Saturday, July 07, 2007
(posted by OMDQ)
In a post about Florida's Dan Uggla yesterday, Bugs & Cranks pointed out an interesting fact about the current Major League Baseball leaderboard: with the first half of the season nearing its conclusion, Detroit's Curtis Granderson is leading the majors with 15 triples.
If that number sounds impressive, it's because it is. In the last 50 years (often referred to as the "Retrosheet Era"), only four players have tallied more than twenty three-baggers in a single season: Lance Johnson (1996) and Willie Wilson (1985) both had 21, while George Brett (1979) and Cristian Guzman (2000) finished with exactly 20.
All four of those players hit between 60 and 62% of their triples in the first half. If Granderson holds true to that form, he's looking at a season total of 24 or 25. Forget the last fifty years - in the entire history of baseball, only 21 players have ever hit 24 or more triples in a single season, most recently in 1925. A number like that is in-con-ceiv-able in this day and age.
The strange thing about Granderson is that two-thirds of his three-base hits have come on the road, so we can't even blame any funkiness at Comerica Park for padding his stats. That is the polar opposite of the four players named above, all of whom hit at least 57% of their 20+ triples in their home parks. It'll be interesting to see if this anomaly corrects itself at all or if he continues to hit far more triples on the road.