Triple Milestones 2016
Offensive production in the major leagues increased significantly in 2016 due to a spike in the home run rate. Other offensive measures were also at the highest level in several years.
|Year||Runs/Game||HR/Game||Bavg||OBP||SLG||OPS||Triple Milestone Hitters|
Eight players hit 40 or more home runs in 2016 compared to nine in 2015 and one in 2014. The big increase came in players that hit 30 or more home runs. This level was reached by 38 players in 2015 compared to 20 in 2015 and 11 in 2014.
A useful indicator for tracking offense is the number of players who hit for both power and average by achieving the old-school milestones of a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in. A record 26 players reached all three Triple Crown category milestones in 2000, but that figure has dropped significantly in recent years. Only four players achieved all three in 2016, even with the big increase in offense. Of the 38 players with 30+ home runs, only six batted over .300. Maintaining a .300 batting average is clearly the major problem in achieving triple milestones.
The only player that made the .300-30-100 club in 2015, Paul Goldschmidt of Arizona, fell short in 2016. Four players made it in 2016, all in the American League. Ten others came very close.
|Miguel Cabrera||8||.316-38-108||Returns to list after two year absence|
|David Ortiz||5||.315-38-127||Finishes career with a flourish|
|Adrian Beltre||3||.300-32-104||Made it is 2004 and 2012|
|Mookie Betts||1||.318-31-113||Reached superstar level in a hurry|
|Joey Votto||1||.326-29-97||Walks too much to get 100 RBI|
|Mike Trout||0||.315-29-100||Cannot get any closer|
|Ryan Braun||3||.301-30-91||Best season since 2012|
|Freddie Freeman||0||.302-34-91||First 30+ HR season|
|Robinson Cano||0||.298-39-103||Still looking for first one|
|Carlos Beltran||0||.295-29-93||Best season since 2011|
|Nolan Arenado||0||.294-41-133||Led NL in HR and RBI|
|Manny Machado||0||.294-37-96||Has never hit .300|
|Kris Bryant||0||.292-39-102||NL MVP|
|Anthony Rizzo||0||.292-32-108||Similar to teammate Bryant|
The last four players on this list have never hit .300.
There are numerous players still active in 2016, 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, but not at the same level as in their peak years. They are nearing the ends of their careers for the most part. like Matt Holiday, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez. Twenty nine of the thirty major league teams have 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.
Only one minor league player reached Triple Milestone status in 2016.
|Hunter Renfroe||El Paso (AA)||San Diego||24||.306-30-105|
No college players achieved Triple Milestone status.
Pitchers also strive for triple milestones – 20 wins, 200 strikeouts and an ERA under 3.00. Only one pitcher made all three in 2016 and he was the Cy Young Award winner in the National League.
|Max Scherzer||20-284-2.96||NL Cy Young who also made it in 2013 when he won AL Cy Young|
Three other pitchers came close (18-190-3.10)
|Johnny Cueto||19-198-2.79||Made it in 2014|
|Jake Arrieta||18-190-3.10||Made it in 2015|
Scherzer was one of only 3 pitches that won 20 games in 2016 but there were 8 pitchers with an ERA under 3.00 and 12 pitchers with 200 strikeouts. Winning 20 games is clearly the biggest obstacle in achieving a triple milestone season.