November 18, 2017

Triple Milestones–2014

November 22, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Offensive production in the major leagues continued to decline in 2014. The number of home runs per game decreased in 2014 and batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average dropped to the lowest levels in over 20 years.

Year Runs/Game HR/Game BAvg OBA SLG OPS Triple Milestone Hittters
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 .271 .335  .420  .755 14
1999 10.17 2.28 .266 .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 .255 .325  .403 .728 6
2011 8.57 1.87 .257 .321 .399 .720 7
2012 8.64 2.03 .255 .319 .405 .724 4
2013 7.77 1.79 .253 .318 .396 .714 3
2014 8.13  1.73 .251 .314 .386 .700 2

 

Runs and home runs were down in 2014 to the lowest level in over 20 years.  Only one player (Nelson Cruz) hit 40 or more home runs in 2014 compared to two in 2013 and six in 2012. The 30 home run level was reached by only 11 players in 2014 compared to 14 in 2013 and 27 in 2012.

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 two players reached all three milestones in 2014, the lowest since 1992, Of the 14 players with 30+ home runs, only two batted over .300 and seven had 100+ RBIs.

The two players who made the .300-30-100 club were Victor Martinez, for the first time, and Rookie Jose Abreu.  They became the 173rd and 174th players to register at least one .300-30-100 season starting with Babe Ruth in 1920.

 

Following is a listing of players who achieved triple milestones in 2014.

Player Name Times BAVG-HR-RBI Comments
Victor Martinez 1 .335-32-103  First time at age 36
Joes Abreu 1 .317-36-107  Eighth rookie with triple milestones

 

Three players achieved triple milestones in 2013 but fell short in 2014:

Player Name Times 2013 BAG-HR-RBI 2014 BAVG-HR-RBI Comments
Miguel Cabrera 7 .348-44-137 .313-25-113 Power Shortage
David Ortiz 4 .309-30-103 .263-35-104 Big drop in average
Paul Goldschmidt 1 .302-36-125 .319-19-69 On pace until injury

 

Since baseball is now in a low scoring era, it has become more difficult for players to achieve triple milestones.  No others came close.  I have been tracking and analyzing triple milestones for over 20 years but this might be the last one.  If current trends continue, there may not be any triple milestone hitters next year. Even Mike Trout, considered by many to be the best player in the game, can’t make it (.287-36-111 in 2014) in his first year with 100+ RBIs.  Martinez, at age 37 is unlikely to match his 2013 success in 2014 and Abreu faces a challenge in repeating his rookie success.  Of the other seven previous rookies to reach triple milestones, only Albert Pujols repeated in his second year. Others like Ted Williams and Mike Piazza fell short before racking up multiple triple milestone seasons. Hal Trosky and Rudy York each later recorded another such season but Wally Berger and Walt Dropo never had another one.

The following list contains the names of players, active in 2014, 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 productive players like Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Aramis Ramirez, but not at the same level as in their peak years.  Since this list was started in 2004, Ortiz is the only player that has come back with another triple milestone season.

Player Name .300-30-100 Seasons Last .300-30-100 Season 2014 BAVG-HR-RBI Comments
Albert Pujols 10 2010 .278-28-105 Four straight years under .300
Jason Giambi 4 2002 .133-2-5 End of the line at 43
Mark Teixeira 3 2008 .216-22-62 Injuries have taken a toll
Paul Konerko 3 2011 .207-5-22 Retiring at 39
Aramis Ramirez 2 2004 .285-15-66 Still productive
Matt Holliday 2 2007 .272-20-90 Lowest batting average of career
David Wright 2 2008 .269-8-63 Worst year of career
Josh Hamilton 2 2010 .263-10-41 A shell of his former self

 

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.

Three minor league players also recorded triple milestone seasons. Only one is under the age of 29.

 

Player Name Organization Team/Level Age BAVG-HR-RBI
Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs Tennesse (AA)Iowa (AAA) 22 .355-22-58.296-21-52

.325-45-110

Jake Fox NonePhiladelphia Laguna (AAA)Reading (AA) 31  .307-16-46.308-22-70

.308-38-116

 Marquez Smith  Cincinnati Pensacola (AA)Bakersfield (A+)  29 .156-1-5.323-29-126

 .311-30-131

Another player who split time between the minors and majors just missed:

J.D. Martinez Detroit Detroit (Majors)Toledo (AAA) .315-23-76.308-10-22

.314-33-98

 

No college players achieved triple milestones in 2014.                                         

Pitchers also strive for triple milestones – 20 wins, 200 strikeouts and an ERA under 3.00. Only two pitchers made all three in 2014:

Player Name Wins-Strikeouts-ERA Comments
Clayton Kershaw 21-239-1.77 Also did it in 2011
Johnny Cueto 20-242-2.18 First 20 win and 200 strikeout season

 

Another pitcher won 20 games but fell short on strikeouts:

Adam Wainwright 20-179-2.38 Made it in 2010

Twenty two pitchers with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title had an ERA under 3.00 but only three won 20 games and nine had 200 strikeouts.

Comments

2 Responses to “Triple Milestones–2014”
  1. No where does the absence of PEDs play out more obviously than in the list of aging players whose performance drops off in their thirties–illustrated in your table that leads off with Albert Pujols. I am not casting aspersions at any of those players, but in earlier years I believe we had players continuing to have milestone seasons late in their careers because they were taking various PEDs.

  2. Simon Foster says:

    It has a LOT to do with plate umpires extending the strike zone south. The only true indication of how much PEDs has affected the game is if the umpires called the same zone as they did during the 2000 season.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!