At the season’s midpoint in early July, only two players were on target to teach the triple milestones of a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, Lance Berkman of the Astros and Josh Hamilton of the Rangers. However, in July and early August, a number of other players have heated up and at the season’s 2/3 point, eight players are now on pace.
Hamilton became the first player in the Major League to reach 100 RBIs this year. Only one other American League player is on target for triple milestones and it is something of a surprise. Aubrey Huff of the Orioles has been red hot for the last couple of weeks and is now on track in all three categories. Huff had a triple milestone season with Tampa Bay in 2003 (.311-34-107), the only season he reached 30 and 100.
Four other AL hitters are close to being on target, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, Jermaine Dye and Miguel Cabrera. Rodriguez and Cabrera both reached triple milestones in 2007.
In the National League, six players are now on target and another is close. The only home runs that Berkman hit in July were in the Home Run Derby but he remains on target. He has been joined by teammate, Carlos Lee, Matt Holliday of the Rockies, Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Manny Ramirez, now of the Dodgers and another surprise, Ryan Ludwick of the Cardinals. Lee and Holliday both reached triple milestones in 2007.
Albert Pujols, who has reached triple milestones in each of his seven previous seasons, is getting close.
No pitchers are on target to reach the pitchers triple milestones of 20 wins, 200 strikeouts and an ERA under 3.00. Five pitchers are reasonably close, but unlikely to close the gap, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Edinson Volquez, Brandon Webb and Tim Lincecum. The last pitcher to reach pitchers triple milestones was Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals in 2005.
Bill Gilbert is a baseball analyst and writer and member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).