Gilbert: Is the .300 hitter a vanishing breed?

From SABR member Bill Gilbert at the Pecan Park Eagle on September 14, 2014:

In the year 2000, 26 players hit for both power and average to reach the Triple Crown milestones of 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a batting average of .300. In 2013, only three players reached all three milestones and in mid-season in 2014, three were on target for all three and six more were close. With three weeks to go in the 2014 season, only two players are on target and no others are close.

At mid-season, I raised the question, “Where have all the hitters gone?” We have some answers now. One place they have gone is the disabled list. At mid-season, there were four National League hitters contending for top offensive honors, Troy Tulowitski, Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutcheon and Giancarlo Stanton. Tulowitski and Goldschmidt suffered season-ending injuries before they had enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. McCutcheon also spent time on the disabled list but has come back and is playing hurt. Stanton was the last man standing until this week when he was struck in the face by a pitch which likely will end his season. Consequently, no National League hitters will reach the triple milestones of 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a batting average of .300 this year.

In the American League, two players are headed for triple milestones, Victor Martinez and Jose Abreu. Six others have 30+ home runs but have batting averages south of .290. Even Mike Trout, considered by many to be the best player in the game, has been unable to keep his batting average above .300 after being at .313 at mid-season. Two National League players also have 30+ home runs with batting averages under .290.

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Originally published: September 15, 2014. Last Updated: September 15, 2014.