to the Hall of Fame. This correlation may not hold in the future since triple milestone seasons are much easier to achieve now than in the past. Among active players, Barry Bonds and Manny Ramirez have nine, Guerrero has eight, Thomas has seven, Piazza, Sheffield and Rodriguez have six and Chipper Jones and Todd Helton have five. Most appear to be good bets for the Hall.

Seven players that have recorded triple milestone seasons will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2007 – Dante Bichette, Ken Caminiti, Jose Canseco, Bernard Gilkey, John Jaha, Mark McGwire and Cal Ripken, Jr. Bichette did it twice, all the others just once. Ripken will be elected easily and McGwire will get some support but none of the others will come close.

The Chicago White Sox and the Phillies each had two players with triple milestones in 2006. Twenty five of the thirty major league teams have had at least one triple milestone hitter in the decade beginning with the year 2000. Of the five teams that haven’t, Cincinnati has the longest dry spell. Their last triple milestone hitter was George Foster in 1977. The others and the last player to do it are Kansas City (Danny Tartabull – 1991), Milwaukee (Jaha – 1996), Los Angeles Dodgers (Mike Piazza – 1997) and the New York Mets (Piazza again – 1999).

In 2005, seven minor league players achieved triple milestones. Two of them spent time in the major leagues in 2006 and one was Ryan Howard who reached triple milestones in his first full season in the major leagues. In 2006, only one minor league player achieved triple milestones and two others came very close.

Player Team (Level) Organization Age BAVG-HR-RBI  
   
Luke Scott Round Rock (AAA) Houston 28 .299-20- 63
  Houston NL   .336-10- 37
  total     .314-30-100
   
Alex Gordon Wichita (AA) Kansas City 22 .325-29-101
                     
Mark Reynolds Lancaster (HiA) Arizona 22 .337-23- 77
  Tennessee (AA)   .272- 8- 21
  total     .318-31- 98

In 2003, two college players had triple milestone seasons. However, there have not been any in the last three years.

Pitchers also strive for triple milestones – 20 wins, 200 strikeouts and an ERA under 3.00. Esteban Loaiza was the only pitcher to do it in 2003 (21-9, 207, 2.90). Johan Santana (20-6, 265, 2.61) did it in 2004 and Chris Carpenter (21-5, 213, 2.83) was the only one to do it in 2005. None made it in 2006. Santana (19-6, 245, 2.77) was the only one that came close.



Bill Gilbert is a baseball analyst and writer and member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).


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