Megdal: The curious case of Evan Gattis’ triples

From SABR member Howard Megdal at USA Today on October 5, 2015:

So no one really knows why Evan Gattis, Astros slugger, is hitting all these triples.

A first look at Gattis, let alone second or third one, wouldn’t lead you to imagine a man circling second base and flying toward third as a helpless outfielder tosses the ball back to the infield. At 6’4″, 260 pounds, he is every bit the catcher-turned-designated hitter, with occasional corner outfield forays, one would expect from a man his size.

And yet, there’s this thing that needs to be accounted for.

Gattis, who entered the season with one career triple in 213 games, launched one in Detroit on May 21, then another on May 24. He added two more in June, three in July, two in August and two in September.

That’s 11 triples. No DH has hit more triples since Paul Molitor hit 13 back in 1991, but that’s not a shock: Molitor hit 114 triples in a career in which he also stole 504 bases. (Gattis career stolen base total? 0.) The highest season triples total from any DH this season other than Gattis? Two.

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Originally published: October 5, 2015. Last Updated: October 5, 2015.